So, my internet has been screwy the past week and a half. I thought I would update my blog by saying that I turned down the contract I was offered. I was very polite in my e-mail and said that at this time I couldn't afford to work for free. I also reminded them of my previous professional chorus work, and said that as a result I have gained as mush chorus experience as necessary so I no longer accept chorus work. Then I went on to say that I am ready for the next level of being a soloist. I told the company I was open to negotiate, but I felt it was important that they know what my professional needs are at this time. Then I finished the e-mail by saying what wonderful things I have heard about the company, and that if my needs couldn't be met at this time, I would be happy to audition again when they could meet my needs.
But as an addendum to this entry, I would like to add that if ALL us singers would decline gigs that don't pay, companies would have no choice but to offer some compensation. I had to pay (and still do) for my education and my professional training (adding up to over $50K) so why should I offer my professional services for free?