Imagine a platform where all creatives can search for work, share their talents, and connect to build teams? That database exists (or, several of them do) for different types of creative artists—actors, models, dancers, stage managers…but never all together. And for most of those sites, it’s going to cost either a monthly, annual, or submission-based fee. In an industry that’s already notoriously tough, why are there additional barriers to entry to just be seen?
There’s finally a solution: GIGNITION—a worldwide gig-matching database for everyone in the creative arts from book writers and bass guitarists to COVID compliance coordinators and Indigenous Hoop Dancers from North Carolina (yes, really). The platform was thought up by two performing artists—Randi Kaye and Jared Young—looking to finally fill this great and unnecessary gap in the industry…We’re all used to those Facebook posts asking, “Does anyone know a drummer who is free on 8/23 for a jazz gig?” or “Need a 6’2″ male-identifying dancer with partnering skills!” There had to be an easier way to connect within our industry…
With the problem in mind, purpose at heart, and technology to support the endeavor, GIGNITION was born. Users upload their profile with photos, video, and identifying tags (demographics, special skills, union affiliations, etc.) and GIGNITION does the rest by facilitating easy-to-use search engine for casting directors, producers, and creative collaborators of any kind to find the right talent for the right project. The platform allows for submissions and callbacks all the way to making the final job offer. Additionally, GIGNITION filters out most unpaid opportunities because “exposure doesn’t pay the rent.” Creatives deserve to be paid for their talent, time, and work (*cue applause).
And what’s more, GIGNITION is free. Yes, you read that right…free—no membership charge, submission fee, or cost to list a casting breakdown. That means less money stuck in the ‘bureaucracy’ and more money allocated to actually making art (and supporting artists).
In addition to job listings and connection, GIGnition also affords creatives the opportunity to capitalize on their craft. Since the pandemic lockdown, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in digital content (filmed class combinations, music videos, TikToks, and more) to build a fanbase, book work, and maintain the glimmer of hope that you might go viral and start to earn . “So much art is being given out for free,” notes Jeff Whiting, CEO of GIGNITION along with CEO of Stage Write Software and President of Open Jar Studios. GIGNITION users have the option to opt-in to an artist subscription, charging fans a monthly fee to view their content, whether that’s behind-the-scenes rehearsal footage, vlogs from life on tour, or even your own online course. In return for providing the platform services, GIGNITION takes a 10% commission from these subscriptions. “It’s time to give the power back to artists,” adds Whiting.
A free and accessible database has been long overdue—a dream in the performing arts community. And GIGNITION is not resting on making a previously expensive process free of charge. With DEI Director, Nicole Johnson (Harriet Tubman Effect), at the helm, GIGNITION actively works to reduce collateral harm while optimizing accessibility and inclusion of historically excluded communities. “It’s important for us to consider that these technologies have caused harm in the past,” explains Johnson. “We want to be intentional about how we’re building [the platform] and we have to engage with communities to better understand the gaps.”
As GIGNITION begins to take the industry by storm (having just launched on August 23, 2022), the performing arts community can strengthen its autonomy, creativity, network, and future potential. It’s time to give artists their power back.
What are you waiting for? Head to www.gignition.com to set up your profile and get started!