It’s really great that the Theater Union-GDBA-has adapted to the reality of theater today and the prevalence of Freelancers. They have dedicated it’s most recent Toi Toi Toi magazine issue to the rights of Freelancers and even included English translations of some of the articles, so check it out! Here is a link . The first article in English is on page 15, and there are a couple of others as well.
The cover title “Krasse Bude” could be translated as “Disgusting dump” which is the kind of place that some freelancers have found themselves lodged in, while on the road with a theater. I can’t say that I experienced so many of those in my life as a freelancer, but it does happen, especially with privately run touring companies. The pictures of train tracks and platforms certainly evoke memories, good and bad! I always considered it part of the price of independence, but advice on contracts and your rights as a soloist is tremendously useful, especially for American newcomers. The GDBA now have advisors for Freelancers, so use them! I can’t say it often enough: most Germans will respect you more and treat you better when you know the rules.
It’s also not a bad thing to get a taste of the German labor union tradition which stretches back 150 years and has won many important rights and working conditions through hard fought struggles. This shouldn’t be taken for granted, especially since so many of the benefits that make German theater life so attractive, have been won by union actions. Check out the latest edition of Toi Toi Toi magazine today! An excellent resource!