Author Topic: Warnings about interviews  (Read 5411 times)

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RGSM

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Warnings about interviews
« on: Feb 22, 2007, 03:58 pm »
I worked for a small company in NYC.  They produce a show a year (that is the goal anyway - this is show #5 or 6 for them, I think).  They have produced under an NYC-LOA contract.  Our current show closes on Saturday.  By this point in the process the director has made the environment so toxic, no one wants to come to work.  Which is too bad, because this is the best cast and crew I have worked with in a long time.  Everyone backstage gets along and is really very good at their job.  Our universal problem is the way we have been treated by the director and his wife.  We have spoken to the union several times but there is only so much they can do.  They can't really force them to have decency.  We have four shows left and he is still trying to make major changes to the show without any rehearsal.  He repeatedly talks to the actors about reviewers (has even tried to get a message to them at intermission to perk up the show because the drama desk people where there) and reduced an actress to tears because she wasn't living up to his direction when the Times was there.  Paychecks have been late about half of the time with numerous calls in to the union to get them fixed.  He tried to ban the crew from backstage because he felt we were poisoning the cast against him.  He has tried to call numerous note sessions without adequate notice.  Our stage manager has repeatedly been told to shut up when quoting the rulebook.  We had a show cancelled due to weather and didn't find out about it until after half hour - because they tried to call the stage manager an hour and a half earlier but had to leave a message (she was on the subway) and she didn't receive the message until later.  We found out because one of the crew got an email on his cell phone.  There is so much more that I just can't go into.  No one is quitting, my stage manager and I (ASM) are now just trying to ride this out.  But I wanted to put out a warning that this company is a lot of heart ache for not a lot of money.  If you do work for him, prepare to be severely undervalued and humiliated.  None of your hard work will be recognized and often you will be scorned for trying to do your job or he will simply try to prevent you from doing your job completely.  If you can, it would be wise to avoid this company entirely.

(Edited by moderator to remove identifying information. Members can PM this poster to request additional information. 2-28-7, LJH)
« Last Edit: Feb 28, 2007, 09:51 am by ljh007 »

Jessie_K

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Re: Warnings about Interviews
« Reply #1 on: Feb 22, 2007, 05:42 pm »
Interesting . . .

I interviewed with him for this play and got a little scared off with the questions he was asking at the interview.

Examples:
"Have you ever been involved in a production where a grievance was filed with the union?"
"Have you ever been involved in a production where someone got fired?"
"Have you ever fired anyone?"

That's all I can remember and luckily I got another job and didn't have to deal with anyone there.

Sorry you are having a rough time.
« Last Edit: Feb 28, 2007, 09:52 am by ljh007 »

RGSM

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Re: Warnings about Interviews
« Reply #2 on: Feb 23, 2007, 11:07 am »
Thanks.  He asked me the same kind of questions at the interview as well as questions about if I had ever shopped for props or fixed scenery, etc.  I was a little scared off, but I needed the health weeks - so what can you do?  I am glad for the experience in a way because there is always the opportunity to learn from it.  Thanks for the support.
« Last Edit: Feb 28, 2007, 09:52 am by ljh007 »

DeeCap

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Re: Warnings about interviews
« Reply #3 on: Feb 28, 2007, 06:23 pm »
"Ban crew backstage" That is priceless.
Your post is one of many reasons why I've left theatre.
I'm sorry that you are going through this. What I find is that the theatres that have treated me crappy have eventually gone under. You can't be in business for long if you treat your folks like dirt.
NYC is a "small" town in terms of theatre. The word will get out on how terrible he is.


567Go

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Re: Warnings about interviews
« Reply #4 on: Mar 01, 2007, 08:49 pm »
I interviewed with this Artistic Director about 2 years ago - for a very interesting play - but it turned out it was a showcase so there was no money or health weeks involved (though the ad had stated it would be an LOA contract).  I did not care for this man.  I went to his office and opened the door and he was inside and started screaming at me to never open the door without knocking (gee, I thought it was a business, and I had an appointment - maybe he needs to lock the door!) and he had a little dog in there that just yelped and barked the entire interview, which was very annoying.  I don't remember the questions in particular, but whatever they were I remember not feeling comfortable about him. 

I did not get the job at first, but a few weeks later he called and offered it to me as whoever he'd gotten had backed out.  I was happy that by this time I already had a good paying union job, and was unable to do it.  I never contacted him again, because I just didn't feel good about him.  Now I see my instincts were correct.

But I read the play and it was very good.  I read the reviews during the run, and they were also very good.  This group produces new works - he told me he mounts them in NYC, showcase or LOA, so they can say they were produced, and then he sells the rights to the regionals. 

So sorry it didn't work out for you, but very glad you shared your awful experience with him with your fellow Stage Managers. 

Jessie_K

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Re: Warnings about interviews
« Reply #5 on: Mar 01, 2007, 09:48 pm »
The dog was there when I interviewed too!

MarcieA

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Re: Warnings about interviews
« Reply #6 on: Mar 01, 2007, 10:45 pm »
It wasn't a yappy long-haired wiener dog was it?

I've had horrible experiences with a director who has one of those.

I shudder at the memory.
Companions whom I loved and still love, tell them my song.

567Go

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Re: Warnings about interviews
« Reply #7 on: Mar 02, 2007, 01:16 pm »
I don't remember the dog exactly, except for his constant yapping, and he was little.  Perhaps he was wanting me to save him and take him with me??  LOL!!!!!!!

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