Fair warning, friends, I’m kind of in a #rant mood today.
Entertainment is a really weird gig.
I’m in rehearsals right now for a touring musical, something I’ve wanted to do for a while, since college really, since there’s a certain amount of prestige to musicals that you just don’t really find with… Clifford the Big, Red Dog (not that I don’t love the heck outta Clifford).
Running a musical is usually a little more complicated, so there’s that. But our rehearsal days are 9 hours long and since I’m the stage manager, I’m usually in at least 30 minutes before and about as long after, so that’s a 10 hour day. I’m commuting into NYC from NJ, so that adds 3-4 hours to my day.
I pretty much just work and sleep.
And sit on NJ Transit and ponder…
I think there’s a pretty crazy workaholic pride in the arts. For instance, we have a lot of one nighters coming up on this tour, and since it’s bus and truck, that means we load out, get on the bus to sleep and then arrive at load in the next day. We’re currently projected to finish load outs around 2:30 AM and start loadins the next day around 8 AM. So that’s several days in a row of about 5 hours of sleep. Lots of crew are psychopaths who boast about living like that.
I don’t actually think there’s any pride in being able to survive something like that. I sort of think it’s madness. Maybe I’m just getting old and crabby.
Even these 6 days a week of rehearsals, I mean, really, how did that come about? Were we so much less competent as an industry we need an extra day to achieve a full work week of work? That’s pretty much how I feel.
Why didn’t someone stand up ages ago and say, hey, why on earth don’t we have 2 day weekends like normal folks?
Seriously though, someone has got to have written a theater history dissertation on how our work weeks evolved, because the entire thing is really just madness.
I do think it’s also worth noting that opera is pretty much the epitome of stage management prestige and they get it done in 6 hours a day. #agmaforthewin …though still 6 days a week. Why are we hating on weekends? Weekends are awesome.
Or maybe it’s been three years in this other blogging industry where freelancers pretty much build their own lives and work the hours they want to achieve the income they are happy with.
I think it’s ruined me.
Personal finance blogging has ruined me for stage management.
Or we’ll just chalk this up to train thoughts after a long 6 days of rehearsals.
At least it’s Monday!