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A sad and shameless website about artists’ fees and audition experiences

We have stumbled across a brand-new German Facebook page, Die traurigsten & unverschämtesten Künstler-Gagen & Auditionerlebnisse that is full of woe about low fees, unpaid auditions and other miseries of life on stage. It seems to be a response to an article in Der Spiegel, headlined ‘Hunger wages for performers: some film animals earn more.’


Here’s a sample:

Koblenz Theatre: West Side Story
‘At the audition, neither director nor choreographer are present, only a bad-tempered manager and a ballerina. One candidate is dismissed early, declared unfit. When artists take a long journey to audition, surely they can expect the creative team to be there….’

Also in Koblenz: Trained actor required. 50 Euros per show. No travel or accommodation expenses guaranteed.

Singer/dancers wanted for Hair. 75 Euros a night.

And so it goes….

UPDATE: But it doesn’t have to be like that. See here.

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  1. Norman,

    What’s the difference between a musician and a pizza?

    A pizza feeds a family of four.


  2. Yet another confirmation that we are in a deep recession and that musicians, dancers and artists are at the bottom of the food chain unless they are also “celebrities”. Anyone got a free cigarette butt?

  3. This is why the U.S. has performers’ unions, for actors, dancers, singers, orchestral musicians, tech crews, et al.

  4. Frank-Michael Fischer says:

    Does U.S. have a union for unemployed artists as well?

  5. The website named does, indeed, tell a sad story, but it is not shameless, it is brave and unashamed. It is the practice described which is shameless and, in Germany, not untypical, as the mostly civic-run houses are increasingly at their ends, financially, paying their management and full-time employees (mostly in the technical areas) well, with good benefits and conditions, as per long-term contracts, while the temporary employees — the actors, singers, dancers one actually sees on stage or substitute musicians hired for the pit — are paid at sub-living wages, without benefits and in the worst conditions.

  6. Derek Castle says:

    I suppose this state of affairs was inevitable. Having worked in Germany for over 30 years, I was always amazed and impressed that every city of any size had its own ‘Theater’, with its drama, ballet, opera sectors and a full-sized orchestra! I presume these are financed by local taxes and for the citizens of such towns/cities these cultural ‘necessities’ have always been regarded as being as natural as having their dustbins emptied weekly. In the present financial crisis, however, many cities are naturally struggling to support their ‘Theater’. Ballet seems to be the most expendable sector, being reduced, in the city where I worked, to the absolute minimum. Artists from all over the world have flocked to Germany in the past, because that was where the work and long-term contracts were. Now cultural facilities are being reduced or even closed, and the job market is shrinking dramatically. Is there a minimum wage in the Arts sector? It seems not. It’s sad, but not surprising, that artists are now being treated so shabbily in some German cities.

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