It’s amazing how many dancers do not keep track of their pay! Why? I don’t know if it’s because I work with a lot of British dancers and in Britain we’re not supposed to talk about money but I know so many dancers who simply don’t know what they are owed and by whom! Are they just disorganised or does the problem run a little deeper?
I know that for many people bringing up the subject of money can be a very uncomfortable thing but it’s time to stop keeping your mouth shut and start finding out where your pay is.
I know that there are huge issues surrounding pay for entertainers and it is a very multifaceted argument and not really one that i am entering into now. What I’m talking about today is the many dancers who have done freelance work and have money owing to them but either they have lost track of what they are owed or they do not dare approach the companies that owe them money. Sometimes it is a case of being disorganised but sometimes it is a deeper set problem of either being embarrassed to talk about money or even deeper than that. Don’t worry that because you have dared to turn your passion into your job and you have spent years doing it for free anyway that to you ‘it’s not about the money’. Well guess what, if it’s your job then it is about the money and you need to be paid what you are owed!
Every time you take on a job you need to know about the pay. Is it paid? Is it an event pay or an hourly rate? Is anything else included such as travel expenses? Each job you do will be different and there is no right or wrong figure but the point is that you need all of the information. Once you have this and you’ve agreed to the job and won the job you then need to know how you will be paid. Do you need to invoice the company? Do you need to provide them with a NI number or the equivalent? Be sure that you find out the answers to these questions so you know after the event if you need to send the company anything. Be sure to keep track of what you have sent to whom and when! Then chase any outstanding payments. Obviously give companies time to pay you but don’t give them time to forget you.
It seems so basic but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to go chasing dancers saying,
“You need to invoice me so I can pay you!”
I run a small company and don’t like thinking that my dancers may go unpaid but many much bigger companies would not chase their dancers and then you as a dancer will slip through the net and so will your pay!
Watch the video above for my best tips on keeping track and getting paid.
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