Author Topic: PEOPLE: Vent vent vent  (Read 4194 times)

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katykat29

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PEOPLE: Vent vent vent
« on: Aug 18, 2007, 02:17 am »
I had to put this someplace and hope you'll all understand...
I'm finishing up a theatre in the park thing this weekend and it has been so frustrating!
Every weekend I go to storage, load up lights, props, cords, water for actors who can't remember to bring their own.
Then I get to drive all around town, get to the park, unload all the stuff by myself.
Set up the lights, run 200+ feet of cord, field calls from actors who have lost the maps I gave them and too cheap to buy a decent map of their own.
Then sit through the show so I can do one sound cue.
After the show, I get to hunt through the grass in the dark to find the props that the actors throw around and can't be bothered to pick up.  Then I load up the lights, props and cords with grudging help from a few actors while listening to promises of "I'll help double next time - I've got plans with some friends".
Thank goodness it's ending soon!

Does anyone else have something they want to get off their chest?
« Last Edit: Jun 09, 2009, 12:55 am by PSMKay »

KMC

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Re: Vent vent vent
« Reply #1 on: Aug 18, 2007, 03:20 am »
I don't have something I want to get off my chest per-say, but I do have a question.

What level of production is this?  Is this amateur, college, semi-pro, professional?

In my posts I never intend to be an ogre or harsh, but I'm always honest.  It sounds like from the behavior symptoms you list below the actors are not being held accountable for their actions.  If you treat people like children they will act like children.
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

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Mac Calder

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Re: Vent vent vent
« Reply #2 on: Aug 18, 2007, 05:11 am »
There are a few simple solutions to solving the "I am an actor, I don't need to put away after myself" syndrome

First, you inform them that putting the props away is their responsibility. If they don't put them away, then they won't be there next show.

Still collect them if they don't put them away, but don't put it with the rest of the props. Next show, they will ask where their prop is, say "Did you put it away last performance?" They will either lie (if they do, call them on it) or they will tell the truth, and you should pull it out of your bag/kit/whatever and say something along the lines of "I expect that you will put it away tonight?". If they fail to put it away again, send them to go and find it (even though you have it). Then when they cannot find it (10 or so minutes later) say "Your lucky that X member of the public found this and handed it in then.". Third time, they don't get the prop, and you say you will find a new one before the next show. I doubt it will even get that far.

Another method: At the start of the run, tell everyone that they are expected to remain behind for half an hour to assist with the pack down. Then draw up a roster of duties. Distribute it. If they say "I have to go meet friends", tell them that you were upfront about the time requirements, and that their friends can wait until they have finished their rostered duties. If there was an important meeting, you should have been informed well before the pack down.

And if all else fails, sit them all down and lay on the guilt.

Emotional blackmail works.

katykat29

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Re: Vent vent vent
« Reply #3 on: Aug 18, 2007, 01:44 pm »
Mac, thanks for the advice.  I did hand out assignments and give responsibility lectures, but never tried "hide the prop" trick.  Problem is, about 9 pm when the show is getting done, it's really obvious when the SM is combing the grass in the dark looking for something.
I'd call this a semi-pro gig.  Everyone's getting paid, but not enough to really make it worth their while (especially me considering gas, wear and tear on my car's interior, and weekly costs on disposable props!)

Thankfully, I get my check today and know to steer clear of this company (and a few actors) in the future.

On a happier note, there are three people I really want to work with and a couple actors I wouldn't actively discourage a director from casting (If asked my opinion).  Putting it in perspective, I'm only frustrated with about half the cast.  Hey it could be worse, but it's over!

Caroline Naveen

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Re: PEOPLE: Vent vent vent
« Reply #4 on: Oct 28, 2013, 07:53 pm »
Yes, I totally have something to get off my chest! I really REALLY hate it when people escalate drama into something it should never be.

Actors: Don't do it!
Parents of Actors: Don't do it!
Directors: Don't do it!
Anyone involved with anything in theatre do NOT EVEN THINK about it!

My life is already complicated with worrying about set pieces, lights, spacing, rehearsal time, reports and such please don't make me your counselor too. There are some things that you must resolve on your own! Seriously, and actors please stop sending me e-mails about how you dislike the directors style, or tell me how you think I could do my job better, or tell the design departments you know what the show should look like. Also, don't EVER buy a costume, without the approval of the designers and expect to use it in the show, as a matter of fact why don't you just let us do our job and you do yours? Okay?

That is all.

P.S. Thanks for the vent thread that was extremely helpful just to write that with a few exclamation points to help me let this stuff go. 
« Last Edit: Oct 28, 2013, 07:59 pm by Caroline Naveen »

DeeCap

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Re: PEOPLE: Vent vent vent
« Reply #5 on: Oct 29, 2013, 01:25 pm »
I hope this thread sticks around. As soon as my show opens I'll have plenty to vent about....

KMC

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Re: PEOPLE: Vent vent vent
« Reply #6 on: Oct 29, 2013, 02:25 pm »
This was one necromanced from '07..

I like the current Haiku thread better, forces us to be a bit more creative in our venting  :)
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

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