Author Topic: PROFESSIONALISM: Unprofessionalism (Student SM not showing up)  (Read 3734 times)

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Hey all-wondering what folks think of this situation.  I'm a PA on a show at a major LORT Theatre with a fellow grad SM.  We were supposed to report to the office today to go over to the rehearsal space and set up and tape, etc.  So she didn't show up having told the SM that she had a class that had been scheduled that afternoon.  Later I found it it's a ballroom dancing class which is totally optional and not something you get credit for if you're not an actor.  So she basically is blowing off rehearsals to take a dance class.  Should I mention this to our supervisor?
« Last Edit: Jun 09, 2009, 12:03 am by PSMKay »


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Re: Unprofessionalism
« Reply #1 on: Jan 08, 2007, 10:15 pm »

Is there an established protocol for being a PA at this organization while enrolled as a student? What I'm asking is this: is this PA job viewed as part of your coursework? Is the LORT attached to your university? And - is this the sort of information the SM/PSM could get without your being directly involved? If it is, then my vote would be for you to avoid spilling the beans. If the SM is going to find out from another senior member of the company and/or school, that is a more appropriate channel, in my opinion. If you make it your project to tell the SM what your fellow PA considers (rightly or wrongly, not for me to say) a schedule conflict, that may reflect a bit un-fabulously on you. (I am assuming that you and the other PA are both relatively new to working with this SM - apologies if that is wrong...)

That said, this does tell you a lot about what the other PA can and will do. While it certainly isn't the be-all and end-all of her commitment to the job, I would take it as a lesson outside of the classroom - she opted to go for the dance class, and you opted to tape out and otherwise prep the space. Use this, as objectively as possible, to look at how your particular style of stage managing has already developed.

And - this may give you a golden opportunity to build a working relationship with the SM on this show. I've found that, if you make yourself available, it will pay off.

Best of luck,


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Re: Unprofessionalism
« Reply #2 on: Jan 08, 2007, 10:17 pm »
It is a damned if you do/damned if you don't situation.

If you report that to your superior, you can get a bit of a "tattle tale" stigma as well as get your fellow PA's back up. Even if the SM/whoever did have a quiet word with the PA, chances are it will be a slap-on-the-wrist-and-I-really-expected-better-of-you kind of talk, as opposed to a do-it-again-and-you-are-out-of-here type of talk. That will basically ruin your relationship with the PA, and may result in the two of you being labled as "not team players".

Now, she did not lie about the fact that she had a class, so points to her in that respect, however I agree that the priorities are muddled.

I think your best bet, ignore it for now. If it is clear that her prioreties are messed up, ask to speak to the SM CONFIDENTIALLY about how you feel your PA friend is not pulling her weight, and you do not think it fair - however I would try not to word it as a complaint or make it sound like a winge... just "concerns"


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Re: Unprofessionalism
« Reply #3 on: Jan 08, 2007, 10:43 pm »
I don't see anything good coming from you saying something.  She didn't lie - she had a class and she was excused for it...  It's up to her supervisors to push the issue (ask for a note from the instructor,etc) if they feel the need.
This is one of those times that you need to have faith in karma - if she is doing something wrong, you need to assume that it will come back at her at some point.  Once was working on a show where an actor called in sick to attend an audition...  Unfortunately, he didn't do his homework so he didn't know that the casting director for the audition was the same casting director on our show...  The casting director, who was still getting our performance reports, saw that the actor was listed out due to illness, followed up with the PSM...  let's just say, the actor didn't get the part, and won't likely be cast again in the near future on anyhting that this bigtime/broadway CD is casting for...
Either a) this is a one time thing so not really worth you putting yourself out there for or b) it will become chronic and you will only look better for always being there.


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Re: Unprofessionalism
« Reply #4 on: Jan 09, 2007, 12:52 am »
What is the point of "reporting" the other PA?  What do you want to get out of that?  It situations like this, I advise play it out the end . . . where does this go on the next step?  the step after?

It doesn't seem like the other PA lied about anything.   It doesn't seem like you are overly burdened by her ballroom dancing class.  Let it go.  Remember, in an educational situation, the only person you are in competition is is with yourself.

I wouldn't recommend saying anything, as a SM at a regional theatre, I HATE any sort of pettiness, infighting or competition among my staff, and usually, although I will hear out the complainant, just the general sense of competition will upset me. I am looking for a team, a team that works together.

No, if this PA continues to do this, then I am pretty sure the SM will pick up on what's going on and deal with it accordingly.
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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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Re: Unprofessionalism
« Reply #5 on: Jan 09, 2007, 07:23 pm »
I really think why she wasnt there is imaterial.  She told her supervisor she couldnt make it because of a class.  The supervisor said that was ok.  You say the class she was taking doesnt count for anything.  Well do you intimately know the details of her degree curriculum?  Perhaps she doesnt get credit in the theatre department but the class does give her college credit she needs for financial aid.  The fact is she cleared the absense with the appropriate supervisor before hand and that supervisor oked it.  Yeah you had to to a little more work that day but thats just one more day you got to work with the SM and she didnt, one more day for you to make a good impression that she didnt.  Just do the best job that you can and don't fret on the others.  In a situation like that if she really starts dropping the ball on the work the supervisor will noticed, and they will notice you even more seeing how you pick up that ball and run with it. 


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