Author Topic: Successfully used in the theatre world  (Read 3419 times)

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JacklynHyde

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Successfully used in the theatre world
« on: October 26, 2011, 05:06:04 PM »
I have been acting in, gently put, the play from Hades (seriously, that is gently).  The director has changed the script four times and the rehearsal schedule five times.  We have a few days off between weekend performances so we can return to our personal lives and shake off the bitterness of the performances (where we outnumber the audience every night).  The director sent us an email springing a mandatory photo shoot for one of those days off.  No warning, just telling us to be at the theatre so he can take still photos of certain scenes for the company archives, not for publicity.

There was no sound from anyone until I decided to let my E-Hell spine speak for us all.  I emailed the director and copied the rest of the company, "I'm afraid that won't be possible.  I have school work scheduled every free day this week.  You have asked us to stay in the theatre between the matinee and evening performance on Sunday.  We should schedule the photo call for then and take pictures while we eat pizza."

Lo, and the rest of the company echoed their agreement!  The director, facing the possibility of a revolt, changed the schedule again, this time in our favor.  Thanks to E-Hell, I rule!

HeebyJeebyLeebee

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Re: Successfully used in the theatre world
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2011, 05:09:09 PM »
Brava!  Encore!  Encore!
I am grateful for the friends I have made on EHell and everything I have learned, but it is time I move on.

blue2000

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Re: Successfully used in the theatre world
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2011, 06:02:34 PM »
Woo hoo! A nice show of spine there!
You are only young once. After that you have to think up some other excuse.

Mental Magpie

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Re: Successfully used in the theatre world
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2011, 11:46:16 PM »
Very well done!

(...but I'm interested to know why it was so awful; that kind of makes me seem like a gossip, doesn't it?  Oh well, who am I going to tell?  The rest of e-hell?)
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

BeagleMommy

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Re: Successfully used in the theatre world
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2011, 12:16:51 PM »
I'm giving the OP a standing ovation as we speak!

JacklynHyde

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Re: Successfully used in the theatre world
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2011, 05:01:29 PM »
Unfortunately, the rudeness hasn't been abated now that we're back in performances.  The director has been surly with all of us.  Last night, I started into the theatre to place my props and found a patron (who is a friend of mine) in the booth paying for his ticket.  I stopped and asked if that meant the house is open (meaning the actors cannot be on the stage).  The director said no.  I then asked him when the house would be open.  He then turned on me, eyes blazing, and snapped that the house would be open when he TOLD me it was.  I then slapped on a fake smile, continued to set my props, and returned to the dressing room.  The director came into the dressing room ten minutes later and announced he had opened the house.  Because we didn't have the warning I had requested, I had to crawl under the stage in a dress in order to get to my entrance place.

I was probably rude in rushing out of the theatre after the show without thanking my friend for coming (we outnumbered the audience again), but I wanted nothing other than to go home and crawl into bed with the remote control in one hand and a whiskey in the other.

Mental Magpie

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Re: Successfully used in the theatre world
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2011, 05:48:44 PM »
I'm the type of person that would have said right back, "If I didn't ask I wouldn't have known I was supposed to wait for your signal."  Then I would have just walked away.

I'm sorry that you have to go through this.  Hopefully it is over soon?
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

JacklynHyde

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Re: Successfully used in the theatre world
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2011, 10:25:10 PM »
We have five more shows, two of them are tomorrow.  The director isn't speaking to any of the cast and was extremely rude when I asked him to confirm when we're supposed to be on site for tomorrow's matinée.  He then turned to the people with whom I had been speaking and told them that nobody respects or listens to him.  This was as I was still in the room (but halfway out the door).  Sadly, it's true.  Nobody respects him.  At least three non-ensemble members have declared that they will not work with the company again.  I'm brand new to the ensemble but have done several previous shows with them.  This may be my last.  The fact that the producer knows how unhappy the cast is and simply told us to deal with it lowers my future expectations.

Mental Magpie

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Re: Successfully used in the theatre world
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2011, 01:44:46 PM »
If you do leave, I would tell the producer exactly why.  "We told you we were unhappy and you told us to just deal with it.  Instead of fixing the problem, you have pushed everyone away.  Please consider this my notice that I will not be returning because of the treatment we all received."

I would do everything you can not to talk to the director; you're only going to be met with rudeness it seems.  Hang in there!  Only 5 more to go!
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

JacklynHyde

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Re: Successfully used in the theatre world
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2011, 10:03:23 PM »
Well, the second performance for today was canceled. Not a single audience member arrived. These things happen, but the director took it like he was being stabbed in the heart and back at once. He just doesn't get that the cast is so frustrated that we stopped promoting the show weeks ago. 

Today, he "forgot" to let us know the house was open so I again had to crawl under the stage (I'm turning 40 and will probably need a knee replacement in another 10 years) and then "forgot" to let us know the performance was supposed to start.  One of the actors totally missed his entrance, leaving the lead standing on stage by himself for a good 30 seconds.  The lead tried to calmly explain that we are actors, not psychics.  He was met with boiling hostility.  Sadly, the director took it out on his own wife, who is only supposed to make sure our costumes aren't falling apart.

I gave her a major hug on the way out of the theater tonight.  Gave the director silence so I didn't say what was really on my mind.  I'm too polite for that.

Mental Magpie

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Re: Successfully used in the theatre world
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2011, 10:27:43 PM »
Good for the lead speaking up!  I also feel bad for the director's wife.  I'm sorry you still have to put up with this.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

JacklynHyde

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Re: Successfully used in the theatre world
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2011, 11:25:06 AM »
*SIGH*

This is turning into The Production of No.  Got this email from the director this morning:

I am planning on starting strike on the Saturday after we close the last
performance.  I want to start taking apart the set, so we can just load it
out on Sunday.  I have a feeling that it should only take a few hours, and
I plan on stopping by midnight anyway.  I understand that this is short
notice and that many of you may not be able to help Saturday night.   I
will appreciate any and all help I can get.


We had always been told that we weren't breaking down the set until Sunday.  I had asked the director about this a few times before things got tense.  Therefore, I felt no guilt in replying (and copying the cast):

I do have plans for after the performance on Saturday but have Sunday completely cleared,
hopefully with my husband joining me.

On a side note, I have word that a kind review will be in tomorrow's paper.  The show is
praised for its ambition.

Mental Magpie

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Re: Successfully used in the theatre world
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2011, 01:15:56 PM »
At least he didn't demand everyone be there this time, I'll give him that.  Also, good for you for standing your ground and not budging!  He'll have to get whatever help he can get; I'm sure you're not the only one that will say "no".
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

JacklynHyde

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Re: Successfully used in the theatre world
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2011, 11:08:07 AM »
The play is OVER!

I'm going back this afternoon to help load the torn-down set onto the truck so it can go into storage.  We were supposed to wait until today to even start the tear-down, but the director pulled one more last minute change and scheduled it for last night.  I was attending a bachelorette party and had planned on it for weeks, so I gave him another, "I'm afraid that won't be possible."  However, since I had already scheduled to be there today, I'll show up.

I was asked to audition for another theater company next month.  I politely but firmly declined.