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Contracting out

Posted: January 27th, 2014, 3:23 pm
by Nickle
I have a question about contracting out as a magician to another company.
At the end of last year I was hired by a dance company to incorporate magic into one of their performances. I also performed a few pieces in the show. After previewing the show the dance company has decided to use this show as for thier tour during the 2014-2015 season, which is great.
The director of the company has expressed concern about me collaborating with other companies. In the past I have consulted for dancers and performing groups who wanted magic in their shows. The director of this specific dance company expressed that he does not want me doing the same or similar effects with other companies. Understandable - to a point. The director wants a written contract with an exclusivity clause, stating that the effects I use or create with them, I cannot use for any other company or group.
Has anyone else experienced anything like this before? Thanks.

PS. While the company is doing well, and is paying me, it is by no means enough to stop working on other projects.

Re: Contracting out

Posted: January 27th, 2014, 6:12 pm
by Tom Moore
It's a fairly standard theatrical thing, all rights to a performance/design/routine/idea relating to a show are usually contractually exclusive to that show for as long as it is actively being performed. That said you do need to take a view as to how important this material is to your career generally and word your contract accordingly. If it was me i wouldn't have a problem agreeing to an exclusivity clause to say that YOU won't perform these routines for other dance companies during this contract period. However make sure they don't want you to commit to NO ONE performing these routines with other dance companies (a prop or choreography created for one company can easily be made exclusive but if you're using standard props/routines then you have no control over who else uses them) and also make sure they're not expecting you to refrain from using these routines in any other performance for the life of this contract; ie stopping you from being able to perform them at non-dance gigs. Finally check the wording carefully as it's standard in theatrical "creatives" contracts that you certify that you invented the routines and all associated copyright to the bits you "created" for them and that you grant them a license to use them and will bare the cost of anyone else infringing on that license - obviously (unless you invented every prop, method and routine) you won't be able to do this so make sure the wording is appropriate to reflect this.


Re: Contracting out

Posted: January 30th, 2014, 4:12 pm
by Nickle

Thanks for the reply, it helped a lot.