Author Topic: Freelancing - How far out do you commit?  (Read 3147 times)

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planetmike

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Freelancing - How far out do you commit?
« on: Jun 24, 2009, 08:01 am »
I am a freelancing stage manager, early in my career. Talking with other theater people has revealed some don't plan their next show until their current show opens, while others have plans/commitments for the next 18 months. Right now I'm booked through January 2010, so 7 months out. How far is too far to commit? All of my current commitments are with community theaters or volunteering at professional theaters, but I want to start applying with the professional/paid groups in the area. What is a reasonable planning horizon?


missliz

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Re: Freelancing - How far out do you commit?
« Reply #1 on: Jun 24, 2009, 10:08 am »
I'm used to committing to a show about 1-2months in advance, unless it's a long-term contract (summer stock or fall stock, for example). The shows that I've committed to further out than that were pretty high-paying/high-profile gigs where I probably wasn't going to find anything better down the road. :)
I personally would like to bring a tortoise onto the stage, turn it into a racehorse, then into a hat, a song, a dragon and a fountain of water. One can dare anything in the theatre and it is the place where one dares the least. -Ionesco

MatthewShiner

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Re: Freelancing - How far out do you commit?
« Reply #2 on: Jun 24, 2009, 10:31 am »
When I was freelancing, the most I scheduled was 18 months out . . . BUT, I hate the fact that I was scheduled that far out - - - I missed some wonderful opportunities of shows that popped up - and I didn't want break my word.

I think it depends on your market . . . here in the DC area . . . people hire by the season, so, people do the hiring for the entire season between Feb - April.  So, you might as easily book an entire year in those months.
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Anything posted here as in my own personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer - whomever they be at a given moment in time.

ljh007

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Re: Freelancing - How far out do you commit?
« Reply #3 on: Jun 25, 2009, 06:52 am »
I was usually booked 6-12 months out. But like Matthew says, sometimes the far future bookings would end up limiting my flexibility to take other great opportunities that might come up. So I just needed to be confident that the long-term planning was really worth committing to (and that they would stay committed to me and to the show - and not cancel, which can occasionally happen too).

bethanyb5

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Re: Freelancing - How far out do you commit?
« Reply #4 on: Jun 25, 2009, 08:01 pm »
Trust your gut.
For me personally I don't commit months ahead for a one night thing or something that has a strange schedule and I could then loss money on because something with a fuller schedule came along.

I was offered a gig for a show in a one act festival in august and even though it paid decent per hour it had a strange schedule and if it progressed in the festival it would have had added dates and I would have had to have kept those dates free but would have only been paid if we actually performed on those days. Didn't make since to hold days that might not get paid for.

But trust your gut.

Maribeth

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Re: Freelancing - How far out do you commit?
« Reply #5 on: Jun 26, 2009, 12:13 am »
For me, about 6 to 12 (about a season ahead). But, like others have mentioned, I sometimes regret not being available for other opportunities that come up at the last minute. I like to have a certain amount of the season booked, so that I can count on that amount of work (and the health weeks) and then I usually have some flexibility/availability to do last minute things with the rest of the time.

 

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