Momof3darlings

2013-14 Company Audition Journey (US and Canada)

105 posts in this topic

You are not alone, SeahorseMom! My DD is going though the same experience as yours, and it is frustrating to say the least. I think that Swanchat's advice is very good. DD looked closely at the companies which required SI attendance, and we put a deposit down on the one that she felt was the best fit. She is waiting to hear back from some companies, and still doing a few more auditions, so we'll have to wait to see what happens with those. I hate the idea of forfeiting the deposit - but if a definite offer is made it would be worth it for our peace of mind alone! This whole experience is nerve-wracking and I also have more grey hairs than usual!

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I agree with swanchat. If you are under the gun for a decision now but don't have all the info, secure the best case scenario you have now even if it hurts a bit and then be okay with losing a deposit if an actual contract or better offer comes along later. Really spend some time looking at the two go for summer offers and determine if you can the exact path into the company for those SIs and as much as you can about your personal fit for what the company looks like right now. It may be the best you can do given the circumstances.

 

Again, I don't envy a one of you at all! And hope you'll be past this stage very soon. I almost break out in a cold sweat reading your posts, either than or begin having nightmares when I'm still awake. :nopity:

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Thanks - good advice. I was of course hoping to avoid the expense but I think it's the only course for now. Funny that we just did the same thing for college! DD applied to (non-dance) colleges in case the dance thing doesn't work out. She is trying to narrow down those choices and choose 1 to enroll and request a year deferral. That way she will have that waiting for her next year if the dance thing doesn't work out. But it she decides to continue dancing we will just forfeit the initial enrollment deposit. It's awfully expensive trying to keep options open!! And we thought pointe shoes were bad :)

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Seahorse Mom, My dd asked for a college deferral also. In her case the college gave her a two year deferral. That was a big plus. Depending on the college, you may be able to buy more time before deciding to enroll. We didn't have to confirm the deferral with the college until June. We made sure that the school in question understood exactly what dd was pursuing outside school and they agreed to the deferral easily. Of course we had to pay a fee to hold her spot. Try to look at it like insurance.

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Would love to hear from others as to what you think!!! DD did a company audition (her dream company) where at the end of the audition they called out dancers numbers and told them that they were interested in them. Unfortunately dd was not one of the numbers called out.

 

1st email that she recieved stated that she had been invited to attend the summer intensive where she would be considered for a trainee/apprentice if she attended the entire program. DD knows of two other dancers that attended audition that recieved the same email. One dancer that she knows that auditioned was one of the numbers called out, but did not recieve the summer intensive invite.

 

2nd email that dd recieved said was thanking her for auditioning and letting her know that all positions have been filled. The dancer that was one that got told they were interested in them also got this same email, so she did not end up with a contract.

 

My question in my mind is of total confussion. My first instinct is that they are just trying to fill summer intensive spots. Yes, I know that I am not being optimistic but I just can't be convinced that the company has any openings for trainee/apprentices. My second thought is that the 2nd email sent was referring to actual paid with full benefits contracts and that this did not include trainees/apprentices. This company does pay with weekly stipends for trainees and not sure if this apply's to apprentices.

 

DD did attend this company's summer intensive last year and three dancers were selected during that time to recieve trainee positions. I would love to know if anyone else has experienced this same thing during auditions this year and what are your thoughts.

 

Can't decide if it is worth paying the $250 deposit to hold her a spot. Money is really tight with all the audition travel and having anouther child in college with out of state tuition. I might also add that my dd is finishing her BFA in Ballet Performance in May and we know that she will be starting at the bottom with a company with little or not pay and will have to continue helping her out financially. It just seems that every corner we turn it involves more money.

 

It is really hard for those dancers that are looking for their 1st company contract and having to wait so long to get results to decide which summer intensive is the best bet. I guess we might need to flip a coin and pray alot. My heart goes out to all of the dancers that are waiting and waiting for news. Any advice would be very helpful at this point. "MjI27", my hair is getting more gray hairs as well. Thank goodnes for hair color!!!

Edited by dancemaven
Just to add paragraphs to make it easier to follow. :)

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Just to clarify in my head... when people are speaking of summer intensive invitations on this thread, does that mean with a scholarship?

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Maybe you could call and just ask that company kdintx?? If you explained your confusion from the responses maybe they would clarify(??). Worth a try because your second thoughts seem legitimate.. Maybe they haven't filled those trainee spots until the SI and they were just talking about salaried corp and apprentice spots..

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Actually, kdintx's DD should call or e-mail and request a clarification as to what was meant by the two e-mails and whether the company is still planning on selecting trainees and/or apprentices from the SI. If the DD is old enough to be vying for a contract (and also an-all-but college graduate), she's old enough to be the one to do the inquiring. :wink: No mommies needed (at least on the front lines. :D )

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What Dancemaven said... Worth the phone call..

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Good suggestion: I will tell dd to send a email to get some clarification of the two emails. Dancemaven: you are right about having the dancer communicate with the company. It is her responsibility, since she is now old enough to sign a contract. Boy, it sure was alot easier when they were younger and you could just pick up the phone and call yourself to get answers. It now makes sense for her to communicate with them to find out the possibilities of whether there are any trainee/apprentice positions still up for grabs. With your approval, I think she will make that effort to find out. Thanks for giving me your opinion.

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There is a lot of confusion out there in regarding the positions of trainee and apprentice and who (company or school) governs them. Unfortunately, each company and/or school has their own definition but most trainees and second companies are governed by the school affiliated with the company. I know of at least one company who has sent out e-mails stating all poitions have been filled EVEN THOUGH the school has trainee positions available.

 

Remember, most trainee positions are not considered company positions. They may be rehearsing part of their day with the company but they are still considered students. If you are seeking trainee information call the school. If you are seeking salaried, company position information contact the company manager. To get information on both you will more than likely need to contact the company AND the school.

 

I also agree with Dancemaven regarding communication being from the dancer, even if it the school. (Assuming they are of age of course.)

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Even though the trainees/apprentices/2nd company or whatever they want to call them is apart of the school, the artistic director has the final say as to who is selected. Sure wish companies didn't make things so confusing. I really wish the companies would spell it out more clearly to these dancers looking for 1st time contracts and say they want you to come to the summer intensive because they are looking at you for a trainee/apprentice/2nd company position. At least you know you have some kind of shot and not having to read into what a email says. I will be interested to hear what this particuliar company has to say to her. Will it be even more confusion or will it be something that gives her clarity to what the 1st email meant.

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Even though the trainees/apprentices/2nd company or whatever they want to call them is apart of the school, the artistic director has the final say as to who is selected.

 

Actually, that statement is not always true. Trainees are quite often selected by the school director. If it is a company contract (apprentice on up) then yes the AD has the final say of course.

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kdintx,

 

Your dk should absolutely call for clarification! If the call doesn't go well, that's a sign that the whole thing is at best, not well organized and at worst, more of a trap than an opportunity. The whole trainee, 2nd company, junior company, school apprentice is incredibly murky! It's frustrating for students trying to land their first job. It's worse than reading tea leaves. Not that I'm an advocate of the murky waters but considering the numbers of students every year who are trying to obtain the increasingly few company contracts, the company who has these student jobs gives students the opportunity to transition to life in a company and to be considered by the AD when a contract becomes available. These positions also serve to fill out large corps pieces in many companies so at least young dancers have the possibility of more performance experience. Even when students have excellent performance opportunities and excellent training, there is a learning curve as they transition to professional so a program that provides an environment and curriculum to nurture the transition could be a good thing.

 

The potential benefit of these types of positions holds true only if the company limits the numbers of student dancers in this category and has the true intent of considering each for a possible contract in the future. If there are 20 people in the junior company what is the likelihood that all will have a contract? Also carefully look to see if there is a track record of hiring into the corps from these ranks. If so, the AD may view the time in trainee, 2nd company as an investment in it's dancers. If not, it may just be that the company views these dancers as a less expensive way to meet their needs when large corps are needed.

 

It's important to think the whole thing through too. Find out exactly who is in charge of the program. Is it the AD, is it the school director or is there another person dedicated to that program? Are members of the program supported in the audition process with time to audition, letters of reference, phone calls made to contacts, construction of resumés? Yes, the hope is that they will go into the company but what if someone else gets the contract? Have your dk ask the school director or 2nd company director or whoever is in charge of these questions, then have your dk ask their friends who are in the program or have knowledge of the program the same questions. See if the answers are similar, in the same ball park or completely different! The important thing is to make an informed decision and knowing the right questions is the first step.

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I wanted to add a couple of things on this thread. Kdintx, you mentioned that your daughter attended last summer & trainees were chosen. Can you ask your daughter to make a fair minded comparison of herself to those dancers? I know we are always stressing that comparing is a "no-no", but I think that our dancers have to do this when looking for positions, because otherwise they may be totally barking up the wrong tree.

 

Also... have you considered having your daughter ask if the $250 deposit can be used to attend a portion of the program if a firmer offer comes along later in the season?

 

I agree with Dancemaven & gcwhitewater about the dancer being the communicator, although... in my daughters year as a trainee I have had to have some minimal contact with the school's office because even though my daughter is of legal age, my husband and I are supporting her financially. So to set up systems to pay her expenses, I have emailed the office myself.

 

I share everyone's angst! My girl is a first year trainee this year and although one second year trainee in her group has received a contract from their company... the rest are still hanging on the line. The peacefulness that DD (and I) felt a few months ago regarding auditions has completely evaporated. As we always say... "You don't know what you don't know!" The difficulties of auditioning are COMPOUNDED when you are rehearsing and performing all through audition season, hoping to be one of the lucky ones in your own program, but you know the odds are slim & every outside audition you come across conflicts with a performance or a major rehearsal, so you have to rely on a video, most of which doesn't even show what you are capable of because it's from last year because you have had no time or studio space to record something new. Sorry for the run-on sentence, but the inability to breath while reading it seems appropriate. :ermm:

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