Author Topic: Leaving an AEA contract early  (Read 2979 times)

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Leaving an AEA contract early
« on: Nov 18, 2013, 01:19 pm »

I am looking for some advice and figured I would post it here and see what feedback I could get.  I am an Equity Stage Manager.  I recently got offered and accepted a gig in March and April.  I'm also currently working on a show that plans to close at the end of the year.  When I got offered and accepted the show in March/April I immediately tried to figure out what I could do to fill the gap between my current show closing the end of December and this show starting in March.  There is a company I have worked for several times before that is remounting a show I have done twice before.  I went to them after I got offered this show in March and asked them if I could do their show again.  They said yes.  This show starts rehearsal right when my current show is closing, but it runs until mid March.  The contract has an out in it, you just have to give four weeks notice.  The show runs for 8 weeks total, I am available for the first 5 weeks of the run, then I would need to leave.

So my question is - should I tell the company about the conflict before I sign the contract, but then risk them deciding they would rather find someone else who can do the entire run, or should I just give the amount of notice required in the contract? 

Any advice is appreciated!  Thank you!


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Re: Leaving an AEA contract early
« Reply #1 on: Nov 18, 2013, 01:29 pm »
Personally I would be honest and disclose the conflict prior to signing a contract.  They're hiring you under the pretense that you'll be available for the entire run.  Actively deceiving them is not a good idea. 

The need to fill that hole in your calendar is understandable, but don't do it at the expense of your reputation.  If they find out you knew about the conflict ahead of time and didn't disclose it (and they probably will) you'll wind up with egg on your face and potentially a bridge burned (I wouldn't hire you again if it played out this way).

You've worked there before and it sounds like they want you to return, who's to say they won't work with your schedule in exchange for the continuity of having you on for rehearsal and most of the run?

It sounds like you already know what the ethically appropriate thing to do is and want us to convince you otherwise. 

Contractually, legally, etc... you would probably be covered provided you give adequate notice, but this is a small industry.  These chickens always seem to come home to roost in one way or another. 

« Last Edit: Nov 18, 2013, 01:37 pm by kmc307 »
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Re: Leaving an AEA contract early
« Reply #2 on: Nov 18, 2013, 05:34 pm »
especially if you can help cover yourself - I took over a show at tech recently, and because the SM called me and reviewd sched and was able to say "I have this other job but this person whom you know and trust is avail to take over" meant a clean and easy trasnfer.