Author Topic: Finding work: Turnaround time  (Read 2861 times)

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Finding work: Turnaround time
« on: Jul 28, 2006, 05:23 pm »
For the folks who are going to interviews: how much turnaround time do you expect/usually experience between first touching base with the person in charge of offering the job and actually sending in your answer to their offer?

For the folks who are interviewing/hiring: how much time do you typically allow or aim for between offer and needing to know?

I was recently surprised by how quickly a manager asked me to respond - 18 hours to decide whether the offer was something I was interested in taking - and would love to know what the SMN community consider to be standard practice.


« Last Edit: Feb 11, 2008, 12:47 pm by PSMKay »


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Re: Turnaround time
« Reply #1 on: Jul 28, 2006, 05:43 pm »
I'm new but I think it depends greatly on the job. I've been interviewing and working the festivalsx in NYC and the turnaround time is FAST. For my first job I sent my resume, got a call that day met the director 2 days later, which happenned to be the night of the first read-through, so I basically started my job immediately. For festivals, there's a 4 week rehearsal period, typically, and they're often put togehter between other projects so it can be quick. I accepted a job at a show in the Fringe festival a month ago, and it just started, but in the past month I've seen SO many other opportunities posted, and I have frineds who are still interviewing for fringe. So it depends on how quickly someone has to get up and running.


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Re: Turnaround time
« Reply #2 on: Aug 12, 2006, 08:13 am »
The blanket answer is that it can vary a lot. If you interviewed for a position that wasn't necessarily available (just meeting them to offer yourself as a SM), it might even be a year or more before an actual job offer comes along. But it sounds like you interviewed for a posted gig, so the company had a pressing need to hire - it's not unusual that they would want to move fast. So much in theatre is pulled together quickly - and hiring production staff is no exception. Maybe they just lost the SM after last night's rehearsal. Maybe they forgot to sign-on an SM. Maybe this is standard operating procedure at this theatre. An 18-hour hire is not unusual. Hire-on-the-spot is not unusual (though a little pushy). Jumping through the hoops of three phone interviews, one in-person, and a three day waiting period before you get an offer is a little unusual. In my experience, for gigs, as soon as the PM or hirer finds someone who "will do," they'll hire quickly. Now, interviewing for staff positions or season-long gigs might take a few days of debate among the production team before an offer is made to a candidate.

A good SM is generally in demand among your local theatres. Generally you can expect to answer fast whenever you consider interviewing for a show. If your work or life situation means you can't take work immediatley, be sure to discuss this with the hirer. They might be looking for you to SM a show in two months, but they might want to throw you on the running crew of the current show - starting tomorrow. So many of the shows I have taken (especially early in my career) brought me on the show amazingly fast - I remember one where I wandered into a rehearsal, my friends told me the former SM has quit last night, and I went home, got my kit, copied the script, and started that night.

A word of warning - Be wary if a manager is asking you to come on a show because s/he plans to fire the current SM (but this soon-to-be-fired SM is still on contract). Hiring behind the incumbent's back is sketchy and raises some nebulous legal employment issues. Try not to get yourself involved in something like that. Sometimes you won't know, but will learn about the messy situation later. I've seen this happen a few times in my career. Ask yourself if you want to work for a company that will go behind someone's back to replace them before they're even dismissed. (Sometimes in quick-hire situations, something like this is going on.)