Author Topic: Job/Gig searching in the new economy  (Read 8031 times)

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ljh007

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Job/Gig searching in the new economy
« on: Dec 10, 2008, 11:27 am »
So has anyone been finding that your job search is slowing in the new (nose-diving) economy? Several theatres are struggling, a few are closing. Are gigs harder to secure?

Meanwhile, the rush for part-time and temp jobs is reported to have hit an all-time high. Are you having challenges getting those in-between-shows jobs to pay the bills?

I hope everyone is making it through the challenging times with as much prosperity as can be found these days!
I'd be interested to know what others' experiences have been on the front lines of job searching...

sievep

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Re: Job/Gig searching in the new economy
« Reply #1 on: Dec 10, 2008, 04:25 pm »
Oh, I'd say it's definitely getting tougher out there . . .I just had my winter gig evaporate from under me. 

With that being said I also just got my substitute teaching certification today, so there is something to tide me over to my next contract.
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mackenbrown

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Re: Job/Gig searching in the new economy
« Reply #2 on: Feb 21, 2009, 06:44 pm »
Dont' you hate when your gig evaporates?  My Spring gig disappeared.
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thankyou5

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Re: Job/Gig searching in the new economy
« Reply #3 on: Apr 10, 2009, 10:48 pm »
Is anyone out there finding work? 

I just graduated with my MFA and have been looking for work since December.  I've tried applying for AEA, non-union jobs, cruise lines, theme parks; basically everything that has been listed on AEA, ArtSearch, Backstagejobs and Playbill as well as a few local sites.  But I have not received anything more then "thanks we got your resume" and that's if I'm lucky.  It's not like I don't have any experience or that I'm looking at a limited region.  I've been working professionally for over 5 years and will be more then happy to move anywhere in the world, though I'm currently based in Las Vegas.  I even went to USITT looking for work but all anyone wanted were interns and that is not something I can financially do at this time. 

I'm just wondering if others are having as much trouble as I seem to be having.

Trevor7

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Re: Job/Gig searching in the new economy
« Reply #4 on: Apr 11, 2009, 12:03 pm »
I only graduated 10 months ago, so most of my work has been showcases.  I have noticed the amount of gigs and the pay offered is shrinking.  When I first graduated college most showcases I found in NYC were offering between $500-$1000 for the run which is still not that much money, but I could afford food and subway fare.  Now most of the offerings are between  $0-$300.  Literally sense December the highest paid showcase I have seen on playbill or craigslist in NYC has been $300 for the run.



Maribeth

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Re: Job/Gig searching in the new economy
« Reply #5 on: Apr 11, 2009, 12:33 pm »
I had some work "evaporate" too (I think that's a great word for it). I managed to get through the winter ok- my overhire work tided me over and I started doing some house managing (and was trained to work the box office, so if I needed to pick up some extra hours, I could).

My next production just went into rehearsals this week- it's been nice to get back to doing actual stage management. :) I think this winter was my longest break without doing a full production since I started SMing.

MatthewShiner

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Re: Job/Gig searching in the new economy
« Reply #6 on: Apr 11, 2009, 12:44 pm »
On the flip side, as someone who hires and sets budgets, I am being challenged to cut budgets, hire locally and think outside the box as far as staffing - things are rough all over.  Although I am not pulling back firm offers, positions I have been talking to people about are now evaporating.  There is a huge trickle down effect - fewer commercial shows - fewer top notch regional drops - means people taking jobs a notch down the ladder.  The is also a delay factor - some theaters are taking longer to finalize seasons, budgets, staffing choices, etc.  (I find myself about three months behind from hiring positions and interns, and to be honest, I am not really in a position to start filling positions that start this July.)

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NomieRae

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Re: Job/Gig searching in the new economy
« Reply #7 on: Apr 12, 2009, 12:13 am »
I agree with Trevor7... showcases in NYC which used to be at least sustainable employment are now nosediving in fees which is unfortunate.

I spent all of January unemployed due to the dismal amount of listings online, and the general lack of labor needed all around that time of the year. I couldn't even get day work (a 'civilian job' as I like to say) anywhere..even with my 2 years of experience in food service and 2 years in retail.

Things have since picked up and I'm spending my resources (time & $$) wisely and expanding my networking pool which has helped me get lots of "hey, so-and-so recommended you for this.." emails.


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Trevor7

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Re: Job/Gig searching in the new economy
« Reply #8 on: Apr 12, 2009, 01:02 am »
I have the same problems finding a non-theatre day job.  I worked food service at Disney world for a short time, and 3 years at a dining center, and I can't even find a fast food job in NYC.  Even though it seems bad here, my friends tell me it's even worse in the midwest for both theatre and non theatre work.

maximillionx

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Re: Job/Gig searching in the new economy
« Reply #9 on: Apr 12, 2009, 02:25 am »
I am graduating in May and have a 2 year position lined up, but I got really lucky.  A lot of my friends graduating with me are having the same dilemmas of "what am I going to do?!"  Even my friends going into film and music are having a hard time finding employment for post-graduation.

I feel like it's that time when you need to call up that friend in the business who owes you a favor.  Or use those networking skills we all need to find your way into something.

Also (I have seen this a lot on the network) jobs relating to theatre (carpentry, lighting, etc...) can really help now too.  You never know when you will be called on to build a deck or renovate a house.  Contractors in those lines of work do pretty well and it's always good to know people like that on the side. It seems theatre professionals get stuck in retail or the food industry.  They're not bad jobs and can certainly be helpful, given our hectic schedules, but look around.  You never know.

Best of luck everyone looking and hiring!  The market will recover as always.

DeeCap

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Re: Job/Gig searching in the new economy
« Reply #10 on: Apr 14, 2009, 10:59 am »
I can't add too much except to hang in there.

I have a non theatre friend who has been laid off since December. She has been getting creative in getting extra money: organizing photos for a family member, transcribing notes for another family member etc.

Things will get better.

gotracigo

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Re: Job/Gig searching in the new economy
« Reply #11 on: Apr 16, 2009, 10:35 pm »
I've been freelancing since the fall of 07, and it's always been difficult to find work, but recently it's become much harder to find stage management jobs.  There are definitely not as many postings as there have been in the past, and I'm having better luck with unsolicited emails and networking with current contacts. 

My advice would be to let no stone go unturned, and be open to alternatives.  Contact your college and high school and see if they know of anything, email the guy your mentor set you up with three years ago and see if he knows anything... just generally let your support system know that you're available for work.  (And, I know there are mixed reviews on these boards about the appropriateness of facebook, but IMHO it's a perfectly acceptable form of networking, if you go about it the right way.)

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K.M.Esteves

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Re: Job/Gig searching in the new economy
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2009, 04:41 pm »
Is it just me or are a lot of companies that used to hire non-equity assistant stage managers opting to hire interns instead? I am taking a risk right now by not taking internships or PA jobs anymore because I want to move forward in my career in spite of the poor timing. Presently, I am working outside of the industry and am constantly job searching for positions that are on the next rung of the employment ladder. But with the scarcity of non-union ASM positions, it's getting harder and harder to determine whether or not I'm reaching too far when I apply for non-eq SM positions at non-union theatres.


« Last Edit: May 24, 2009, 03:03 am by K.M.Esteves »

missliz

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Re: Job/Gig searching in the new economy
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2009, 12:35 am »
Is it just me or are a lot of companies that used to hire non-equity assistant stage managers opting to hire interns instead? I am taking a risk right now by not taking internships or PA jobs anymore because I want to move forward in my career in spite of the poor timing. Presently, I am working outside of the industry and am constantly job searching for positions that are on the next rung of the employment ladder. But with the scarcity of non-union ASM positions, it's getting harder and harder to determine whether or not I'm reaching too far when I apply for non-eq SM positions at a non-union theatres.




Oh god me too! I KNOW that skill-wise I'm past some of these jobs I keep seeing, but I'm having a hard time finding jobs that are the next level up. It makes me want to just take the easy/boring jobs just to keep working.
I personally would like to bring a tortoise onto the stage, turn it into a racehorse, then into a hat, a song, a dragon and a fountain of water. One can dare anything in the theatre and it is the place where one dares the least. -Ionesco

 

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