I am a non-equity, agency-represented performer. I recently finished a non-equity show with Troika. I was hesitant about accepting the job but I took it for the show. There were MANY times on the road when I strongly questioned my decision to take the contract.
They are cheap as hell (bedbugs, 10 hour travel days into shows, one nighters for weeks on end, cramped bus that broke down several times). That being said, they do pay you on time every week.
On average we had a serious injury to a cast member twice a month. At least. Troika works their employees to the bone and would rather save money hiring less actors than hiring a proper, full cast with an appropriate number of swings. People were constantly being sent home to recover from injuries, which resulted in no change of attitude or action from Troika. They allowed people to continue doing absurd tracks that have never been done in any other production of the show. There were several surgeries and some cast members will not be able to perform for a significant amount of time. The complete disregard for the well-being of employees was my biggest problem with this contract.
Management was laughable. Both stage manager and company manager were underqualified and rude. The stage manager constantly made decisions about which understudies/swings to put on based on personal preferences; NOT based on what was best for the show. The company manager rarely had the information necessary for anything from worker's compensation to the nearest grocery store. Troika's choice to put those individuals in charge made an already challenging show and touring schedule even more difficult.
If you are offered a non-equity contract with Troika, really take the time to consider your options. Of course, we all have to make sacrifices and pay our dues in this business, but only to an extent. Beyond that it becomes counterproductive.
I know this is super early to be thinking about this, but I have a callback for the Troika Annie tour this summer, and am already starting to weigh the pros and cons of taking this job (which I haven't even been offered lol). Anyone on the Ghost tour or something more current that would be able to tell me whether any of the above-mentioned problems have been resolved? The Ghost schedule looks legit - 5 day sit downs, which is better than one nighters. Any info would be appreciated! :)
Couldn't agree more. This company is a cheap mess.
Glad I did it, but disappointed in how they treat their employees. No gratitude or acknowledgement from Troika after putting you through a schedule from hell.
Also, just to put the wage into perspective:
When doing one nighters, we were averaging about 30 hours a week on the bus.
Plus you are doing 8 shows a week, another 24 hours of work.
54 hours of work a week at $455 a week = $8.43 a week.
Plus, it's nearly impossible to not eat out for every meal when you're doing one-nighters, so $225 per diem doesn't cut it.
It is a good way to save if you don't have any other financial commitments while on tour, but this wage is anything but fair for the amount of work you do.
$8.43 an hour *****
As with any company, you get out of it what you put into it. I have done two tours with Troika and one with another company and the top touring companies are all pretty much the same (Troika, NETworks, Work Light). The money is decent, the hotels are decent and sometimes really nice, depending on what level tour you are on. I've done 1-niters and sit-downs and 1-niters are hellish no matter what company you're with. Troika is very professional and they know what they're doing. Don't expect to be coddled but act like a grownup and you'll be treated like a grownup. Their crews are amazing and they usually have amazing creative teams as well. You get to work with the real deal. That's the biggest draw, IMO.
Can someone explain to a newbie what you mean by "sit downs" and "1 nighters"? Thank You
A "sit down" is staying longer than a week+ in any one city.
A "split week" is playing two to three cities in one week.
A "one nighter" is exactly as it sounds: One night in each city. That means traveling every single day (could be 350+ miles) and then having a show that night. Rare for any days off.
$455/week is decent? Are you high? The per diem for Annie is $225. Hope you like Taco Bell.
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