Monday, 19 November 2012

5b. Working Abroad Continued..

From one of my comments on my previous blogs helped me to think more deeply into my earlier reflection. 

Often, with any problems we might have had, we just had to do our best to work our way around them. Because we would only be in the venue for a forty five minute set, the venue would not have necessarily moved mountains for us. This is because they are a business themselves and although we are there to bring in the customers as an attraction, they are inevitably the ones who make the money. So wasting their time on us will be stopping them from serving customers.
I am not overly fussy when it comes to job situations that I am faced with. This is because being able to perform overrides all other problems. I can change in a grotty area, glass on the floor is a difficulty but we can sweep this away. I have moved barrels around a changing area before, this wasn't my job to do and if I would have hurt myself there would have been some serious repercussions, but I didn't so it wasn't a problem. I think where I draw the line is at bugs. Were I have a genuine phobia of something. It's something that I would not tolerate in my own home and I'm not being payed enough to tolerate it anywhere else. But the problem is, I put up with everything else and others want the job so much that they can stand being put in a room with cockroaches running around. Which as a result allows employers to put performers in situations like that and to only think of them as little worker bees that bring in the money. This is a downward spiral for performers. This is why I have grown to believe performers should not do unpaid work. If performers lower the price of themselves then it allows employers to pay less and put performer in bad situations because they know that performers are very replaceable.  So by a small amount of people doing something for a low fee, why should the employer want to pay any more to have new performers when they know that someone will do it for a cheeper price?

I think this has brought me to think about how we as performers look after our wellbeing. Organisations like Equity have been put in place to stop this from going on. But we have to work with them so that they can help us. The more we allow ourselves to be walked over the more it will affect others within the industry too. We must do our best to bring the industry's view on performers to a higher level. 


  1. Hi Blake,

    I think your post raises a vitally important issue. What ethical framework do ‘I’ have that guides the decisions I make, not in relation to others, but in relation to me? Too much of the performance sector ignores basic interests and safely of practitioners. You only have to be part of BAPP Arts and to talk to students who have suffered serious injuries, sometimes no fault of their own … like the cruise ship dancer ‘required’ to dance on a stage lurching around on a stormy sea. How exactly do you land from a jump when the floor is constantly moving?

    Ethics is not just about a political correctness in the way we treat others, but a sense of what we are prepared to accept for ourselves, our own safety and own self esteem.

  2. Hi Blake, I see you have worked away, have you worked on cruise ships before? If so I would appreciate your input or thoughts on my SIG?