Gig&Tell: CPS- Community Performance Series at SUNY Potsdam

  • This is about their audition process    
    11/17/2014  8:57pm

    I haven't worked here, and I don't ever plan on auditioning again in order to find out what it's like to work here....

    But their audition process for this past summer was just ridiculous. Everyone is aware that the director/AD are instructors at Pace, so why not just hire the commercial dance majors you want to hire without putting everyone through an audition process where you literally tell every single person who walks in the room how amazing they are and what role you want to hire them for? I am not someone who "hears what I want to hear" in the room....they literally told me what role they wanted me for, and then I never heard from them again. And I found out that the entire cast was made up of either a) locals from the border of NY and Canada, or b) you guessed it....Pace commercial dance majors in an demanding singing role. I have no problem with people casting whomever they want to cast. I have no problem with Pace commercial dancers. I just have a problem with time being wasted. If you're not really looking, don't hold appointments and open calls and dance callbacks and sides reading callbacks and all this nonsense when you're NOT LOOKING. This rant could really apply to any theater that does this, but this particular theater got me really incensed because they did this to literally every person I've spoken to who walked in the room. Also, I mean, its not as if the production value is good or the credit useful on your resume. ugh. ok. done.

    Just something to think about as a reply to the above post, specifically to the comment "in a demanding singing role" - just because someone is or was a Dance Major absolutely does not mean they cannot sing. PLENTY of professional performers who have fabulous voices were trained with a dance degree or without a theater degree at all.

    Don't get me wrong, I agree with you it was a little silly to hold such a large audition under those circumstances. But nothing irks me more when somebody labels another performer without any true knowledge of that performers abilities.

    That being said, there were plenty of Pace Commercial Dancers who were not casted. I worked there last summer and let me tell you - the Pace Commercial Dancers they did cast were DAMN good, and were true triple threats, which what was required for the two shows they were doing; they were both very demanding vocally AND dance wise. Plus they were some of the nicest and hard-working people I've ever worked with.

    Point being, don't make assumptions of another performers abilities. The audition process was a little wonky, I get it, but clearly they chose the people they casted (and people - including other Pace CDs they didn't cast) for a reason. The shows turned out great - amazing set and lighting design. The company MGT was very nice and the theater was beautiful. The housing wasn't the greatest, but the theater company is in its first couple years of inception and they have a really great thing going on so far so I'll cut them some slack on that.

    Let's stick together in this crazy business yall!

    02/09/2015  9:05pm

    Actually, I know many people who go to Pace, and I agree that the people given leading roles are able to do justice by them. However, I also agree that their audition process is a joke. They have no respect for ANYONES time and rude and self righteous in giving "feedback." Never work for them. I have heard horrible things about the pay and housing (shockingly low pay, filthy housing).The productions, from what I understand, are well done, so that is positive. But if you have any other job options I would take that. You deserve to be treated better than that and if everyone continues to work jobs where they are treated like that, it propagates the mistreatment and power of the directors and casting people to treat them like that.

    03/08/2015  4:26pm

    I can't believe how poorly they treat people. Sad.

    03/09/2015  8:09am

    It seems like the majority of these posts are from people who are either commenting on what the audition process was like or people who "have heard" what the job is like, both of which aren't reliable, unbiased sources if you want to know the true details of what it is like to work for this company. Having worked for them before, I think I can provide a better insight then somebody who "just heard" about what the job was like.

    I'll start off by saying that whoever said the company or artistic team horribly mistreats their actors must have fell and hit their head or something, because the opposite couldn't be more true. The artistic team was AMAZING. From my experience, not one actor was treated with anything less then the upmost respect, so Im genuinely confused as to when the above persons friend could have been treated differently. The shows were of high quality, ESPECIALLY for a nonunion theater company, and the theater space was great. I felt like the cast and creative team were one big family. Also - the town loves coming to see the shows (people drive from hours away upstate) so you always have a really enthusiastic, full audience.

    No the pay wasn't the best, but I heard from someone who has an appointment this year that the minimum wage was raised to more then any nonunion theater company pays and that there are AEA Guest Artist contracts available (something I know wouldnt have been possible when I did it), so that's proof that the company is constantly growing and improving every year.

    I agree with all the posts that the housing isn't the greatest. You do get your own private room within a suite, but they are dorms if that gives you any insight to what they might be like. But who knows! Maybe in the coming years it will be different housing since its obvious the company is growing so quickly. The town is slightly boring if you're there for an extended period of time, but there are a lot of cute restaurants and shops to check out. Also there are plenty of lakes around so on our days off the cast always went to the lake, which was really fun!

    This isn't a bad contract to take at all in my opinion, especially if you're just starting off and need good credits and names to write on your resume. Hope that's help to anyone planning on auditioning for them!

    03/10/2015  9:43am

    PROS:
    -GREAT new performing arts center-like GORGEOUS and SO wonderful to rehearse and perform in!
    -Extremely professional and talented designers and production team all around-VERY nice people who are willing to help.
    -BEAUTIFUL location in Northern (way north) NY...if you want to get out of the city and be somewhere pretty-this is the place. Near Lake Placid, etc...it's beautiful.
    -Overall GREAT GREAT experience.

    CONS:
    -HOUSING SUCKS! They house you in the dorms which are from the 70s and need renovating. no air conditioning, they don't supply fans, and two casts share one TINY kitchen...
    -Pay isn't great-but it's better than most non-union contracts. But still not THAT great and you have to buy your own food-so you're going to spend a lot of your contract money on food.
    -Rehearsal schedule fluctuates. They assume because you're there you have nothing else going on and the rehearsal schedule can change last minute...a more regular schedule is appreciated and better for your body.

    Overall a great experience...aside from the housing situation which is a shame. Also if they provided a small stipend for food aside from the fee OR provided meals at rehearsal times that would be great.

    08/11/2015  5:16pm