Author Topic: How far are you willing to travel?  (Read 2158 times)

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LindSM

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How far are you willing to travel?
« on: Jun 20, 2016, 02:11 pm »
I've been thinking about this question for a bit, and I was just curious to see how you folks would answer - what is the longest commute you have done/would be willing to do daily (or almost daily) for a "decent" job?

I'm currently trying to decide if sending in resumes to the professional theatres in my state, which are all 1.5 - 2 hours away, is even really worth it since I wouldn't be able to move closer if I were hired. (Not specifically seeking professional advice or anything, just curious to see what the range of answers is and any other thoughts people may have on length of commute.)

RuthNY

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Re: How far are you willing to travel?
« Reply #1 on: Jun 20, 2016, 03:12 pm »
Think carefully before taking jobs that require you to commute more than an hour each way. Being Stage Managers who arrive early and stay late, these commitments can eat up all your personal time. Indeed my term for a job like that is an "eat your life job."  However, if the money, benefits, professional networking, show, director etc. are worth it, then your mileage and tolerance may vary. Evaluate carefully how much of your personal time you are willing to give up to commuting.  For me, unless the gig is very special, my limit is a hour each way.



I've been thinking about this question for a bit, and I was just curious to see how you folks would answer - what is the longest commute you have done/would be willing to do daily (or almost daily) for a "decent" job?

I'm currently trying to decide if sending in resumes to the professional theatres in my state, which are all 1.5 - 2 hours away, is even really worth it since I wouldn't be able to move closer if I were hired. (Not specifically seeking professional advice or anything, just curious to see what the range of answers is and any other thoughts people may have on length of commute.)
"Be fair with others, but then keep after them until they're fair with you."
--Alan Alda

Maribeth

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Re: How far are you willing to travel?
« Reply #2 on: Jun 20, 2016, 05:03 pm »
My limit is generally about an hour too...I live in the suburbs of a large metropolitan area, and when I moved from the outskirts to the suburbs a few years ago travel time was a major deciding factor. Most of the theatres that I work at are in the 45min-1 hour range. It helps that the drive home is faster, since there is generally less traffic.

I know a couple of people who live in the next state over and commute here, and their travel is 2hrs...it's a lot of time to be on the road, and if there are major traffic problems on a given day they are basically SOL. But, the trade-off for them of living in a nicer, cheaper area is worth it for them.

Tempest

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Re: How far are you willing to travel?
« Reply #3 on: Jun 21, 2016, 11:26 am »
I used to live about an hour and fifteen minutes away from the center of my city. The commute was murder on my energy and focus, and it really limited the amount of jobs I was wiling to take on the other side of the city.
At this point in my life, no more than 45 minute commute in my car, or an hour and fifteen minute commute by mass transit. 'Cause then I can get some reading done!
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MatthewShiner

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Re: How far are you willing to travel?
« Reply #4 on: Jun 21, 2016, 08:51 pm »
90 minutes tops.

But I would stock up on a lot of books on tape.
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Anything posted here as in my own personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer - whomever they be at a given moment in time.

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maximillionx

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Re: How far are you willing to travel?
« Reply #5 on: Jun 22, 2016, 12:25 am »
My current commute is 45 miles in 45-60 minutes across a state line....I often get expressions along the lines of "waaa?!" when I say that's what I do every day.  Work weeks are often 7 or 6 days at that.  Any longer of a commute and it wouldn't be worth it for me. (I hear of friends having to spend 2 hours to travel 15 miles and I'd say I'm pretty lucky in comparison)
And remember, travel has a very real cost besides time. What's the gas price like this year? Any tolls? How's your car been performing lately and are you insured? How far are you going, because AAA might be a good investment...All important factors since "is it worth it" also applies to your financial situation once your paychecks clear.
Make the commute, if you feel like it's worth the investment, productive somehow. Like MatthewShiner, books on tape are key or podcasts are a great resource, since when we talk about commuting, we often get into the conversation about wasted time. Often in our profession, ain't nobody got time for that, to quote a wonderful internet meme.

leastlikely

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Re: How far are you willing to travel?
« Reply #6 on: Jun 22, 2016, 12:41 am »
The furthest theatre I've ever worked at is... 28 miles from home. Which sounds not that bad, like 35 or 40 minutes. Except that it's actually almost 2 hours, because this is the DC area. It's a company I really love and I've done two shows there, but after doing that commute for several months, I've decided that I'm probably not going back unless the circumstances are very very special. I worked as wardrobe supervisor there so I was getting paid hourly rather than weekly, which definitely sweetened the deal a bit, but... it's hard. And particularly hard because even though I was spending all that time in the car I wasn't really going far enough to feel like I had gone anywhere at all. Like, I don't mind driving for two hours, but if I am it feels like I should be somewhere other than just on the other side of the city.

So at this point I can say I definitely won't commute further than 2 hours, and I'll only consider 1.5 to 2 hours if it's a really special project that I feel is worth the travel time (worth it in terms of money or in terms of getting something good out of the experience, or preferably both). In general I try to aim for 1 hour or less.

KMC

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Re: How far are you willing to travel?
« Reply #7 on: Jun 22, 2016, 02:10 am »
My commute is currently about 40 minutes.  I strongly prefer to keep it under 30 minutes, but the job site I'm working on is in the middle of the desert - so I'll take the extra 10 minutes and live in an inhabitable environment  :)

Some interesting numbers as your commute gets longer - let's say you have an hour commute to/from work every day.  If you work 5 days a week that adds up to 520 hours/year commuting; at 6 days you're up to 624 hours/year.  That is a LOT of time that is essentially wasted.  You're not able to monetize it in any way, and you're not able to enjoy it with friends, family, or other leisure activities. 

If your commute is 15 minutes each way, you spend 130 hours/year commuting on a 5-day workweek.  So that is almost 400 hours/year difference than living an hour away.

Unsurprisingly, long commutes have a negative effect on your personal life.  There have been studies done that show if one partner in a marriage has a commute longer than 45 minutes, divorce rates go up by 40%. 

Another interesting bit on the money side:
Quote
Greater pay often doesn’t mean greater happiness.

Imagine you get a 30% bump in salary… but have to drive an extra hour to get to work and back. According to another study, economists determined that in order to make an extra hour of commuting time pay off in terms of personal satisfaction and commitment, a 40% increase in pay is needed.

Or put another way, a few thousand dollars a year more won’t make you happier if you have to drive an extra hour every day to earn it — and that drive will take more time away from your relationship.

Get action. Do things; be sane; don’t fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action. -T. Roosevelt

DeeCap

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Re: How far are you willing to travel?
« Reply #8 on: Jun 22, 2016, 12:16 pm »
Furthest I did was 1 hour 45 minutes by train. I lived in an area where if I didn't get a certain train I would have an extra 20-30 minutes to my commute. Never again.
« Last Edit: Jun 22, 2016, 03:13 pm by DeeCap »

loebtmc

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Re: How far are you willing to travel?
« Reply #9 on: Jun 23, 2016, 02:00 am »
I've commuted to jobs an hour each way (without traffic), but the place I work for most is 1-2 hrs there, 30 minutes home. Cuz LA. I would love love love to work in one of the spaces closer to me, but this is the place that hires me.

Aerial

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Re: How far are you willing to travel?
« Reply #10 on: Jun 23, 2016, 10:24 pm »
For me, it depends on where.  I've commuted into Boston several times (about 90 minutes total), and I don't find that too horrible.  Most of it is on a train. I can read, and there's wifi so I can get work done.   I've also commuted 45 minutes (in good traffic) a few times to theatres in beach towns here in RI, and that sucks.  Commuters I can deal with, people on vacation are infuriating.

megf

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Re: How far are you willing to travel?
« Reply #11 on: Jun 24, 2016, 08:19 am »
In LA, up to 2 hours, covering 26 miles. Spent 2 months doing this. Hard to say which was more frustrating, between the drive and the daily battle for parking.

In NYC, up to 2 hours, covering about 14 miles, including 1 mile of walking (through a park). My Kindle did a lot of work during this 5-week gig.

In Connecticut, up to 1 hour 15 minutes for 72 miles, mostly along the Merritt Parkway. Barring extreme winter weather, the Merritt is one of my favorite drives. I've been doing this for 2 months and will continue for at another 6. While it's a lot of miles, most of them happen at highway speed. Because of the company's daily start/end times, I only experience rush hour congestion for about 7-8 miles, immediately after I leave the office.

SMMeade

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Re: How far are you willing to travel?
« Reply #12 on: Jun 24, 2016, 06:14 pm »
My normal commute is an hour and a half to an hour and 45. However, I'm only driving a few minutes out of that and the rest is public transport. I don't know if I would be willing to drive for more than hour- and now that I've been doing summer stock where the distance is no more than 15-20 min between housing and the theatre, I'm kind of dreading going back to my old commute.

catalie

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Re: How far are you willing to travel?
« Reply #13 on: Jun 24, 2016, 06:28 pm »
Unfortunately at this point I have to be willing to travel a good 90 minutes -- but it's all on public transportation, which definitely makes that better. I go to school on the South Side of Chicago and most theaters are on the other side of the city at least an hour away, which is rough with a student's schedule but the way things are right now. When I'm in NYC during the summer, I'm lucky enough to live within 30 minutes of a lot of theaters/rehearsal studios (and can often walk), but if I come back after graduation I'll live at least 45 minutes away. I think most people have a higher tolerance for traveling via subway/bus than via a car they're driving, though; I'm not sure how far I'd be willing to travel if I had to drive.

I definitely agree that it's hard for SMs, of all people, to have long commutes though -- I don't mind mine very much, but I do find myself spending $2.75 to take the subway home at the end of a long day instead of walking 25 minutes.

SMAshlee

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Re: How far are you willing to travel?
« Reply #14 on: Jun 25, 2016, 09:50 am »
Catalie, I'm on the north side of the city and the commute is still rough for me sometimes!

I definitely agree that it's hard for SMs, of all people, to have long commutes though -- I don't mind mine very much, but I do find myself spending $2.75 to take the subway home at the end of a long day instead of walking 25 minutes.

If I depended solely on driving myself, 45min would probably be the max for me, especially after a long tech rehearsal. I'm also not a fan of driving at night, so transit is a great option. Transit, I could commute up to an hour/hour and a half. I can read or start the report or just relax and decompress from the day. The small downside is that after 11pm, transit runs less frequently so I may have to wait 20 minutes for the next bus to get to the train vs. just walking to the train.

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