I haven’t received any money from Newsrevue for a year now.
A whole year without payment.
At first I had this weird delusion: maybe they ran into some financial trouble and couldn’t pay the writers for a couple of months? They’ve been slowly paying everyone else their back pay; but I have so much material performed they just can’t begin to crack the debt mountain they owe me and are hiding behind the sofa every time I email them.
Then I spoke to a few other writers: they haven’t been paid either. Have any writers been paid in the last twelve months? Is Newsrevue conning hundreds of writers out of their (admittedly microscopic) pay? Is Newsrevue running at a loss and can’t afford to pay anyone? What the hell is going on?
All I ever get in response is: “The cheques are going out the middle of next week”. I can only assume this is a week on Jupiter; or a lie, since the cheque never turns up.
Then I received the latest running order: turns out the whole show (bar four sketches) is written by the cast. Of the two sketches which are mine, one of them was rewritten by one of the cast.
Again, I ask: what the hell is going on?
Am I now the only writer stupid enough to send them material? Is this run’s cast so amazingly talented they outshine all the other writers who submit material? Is it a clever ploy to avoid even owing people any money?
Compare this to The Treason Show who pay up promptly within a week of the end of every month’s show. Why is this so hard to do?
Which leaves me in a dilemma: do I keep submitting anything to Newsrevue or not?
I don’t write for Newsrevue, I write for The Treason Show, because they pay me. I also submit those sketches to Newsrevue, because I foolishly believe I can get paid twice for them. If Newsrevue aren’t going to pay up, why waste the email time?
The glory of seeing my sketches performed?
Not really bothered anymore; I like seeing my stuff performed, but I get that from The Treason Show.
The satisfaction of seeing my name frequently repeated on the running orders?
Yeah, that’s nice, but not as nice as getting the cash; and it’s soured because the more I get on, the more I’m getting ripped off.
I could just stop; but what if Newsrevue suddenly come up with the goods? They must owe me a hefty sum by now, if I stop for a year (bearing in mind I’m writing the sketches anyway) and they suddenly start paying again; I’ve lost potential earnings for that period.
If they truly are in money trouble, it would be nice to have been kept informed. I’m not a monster, if the venue burnt down and needed the cash to rebuild (or something equally dramatic), I wouldn’t object to a deferred payment. What I don’t like is feeling like people are taking the piss.
So what’s the answer? Give up on them or stick it out in the hopes of an eventual windfall? Is anyone else in the same boat? What would you do?