Just when you THINK you have the job market figured out...

Discussion in 'Vintage Topic Archive (Sept - 2009)' started by neothespian, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. neothespian

    neothespian Member

    Went down to Phoenix to see my little sis and to square away the taxi job. Got all the paperwork done, resigned for the insurance and renewed my tax stamp. Also did a little apartment shopping and even found a new GPS navsat for the job that's around $139 bucks at Fry's Electronics.

    Then I get a phonecall....

    Turns out, it's the one 501(c) aka "Nonprofit" theater in Flagstaff. It seems that their Technical Director quit about 6 months earlier than planned, and they're looking to try me as the "interim" Tech Director on a part-time (half pay) basis. If my skill set matches what they want, then they'll offer me full time full pay. It was a decent list since the market is small, but I happen to know for a fact that my resume blew the other 6 contenders out of the water! (I was able to make a pseudo-living in a market of 6 to 7 million people, so that had to say something).

    I'll have more info after the Producer and I meet up to see what his expectations are, and if I just want to try it on a show by show basis or if I really want to sign up for another 6 months up here when I've already invested time into moving back to Phoenix.

    Murphy's law licence needs to be revoked if you ask me.
  2. elguapo

    elguapo Guest

    Damn, thats quite the dilemma, homie!
    I just got emailed about another job as well: More pay, more responsibility, but back in telco...Gar.

  3. Couple of inputs - first, good on you for the call!

    Inputs - why did the other guy quit? I'd want to know that and would not accept a B/S story about not seeing eye-to-eye. 6 months? Hmmm, that lines up with the start of next school year - I'm suspicious, but yours could be designed as a temp position and they're dangling the bait for you to fill it.

    I don't recall, but you said your resume was best of all - why didn't they hire you the first time? I'd want to know that. "IF your skill set matches"???? They know what skills they need and what skills you have - i.e. resume. Sounds like a blank check for them to do whatever the heck they want.

    Neo - your life lately has been a story itself. Only you can make the call. Were you my son, first I'd have to kick you a$$ since you're too liberal [ jk of course ], then I might suggest A. tell them you'll do it for at least a 12 month SIGNED contract with departure clause, or B. take a year off, get settled and take a breath, then jump on the track again.

    Just some more POV's to think about. Good luck in your process.
  4. The job market as it relates to NEO:

    Take the theatre job and give up moving back and something will go wrong.

    Move back and take the taxi job and something will go wrong.

    Look for a different job and something will go wrong.

    Do nothing and something will go wrong.

    Do anything and something will go wrong.

    Take your pic NEO my friend, it'll all have the same end result.

    On the bright side Neo, you make me feel rather lucky and whenever I feel bad about something I always think that things could be worse... I could be you.

    No matter what you decide I do wish you well.
  5. Newskate9 - you make a lot of sense, very wise. Next time I have a problem, expect a PM from me.

    .45acp - you cracked me up.
  6. neothespian

    neothespian Member

    Well when it comes to theatrical production, the term "Technical Director" is often thrown around loosely. At one theater I worked for (Stagebrush Theater in Scottsdale AZ), Not only did I build sets, but I was ALSO the stage manager and actually ran the show during the run. At NAU, their idea of a Tech Director didn't do any engineering at all, only administrative work. At yet ANOTHER theater in Dallas, I designed the sets, lighting and sound but had the OPTION to hire out foremans.

    In short: My resume shows what I've been able to do, but I won't know what the Producer is expecting until I actually get IN there.

    As far as why the other TD left, that's another kettle of fish. I have lost and hired so many designers, foremen and even directors because they would just up and bolt for "Artistic Reasons". Also, in this industry, your career could be ruined by simply working around someone who has a bad rep. A good example was at one of the abovementioned theaters, where the producer was busted for having an affair with one of the actors who was underage. When this came out halfway into the season, half of the production crew who had long careers in children's theater bolted immediately! I stayed on put demanded a "morality clause" put into the contract stating that any illegal act constitute a forefit of original agreement and a requrement to pay up all royalties until the theoretical end of the current season (Which DID happen, and I ended up getting paid for 4 months of work even after I walked when he couldn't keep his wick to himself).

    The other side of the coin is that she left for poor performance. Her work might not of been up to par and got a horrible review on the show's production techniques. Or, she could've been simply bad at her job, putting the show and talent at risk by poor engineering or by going overbudget on one too many shows. Alot of learning how this went down again, comes down to what kind of conditions were in her contract. It might have a built-in gag order, or it might be open for public record. Either way, the best way would be to work on a show by show basis and find out from the talent and designers who worked under her to find out the REAL story.

    Yeah, this is a F***ed up industry.

    The last bit on skill sets is that not every production are the same. The guy who engineered "Cats" complete with 10 ton hydraulic control systems, 5 remote elevators, an HVAC system capable of moving 20 tonnes of air per hour, and enough lighting to power the entire city of Manhattan for 5 minutes straight in the confines of one theater (Christopher Lowell.... yes the "delicate" guy who has all those interior decorating shows on cable) is far more skilled and did a HELL of alot more than the guy who built "Hair", and equally great show but was essentially a bare stage with heavy lighting and a few sound effects.

    I appreciate the input, and it has given me a perspective different than where I am at to chew on. He's got my resume and now I'm just waiting on the phonecall. If I do stay it will only be to the end of the season (a few months) and then I head back to Phoenix. If not, we continue as planned. Either way I am going back to the desert, but if I could add a few shows onto what has been a very slow season, it will only bolster my resume for when I go back to a larger market (No producer wants to hire a guy who's not been working for 5 months..)
  7. I would want to talk with the old TD and get his side of the story before making your decision.
  8. Um NEO, Manhattan is a borough of NYC not a city itself.

    Geez, n I thought you Limeys and other foreign types knew more about our country than we know.
  9. neothespian

    neothespian Member

    Yeah...I know the difference between the Borougs. I just didn't know I was talking about New York :?
  10. Neo: I don't have a lot to add to what others have said, and, frankly, I've never worked in an industry quite so f'd up, as you put it. So: my input wouldn't matter much anyway.

    However, I just wanted to say that I love your posts, and hope for the best for you.

    Good luck!
  11. I think we all love NEO's posts and wish him well.
  12. hpman

    hpman Guest

    I was in a good mood until I read .45's post......what a bummer : (
  13. neothespian

    neothespian Member

    Huh? Where was the negative bits?

    Anyways....got the call and I have an interview at 7PM so I can get a few of the rehearsal process and speak to the director of the current show. I should be able to arrive a bit early to play dumb and ask the talent and stagehands about the REAL story.

    I will keep everyone updated. That is: Everyone who might be bored enough to read my posts on this saga.
  14. NEO,

    I'm not bored, I actually look forward to reading your posts :D

    hpman, I'm not down on NEO, personally I like the guy and just like to joke around with him and in all honesty I really do wish him the very best.

    I've been around forawhile (on the old forum also) and NEO and I often disagree but it doesn't mean I don't respect his points of view. He is the resident liberal and I am one of the resident conservatives.
    It's actually a shame that the libs and conserves in politics can't have as much respect for each other as I actually do have for NEO.
    I hope to retire to Arizona and if I do I would be pleased to call NEO a personal friend and spend time at the range with him.
  15. neothespian

    neothespian Member

    Why, thank you 45!

    Always welcomed around my place. Now, I just need to secure a place down there....

    More to come on the job situation this evening
  16. +1 to that
  17. neothespian

    neothespian Member


    Had the first interview with the Producer and Artistic Director. They described what they wanted, and liked my attitude towards "open source" technology and were amazed that there were still techs who prefer non-profit theater over the McJob approach of corporate entertainment. My resume also impressed them, but my lack of experience in designing artistic lighting plots might hurt me. They were big on my moruge of former sets I had built and were also particularly impressed with some of the weapon designs I had done for other shows.

    They said that there was still the interview with the board of directors (Essentially the directors who do the most work with the theater). This makes perfect sense, since these are the people with whom I will be working around the most. My extra experience in dealing with non-paid volunteers in both the Red Cross and Habitat for Humanities also was a big plus.

    Part time pay offer was $1300 a month with 20 hrs/a week average (real world hours would be two weeks of 40 hrs/week, and two weeks of 5 hrs/week or less...I know how 501c's work). They also include AFLAC shared insurance bennies with dental and AD&D. In this small market that is not bad! Believe it or not it's only about 150 less a month than I'm barely able to make at the hideous big box home improvement joint. This combined with a simple part time gig if I stay at the current job will put me at about what I was making per month when I first moved up here.

    All I have to do is email the references, wait for them to research and hold tight till Monday at 7pm. It would be sooner but they're in final tech for MacBeth and they're dark on Sunday...which is odd....but then again they're far enough removed from the rest of the market that they do things their own way up here.

    Bonus part is that the producer is a former Union (Equity) stage manager himself who wouldn't go back to corporate theater again, and who can blame him! Once you get hooked on the freedom of "Gurellia" theater, you find yourself missing that artistic freedom when you go back making commercials for the local lottery.
  18. Wow, just when I thought NewSkate was just full of crap he goes and brings up some good points that I wouldn't have thought of. Anyways, Neo, sounds like a good gig. We just have to keep taking stat at getting our passion. Took me awhile in IT before landing a good govt job and now there's nowhere to go but up for me. This position sounds like the pay decent for part time, offer a good perks plan. I mean hell, you're covered for dental and AD&D. I only wish my plan covered Accidental Discharges, but what's the second D stand for? :)