Author Topic: Too Old  (Read 10436 times)

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McShell

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Too Old
« on: Mar 09, 2007, 07:04 pm »
I just have to vent because I had an interview with an out of state theatre for an APM position yesterday.  During the interview I mentioned how I had been an intern at the LDI lighting convention in 1998. I was just trying to show my technical skills too, but instead of asking about those, the interviewer asked me my age.  I told him, and he was very adamant about telling me the rest of the company were younger (I'm 28, I guess they're mostly in their early 20's.) This is not an issue for me, but I guess it is for him.  He went on and on about their ages, and how he's only 31, and he just felt that I "should know that" going into the interview process.  The rest of the interview consisted of me asking him questions about the season, change-overs, building, shops, etc, to get an idea of what it would be like to work there.  He was not really into it.  It was obvious we wouldn't click, so I'm withdrawing my application.  The interview really left a bad taste in my mouth.

I have never had age be an issue like this before. I feel old.

OldeWolf

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Re: Too Old
« Reply #1 on: Mar 09, 2007, 07:24 pm »
Good thing the guy isn't in California. It's not legal to ask an applicant's age. Not that it would help me in the least if I were interviewing with this joker. My silver hair and wizened face would give me away in a heartbeat. If 28 is too old for a 31 year old, then 55 would send him screaming into the night. Hope he has plans to be very successful and running his own company when he hits HIS 50's...and I'd love to see what his hiring criteria look like by then...or that he runs in to some young whippersnapper who looks at him and says, "Experience? Ha!! You're too old..."

I think you're wise not to waste your time on someone who values youth so highly that he uses it as a primary gauge of a person's suitability for a job in his company. Go where you are appreciated and respected.

Owen
All the world's a Stage...

birdie4113

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Re: Too Old
« Reply #2 on: Mar 09, 2007, 08:32 pm »
First of all, 28 is not old.  Second of all, you were probably right to withdrawal your application.  You deserve to work for someone who will hire you for your experience and knowledge of theatre, and not for your age.  At 24, I feel like people won't hire me because I am still young.
Bridget

centaura

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Re: Too Old
« Reply #3 on: Mar 10, 2007, 12:18 am »
I agree with the two young!  I had a hard time in my 20's being taken seriously by grizzled old union guys in their 60's.  I'm wondering if he wasn't trying to allude to the lack of salary and or benefits available?  That only younger folks who are starting out would want that type of job?  I can't think of any other reason why he'd prefer a younger crowd - there's a lot to say for the enthusiasms of youth, but there's nothing that can beat experience!  And you're not old - I'm 32 and one of the youngest folks at my theatre.

-Centaura

P.S.  I would have thought it was illegal in more than just CA to ask your age at an interview . . .

Mac Calder

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Re: Too Old
« Reply #4 on: Mar 10, 2007, 12:43 am »
Frankly, I think that age discrimination is down right stupid, no matter how young the cast. Lit JC:S with a cast who's average age was about 19 - the oldest member of crew apart from the stage manager was 21. The stage manager was 48. No issues arose out of it - she went to the pub with us after shows, she held the after party (which was quite a good one) and she treated everyone as equals, and got the same treatment in return. After about the age of 18, age tends to mean a lot less to people.

DeeCap

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Re: Too Old
« Reply #5 on: Mar 10, 2007, 04:39 pm »
It was my understanding that it is illegal in the entire United States to ask how old you were in an interview. They also can't ask if you are married; which I've had a few interviewers ask me.

I did end up working for a producer who asked me on my interview if I was married. It turned out to be a bad experience for me. The producer had no idea what he was doing. It might have been good that you didn't get the job.

Oh, and 28 is NOT old.....
« Last Edit: Mar 10, 2007, 04:40 pm by DeeCap »

ScooterSM

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Re: Too Old
« Reply #6 on: Mar 10, 2007, 06:47 pm »
It is illegal throughout the US to ask age, marital or family (children) status, race, gender, reasons for wanting to relocate, and many other personal questions in interviews. 

This site has a pretty good list of what you can and cannot ask.

http://www.checkstart.com/resource_center/unacceptable_questions.html


And 28 is definitely not old!
“I've never been paid a lot, but the theatre has kept me, and for that I shall be eternally grateful.” Tony Church

avkid

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Re: Too Old
« Reply #7 on: Mar 11, 2007, 11:32 pm »
According to the ADA age can be classified the same as physical disability.
http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/adahom1.htm
Philip LaDue
Shore Production Group LLC
IATSE Local #21 Newark, NJ

Balletdork

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Re: Too Old
« Reply #8 on: Mar 12, 2007, 10:05 am »
A few, ahem, years ago I got turned down for an assistant job because I had "too much experience" - blech! I had more experience in dance than the PSM and I've been told from other person's who work in the organization that she didn't hire me because she was protecting her own job!

This sounds like it could be a similar case.

When you withdrew your application did you withdraw through the interviewing person or their superior? If you felt this strongly about this incident it could very well be that other people have as well... if you see where I'm going with this thought... ;)

dramabrit58

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Re: Too Old
« Reply #9 on: Mar 20, 2007, 07:32 pm »
Firstly, 28 is not too old....  And, you are as young as you feel.... (that's cos I am 48 and depending on the day I feel 28 and other days I feel 128.....  I am at College learning all I can about Stage Managing although I do have a lot of experience in the real world.  I love being with the "youngsters".  They include me in almost everything.... treat me the same as their peers and I treat them like adults..... I have also been an ASM with the SM being just 18.  Now that was interesting but it worked.  Being asked how old you are is totally illegal and your interviewer is setting himself up for a future lawsuit which seems inevitable at this point.  You are better off without this job and when one door closes another one (usually better) opens.  I too have been told on more than one occasion that I am "too experienced" which equates to being too old.   Good luck in your endeavors.
:)

ljh007

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Re: Too Old
« Reply #10 on: Mar 22, 2007, 12:07 pm »
I'd like to add to this thread that being considered "too young" is also a common fiction. While many "young" SMs can be the stereotypical overeager/underexperienced types, some people have a natural knack for the job and an innate talent for SMing like a born professional.

One of the best ASMs I worked with was an intern we recriuted from the children's chorus of an opera company to work the AIDA (we knew it would be huge and needed more help). She was 13, but a powerhouse! She was amazingly on the ball, always exactly where she needed to be, and perfectly in control backstage - in fact, better than the other ASM on many things. Her natural talent made even the principals respect her. I never worried for a second when I knew she was on the project. And I think she realized too that not every company would bring such a young SM onto such a large project. In fact, someone took a chance on me as a very young SM back in the day, and it put my career on track.

There's no such thing as too young or too old.
It only matters that you are excellent at what you do.

KMC

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Re: Too Old
« Reply #11 on: Mar 25, 2007, 04:06 pm »
I think people make too big a deal out of age.  I am a young Stage Manager (22) and had no problems earning the respect of the department of about 60 people that I managed.  Conversely, I've seen managers twice my age have trouble earning the respect of a group of 20.  Maturity is key, and often times people automatically (and mistakenly) associate age with maturity.
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

SummerShakespeare

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Re: Too Old
« Reply #12 on: Jun 09, 2007, 02:21 am »
I completly agree with that you just have to be good at what you do. the only problem I have run into was the people I have the most problems with is the people my age. is that just me? 17-24yrs

also what is your stance on yelling at the cast.
I hate to yell and I have a SM that all she does is yell

I see it as a sign of inmaturity
All on the same G.O.

McShell

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Re: Too Old
« Reply #13 on: Jun 09, 2007, 08:16 am »
I agree, I think it's a sign of immaturity, no matter how old you are.  Yelling at the cast?  I don't see what good that ever does.  I don't really think there's ever a reason to, unless it's an immediate safety hazard, like say someone is about to take a step onto an abyss or touch something that'll burn their hair off.  Then I think it's alright to yell at someone, but just enough to make them not do that.  Otherwise, I've been known to yell "we're back" "places" and things like that, and raising my voice to gather the troops, get the attention of the room.  Yelling at someone because of some kind of power trip or because someone did something upsetting just makes the situation worse, I'm talking both cast/crew.  I have a lot of respect for cast members, because they are doing something I admittedly can't do.  Bearing their souls in front of hundreds of people, I can't do that.  So, even if they are not always.... nice or respectful, there's ways of dealing with it that doesn't undermine what they do, or me as a stage manager.  We have "conversations" when we need to, privately.  I believe what goes around comes around, and I don't want anybody yelling at me  :o



I completly agree with that you just have to be good at what you do. the only problem I have run into was the people I have the most problems with is the people my age. is that just me? 17-24yrs

also what is your stance on yelling at the cast.
I hate to yell and I have a SM that all she does is yell

I see it as a sign of inmaturity

jmillbran

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Re: Too Old
« Reply #14 on: Jun 10, 2007, 02:24 pm »
All this being said, the discrimination against us "older" SM's is very real and, I think a little pervasive.

As an example, about three years ago I interviewed for a sit-down out of town commercial run for a new and very popular musical.  As an Equity stage manager with musical and road experience (and a tenuous connection to one of the original producers), I had hoped for maybe twenty minutes of their time to make my case.  I was out just after the "hello".  I later heard they were only condisering younger SM's--they even gave one of them their card.

So experience doesn't always count.

I'm not bitter; I landed a perfectly good Equity job that I like and am still with.  Nevertheless, being dismissed out of hand because you're older, female, a person of color, whatever, is terrible.  And it happens.
Joseph Millett
Resident Stage Manager
Clarence Brown Theater

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