Look Before You Leap
Oh, man… Last week I was forwarded and email from a friend about a show looking for actors. The original email came from a member of a semi-professional company, on behalf of the director. Assuming the play was being done with this company, or independently but with their talent pool – I submit myself figuring it'd be a fun way to end a year which otherwise wasn't very theatrical.
Then, just barely after the director said yes and I said yes, I was asked to use my studio apartment for rehearsals. What? No. Well, OK, maybe – if it's for two or three peeps, but not all seven cast/crew members. There's no way we'd fit. It would be a nightmare.
Then this morning I get a mass email from the director asking everyone the same question because (to paraphrase) "The theatre isn't being helpful and I can't pay for space".
Which… irked me. Bitching about the company that's producing your show to your actors (unless they are also your best friends) is tacky. And many times with such lower-level shows – unless you have an agreement with the production co. or cast stating otherwise – when you accept the role of director, you should be prepared to pay for space if the need arises [See comments below]. I understand this director may be green and that's OK – we all start somewhere – but we hadn't even had a read-through yet and my radar was prickling already. Did I just make a very bad decision in offering to help a production which I (ass)(u)(me)d I knew enough about but didn't really?
The answer to that came swiftly in the email's second to last sentence which revealed the producing theatre company's nefarious identity. This show is not being done independently, nor is it being produced through that highly respected company who forwarded the casting email to my friend (who in turn forwarded it to me)…
It is being produced by "ABC" Theatre Co.!!!
Nooooo! Noooooooooo!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
How could I have been so stupid?! Ugh, man, why didn't I say, "Oh, by the way – before I say yes, who is producing? Where is this being done???" You can't just assume that no one in their right mind works for this company, because they somehow manage to find a way to thrive – like a virus. A cockroach. A virus-infected cockroach!
So – and this totally sucks to admit – I over-inflated a potential conflict in order to back out. I KNOW. It's terrible. I feel awful. I'm a terrible, awful, stupid person (at the moment).
But imagine how much worse I would have felt having to deal with the crazy shenanigans and doubly awful and terrible people of ABC again? Especially at holiday time when I should be making merry? I'd be so miserable that everyone would end up getting stale candy and refrigerator magnets from the dollar store as Christmas gifts.
So, the way I see it – I saved us all. Every one.
PS – Although now I'm feeling guilty...