24. 8/10-From a former professional actor who acted in Stage Right shows
Updated: Aug 21, 2021
I was a non-equity performer with the professional company in a total of seven productions. I cannot speak to the allegations of abuse that many have shared here. However, I applaud the students for their courage in speaking out, and I am sorry to hear that they have carried this trauma for so long. I hope this forum brings them some level of comfort, if not justice.
I had my own (different) issues with Stage Right and I have feared speaking out about them for many years. I feared that Artistic Director would somehow influence my ability to be cast elsewhere in the region. I come from a generation of theatre training where we were taught to keep quiet for this very reason. “Everyone knows everyone.” So I’m so happy to see this forum and I feel safe in sharing a little bit of advice.
*People like the Artistic Director create drama so they can be the center of it. If you rewrite the story, you can write him out of it completely.
*Non-equity does not = less talented. Know your worth.
*It’s ok to have a full-time day job and still pursue theatre in your down time. This doesn’t mean you are compromising your craft or that you sold-out. It just means you chose a different path.
*Never work without a contract if you’re supposed to be paid. At a minimum, get them to write it on a napkin and sign it.
*If you’re consistently getting your scripts and librettos as Xerox copies, then something’s amiss with how the company handles its business affairs and licensing. Consider working with other companies.
Peace to you survivors!