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Gig&Tell: Project Educational Theatre

  • Yelp Review: 2016    
    09/12/2018  5:17pm

    After reading the review from 2010, I had the thought that one person's experience couldn't be fact, and decided to pursue this opportunity. I wish I hadn't. If you value yourself as a professional artist, I advise staying away from this company.

    When interviewed, you will be promised a weekly pay rate. However, your contract stipulates that you will only be paid the weekly rate if you have five performance days. Your pay can fluctuate anywhere based on that. During the course of the tour, I was only given my full weekly pay rate three times while on tour. Most of the time, I would be shorted by a day because the president of the company was unable to secure a school.

    The labor is intensive. There are several new styles of stage equipment that would make your load in and load outs much easier. However, in order to save money, the equipment hasn't been updated in years. The obsolete equipment makes your load ins take anywhere from 2-3 hours, and load outs take at least 1.5-2 hours. Coupled with a full day of shows (8:00-3:00), you are looking at at least 10.5 hour days.

    With respect to travel, you will be traveling all over the southeast. If you are fortunate, you can stay in the same town for a day or two while traveling to surrounding cities. But, in most cases your drive time will be at least two hours. There were several times the drive time eclipsed more than three hours. It was not uncommon to be on the clock from 5:30am-8:00pm on a daily basis. Looking at a full weekly pay of 600 for actors, 700 for the production coordinator, and 800 for the technical director, it breaks down to $8 and hour for actors, $9.33 for coordinator, and $10.66 for the TD. Keep in mind that this hourly rate is only if you receive a full weeks worth of performance pay. If you miss a day because there are no shows, there will be less money. You are also responsible for paying for your own hotel and food while on tour. With respect to finances, it's difficult to save up money while on the road unless you enjoy staying in subpar hotels, and sharing a bed.

    If you, like me, thinks, "Well, it's just two reviews, maybe it will be different for me" I encourage you to go out and give it a shot. However, I cannot in good conscience not post a review of my experience with this company. I would never work for this company again, and believe they have stayed in business solely because of paying theatre professionals low wages and using obsolete equipment.

    The one thing that really turned me off from this company is that when bringing up company members illegal activity to the president, he responded that it wasn't an issue. If you don't have a problem with drug use, feel free to audition for this company. I had a big issue with an employer allowing cast members to abuse drugs and then perform for children the following day.

    I advise anyone to stay away from this company.

  • Yelp Review: 2010    
    09/12/2018  5:15pm

    THIS REVIEW IS FOR PEOPLE LOOKING TO AUDITION OR SIGN CONTRACTS WITH PROJECT EDUCATIONAL THEATRE TOURING COMPANY.

    I am writing this review because when I was first researching the company and deciding whether or not to go on tour with them, I could not find any info online and have suffered from it. Take it or leave it, it is just a word to the wise from a previous employee who has experienced a tour firsthand.

    Project Educational Theatre has been touring through the southern states for the last forty years and the producer runs all aspects of it. This is not a tour for someone who expects artistic freedom, respect for acting technique or ability and wants to use creativity and imagination to build an original character. The producer wants to plug you in, give you the most basic blocking (it's already written into the script and you watch a DVD of previous productions to mimic their movement.) He expects you will adhere to it, with absolutely no room for negotiation. If turning off your artist's voice for six months is okay with you, in order to make some money or take a break from your every day life, read on.

    The money is decent but know that you are working for every penny. The schedule is incredibly grueling and not well thought out, resulting in a lot of long, unnecessary traveling. You are paying for hotels out of your weekly salary and playing a lot of low-income, rural towns. If you are high maintenance about lodging or food, this is not for you.

    The most important thing I want to mention is this: you will sign a contract with the company but rest assured, everything in it is in the favor of the COMPANY, not you. If ANY verbal promises are made at the contract signing that are not reiterated in the contract, DO NOT SIGN until he puts it in. He will want you to sign on the spot but do not do so... unless you are satisfied that everything you expect or have been promised is in writing. I can not emphasize this enough! There were numerous times he did not recall promises and since we had no contract to back us, we were left to suffer the consequences.

    Also be forewarned, you will be held responsible (though possibly not informed that you are) for props and costumes. If any of them are lost, he will dock pay from your bonus (received at the end of the tour). We found this out too late!

    I do not mean to sway anyone from auditioning or accepting a role with this company. I was lucky enough to be cast with three other awesome people and had a blast with them. But we were unanimous in our feeling by the end of the run, that there was nowhere to go from here but up! If this is your first experience with touring, give it a shot. Live cheaply, make some money (I paid off my credit cards!) and travel around the southern region of our country. You will experience fine southern hospitality and make a difference bringing theatre to children who don't get a lot of opportunities to see it. You will play every kind of venue from school gyms to 2200 seat civic centers and you will be a mini-celebrity in these towns. There are definite perks and good times. Just be aware you are working hard and look out for yourself and fellow tourmates.. unfortunately, this is simply not a company that will have your back.

    Hope this helps. Best of luck!