Author Topic: Going to NYC?  (Read 9380 times)

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AubreyRenee

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Going to NYC?
« on: Nov 21, 2007, 12:31 pm »
So, I am currently a Stage Management student and will be graduating with my BFA in Stage Management in about 3 weeks (Ah!).  I have been toying around with many options and one of those is going to NYC and starting my life there.  I have a deep passion for theatre, and NYC is the best place for that (to me, anyways).  But, of course, that's where everyone goes.  I have a lot of experience stage managing here at my University, but no professional experience.  What should I be expecting if I move there?  Would I even be abel to find work? 

My other option is a Business Graduate School.  I'd be earning a Masters in Computer Information Systems.  This, of course, is a more secure job, but I'm not sure if my heart is in it.  Would it be more beneficial for me to go to NYC now or after grad school (with the intent to stage manage)? 

I could really use some advice, as my parents are not very unbiased advisors.  Thanks!

Jessie_K

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Re: Going to NYC?
« Reply #1 on: Nov 21, 2007, 07:48 pm »
If you want to stage manage, start getting experience.  Community theatre, small professional theatre, etc.  If you think you will still want to pursue stage management even after a couple of years of business school, why go to business school.

Where do you live now?  Is there a place you can intern or ASM and build some professional creds on your resume before moving to NYC?

avkid

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Re: Going to NYC?
« Reply #2 on: Nov 22, 2007, 05:37 pm »
NYC is not the best idea for time being.
Philip LaDue
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centaura

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Re: Going to NYC?
« Reply #3 on: Nov 23, 2007, 10:21 am »
Me, I would look into a subscription, or see if your university  has a subscription to ArtSearch and look at the intern/apprentice listings.  There is usually a wide range of options, from all over the country.  Don't limit yourself to the hardest place to get started, try someplace that will be easier to get good experience at.  I don't think moving direct to NYC is the best bet right now, unless you know some folks up there whom you can live with.  The norm is 3 to 4 people sharing 2 bedroom apartments since that's all they can afford.  NYC is one of the most expensive places to live, and unless you have some connections a very difficult place to 'break into'. 

Of course, no input that you will receive, either here or at home, is without bias.  I personally would never live in NYC, no matter what type of job I was offered.  And I know a lot of young actors who've moved there, live 4 (individuals - not two couples) to a 2 bedroom, tiny cramped apartment, waite tables and go to audition after audition.  I don't know any young technicians, so I can't tell you tales of how they fare. 

But I, personally, don't agree with the opinion that the only theatre in the country is in NYC.  I find the idea of working on Broadway - working one show for years on end - to be boring.  I really hope that I've added that this is just my personal opinion enough, since I'm sure that the folks who live in NYC will soon jump in on how wonderful their city is.  And I'm glad that they like it.  They should be happy there, and I'm happy that they are.  Its just not for me.  But, I think some experience in a large regional theatre would be more beneficial to you than working for free for odd off-off-off-broadway shows until you find someone who'd be willing to pay you for your time.

-Centaura

Scott

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Re: Going to NYC?
« Reply #4 on: Nov 23, 2007, 11:46 am »
I don't know any young technicians, so I can't tell you tales of how they fare. 


As far as I can tell, there are more than enough professional stage managers in NYC right now to cover all the living wage stage management jobs for the next 20 years.

Young technicians, however, can do very well.  Especially video techs.

That's my $.02.

SMJorge

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Re: Going to NYC?
« Reply #5 on: Nov 23, 2007, 01:45 pm »
I would agree with previous comments. New York is hard to break into, especially without your Equity card. If joining AEA is something you want to do, it would likely be easier to get your card somewhere else, then move to NY with the card and the experience. It is also good to have friends who can help you get work.

AubreyRenee

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Re: Going to NYC?
« Reply #6 on: Nov 24, 2007, 11:12 am »
Thanks to everyone for their input!  I suppose the desire to go to NYC is just one of those crazy young people things.  It's a confusing time right now, trying to decide between doing something I love and doing something more practical (that I like but not love).  Thanks again!

avkid

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Re: Going to NYC?
« Reply #7 on: Nov 25, 2007, 12:54 am »
Thanks to everyone for their input!  I suppose the desire to go to NYC is just one of those crazy young people things.
You should go, for a like a week, see the city in detail not just the touristy nonsense.
Spending a while just walking around and talk to some people about life there.

Personally,I find it creepy to be at the corner of Broadway and 49th Street at 9:30 P.M. in October in what appears to be broad daylight.
When you look up you see all the sodium lights that create an artificial day.
Philip LaDue
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Scott

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Re: Going to NYC?
« Reply #8 on: Nov 25, 2007, 10:11 pm »
Personally,I find it creepy to be at the corner of Broadway and 49th Street at 9:30 P.M. in October in what appears to be broad daylight.
When you look up you see all the sodium lights that create an artificial day.

Geez, that's the part of NY that feels normal to me...but then again, I always find it creepy to be in cities where you can't get anything to eat after 9:00 pm and the bars close down before 4:00 a.m....so to each their own.

avkid

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Re: Going to NYC?
« Reply #9 on: Nov 28, 2007, 02:16 pm »
I always find it creepy to be in cities where you can't get anything to eat after 9:00 pm and the bars close down before 4:00 a.m....so to each their own.
Yeah, it is annoying not be in a place that does at least not have a good all night diner.

Heck, we used to close the bar at 1:30 AM.
Philip LaDue
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IATSE Local #21 Newark, NJ

centaura

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Re: Going to NYC?
« Reply #10 on: Nov 28, 2007, 09:59 pm »
Quote
Thanks to everyone for their input!  I suppose the desire to go to NYC is just one of those crazy young people things.  It's a confusing time right now, trying to decide between doing something I love and doing something more practical (that I like but not love).  Thanks again!

The trick is to figure out what you're really in love with, and then pursue it.  If you're really in love with theatre, then where you pursue it really comes in second.  If you're really in love with NYC, then pursue it - but be prepared that your first job will probably be non-theatre related.  You have to weigh which one appeals to you more - working in theatre or living in NYC.  Now, the combo is possible, but difficult to obtain.

-Centaura

JJC98

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Re: Going to NYC?
« Reply #11 on: Dec 05, 2007, 02:41 pm »
I know you have a lot of things to think about and some tough decisions to face. I wish you luck on that! Whatever you decide to do, make sure you are true and honest with yourself. Sounds like Theatre is your passion. Then pursue theatre. Like others suggested, get more experience, maybe go to a bigger city, but not NYC. Look at Chicago, Boston, Atlanta, Cleveland, San Fran, Dallas, Phili, Memphis etc. You can find a lot of great things in those areas that will help you prepare for a potential move to NYC. Sounds like NYC is in your heart too, but maybe you can persue that dream a couple years down the road.

Just don't compromise your dreams. I know that from experience. Theatre has always been my passion, but as I was finishing up college, I thought to myself "what now?" I wasn't told I could have a career in theatre, not being an actor. So, here I am, years after college and nothing in theatre for so long, working my way back in.

You can always do the Grad School thing and do the Theatre stuff on the side. That way, you know both sides of your career choices, as well as more experience. then go from there.

Sorry, if I wasn't very helpful (probably not!). Let us know what you decide!

J

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Re: Going to NYC?
« Reply #12 on: Dec 05, 2007, 07:30 pm »
Another city to consider is Minneapolis/St Paul.  They have one of the largest theatre scenes in the country, outside of New York and Chicago.  Many theatres to get your feet wet with, a good amount of Equity Theatre, and lots of work for theatre technicians.  You may work for stipends or volunteer at first, but climbing the ladder is part of the deal, in my opinion.

JMullane

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Re: Going to NYC?
« Reply #13 on: Dec 07, 2007, 10:56 pm »
I recommend Chicago. I just spent almost a year there and Stage Management jobs are easy to come by. However, you cannot expect much money to start out with. There are tons of storefront theatres that need stage managers, but they have no money and you will pretty much be tossed into the fire with no support. It's a great opportunity if you can keep your head in those situations, but be careful about joining a sinking ship and getting blamed for its failure! News about the performance of new stage managers travels fast in the community, and unfortunately I have seen SMs get blamed for situations that were out of control from no fault of their own.

After college, I looked for internships at large regional theatres near where I lived. I made it clear to the theatres that I was into Stage Management, but I was open to secondary intrests like run crew, carpentry, props, electrics...  If you can get an internship at a big theatre you can learn a lot and make good contacts who can give you advice on your next job, and hopefully act as good references. That helps you avoid getting stuck with rejection for too long.

The internships I got were at Goodspeed Musicals in East Haddam, CT, and later at North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly, MA. Both places pay interns reasonably and are excellent places to learn.

theatremonster

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Re: Going to NYC?
« Reply #14 on: Dec 14, 2007, 09:59 pm »
Hello.


Just a suggestion: take some time off after your graduation. You don't want to be quitting halfway through business school because you realize that it isn't for you, that you are not happy there. I already know that you wanted a career in Stage Management hence the degree. I just hate for you to waste time and money in business school. Save the business school for when you are convinced that stage management isn't where you want to be in the distant future.

So my advice: test the waters, start with internships. There are regional theatres that offer year-long apprenticeship/internship. Most give you a small weekly stipend and housing. They start accepting applications in January, and the internship begins in the middle of the summer or towards the end of summer. Meanwhile, to sort of get your foot in the door, apply for a semester-long internship with a theatre near you or try the nyc theatres, because sometimes a position comes up that they need to fill immediately.

Just be patient and resourceful, you'll eventually find something that would suit you perfectly.

If you have your heart set on working in new york, then go for it. Apply, there's nothing wrong with taking a chance.

So good luck.
« Last Edit: Dec 17, 2007, 03:43 pm by theatremonster »

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