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At what point do you stop doing things for free?

Posted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 5:03 pm
by Katymac
DD does modelling, singing, dancing

Generally for charity she donates her time, for students she does 'one freebie' and after that asks for costs (fare/food etc)

But when it's for profit? Does she say, "Sorry I get paid for that sort of thing now" is there a better way to phrase it?

Maybe she should still be doing freebies, but when some people are prepared to pay the going rate how do you decide?

Re: At what point do you stop doing things for free?

Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:05 am
by 2dancersmum
This is sort of a tricky one and sort of quite simple.

Bottom line - if the client is being paid, then so should your DD. Albeit still in training, she is nonetheless being hired as a professional - doing a job and should be paid for it. I see all sorts of adverts from photographers - offering just photos in return for the models services. Photos may be nice - but if the photographer is being paid for them - particularly if it is to promote a product - clothing, jewellery etc - then why do they take on paid work and expect the model for free. You can get similar for dancers. One company was reported to equity last year as they were looking for backing dancers for a famous singers tour - 'unpaid but with the priviledge of working with artist x and the publicity it would bring'

Your DD has to remember that she has a 'value'. She may well donate some time to charity etc but when she graduates she has to earn a living and her product is herself. If people are prepared to pay the going rate, why should she accept anything less?

So tricky - because she has to decide what is acceptable for her and for paying the bills. There will always be people who expect something for nothing and people who work for free.
And simple - because as a professional she needs to earn a living.

Re: At what point do you stop doing things for free?

Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2016 5:17 pm
by Katymac
That's a good point - if they are being paid (or gaining value) she should be paid (or gain value)

EG a shoot for shoes & she got a pair of shoes, accessories photo shoot = a hat, earrings and a scarf

That seems fair to me - it isn't all about money - but neither is it free

Re: At what point do you stop doing things for free?

Posted: Sat Oct 22, 2016 2:18 pm
by napmfm

If only theatre was free, god knows how much it costs parents of performing kids to appear in these shows, yes, the kids get a token amount but the costs to get them there generally exceed them.

Re: At what point do you stop doing things for free?

Posted: Sun Oct 23, 2016 11:20 am
by riverdancefan
napmfm wrote:FREE???

If only theatre was free, god knows how much it costs parents of performing kids to appear in these shows, yes, the kids get a token amount but the costs to get them there generally exceed them.
Hell yes !!

But seriously now he only does charity and local promotion for free.
He had some great opportunities as a youngster and enjoyed his time but even then , we got expenses covered or lovely prints for his time .
Time is precious enough as it is and if you don't even get petrol money ? - no way unless it was absolutely huge exposure.
No extra work either as child rates meant I was paying them for his privilege ( of slogging his guts out for 11 hours) I've always seen that as child exploitation and nothing less .

Re: At what point do you stop doing things for free?

Posted: Sun Oct 23, 2016 11:59 am
by paulears
I'm in my fifties and still get grief from this.
I think now that money and morals does it for me.

If somebody organises an event, and they are making money, even a small amount, for themselves - then they should compensate the people who take part - all of them. If the reason they are doing the event is for the benefit of the people in it, then I change it a bit. The people who benefit don't get paid, but the people who work on it do. In general, if they cover their costs, that's great - many times they don't. If they make a profit, it's a bit different. If they are in business - let's say they are a dance school, then modest profit isn't bad, and I can balance this profit against the benefits to the performers. We did a show yesterday - the agent/promoter screwed us down to a less than our usual deal, but still decent. Could only see the front row, but we got asked to sign a few CDs at the end in the Foyer, and there were HUNDREDS of people. As we were on a fixed fee, we didn't bother with checking the box office - but the front of house people told us how many there were and the tickets were £20 each - the agent/promoter, who didn't even turn up made a huge profit. That's real business, and while it sticks in the throat a bit - we were not badly compensated. This same promoter occasionally puts on a few amateur acts, who he gives 'experience' to. They should be paid - properly. The fact they are still gaining experience and still at school should not mean free.

Doing it for experience always rings alarm bells. People work for free because they like it - but at some stage, it becomes exploitation.

If you are good enough to consider your performance professional quality, you deserve payment. If a professional could have done the job better than you did, then maybe you are still in the doing it for experience category.

This gets abused of course, because an expensive young person could be swapped for a keen and free one.

One of my friends has a much simpler rule for this. If your name is on the poster, you get paid.

Re: At what point do you stop doing things for free?

Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 2:07 pm
by fartoomuchtodo
When our DS first started out, his 1st, 2nd and 3rd jobs were with a professional theatre company who put on Christmas shows in the local theatre. The first year, he and his sister auditioned for parts in the Lion,The Witch and The Wardrobe. Although he'd mainly gone along to support her he got a part (squirrel) and she didn't. Next year the called him back and asked if he's play Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol, year after he was Pinocchio (in Pinocchio!). He got paid for none of these, we got no expenses, it was a huge commitment of time (especially the last year). In addition we and many of our friends and family bought tickets (no, not even 1 free ticket!). When they called us the 4th year I said sorry, he gets paid for doing this now!

Looking back I have mixed feelings. I think the company put loads of kids in their productions because 1) they didn't have to pay them and 2) it meant 'bums on seats' from parents, grandparents, uncle Tom Cobly and all! On the other hand, it was great experience for him and it did help give him (and us) the confidence to approach a 'proper' agent.

A couple of years ago he did a musical (lead role) at a large regional theatre and we got £20 per session. That didn't really cover petrol, parking etc and certainly did not cover my time being there but then again... the experience was fantastic and it remains one of his favourite jobs ever.

A really tricky one. I do feel that the first company were somewhat rip-off artists. However 250 children turned up for 30 roles so, as a friend constantly reminds me... 'if you won't do it there's a long line of mums and sons standing behind you who will' . Doesn't make it right, doesn't make it fair but.. c'est la vie ;)

Re: At what point do you stop doing things for free?

Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:14 am
by francescasmum
It's a tricky one, my dd still does both. I always look at the project first, I don't consider the money, if dd will enjoy it or get some think worthwhile out of it, I submit her, whether it's paid or not. A local amateur theatre company dd has worked with several times puts all the money they receive from ticket sales and advertising into scenery, costumes, script/rights fees, hire of theatre and rehearsal space. The shows always appear very professional - many have commented on its quality, there is very little profit at the end of the day as they don't charge 'London prices' and this goes towards the next show. The cast are generally adults, with one or two children's roles, like White Christmas and Gypsy and dd has learned so much from the other cast members and crew, far more in the relatively short time (Gypsy was 7 1/2 weeks from receiving scripts), than she got from a whole year at the drama group she used to attend where she felt that most of the children did not take it as seriously as she does and where more interested in socialising - she would get frustrated with their behaviour and the fact that they never learned lines or remembered direction so they had to go over things time and again, she felt that she wasn't learning anything except how NOT to behave - though a big lesson learned in tolerance (she bit her tongue in rehearsal but I usually bore the brunt of it in the car)! That, we pay for! I worked out that at £6 a session twice a week plus extra 'panic' rehearsals closer to the show because people didn't know their parts it cost over £500 for her to be in a mediocre show with small (bias) audiences. It costs virtually nothing to be in the other shows so it actually saves me money and DD is happier.

People seem happy to pay for a holiday club/summer school/workshop etc, well that's how we approach these 'freebies', except they are free to us! For us to attend a workshop etc usually entails staying in a hotel, travelling by train, eating out etc because of where we live, all on top of the participation fee, for local theatre there is just the petrol. DD (and me) have gains local friends where it is easy to keep in touch/meet up and gained invaluable experience.

To us the experience is the crucial deciding factor- some happen to be paid, some not.

Any other hobby (no matter how serious you are about it) costs parents time and money and required commitment. As a child I was a very good athlete and although I got some good sponsorship deals, it still cost my parents a fortune for sports clothes/equipment, competition/training fees, travelling etc and our older daughter was a swimmer and hockey player that had similar expenses, so as long as the amount I have to pay out doesn't spiral out of control and dd is enjoying it I consider any paid work is an added bonus.

Re: At what point do you stop doing things for free?

Posted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 8:17 am
by Disco_Dad
Professionally made, professionally paid. ... ally-paid/