Author Topic: Just neet to vent...  (Read 13712 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

MarcieA

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 371
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, AGMA, SMA
  • Current Gig: PSM, Lake George Dinner Theatre/Tri Cities Opera
  • Experience: Professional
Just neet to vent...
« on: Nov 17, 2008, 07:00 pm »
I'm sure I'm not the only one to have to deal with this, but it's the first time it's happened to me and I am sad, angry, disappointed, etc:

I was asked by a friend to ASM an off-Bway show with her as the SM. I was excited, she was excited. There was excitement.

I spoke with my superiors at my day job about this, and they were willing to keep me on salary (!!!) if I could commit to 1 weekday in the office and 2 evenings after rehearsal. Amazing. It turns out that the director wants a Sunday's off schedule for rehearsal, which would mean that the Monday I would plan on coming into the office is now a missed day of rehearsal. (Not to mention conflicts with actors going to auditions, etc.) The SM pleaded her case, and mine. She finally got the director to agree that one day a week was ok since he wasn't going to change the day off, as long as my friend, the SM was ok with this. Which she was.

Cut to today: My friend emails me saying that at the pre-pro meeting today, the PRODUCERS decided that despite the director and the sm's support, it was entirely necessary for the ASM to be at every rehearsal. This was not a money issue. I actually offered to take a 1/6 pay cut or find a replacement for those 3 days.

ARGH. I'm just so ANGRY. I've worked very had this past year to make some headway and finally I am beginning to, and then this. The most annoying thing is that the contract doesn't pay enough to just take a leave of absence from my day job, and having just spent a lot of money moving (I had no furniture coming to NY) I can't afford to not have the income.

I think what bothers me the most is that my day job, which has absolutely nothing do to with theatre was willing to give me 4 days a week off to pursue this opportunity, and the theatre company wasn't willing to give me 1.

Grr.

End rant.
Companions whom I loved and still love, tell them my song.

stagegal1

  • Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 53
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Just neet to vent...
« Reply #1 on: Nov 17, 2008, 08:54 pm »
I wonder if there may have been a different outcome if the producers were asked instead of informed of the situation after everyone else decided.

Allison

DeeCap

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 319
    • View Profile
Re: Just neet to vent...
« Reply #2 on: Nov 18, 2008, 09:42 am »
I'm sure I'm not the only one to have to deal with this, but it's the first time it's happened to me and I am sad, angry, disappointed, etc:

I was asked by a friend to ASM an off-Bway show with her as the SM. I was excited, she was excited. There was excitement.

I spoke with my superiors at my day job about this, and they were willing to keep me on salary (!!!) if I could commit to 1 weekday in the office and 2 evenings after rehearsal. Amazing. It turns out that the director wants a Sunday's off schedule for rehearsal, which would mean that the Monday I would plan on coming into the office is now a missed day of rehearsal. (Not to mention conflicts with actors going to auditions, etc.) The SM pleaded her case, and mine. She finally got the director to agree that one day a week was ok since he wasn't going to change the day off, as long as my friend, the SM was ok with this. Which she was.

Cut to today: My friend emails me saying that at the pre-pro meeting today, the PRODUCERS decided that despite the director and the sm's support, it was entirely necessary for the ASM to be at every rehearsal. This was not a money issue. I actually offered to take a 1/6 pay cut or find a replacement for those 3 days.

ARGH. I'm just so ANGRY. I've worked very had this past year to make some headway and finally I am beginning to, and then this. The most annoying thing is that the contract doesn't pay enough to just take a leave of absence from my day job, and having just spent a lot of money moving (I had no furniture coming to NY) I can't afford to not have the income.

I think what bothers me the most is that my day job, which has absolutely nothing do to with theatre was willing to give me 4 days a week off to pursue this opportunity, and the theatre company wasn't willing to give me 1.

Grr.

End rant.

That really sucks. I'm so sorry to hear that. Try to think of it as it wasn't meant to be. Something else is out there waiting for you. Something better!

MarcieA

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 371
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, AGMA, SMA
  • Current Gig: PSM, Lake George Dinner Theatre/Tri Cities Opera
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Just neet to vent...
« Reply #3 on: Nov 18, 2008, 09:49 am »
I wonder if there may have been a different outcome if the producers were asked instead of informed of the situation after everyone else decided.

Allison

The producers weren't necessarily 'informed' rather than asked, they were apprised of the situation (me and my day job) when my resume was presented as a possible ASM, and the SM's choice. The director was the original holdup, but because he wasn't willing to move the Sunday off to a weekday, he conceded that my request was reasonable, and also that he would be willing to schedule Mondays around the actor's audition conflicts. The producers were then 'informed' of the director's approval of my schedule at yesterday's meeting.
« Last Edit: Nov 18, 2008, 11:17 am by MarcieA »
Companions whom I loved and still love, tell them my song.

RuthNY

  • BTDT Editors
  • *****
  • Posts: 509
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA Eastern Region Stage Manager Councilor
  • Current Gig: ALABASTER
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Just neet to vent...
« Reply #4 on: Nov 18, 2008, 10:58 am »
Marcie,

This is the tough conundrum of living in NYC.  You can't afford to live here on a theatrical salary, unless you're doing Production or Commercial Off-Broadway contracts constantly, so you have to have a day job, which in turn keeps you from doing theatrical work. Though you may find the occasional sympathetic employer, it is the exception rather than the rule. The hard truth is that it is their right to hire an employee who can do the job full time.  I've found that when exceptions are made, they are generally made for an actor that the Director or Producer just HAS to have in the show.  SM's rarely get the same consideration, it's true. 

You are juggling something actors and SM's have juggled here in NYC forever.  The question becomes "What am I here to do?"  And sometimes you have to make very difficult or risky decisions to support your choice.  It's easier in other cities.  The cost of living/rent is high here.  In other places one MIGHT be able to take a low paying theatre job full time.  I have SM friends in other cities working full time in theatre and making ends meet on one SPT after another, and they are perfectly happy, working all the time for this lower rate.

This is a hard reality check, and I'm sure it's not making you feel a lot better.  And I'm, sorry about that.  But you do say "I've worked very had this past year to make some headway and finally I am beginning to, and then this."  You ARE making headway, and there WILL be another offer down the line.  Take this time to think of your priorities and make some kind of plan for how you are going to handle the next job offer that you really can't afford to quit your day job for! 

Please feel free to PM me, if you wish!

Ruth


I'm sure I'm not the only one to have to deal with this, but it's the first time it's happened to me and I am sad, angry, disappointed, etc:

I was asked by a friend to ASM an off-Bway show with her as the SM. I was excited, she was excited. There was excitement.

I spoke with my superiors at my day job about this, and they were willing to keep me on salary (!!!) if I could commit to 1 weekday in the office and 2 evenings after rehearsal. Amazing. It turns out that the director wants a Sunday's off schedule for rehearsal, which would mean that the Monday I would plan on coming into the office is now a missed day of rehearsal. (Not to mention conflicts with actors going to auditions, etc.) The SM pleaded her case, and mine. She finally got the director to agree that one day a week was ok since he wasn't going to change the day off, as long as my friend, the SM was ok with this. Which she was.

Cut to today: My friend emails me saying that at the pre-pro meeting today, the PRODUCERS decided that despite the director and the sm's support, it was entirely necessary for the ASM to be at every rehearsal. This was not a money issue. I actually offered to take a 1/6 pay cut or find a replacement for those 3 days.

ARGH. I'm just so ANGRY. I've worked very had this past year to make some headway and finally I am beginning to, and then this. The most annoying thing is that the contract doesn't pay enough to just take a leave of absence from my day job, and having just spent a lot of money moving (I had no furniture coming to NY) I can't afford to not have the income.

I think what bothers me the most is that my day job, which has absolutely nothing do to with theatre was willing to give me 4 days a week off to pursue this opportunity, and the theatre company wasn't willing to give me 1.

Grr.

End rant.
"Be fair with others, but then keep after them until they're fair with you."
--Alan Alda

Celeste_SM

  • SM Expert
  • ****
  • Posts: 122
    • View Profile
Re: Just neet to vent...
« Reply #5 on: Nov 19, 2008, 12:47 am »
What a sucky situation. You've already got good advice from people who know more than me about the NY reality, but I can absolutely sympathise with your position.

Scott

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 252
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Just neet to vent...
« Reply #6 on: Nov 19, 2008, 10:40 am »
I have to say that if this is a real "Off Broadway" show with an Equity contract -- not a Showcase, that the Producers and the actors have every right to expect that the ASM be in attendance for every rehearsal and not be scheduled for a weekly absence.

Whether the pay seems adequate or not, any contract is considered a full time job and needs to be the employee's primary obligation.

Off Broadway committee members and their representatives in contract negotiations fought long and hard to get the ASM requirement into as many productions as possible and anything less than a full-time obligation weakens the position that the ASM is a vital part of the rehearsal process.

Sunday as the day off is the norm for the rehearsal process.  (If I understand my sources correctly, Shrek is continuing Sunday day off throught the preview period, even though they are exepcted to go to Monday day off once the show officially opens).

Personally, as either production manager or PSM, I would prefer a 2nd choice ASM who is completely available to a first choice who isn't.

There is a surplus of qualified stage managers in NYC who are looking for contract work.

On the other, if this is an Equity approved Showcase, then the language in the Showcase agreement stipulates that the rehearsal schedule be built around the Actor's availability and I believe this should include Stage Management.

MarcieA

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 371
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, AGMA, SMA
  • Current Gig: PSM, Lake George Dinner Theatre/Tri Cities Opera
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Just neet to vent...
« Reply #7 on: Nov 19, 2008, 12:07 pm »
I'm well aware of what the rules are, but thanks everyone who felt the need to point them out and make me feel worse.

What I was looking for was some simple compassion. Perhaps a 'That stinks. It's happened to me before, and such is the way of theatre in this city.' Not a lecture.

The point I was making was that I was wanted on this production, and the director, production manager and SM were willing to work around the conflict. I had a sub lined up. The SM has a conflict with 2 days of rehearsal and they were allowing that. This particular company takes Mondays off as their standard, but it was at the director's insistence that they change it to Sundays, so he was will to make the compromise. He was also going to allow actors out for auditions on Mondays. I have personally never worked a show in NYC with a Sunday off, contract or not. I have actually never worked a show regionally with a Sunday off either. It was a decision that was made over their heads, and came as a surprise to all of the people who were OK with the adjustment.

Shit happens, people lose jobs, people don't get the jobs that they were hoping for, and I am very well aware of the reality of living and working in NY theartre. I understand completely that it's a big world out there, full of competition, but if we can't be supportive and empathetic of one another in this forum, what's the point of talking to one another? That's all I was looking for.



« Last Edit: Nov 19, 2008, 12:17 pm by MarcieA »
Companions whom I loved and still love, tell them my song.

Amie

  • SM Expert
  • ****
  • Posts: 154
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • Amie S. Bajlaieh  - Stage Manager. Producer. Artist.
  • Affiliations: Crossroads Theatre Company, Rutgers University
  • Current Gig: Producing Associate, Crossroads Theatre Company
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Just neet to vent...
« Reply #8 on: Nov 19, 2008, 11:11 pm »
I don't see the problem. You certainly got your compassion, but you also have personalities and professionals on this website who might understand the frustration, but will point out the nature of the job.

For myself, I am actually less familiar with working in NYC or how certain houses, contracts, and Equity works.  I appreciate the different points of view. The more experienced on this forum recognize your situation, but have to point these issues out, because the less experienced in those situations appreciate knowing how it really is.

You explained further the issue. It is frustrating.  I agree.  I don't know that a sarcastic response was necessary to the feedback though. 


I'm well aware of what the rules are, but thanks everyone who felt the need to point them out and make me feel worse.

What I was looking for was some simple compassion. Perhaps a 'That stinks. It's happened to me before, and such is the way of theatre in this city.' Not a lecture.

The point I was making was that I was wanted on this production, and the director, production manager and SM were willing to work around the conflict. I had a sub lined up. The SM has a conflict with 2 days of rehearsal and they were allowing that. This particular company takes Mondays off as their standard, but it was at the director's insistence that they change it to Sundays, so he was will to make the compromise. He was also going to allow actors out for auditions on Mondays. I have personally never worked a show in NYC with a Sunday off, contract or not. I have actually never worked a show regionally with a Sunday off either. It was a decision that was made over their heads, and came as a surprise to all of the people who were OK with the adjustment.

Shit happens, people lose jobs, people don't get the jobs that they were hoping for, and I am very well aware of the reality of living and working in NY theartre. I understand completely that it's a big world out there, full of competition, but if we can't be supportive and empathetic of one another in this forum, what's the point of talking to one another? That's all I was looking for.




~ Amie ~

“This whole creation is essentially subjective, and the dream is the theater where the dreamer is at once: scene, actor, prompter, stage manager, author, audience, and critic.”

MarcieA

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 371
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, AGMA, SMA
  • Current Gig: PSM, Lake George Dinner Theatre/Tri Cities Opera
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Just neet to vent...
« Reply #9 on: Nov 20, 2008, 10:21 am »
The sarcastic response, which personally I don't think it was, was in response to the lack of support from the people who I expected to be at least the slightest bit sympathetic.

What I was trying to say was that I am aware of the logistics of the situation, but that doesn't take away the fact that it was a surprise to everyone, and it upset me that it happened, and it upset me more that the people who could have chosen to be less harsh in their objective response decided not to take that route. I think that it is important to see both sides of what happened and why, just that there could have been a better way to say it.

Look at the title of the post, and the first line. I understand of the realities of the working world, I just needed to kind of stomp my foot and scream a little bit to people who maybe have gone through this before. I was never expecting anyone to say 'Wow, that's terrible and wrong, and shame on them for making that choice,' and I certainly don't expect a phone call tomorrow from the company saying the same thing. I was simply looking for a brief moment of camaraderie or sympathy from people who have gone through this. Someone to say "This sucks, but that's the world. It will change, or you'll have to change." in a way that doesn't make me feel completely inadequate for having to make a  Perhaps I just didn't communicate that well enough.
« Last Edit: Nov 20, 2008, 11:39 am by MarcieA »
Companions whom I loved and still love, tell them my song.

KMC

  • Forum Moderators
  • *****
  • Posts: 962
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Current Gig: Project Manager, Systems Integration
  • Experience: Former SM
Re: Just neet to vent...
« Reply #10 on: Nov 20, 2008, 10:35 am »
Stomp and Scream away! ;D

To date there have been almost 300 views of your post.  Though not all the responses indicate it I'm sure a lot of SMs sympathize with your situation.  Certainly unfortunate, and seems like it was unexpected too.  Best of luck to you moving forward!
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

Amie

  • SM Expert
  • ****
  • Posts: 154
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • Amie S. Bajlaieh  - Stage Manager. Producer. Artist.
  • Affiliations: Crossroads Theatre Company, Rutgers University
  • Current Gig: Producing Associate, Crossroads Theatre Company
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Just neet to vent...
« Reply #11 on: Nov 20, 2008, 01:39 pm »
Yes, I understand. I do, about just needing to hear something, etc.

I mean, that's why I go to certain friends over others when I have an issue. I know what reactions I want to hear versus what I might get. :)

Best to you.
~ Amie ~

“This whole creation is essentially subjective, and the dream is the theater where the dreamer is at once: scene, actor, prompter, stage manager, author, audience, and critic.”

PSMKay

  • Site Founder
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 1356
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • http://www.smnetwork.org
  • Affiliations: None.
  • Current Gig: SMNetwork *is* my production.
  • Experience: Former SM
Re: Just neet to vent...
« Reply #12 on: Nov 20, 2008, 09:55 pm »
Okay folks, I think this thread has run its course.  Marcie, I'm sorry things didn't work out for you for this gig.  I can only hope that this means that you'll be open to take something even better that's right around the corner.

As for how this thread has progressed, I'm not going to name names or single out any individual poster, but let's try to be nicer to each other next time someone comes in and needs to vent.