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Cost of auditioning for contracts


JulieW
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Sorry to do this to you all, but while we're on the subject (on other threads) of how much everything's costing, I thought some of you might find this useful as it does help to go into things with your eyes open.

 

We were very fortunate this year that my son only went to 3 auditions in total involving 2 return flights and one hotel stay (stayed with friends for the others), and was offered a job from his first audition, so our costs were quite low, but a couple of my friends were saying that the cost of flights, hotels/hostels, food etc have come to around the £5,000 mark.

 

We went into this year thinking we might need to spend up to about £3,000 (I think the school estimated about £2,000) so this came as a surprise and as I said, I think you need to be aware of this for budgeting if your ds or dd is getting towards the end of their training.

 

(The downside for us is that my ds now thinks he's saved us loads of money so we can afford to buy him a new laptop :rolleyes: )

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Wise words Julie. We too were lucky in that DS actually only had three auditions abroad before getting work but one of his friends went to just about every audition last year. Auditions are rarely at convenient times and often involve at least one overnight stay on top of considerable transport costs. And then theres travel insurance to consider. Also the cost of photos and videos that need to be done prior to auditioning.

 

And then theres the cost to our nerves waiting at home wondering if they actually boarded the right plane!

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It is such a difficult area. Do you do loads, experience etc or very select few? My son did quite a few first time and came out with 4 contracts. He could have stopped after first offer but we decided to continue to try for others.

 

After Vienna I think he only did a couple but was fortunately offered a contract with the company he really wanted early on.

 

Cost is huge. Flights, hotels, food etc.What I think does become apparent is companies one may fit in to. One learns to look closely at height requirements etc. At over 6ft he needs a "tall" company whereas smaller friends found those with smaller height starts a better bet.

 

Thank god for eastjet though!!!

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As with everything you have to cut your cloth to fit your budget. My dd saved a lot of money through her part time job which paid for most of her audition travels. I think she had 4 trips to Europe and lots of travelling within the UK. She did, however, become more discerning about which she would go for as time went on, and she knew that the money was finite because she had earned it herself.

 

I think you start to get a feel for which ones really aren't worth going for and you realise, as Julie said, when they state a height bracket the chances are they mean it.

 

Its definitely worth cultivating any friends and family who live in useful places to save on hotel bills.

 

Of course some people get jobs through being 'spotted' by artistic directors when they come to school, so it's not that expensive for everyone.

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This what I love about this forum.......the breadth and quality of knowledge and experience that is shared. The journey children and YP ( and their parents) have to go on in order for them to become a professional dancer is incredible and few of us realise this when we send them to that first ballet/dance class as toddlers! :-D

This topic is a useful reminder that funding issues don't end when the training does.

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Audition costs came as a shock to us. My daughter did several trips to Europe which were costly. She did her best to keep costs down by combining 2 or 3 where possible in a single trip and staying in youth hostels but there's no denying it is expensive when you factor in not only flights and accommodation but food and train fares to and from airports and companies. The annoying thing was that despite being offered auditions based on her CVs and photos, at times the criteria changed by the time she auditioned. One company in Madrid specified a classical look but they chose a girl in shorts with spikey hair and a lip piercing. Others kept the whole group until the end, thanked them for their interest and then said there were no current contracts. Another in London (this still incurred train travel and overnight costs) sent her an audition even though her CV stated she was 5'6, halfway through they dismissed the taller girls (of which a fair amount had travelled from Europe) saying 'sorry you are all too tall' Even though she didn't get a ballet contract and despite the frustrations of it all, she did enjoy the experience. Hubby and I try hard not to think of what we could have done with the money. We're just thankful that we've been fortunate enough to support her.

Ironically daughter now does ballet including pas de deux and pointe work on a cruise ship where a floating stage is a whole new challenge.

And we're still waiting for the payback!!!

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auditions cost a fortune alot of companies say that will have a call back the next again day so you have to stay 2 nights . My older dd . We are starting to save now for my younger dd auditioning in a years time xx

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In response to tutoo2much's #10 post, I expect companies would find a way round explaining auditioning without any posts being available.

 

Nothing to do with the dance world but many years ago a lady and her husband relocated "up north". As a civil servant the lady got a transfer but her husband could not. He resigned from his job but managed to get a job in the civil service. He was then contacted by his previous company to say that a job had come up in Manchester and he went for the interview. He passed and was offered the job IN WRITING but did not get a start date. He resigned from his civil service job, expecting to hear within days. When he didn't, he contacted the company who told him that the job no longer existed! On seeking legal advice he was told there was nothing he could do because the company had "restructured" after his interview! It was absolutely unbelievable.

 

I've recently heard of someone who had a job interview and has been told that "in theory" she has got the job but that the company is restructuring and she may not have the job or it may only be part time or it may not exist! Talk about it being an employers' market!

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In response to tutoo2much's #10 post, I expect companies would find a way round explaining auditioning without any posts being available.

 

Nothing to do with the dance world but many years ago a lady and her husband relocated "up north". As a civil servant the lady got a transfer but her husband could not. He resigned from his job but managed to get a job in the civil service. He was then contacted by his previous company to say that a job had come up in Manchester and he went for the interview. He passed and was offered the job IN WRITING but did not get a start date. He resigned from his civil service job, expecting to hear within days. When he didn't, he contacted the company who told him that the job no longer existed! On seeking legal advice he was told there was nothing he could do because the company had "restructured" after his interview! It was absolutely unbelievable.

 

I've recently heard of someone who had a job interview and has been told that "in theory" she has got the job but that the company is restructuring and she may not have the job or it may only be part time or it may not exist! Talk about it being an employers' market!

 

This also happened to my husband many years ago - had a letter in writing and yet the company suddenly decided they couldnt afford the post and withdrew it. Legal advice was sought but there was nothing which could be done.

 

It's so hard to even start to consider saving for potential auditions when you are faced with financing their current study - thank you for the eye-opener though! Well done to everyone who has been successful so far!

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Sadly the audition with no contracts available is not uncommon and one pretty big european company did this 3 years ago! Other horrors are; an audition day where the director decides not to turn up so before any contracts offered people will have to come back.

 

Personally I think it is appalling to do a mass audition, keep a number until the end and then say well no contracts.

 

The other really disheartening thing is to go to the audition and be "chucked out" (ballet students term not mine:-)) after a 20 mins barre.

 

No doubt auditioning is so tough . Some of the auditions are a shambles but some a beautifully organised and give the auditionees a full chance to show their talents.

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My dd went to one audition in which, after one exercise at the barre, the director said there were too many people and told everyone on the right hand side of the room to leave. Fortunately this audition was in London so she hadn't incurred huge costs to get there, and she came away with the very firm opinion that she wouldn't want to work for them anyway.

 

BUT - this was an exception! Some were exceptionally well organised.

 

In terms of overseas auditions, she viewed them as a chance to see places she wouldn't otherwise get to see. Being cut early in the day meant more time for site seeing!

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Oh dear, maybe I should encourage my ds to do something else!! Am getting cold feet now that he is going to vocational school in September!!

Maybe he will never be good enough!! Can't be easy for a child to have to accept constant criticism!! I remember how I felt as an 11 year old, when I failed my 11+

it stayed with me all my adult life!!! He loves it though, guess we will have start saving now and his dad will have to carry on working till he is 70!!!!

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I remember watching yr11 boys and wondering how on earth my gangly long son had got a place- there was no way in a million years that he was going to be able to ever get to that standard! But as one teacher said when I queried "why him" , "well they obviously saw something".! (she hadn't seen him at that point!)

 

And thankfully I was proved wrong!

 

Briging up our children costs a lot whatever their path in life. Many of my DS friends from primary school are now at University on their expensive loans which makes the cost of my sons auditions small by comparison. And whilst we will be still helping him out for some time to come it still won;t be as much as some University students parents!

 

My tip is to save up as much family allowance as you can (if you are still allowed it!) Also all birthday money etc- doing this really helped towards the cost of flights and accomodation abroad. And like someone who has already posted, treat it as a sightseeing trip as well!

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Not all auditions have to be expensive. DS attended several "cattle calls" in London before landing a cruise ship contract. I suppose adding up all the train journeys and meals in London the total cost might have been quite high.

 

A number of Ballet companies will also allow Video first auditions (the South Africa Ballet Theatre certainly does) so at least you know that if you do spend a lot of money to go to them they are interested in you before you journey out.

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