My last day in theatre

TimMc

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Premium Member
Was today. After the disorganized, unsafe, and contradictory 8 hours I put in, I cancelled the rest of my work for the season, the year, and mostly likely, the future.

Theatre used to be rewarding and left me with a feeling of accomplishment at the end of each day. After 55 years making shows, plays, pageants, etc, y'all suck. I can't stand by while leadership is unable to make decisions about striking a show, direct the crew, or make safe decisions about how things need to come apart and get handled. More time is spend on passive-aggressive bull excrement than actual work.

So long, it was almost good while it lasted.

So my general advice is "become an accountant, plumber, or HVAC tech." No, I'm not kidding.
 
Uh ... must have been a pretty excremental day to make you come to that conclusion. Care to share - might make you feel better.
 
So long, it was almost good while it lasted.
My former boss is having a retirement party at his house next month after working for the local for many years. Not a bad way to go out.
So my general advice is "become an accountant, plumber, or HVAC tech." No, I'm not kidding.
I have a hard time imagining going in a different direction. There have been some good times in the past, not all of it paid. You brought back some stage memories when you mentioned you had been a page-turner.
 
It's terrible to go through having to reach that decision, but I totally understand your situation. For the first time in 35+ years, I have a boss that drives me crazy, and I have made peace with quitting if things get too stupid. If I was younger, I would feel more trapped to stay. It seems that our tolerance for BS rapidly drops as we get closer to retirement age. On the bright side, you get to decide what to do next.
 
Congrats on your decision Tim. You will enjoy retirement. I did 49 years in the business, 40 at Brooklyn College. I was glad to get out, I pretty much timed it perfectly as things continued down hill after I left. It apparently was a bit more stressful than I realized at the time as I still get a nightmare about work about once per month.
 
Congrats on your decision Tim. You will enjoy retirement. I did 49 years in the business, 40 at Brooklyn College. I was glad to get out, I pretty much timed it perfectly as things continued down hill after I left. It apparently was a bit more stressful than I realized at the time as I still get a nightmare about work about once per month.
Thanks, Steve! I'm keeping other work, but there is no allure to the roar of the greasepaint.
 
Sorry for your loss in the industry but crap is crap and at times especially when older in hoping for a new home perhaps isn't as easy as other paths. A shame, did you check out other local or harder to do remote places to go? I know that would be hard for me to my own skillset, and in my case my Wife in working now in my department would also need to go in package deal at this point, but moving would be hard.

Ran the math today in discussion with new guy with at least aptitude to ask questions. I'm over 30 years in career in being paid professional.. not school time or involvement in theater. Over 25 years at the same company now. At least 20 of those years when I ran head to head - "you or me" against the Shop Manager in him constantly throwing me under the buss... I won due to younger in career others having problems with him and quitting and telling why they were quitting - many others. Now all at work given retirements leaving me the most experienced in most cases... all is good. Not flowers and roses, but I function now in a way very needed in leaving me alone and my department will get it done. Hugely busy, and even more busy given my department (the sick, lame and lazy) is the only one qualified to do anything. Too many shows, very limited shop staff left with any experience to prep the next show.

I'm in the reverse situation, Management trusts and needs me and my trained department more than ever now than before.

Believe where I work, I hope is still looking to hire (to fill a hole in my department) and other needs - In Northern Illinois, and our former Asst. Shop Manager, now Shop Manager in St.Louis are both hopefully still hiring especially skilled labor. PM if still wanting to stay vibrant for contact into. Otherwise I totally get the leaving. I once thought of leaving this career when bad with how I was treated... Not once but for years. No further comments on that as it would involve another member in me thinking about "distract manager" for a supplier which will have been a bad outcome for me years later.
 
Short version.... I used to go to Ringling's parade when they arrived in town. Noticed for over 20 years it was the same guy with the coal shovel, broom, and barrow scooping up the elephant poop after they passed. Finally asked him one day.. why do that for 20 years..if the organization won't et you do something else, or couldn't you go do something else? Get another job?.. and he said "What? and quit show business?"
 
Sorry to hear, Tim. I've worked in situations like that. I'm very fortunate to be in a supportive environment now and I'm very grateful and humbled by it, knowing how the grass sometimes grows on the other side.

Granted, I don't know your goals or tolerance for academia, but I'd throw out that there are any number of high school programs that would benefit greatly from someone with time and talent to share with the younger generation. Plant the seeds for a better future of technical theater if you will. Best luck on your next endeavor!
 
Short version.... I used to go to Ringling's parade when they arrived in town. Noticed for over 20 years it was the same guy with the coal shovel, broom, and barrow scooping up the elephant poop after they passed. Finally asked him one day.. why do that for 20 years..if the organization won't et you do something else, or couldn't you go do something else? Get another job?.. and he said "What? and quit show business?"
I just found out that shoveling is not show biz, no matter what Feld said.... ;)
 
The production was called Meet Me On The Tracks. It was in one of the smaller spaces, not the main stage.

That sounds like a Dept of Theater event. They used the 500 seat Gershwin theater and the 150 seat black box in the basement. I never worked those events, I was up in the Whitman Theater 2400 seat roadhouse. We rarely did outside events on the Gershwin.
 

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