I'm seeking advice on this issue, perhaps in part to blow off steam, but also because I'm not sure what my best move is. Since this site is full of intelligent folks with creative ideas, I thought I'd see if anyone had a better idea of how to deal with this.
Lets start with the fact that despite that I'm a gregarious person, I'm actually rather shy and I dislike conflict. I tend to avoid confrontation until I'm so ticked off that I blow up. I would like to act in a more highly evolved way in this situation.
Every year my local pagan church puts on a ritual for Samhain (Halloween).
This year we're doing it in concert with a local metaphysical store. I've known the owner for some time, have dealt with her in business issues and no longer work with her because of things that happened in regards to those business issues. She's not a bad person but she tends to be money-hungry and somewhat controlling.
Anyway, some time back, one of our church organizers asked me to be in
the Samhain ritual, and I told him I'd be happy to.
Normally our Samhain ritual does NOT coincide with Halloween night, because we don't want to create scheduling conflicts, however this year it does, meaning that I am also losing potential money from other gigs I could have taken. However I'd already given my word before I learned the date.
I then found out that we were doing the ritual in concert with said store. Okay no problem.
Then last night, during our practice session I found out that those of us participating in the ritual were expected to pay to be at the party/ritual. There's a cover fee which in the past was used to 1) rent space 2) provide food. However there's no "renting" in this situation and there will only be a few snacks provided. And there will even be a food truck where folks can purchase food, so this is costing our church almost nothing, and costing the store almost nothing for what will be plenty of advertisement for them. (There will also be a psychic fair, costume contest, and probably dancing, but I'm not really interested in these parts.) Historically also, groups who put on the ritual for our church were not required to pay.
And the truth is that right now money is super tight for my family, and I cannot afford the cost of the cover fee.
So, I've given my word, there's really nobody to take my place at this late date, but now the rules have changed under my feet. I realize its my own fault for agreeing to do something without knowing the full (and suddenly changed) parameters.
I've thus far emailed the organizer who recruited me, explaining my situation. I've told him that I don't expect him to pay my way (he can't afford it either) but that I hope he might speak with the store owner. I'm reluctant to speak to the store owner as 1) back to me being shy and having only an on/off switch not a good modulator 2) she and I already don't communicate well.
Just based on the cover fee being added after the fact is enough to back down with the simple explanation that you simply can not afford it. Just because you gave your word, remember it was under different expectations and with no thought that it would cost you money out of pocket.
We also schedule our Samhain ritual not on October 31st with coven members due to conflicts that folks may have with the traditional Halloween rounds with the kids.
Yeah. The problem is I don't want to back out on the ritual. I adore the dude in charge of it. I love everyone else working on the ritual. There aren't a lot of community members left who can take my place -- not cause I'm so special, but because our membership is down (that's a whole other story) and most of the volunteers are busy. Plus we have less than a week now to memorize parts.
But yes, I'm seriously ticked that suddenly I'm supposed to shell money out from the blue. Looking into where this is coming from now and who's gaining. (It better not be the store.) I know that others in the ritual are also wealth challenged atm.
Agreeing to donate your time is not the same as agreeing to pay money to attend the event your are performing at. It is totally okay to say that you require your entry to be comped if you are to take part.
If there's any payment involved, it should be TO you, not FROM you. Bow out, citing financial constraints. It's perfectly reasonable in your situation.
Well on the good side, I found out that our church, not the store is the recipient of any funds from tickets,
I've also pointed out to the church organizers that up till now at least 6-8 if not more members were comped for their participation.
(Sadly the church is under new management because former board members abused things. As a board member previous to all that, I'm naturally a little incensed and such - we used to have an amazing 350 or so member church, now we're down to about 20 people. The new kids now running it are trying hard however.)
The dude who recruited me wants to pay for my presence there but I'm not comfy with ANYONE paying for me to be there. It should just be comped pure and simple and the same for anyone else putting their time and energy into this.
That is the option if you think performers who are bringing in the paying guests should pay for the privilege. I disagree. Giving your skills, time, and effort is generous enough.
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