Author Topic: Moving for a Career  (Read 9777 times)

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MatthewShiner

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Moving for a Career
« on: May 22, 2009, 08:03 pm »
There comes a time in one's career where you may have outgrown your current market, or just be ready for a professional or personal change.

Let's exchange stories about those who have picked up and moved for a job, or just the hope of landing a job - not just for NYC,  but any city you may have moved for.  Did you already have a job lined?  A full time position or just one gig and hopes for more work in the city?  What about those who moved for an internship and ended up making that new city their home?  Or for those who took a an AEA job and ended up liking the new city enough to make it home.
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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.

Scott (formerly Digga)

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Re: Moving for a Career
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2009, 10:46 pm »
I actually just did this a few months ago.  I moved from NYC (where I had been freelancing) to Hartford, CT to take over as the Resident PSM at an SPT theatre.

The money wasn't spectacular but was definitely enough to live well on and there was the lure of a consistent paycheck that I'd been missing.  3/5 of my way through my first season and except for the usual bumps when figuring a new theatre out, things have been going fairly well.  My lease on my apartment in NYC expires in August and I don't think I'll be renewing it.  I've made friends up here and actually started dating someone from the area already.  All in all, it's been a good decision thus far.

MatthewShiner

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Re: Moving for a Career
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2009, 06:08 am »
I have actually made  a history of taking a gig in a new city, liking it so much, staying . . . I took one show in Dallas (moving from San Diego, CA) and turned it into three years work.  I left Dallas to do one show in Washington DC, and now, five years later, I am still here with little thought I will ever leave.  But, both times, the one time gig turned into a full time offer - so it wasn't like I was taking a huge risk or plunge.  (I am so about not taking huge risks with my career - I hate the whole concept of freelancing.)

When I moved to New York, I landed without a job or a place to live - and ended up in two weeks finding work and an apartment.  Although thrilling, it was a bit terrifying.  Luckily, I had worked line up outside of NYC, so I was never desperately hunting in NYC for any stretch in time.

Since I think this job is ALL about the networking, I find it a true act of career bravery to sort of pick and land in a new city with hopes to make it there.
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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.

chrrl

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Re: Moving for a Career
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2009, 07:07 pm »
I've never moved without the promise of a job - I also find that pretty scary, but I have accepted jobs from phone interviews and moved to a new place - finding housing when I got there.  I hated living in one of the cities that I moved to (though I loved the job I moved there for) and was glad that there was an end date to my contract; but I ended up falling in love with Connecticut when I moved there for a seasonal job.  I only stayed for two years, though - as I got called home for a permanent job in my home-town regional theatre.   With what we get paid in this line of work (and our crazy schedule) extensive vacation traveling isn't usually an option, so I love getting to "travel" by living and working different places.

maggieville

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Re: Moving for a Career
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2009, 12:33 am »
I moved to Baltimore from Florida almost two years ago now to work for Baltimore Opera.  It was a huge leap in pay and a great opportunity that started off as a contract-gig and turned into full-time employment after two shows.  Though the company went by the wayside, I don't regret doing it.  I met a lot of great people who really took care of me after the bankruptcy.  Now I'm just trying to get a handle on freelancing again.  Baltimore's a cool town and I hope the work keeps coming.

nmno

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Re: Moving for a Career
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2009, 12:54 am »
I've done a few moves.  Shortly after college I moved to San Diego because my boyfriend got a good job there.  Didn't have any jobs lined up and never really was able to break into things there.  However, I was getting solid work in the Bay Area (where I grew up) so would commute back and forth between contracts.  Eventually we moved back up to the bay area since that's where I was getting work and he was able to find something up there.

I've had contracts take me to other cities (Portland, NYC, St. Paul) and while I enjoyed them I was always happy to go home.

My current gig however has me in Chicago and I love it here.  When my show closes, I'm seriously considering staying...  It's tough because I'll have some serious choices to make about my career and what direction I want it to go in.  Plus, it's hard, the idea of the Bay Area not being "home" anymore (although, in someways I'm sure it will always be Home.)

SMrose

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Re: Moving for a Career
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2009, 10:09 am »
Just like nmno, I moved to NC ( I'd been an SF Bay Area native for many, many years!!) because my husband got a TD job in a medium sized city at a well known community theatre there (here).  It was scary for me since all my work had been in the SFBA.  Within a few months, I networked in my new area and now I'm an adjunct instructor in the theatre dept. of a local private liberal arts university (I love this job) as well as doing lots of other freelance theatre work in the area.  I miss the Bay Area, too but feel this was a needed change.

ScooterSM

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Re: Moving for a Career
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2009, 04:29 pm »
Thank you for (another) very interesting discussion topic!

I have moved a couple times for work, but have always been lucky enough to have a job before I have had to move.  Having also be able to work with resident companies has been able to allow me to stay in a particular city as long as I have still enjoyed the work.

I really admire people who are willing to relocate without specific employment for the possibility of better opportunities.  It seems like this business does feel like the you succeed partially based on the opportunities you create for yourself, and making the choice to be open to the risk for the chance of something amazing happening is both fascinating and terrifying...
I've never been paid a lot, but the theatre has kept me, and for that I shall be eternally grateful. Tony Church

ljh007

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Re: Moving for a Career
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2009, 09:13 am »
I loved my theatres and friends in Columbus, Ohio, but eventually just couldn't make a living at it in that town and so was gigging and traveling more than I wanted to be. When a full-time gig came up in DC, I took it and am so glad I did. I was actually offered a full-time gig in Nashville at the same time, and so the choice between hip-but-Tennessee town with a great company or the big-city-top-tier company was a choice that shaped my life. My husband and I decided we needed a city adventure, and we have enjoyed the DC theatre scene - as a gigging SM and an audience member - ever since.

centaura

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Re: Moving for a Career
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2009, 10:43 am »
I've always had a job lined up before I upped and moved somewhere, I'm not sure that I would be willing to move somewhere that I didn't have work set up in.  I moved to IN virtually spur of the moment - I found out about a job at the end of Nov., applied & interviewed in Dec. and moved that Jan.  I actually started the job before I moved - I lived out of a hotel for a week to start the job and apartment hunt, then went home for a week to pack and move.  The job itself has been nice - full time, year-round stationary job which I was ready for after almost ten years of touring - though I haven't liked the city that I've moved to.  But, its a good job and if I can deal with the city for 7 more years I'll be vested in the retirement program.  At that point though, I'll probably start looking for another place to move to.

-Centaura

Jessie_K

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Re: Moving for a Career
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2009, 04:19 pm »
I have moved several times, but always with work lined up.  I moved to NYC (stayed for 6 years) because I was offered a full time position there.  I have done extended gigs in other cities (Chicago, Upstate NY) with and without housing provided. 

Earlier this year, I got a job in Belgium and am now living in company housing just outside of Antwerp.  I had never been to Belgium before I moved here and would certainly never chose it as a place to settle down.  I will be here until the end of the year.

Then in December, I (and everyone involved in the show) will move to Macau, China.  We will all be there for several years (minimum 2 years) and perform the show there.  I have never been to China before, I really have no idea what kind of adjustment there will be.  I imagine it will be a little harder to get used to than Belgium, but hopefully will also be a funner place to spend a few years. 

The scariest thing about this upcoming move is that we go straight into tech/ creation after the move.  (We actually get 4 days to move, but as a stage manager I will work 2 of those days).  They give us a month of housing and then we must find our own apartments.  I can't imagine trying to find an apartment while teching a show 18 hours a day.

Norah Jane Scheinman

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Re: Moving for a Career
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2009, 06:43 pm »
The craziest thing I've ever read has been Santa Fe Opera's Housing Procedure: "You must move in {to their leased apartments} only the day before the date stated on your contract"

There was no way in hell I was moving to Santa Fe from Connecticut one day before I started work, so I smoozed up to the housing manager and managed to get approval for moving over a few days early instead.

Has anyone had to fulfill a crazy obligation like that?
"Service is a willingness to serve something larger than yourself" - Barack Obama

MatthewShiner

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Re: Moving for a Career
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2009, 09:19 pm »
Most of the time on AEA contracts, I move into housing on Monday, before starting work on Tuesday.  I usually try to have at last one day free to get settled in, but sometimes travel plans don't align.

I also once had a plan booked for 11:30p, with a 10:00p show down.  They apparently wanted to get ride of me right away.  ;-)

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ReyYaySM

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Re: Moving for a Career
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2009, 11:25 pm »
During the time I spent as a company manager, I would arrange the actors' housing and travel and the theatre's policy was that they could arrive no earlier than the day before rehearsals began (typically a Monday).  Departures had to be by the day following closing, though most preferred to leave the night of closing if possible.  My favorite was the actor who paid to upgrade his train ticket to Acela to be on the first possible train I could get him to.  He was showered and in the car 10 minutes after curtain; I had him at the station 5 minutes before departure.

But to answer the original question, I was offered and accepted an internship at a theatre in Maryland 4 days after graduating from college and moved there 10 days later.  It seemed like a really great opportunity, so I jumped at it.  Housing was provided, but I didn't think I would be staying in the area after the year was over, so I brought two suitcases and shipped myself a few boxes.  I didn't even bring my car.  Towards the end of my internship when I was deciding what my next step should be, it became clear that staying in the DC metro area would be the best option for me.  I accepted a full-time position as company manager with the theatre that I did my internship with.  I went home to Texas before starting the new job and brought back my car with a load of all the stuff my family had been storing for me.  I ultimately ended up going back to stage management, but I'm still in the DC area and do a lot of work with the theatre I did my internship at.  My impulsive move to the DC area ended up being one of the best decisions that I ever made, though I do have to say it was a sad day when I changed my Texas license and plates over to Maryland.  I've been here almost six years now and have no plans to leave anytime soon.       

centaura

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Re: Moving for a Career
« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2009, 01:50 pm »
Quote
though I do have to say it was a sad day when I changed my Texas license and plates over to Maryland.

I agree with you on that one!  I had been MN based all my life, though most of my work was outside of MN - I had gone wherever the jobs were - so I had kept MN plates on my car all those years.  It was very, very strange when I moved here permanently to actually change the plates on my car.

-Centaura

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