Author Topic: LORT: Seasonal Contract  (Read 5578 times)

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hbelden

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LORT: Seasonal Contract
« on: May 04, 2010, 01:54 pm »
Has anyone ever been on a Seasonal Contract under the LORT rules?  Where did that come from?  Does it have any benefit for the producer, as opposed to just getting contracted show-to-show?

Thanks,
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EFMcMullen

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Re: LORT: Seasonal Contract
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2010, 01:07 pm »
I am on a single contract for the season at a LORT D theater which I guess falls under a "Seasonal Contract".  I am the stage manager on all seven productions for the theater.  I think it there is a benefit on both sides.  For me, I get continuous employment for approximately 35 weeks a season.  The production staff really becomes a team.  We all know how each other works.  For the theater, they get to save money because they only have to hire an ASM the weeks I have a show both in performance and rehearsal (for us that is about 10 to 12 weeks a year.)  The theater therefore isn't having to pay 2 stage management salaries at the same time.  Nor are they having to pay for the prep week for each individual show.

Does this answer your question?

MatthewShiner

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Re: LORT: Seasonal Contract
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2010, 04:44 pm »
I think there are three ways for a SM "seasonal" contract to be.

One you actually on a seasonal contract, where the shows aren't named or are named, but they just list season, and you Stage Manage whatever they produce.

You can also do a full season by being contracted for the first show, and then have a rider for each following show.  So, if a show is running and you start rehearsal on the next show, you only get paid one week salary.  The flip side to this if there are down weeks, you get paid.

The last way, and I have no idea why theatres would do this, is you are on a separate contract.  This works in the theatre's favor if there are weeks without a rehearsal/performance/pre-production.  But, if there are ANY overlap weeks, you get paid twice. (I know of one theatre that does this a lot . . . seems like a waste of money)

Does that help Heath?
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hbelden

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Re: LORT: Seasonal Contract
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2010, 04:45 pm »
Aha!  So if the prep week for your next show overlaps with an extension week of performances on the previous show, you get only one paycheck, not two.  Correct?

Yes, this helps a lot.  Thanks.
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Sarah

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Re: LORT: Seasonal Contract
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2010, 01:42 am »
I am on a seasonal contract at the LORT D level; we have two stage managers on staff because we perform in rep at one point during the season. SM #1 does shows 1, 3, 5, and 7 and SM #2 does shows 2, 3, 6 and 8 and our contracts are written to reflect which shows we are SMing and ASMing. We ASM for each other when applicable and leave a show after tech or opening, to begin rehearsals for our next show; we are paid for a prep week at the beginning of the season but that's the only prep week for which we're paid, since we have continual employment. Also, you're guaranteed 24 weeks of work on a seasonal contract, but like EF, I average about 35 weeks a season. Since my theatre is connected to a university, it benefits my producer to keep the same staff and avoid the administrative red tape of the academic payroll, as well as building the strong sense of company that EF mentioned.

Balletdork

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Re: LORT: Seasonal Contract
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2010, 05:01 pm »
I am the Production Stage Manager for an SPT, who also produces 1 LORT D each Spring. There is overlap each year, but I am on a contract by contract basis, as per AEA. Sadly, when the overlap happens, the SM does NOT get 2 checks, you get one check & an additional 'consecutive' check, which is another 1/3. Just by the way....

FallenRain

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Re: LORT: Seasonal Contract
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2010, 11:13 pm »
I'm a little late to the party but wanted to throw in a reply...

I'm just finishing up my first Seasonal contract on a LORT B stage.  In previous seasons, I was contracted show by show.  This season it was decided that myself and another Stage Manager would just do the entirety of the season, flipping SM and ASM roles as we went... a similar model to what Sarah was describing.  When the person ASM-ing leaves a show, a Prod. Asst. is brought in to cover his/her track.  Once the next show starts rehearsal, the person SM-ing attends 5 hours (or 5.5 depending on what he/she votes) of rehearsal each weekday (and perhaps some on a weekend day again depending on vote) and then runs his/her show at night.

As others have mentioned, this becomes very beneficial for the Producer for all of those weeks where we do double duty:  Prep week (we prep during the day, run a show at night) and the many weeks over the season when the current SM is moonlighting during the day as an ASM.  During these weeks, they pay one Equity paycheck where if they had 2 different SMs working they would have to pay 2.  For the record, the person moonlighting gets paid the same amount he/she would get paid if they were not moonlighting.  As long as we're within our weekly hours, we can use them all to work on both shows.  Of course, they do have the added cost of paying a PA to cover us on the deck, but that isn't as expensive a paycheck.

This is good for me because:  43 weeks of continuous employment.  That is 43 weeks straight without any time off.  This is also very sucky for me because:  it is 43 weeks straight with only one day off a week and a very demanding schedule.... this could very easily lead to burn out.  But every time I want to complain about that part, I've given those around me the right to pinch me because I really shouldn't complain about steady work ever  :)

Another interesting note:  There is an Equity rule that states that your salary cannot be reduced during a contract.  For example, if the producer wants to cut salaries to save some cash, he has to wait until your current contract is done before he can make you a lower offer.  But this also works in our favor on a seasonal contract.  Once you SM on a seasonal contract, if your next role is as ASM the producer CANNOT alter your pay rate to be lower... so you are stuck with your SM pay rate for the rest of the season regardless of what role you have.  Can't argue with that!

Hope this was helpful!  Best of luck to you!

jrhaber

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Re: LORT: Seasonal Contract
« Reply #7 on: Jun 08, 2010, 03:42 pm »
Just wanted to chime in here, having worked for many years in regional theatres on all three kinds of contracts Matthew describes, many of them at FallenRain's theatre (hi, CC!).

Regarding this part of Matthew's post:
"The last way, and I have no idea why theatres would do this, is you are on a separate contract.  This works in the theatre's favor if there are weeks without a rehearsal/performance/pre-production.  But, if there are ANY overlap weeks, you get paid twice. (I know of one theatre that does this a lot . . . seems like a waste of money)"

If you are on two separate contracts, you can be asked to come to rehearsal at 10am, leave at 6:30 and go directly backstage to set up for and run your evening show, which might run until or after 11pm, since you are on two completely separate paychecks. Or work a straight six-hour day, if the company has voted for that rehearsal option, and still do your show without any overtime involved. So while it costs more that overtime might in the long run, it may be easier for the producer to not have to count up overtime hours; also, each show could have different days off without the need to give the stage manager one of those days off. I never had any overlap when I was signed to a per-show contract, so never experienced any of those working conditions, luckily.

The seasonal contract is great for the continuous employment aspect, and if there is a dark week, you do get paid for that as well; however it is possible that some of that time might be able to be counted toward your vacation, instead of getting accrued vacation pay at the end, so you might check that out if there is off-time in there. And as FallenRain says, even if you are assigned mid-season as ASM or moved to a second theatre with a lower LORT rating and salary level, you maintain your contracted SM salary, which was not the case when on separate contracts for each production...

Frankly, in this economy, if you can find a job for a whole season and they'll pay your housing, I'd jump on it!

Julie

MatthewShiner

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Re: LORT: Seasonal Contract
« Reply #8 on: Jun 08, 2010, 04:16 pm »

If you are on two separate contracts, you can be asked to come to rehearsal at 10am, leave at 6:30 and go directly backstage to set up for and run your evening show, which might run until or after 11pm, since you are on two completely separate paychecks. Or work a straight six-hour day, if the company has voted for that rehearsal option, and still do your show without any overtime involved. So while it costs more that overtime might in the long run, it may be easier for the producer to not have to count up overtime hours; also, each show could have different days off without the need to give the stage manager one of those days off. I never had any overlap when I was signed to a per-show contract, so never experienced any of those working conditions, luckily.

What's interesting about this theatre, that although they contract the actor on two different contracts (in this case two different LORT contracts) - they still treat the stage manager as if they were on one contract - that is pay overtime, limit them to 12 hours span of day and 12 hour turn around . . . which doesn't make sense (it basically comes from lazy contracting and lazy production management), but no one really wants to point this out since it favors the stage managers pull in double salary.
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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.

FallenRain

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Re: LORT: Seasonal Contract
« Reply #9 on: Jun 15, 2010, 06:24 pm »
Hey there Julie!  I didn't know you came 'round these parts :)  Hope your foot is doing better!

Matthew - I have to admit I'm very confused about that scenario you're sharing.  How was this accomplished?  I'm under the impression that if you're working on two LORT shows at the same time you're considered in rep and follow the rules on restricting your hours.... that leaves you with one paycheck.  Were the two shows on the same stage?  If different stages, were they different categories?  How can they contract an actor and SM differently?  Very interesting stuff.

We also do TYA shows at my theatre and when you have an actor doing a TYA and a LORT at the same time you are not required to take into account how long they've been working that day or week on the other contract when making your schedule for the show you're working on.... and obviously that would be a 2 paycheck a week scenario for said actor.

Hope you're enjoying your time in New York :)

MatthewShiner

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Re: LORT: Seasonal Contract
« Reply #10 on: Jun 15, 2010, 07:16 pm »
What I am saying doesn't make sense from any logical standpoint, but is done by at least one theatre I know of.

They have stage managers who roll over from one show to another, and they limited to the 48 per week (even though they are working on two shows), and for some reason they are contracted on two different contracts, so they are pulling in two paychecks (often for just a week or two, but sometimes three . . . ).  It just doesn't make a sense.

But, if you are on two different contracts, you get two different checks - and you should be able to work 48 hours times 2 . . . although, that is a little excessive.



Post Merge: Jun 15, 2010, 07:17 pm
Oh, and I am enjoying New York . . . for the time being.

Oh, the stories I can tell though.
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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.

VSM

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Re: LORT: Seasonal Contract
« Reply #11 on: Jun 16, 2010, 02:15 am »
Looking forward to at least a few of those stories, Matthew...
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