Gig&Tell: American Family Theater Tours

  • Bleh.    
    11/18/2013  8:58pm

    If you're 22 and you need tour credits, sign your life away and drive the country in a 16-passenger van for AFT. You'll play cafetoriums in the deep south, and 3000 seat venues in New England where your set takes up 20 feet of a 100-foot proscenium. That's a lot of black drape, people. This is peon work for start-of-career phase only. If you're over 25 and still living for this...reconsider your standards. Seriously.

  • AFT is awesome...    
    08/10/2013  1:10am

    it really is. It is a great place to get started. They are organized and know exactly what they are doing. The director of all the shows, David, is really fun and easy to work with. They're company manager, Morgan, is on top of her game. I am so grateful that I got to work for this company (twice). Remember, this is a low budget, children's theatre and they make it WEEERRKKK for the things that they have (and don't have). & look, you're getting paid to travel and perform for children AND if you're a great worker you can always come back here to keep working. Seriously a great company. I would DEFINITELY recommend this company to my friends.

  • Wouldn't encourage Friends    
    03/31/2012  7:49pm

    AFT is a really low budget experience. I am a small girl who doesn't spend too much money on food and I still ran out my the 100 a week per diem over a few days and had to take food from the hotels to have lunch! You drive the van alternating with your castmates, so I recommend headphones and a pillow! Building the sets and loading the truck before/after performances was not bad at all, but kind of the only exercise you get! I did the tour for experience and to spend a few months out of the city, and I am glad I got to see some fun cities...but the really cheap hotels, long drives, low pay and early morning performances are taxing to say the least. Make sure you really want to be out traveling.

    I would definitely recommend this company to the right person. They are totally up front about what your job will entail and if you are able to complete those tasks, then it's fine. The sets are easy to put together and break down, they give you plenty of time to travel, and the hotels were always fine (if theres a big problem at the hotel, they will switch your hotel.) Some people do not have the personality to tour, and that's absolutely fine- to each his own. If you're cool with touring, and have the kind of personality that can adapt to make a group of 8 people your family (as opposed to getting cabin fever) then absolutely do this tour. If that's not your cup of tea, then dont. I loved my experience.

    04/04/2012  10:19pm

    one word: unprofessional.
    some dressing rooms will be a single stall bathroom with cockroaches, many theatres and hotels would not pass common health laws, the stage managers are obsessed with keeping tabs on everyone [even if you're going to get coffee], and the people in the office are rude... if you need anything, you better have a fax machine because they don't email.
    don't believe me, check their website. last updated: '85.

    awful... and i wouldn't wish it on anyone. if you actually enjoy performing, be prepared to hate it after dealing with these wackjobs.

    I REPEAT, $300/WEEK IS NOT WORTH THE TORTURE YOU WILL HAVE TO PUT UP WITH.

    04/17/2012  5:49pm

    Horrible company. Doesn't treat actors with respect that they need. Pay awful

    04/17/2012  5:54pm

    I agree with post above about being extremely upfront about all duties involved with your experience.
    You're doing a non equity children's tour. Some shitty venues/extra work/early mornings are to be expected. These are the kinds of experiences that shape your appreciation for theatre as a whole. False- stage managers do not keep tabs on you everywhere you go. False- The work load is beyond reason and they pay they give you. When you do the math you maybe work 15 hours a week. False- The office staff is rude. I fend them to be extremely down to earth, and helpful in most circumstances. I have no biased opinion, I am simply doing a tour with them now. I'm finding no more difficulties with my experience than I would with any other company. However, I could easily see this being a bad experience if any of your fellow cast mates, sm, or td is a diva or doesn't work as hard as everyone else. I would recommend this company to anyone looking for some tour experience. If you get cast in 1 show then the casting director will cast you in any one of there shows in the future. AKA- consistent work if you need it.

    04/18/2012  8:20pm

    I LOVED my experience with this company. Loads of people return to work with this company for multiple tours, which i think says more than anything.

    The only time there was a problem on my multiple tours was when an actor was a diva and didnt pull their weight (not helping enough during load-in or load-out/complaining constantly/full of attitude/not realizing their own fault in situations and getting snarkier/etc.) That kind of person is just unprofessional and lazy but thats not the company's problem- and they eventually fire those people anyway.

    Your contract spells out exactly what your duties are- if you can deal with those responsibilities, do so, and you'll have a great tour. TYA tours arent for everyone- and that's absolutely fine- but have enough self awareness to know that you cannot deal with those responsibilities, and dont audition for TYA tours.

    but if TYA is for you, you will love working for this company.

    05/15/2012  9:05pm

    Yes, the venues and the hotels are less than 4-stars; and yes, it's early and you do have to travel long, long distances in a single drive; however, I will say I have some very fond memories of doing this tour. It was one of my first New York jobs out of college and I was lucky enough to have some great people on tour with me. The company also did their best to take care of us. Also, if you get to be one of the groups that performs in Philadelphia, and live in the Hilton for a couple of weeks, it's pretty sweet! $300/wk was pretty tough, but at that age, I was pretty happy to be able to pay bills with acting. Your attitude will determine everything.

    01/11/2013  1:23am

    This tour is great! Lots of opportunity to hone your craft and work with good people. I would recommend it highly.

    03/05/2013  12:52pm

    I can't begin to understand the people who gave this company such negative reviews! What are you talking about?! It was a great experience and the staff is extremely professional. Great people!! And the hotels (Days Inn and Wyndam Gardens are pretty typical) and meal allowance were fine.

    03/05/2013  12:58pm

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this company. going back for my third tour. if you are a good hardworking person and can behave professionally, you will have a wonderful time.

    03/14/2013  6:24pm

    AFT is a great company to work for if you can spend the time away from friends and family. I have done 6 tours as a TD with them and never had a problem. Yeah some hotel rooms are worse than others but they try to put us in decent hotels with continental breakfast. Most non-equity actors find this to be great experience and good for your resume. If you want a Real World/Road Rules experience take a part at AFT/ATAFY. In my 6 tours I have met friends for life even though I was old enough to be most of my actors dad. I have had male, female , gay, and straight roomates on the road and all have been great. IF you are the type of person who likes to travel, see new places, meet new people and hone your craft give them a call

    04/22/2013  10:29am

    finished yet another tour with this company- so much love!

    05/26/2013  11:42am