What We Are:
You Connection is a professional Christian theatre and media organization, with the mission of using the creative arts to preach the uncompromising message of the Gospel. Be sure to read about our mission and goals, and about Founder/Director Matt Kramer at About Us
You Connection reaches an AGELESS DEMOGRAPHIC (adults, teens, kids), and our performance team is made up of all ages as well.
- We believe in reflecting Christianity through excellence and professionalism, and because part of our reputation depends on being a professional theatre and media company, we expect high standards of performance (knowing your lines, knowing your music, time management, responsibility, etc.); we do not approve of "Oh, it's only a Christian thing" attitudes and expect professional standards to be maintained at all times.
- YC keeps a relaxed, friendly environment, but bear in mind this is a professional friendly environment and not to be mistaken for unprofessional casualness
- YC is an elite group; very little direction is given to performers unless specifically needed- you are expected to be confident in your skills and to know what you are doing onstage and off.
Joining the YC Performance Team
We do not audition actors for individual productions only; if you are accepted, you are essentially joining a troupe, so we are looking for performers who want to be a part of You Connection for at least a season, whether you are joining as a Resident Performer or the YC Cast.
For your first one or two productions, keep in mind we are still observing you to see what your strengths are, your performing style, your commitment to dates and schedules, etc. If there are too many problems during these first two productions you may be dismissed from continuing with us, since you need to prove to us that you are serious about committing to You Connection.
Resident Performers & YC Cast
RESIDENT PERFORMERS are paid part-time on a monthly basis and are required to participate in all YC productions throughout a season (summer to summer).
THE YC CAST allows actors to participate only in productions they are available for, providing more flexibility for performers who want to be involved in YC but may not be able to do it on a regular basis (invitations to join the productions are sent out to YC Cast members at certain times).
YC Theatre Schedules
Rehearsals are only the two weekends before the performance weekend (all theatre dates are mandatory):
- First Weekend: Sat (10am-4:30pm), Sun (2pm-6pm)
- Second Weekend: Sat (10am-4:30pm), Sun (2pm-6pm)
- Third Weekend: Thurs eve dress rehearsal, Fri – Sun shows
Because our theatre rehearsals are so short and streamlined, it is important that YC actors are able to commit to these weekends. All theatre shows follow this same schedule.
YC Film Schedules
Participation in film shoots is less frequent and more flexible, since filming only involves the performers needed for certain scenes or at certain locations. (We are currently doing most of our film work in the summer months, though Resident Performers are typically involved in smaller film shoots throughout the season.)
Filming dates for an individual performer may only range from 1-4 dates total. So unlike theatre shows, film shoots can be scheduled more around the actors’ availability, though commitment is, of course, still required.
Committing to a Production & How It Works
Resident Performers will be a part of every project throughout a season, as they are being paid monthly to do so. The regular YC cast has the opportunity to select which productions they are available for. Deadlines for productions are sent out, with YC Cast members confirming their commitment by certain dates. YC Cast are committed to a project once they confirm and are NOT ALLOWED to withdraw from a production after commitment is finalized.
When you commit to a production, the script is finalized to accommodate that specific cast, so the cast is being given a script tailored specifically for them.
Actors are assigned to parts based on age, gender, who best fits the character, skill set, vocal quality, etc. Because the script is finalized after everyone commits, we can’t send the script out beforehand (a synopsis of the story, theme, and biblical aspects are sent out before commitment).
It is mandatory that actors remain committed to a production once they have confirmed their commitment to a project and have been given final production dates.
Because we don't have ensembles, we are not able to do understudies, so commitment to a project, especially a theatre performance, is taken very seriously.
There is never any swearing, overt violence, off-color content, or inappropriate sexual content in any YC script.
We are mindful of topics that may be too hot to handle overtly, but be aware that YC presents the real and unchanging Gospel in uncompromising ways, so there is deep theology in our scripts that is intended to challenge the audience; it is assumed that our performance team chooses to honor the validity of the Bible as the unchanging Word of God.
Performers must be professional about playing characters or singing songs that are contrary to their real-life belief (i.e. if you are a Christian, you may have to play a non-Christian character who sings a song in praise of selfish and worldly things); as stated above, there is no inappropriateness in YC scripts, but it is still a professional production with heroes, villains, and characters that represent all manner of things pertaining to the overall message.
Parents of under 18’s
For actors under 18, we expect to have professional parents with professional performers in their charge.
Remember this is a workplace, and your child or teen is being compensated and is coming to a job, not an activity or an acting program. "Parent power" doesn't work in a professional production environment, and unprofessional behavior from a parent can result in the dismissal of the minor.
Resident Performers are paid on a monthly basis, as an official part-time (W2) staff position. The YC Cast is also compensated for productions (1099). Comp amounts are set with Resident Performers at the time of hiring and can increase over time; comp amounts for the YC Cast will be communicated before a cast member commits to a project (see the YC Performers page for current info).
We do not require a statement of faith from actors, meaning you do not have to be a born-again Christian to be in the cast. However, all YC actors are expected to respect and be supportive of our Christian principles and mission for as long as you are in the cast.
We expect professional behavior at all times while at You Connection; no swearing, inappropriate jokes or conversations, etc.
Boys and girls are expected to behave decently and respectfully toward one another. We want You Connection to be a safe and friendly environment.
**IMPORTANT NOTE REGARDING GENDER**
You Connection embraces the traditional biblical view of sexuality, as outlined in Genesis 1, Romans 1:18-32, 1 Corinthians 5:1-8, 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11, Leviticus 18:22-25, as well as the Lord’s mandates for us in Romans 12:2, Romans 8:5-11, and Mark 7:21-23. As a Christian ministry, we have the legal, moral, and biblical right to take this position, since we are a Christian organization that is specifically advocating fundamental biblical beliefs.
However, a YC performer is not required to personally agree with this view, and YC content steers away from this overt subject in favor of deeper theology that gets to the root of our current culture. YC performers are nevertheless expected to respect our Christian principles during production, and there cannot be any negative conflict of interest regarding the matter of sexuality on site or during productions.
Along those lines, a performer's personal life will be kept personal as long as there is no conflict of interest; any performer exhibiting behavior that is deemed out of line or harmful to YC's mission will be subject to dismissal or suspension from the cast.
Our Statement of Faith
We adhere to the traditional Christian faith, according to the Bible and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You can see our complete Core Values at www.youconnection.org/core-values
In all these things, we cannot anticipate unexpected or unavoidable conflicts that may allow for a rare exception to any of these guidelines, such as serious illness or an unavoidable emergency (or in the rare instance of severely inclement weather). HOWEVER, please note, once you have committed to a YC production, we cannot consider as acceptable exceptions such things as family affairs and activities, conflicts from other gigs or programs, and even minor illness such as a head cold or allergies (in which we subscribe to the old “the show must go on” attitude).
You are expected to work out your schedule prior to committing, and if you are in YC Cast and there is a possibility of changes to your schedule, please consider waiting until the next production to commit. We simply have too many performers to be able to do personal favors once a production is set, excepting unavoidable emergencies.
You Connection personnel are only responsible for performers while they are inside our facility. While we are located in a high-end neighborhood, we are also across from the Dart Rail Station; we expect families with minors to work out for themselves how they want to pick up and drop off, whether they want their child to walk in and out to the parking lot or whether the parent wants to come in and pick them up. We expect performers to be responsible for this at the end of rehearsals, shoots, or performances; YC personnel cannot monitor everyone once they are released and places the responsibility of coming and going on the performers and their families.
How We Operate
You Connection is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation; we do not make a dime off of our shows, films, videos, websites, but are entirely supported by donations. Matt Kramer is Founder and Director, as well as producer of all YC scripts and music. Prior to YC, Matt spent twenty plus years in the professional world of performing arts, video production, book publishing, and church ministry.
We have a part-time staff, and, of course, we have our YC cast, and their relations, who contribute their time, talents, and so much more, breathing life into everything we do and helping us by spreading the word, bringing in new attendees, and being so supportive of the You Connection mission!
We require e-signatures for all performers, Resident Performers and YC Cast (for performers under age 18, we only require a parent/legal guardian e-signature). This is not a contract, just an "agreement of our terms", and we MUST have the photo release below in order to film or photograph performers.
RELEASE AND CONSENT FOR VIDEO, PHOTO, AND AUDIO
I (We), the undersigned, grant You Connection, Inc., the perpetual, royalty-free right and license to:
Record my participation and appearance in video and audio (the Recordings) for You Connection, Inc.
Use my name, likeness, and voice in connection with these Recordings, which will be used only for You Connection, Inc., in strict accordance with its mission and purpose, in publications and productions, in print, electronically, or online.