“Where to begin. I was in the most abusive company for a few years. I’m going to use (they) for the director because I’m still uneasy about sharing. I was so unhappy, and I wanted to leave all the time, but I felt sort of trapped. If you wanted to audition and the director found out, they would make the rest of your season hell. Meaning they wouldn’t cast you well, they’d talk shit about you with favored company members in front of you, and honestly probably fire you before you could leave.
If you needed audition videos that would mean telling them you were thinking about leaving. If you finally managed to get a video from them, it would only be clips they selected, so if you didn’t think it was your best work. Too bad. That was the one you were getting. There were always videos withheld that were way better, that they’d lie about “not having filmed that night”. Furthermore, in our contract we weren’t allowed to take sick days…. 0. So if I flew to another state to audition I’d have to do it all within 24hrs without them knowing it was for an audition. Exhausting.
If you did really need to miss a day due to illness you’d never know what kind of demeanor to expect when you got back. Terrible mind games. So by making it nearly impossible to audition I felt stuck with that company. It was the only way I could keep dancing professionally. That is just the tip of the iceberg.”