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Old 2nd June 2018, 10:09 AM   #1
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Leaving something

I have come to a certain decision about something that has been bothering me for a bit now. Others have told me to cut bait for a long time now, but I was refusing. This past week or so, I think I made a decision on it... I have been on the board of a theater company for the last nine years now. I came into it quite by accident - I was roped into filming a scene as an extra summer 2009 and decided to stay. I have been at almost every set build (unskilled labor), promotion, etc. I have been an ardent supporter of them.

And I feel taken for granted / taken advantage of at times. They tried making it a "corporate requirement" that if you are cast in the plays, you must come and help with build. Some people are always cast, others never are; some people will always show up for build, others never do. This is not something unique to this theater company, I'm sure, but this is the first one I have seen in action first hand. I get a mention in the playbills as "special thanks to" section for what we contributed to the production, which is good, but The one thing I wanted the most of out this was a chance to do theater. As in I wanted a part. It didn't have to be a big one, just a small one. I also wanted to look into stage management, I offered to do so or to try to learn from someone who knows what they are doing. No one will give me a part despite all that I do for them. Another woman gets parts but she and her husband have given thousands of dollars to the theater, and I am not going to do that for it. Talent? Sure, I have talent. I can't sing but I have talent, and they don't do musicals. Take acting lessons? Shirley Temple could do it when she was 3. And most of the actors I know (or have known from that or other sources) are not always the best either.

Then the founder / artistic director made an announcement about two years ago saying that he could no longer physically or financially afford to keep the building in which it's situated running so he had to sell. He was taking up a campaign to buy back the building. There was NO WAY that they raised $200,000 in a year in which to do so. There are individuals who are out there who are floating the bills to keep the place going on a month by month basis. Not that I am one of them but I did give them a bit ($25). And at the end of the last play when he came out to give the closing message he said donations are tax deductible. For now. I didn't like to hear that, nor did I like the fact that I was being lied to about the state of the finances.

The last straw came this week when one of the actors leaned into me on Facebook over a political rant (I posted on that in another thread). SHe posted about this #metoo movement, how Morgan Freeman was the latest person to be accused of bad behaviors. I said in my response that this is turning into a witch hunt, who's next on this list of offenders? Eventually what will happen is like in the Salem Witch Trials - on a side note - they will accuse too many people and they will say "we overacted". She leaned into me and ripped me to shreds. Now my response to it is another matter, but she was out of line on this. Then she leaned into someone about Roseanne's tweets as well, so she proved herself to be one of these snowflake liberals who whine about so many things because they can.

So I have decided to leave for all of these above reasons. In some ways I am sad but I am glad that I made the decision to leave because it's just time to do so. They are going down, not giving back only taking things for granted from what I and others on the crew have given them, and Not happy with the behaviors anymore.
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Old 2nd June 2018, 10:45 AM   #2
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It sounds like you have had the feeling of being used for a while, there isn't anything wrong with putting something down and moving on if you don't feelgood about it anymore.. in fact it's the right thing to do...

Have you thought about going to another Theater or Production company to fill the need or are you just done ?
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Old 2nd June 2018, 5:30 PM   #3
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It sounds like you have had the feeling of being used for a while, there isn't anything wrong with putting something down and moving on if you don't feelgood about it anymore.. in fact it's the right thing to do...

Have you thought about going to another Theater or Production company to fill the need or are you just done ?
Yes I have. As a matter of fact I have been shopping around for another theater company to be a part of. It will not be easy because that was a very small company, it was very DIY / punk rock (which was the appeal to begin with). Much of the other companies in the city are professional grade where you have to be members of an actual trade union to be a part of them. But I'm sure they can always use help no matter what the case may be.
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Old 12th June 2018, 10:25 PM   #4
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Today I sent this email to the company manager. I wanted to tell her why I have chosen to leave rather than just vanishing on her.

Hello (Name). I have something important to tell you which I choose do so to here. The fact is I won't be at set build this weekend, or any other from this point forward. I have decided to leave the company. You deserve to hear my reasons why rather than simply vanishing on you. They have nothing to do with you specifically, I believe this is more of a group mentality. I was feeling like after nine years of hard work and dedication that I was being taken advantage of / for granted. I am a generous person, but this has now reached the point of doing nothing but taking. And what am I being given back? Nothing. What I wanted the most is what everyone wants, a part. And I wasn't being given that. I can accept certain things about myself (at 43 I am too old, I have little to no experiences, etc.) but those things also existed 9 years ago and I get the same answers. And I'm only going to get older and older, and never be given a chance no matter how hard I work or show enthusiasm.

And the straw that broke the camel's back was a few weeks ago when (Name) leaned into me on Facebook over some nonsense post. Yes, that's just foolishness, she's a spoiled little princess, but life is also too short. And she gets parts because She just does. I'm sure she's not the slightest bit sorry how deeply my feelings were hurt by her words and the public humiliation, she put down my self esteem and that made her the center of attention and she felt good about herself for doing so. She regularly does this as I've seen. But that hammered something home within me and I said this is the sign. I don't want to be in the same room as her and I will not support anything she is cast in. It was a painful decision, truly, but it's time to leave.

I wish all of you the best of luck at this and future set builds, and I hope (the company) has a prosperous future ahead of it.
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Old 14th June 2018, 12:35 PM   #5
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Here was my response from the company manager about my email...

{Name], I am so sorry to read this. You are and have been an important part of the (company name) family.
I too have felt taken advantage of/for granted on occasion and I've been with con-con for 16 years now, so I know what you're talking about. It can certainly be disheartening.
As far as the casting thing goes, individual directors make their own casting decisions and those decisions don't depend on participation in work calls or support of the company. The directors are looking for acting ability/flexibility, the ability to take direction, an established resume, physical type/ethnicity (in some cases) ... the list goes on. Remember you asked me awhile back where you should start to break into the acting scene in (city)? I told you then, and this still holds true, that you should audition around on the community theater scene (listing other theater names) Once you've got some shows tucked under your belt and a resume to show directors your range, you'll be more confident in what you can bring to the table.
I'm so sorry to hear about your troubles with [Name]. She can be a loose cannon to be sure, but she's a passionate and talented actress; that's why she gets cast. I didn't see the post on facebook you mentioned. Best to just ignore and delete it. I'm really sorry she hurt your feelings, dear.
I feel like this is an insufficient answer to your email, but it's an honest one. I for one will miss you if you choose to stay away, but I understand and will always be your friend. If you'd like me to remove you from the blast email distribution list, please let me know. I realize that getting that type of email when you're hurting would probably be annoying and troublesome.
Arms around you,

[Name]

Last edited by mortensorchid; 14th June 2018 at 12:52 PM.. Reason: Removing names
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Old 13th August 2018, 2:55 AM   #6
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It's been about two / three months since I have left the company. I don't miss it, but I am sad because it was a big part of life before. Eventually something else will come along to replace it, the sadness is going away bit by bit. What I did want the most out of them was a part, and they weren't giving it to me. I got the same answers out of all of them - you're too old and you have no experience. Well, I was too old and had no experience almost 10 years ago. Too old? Some would say no because I don't look / act my age by any means. No experience? Shirley Temple could do it when she was 3 years old. I do think at the point it was beyond mean of them not to give me a part. Yes, there are cliques and whatever else, but for them not to give me a part after nine years of working like a slave for them was beyond mean, it was willful ignorance. They should be nicer to people in that way, and they were not.

Part of me feels stupid for allowing myself to go on for as long, some people were telling me to get out for a bit. I resisted, I didn't want to let go. But I did eventually once that one gave me attitude. I hope she realizes how rotten she was, but if not then I'm sure she's proud of herself.
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Old 19th August 2018, 4:13 PM   #7
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It continued.

On Friday night I ran into someone who I had personally brought into the company while at an art walk. He and I had met on Facebook - he had become a great asset as one of the primary carpenters and took over as the building manager. He was working on a project in the basement to make a new workbench and to reinforce the structure. I wrote to him and the other primary carpenter when I decided to leave, they both said they were sorry to hear this but hoped I would reconsider after taking a bit of a break.

The one I had brought in who I will call Steve said that they were saying the same things to him that I was experiencing (you're not doing it quick enough, you're not doing it right, etc.). And that day someone came to him when he walked in saying that they had decided to restructure and it would be a volunteer position. And they had divided up the jobs he was doing in the basement to others. Steve said okay. Then when they left him in the basement, he took his personal things and walked out. He said he was sad about it. We had a long talk and said that things had certainly changed there, there's an attitude that wasn't there before.

Both agreed that we will not return. I also wrote an email to the other carpenter telling him about the meeting and he should consider leaving as well. It's been a few days since Steve left, a few months since I left, I wonder if some of them are looking around thinking "Gee, where are they? Maybe they quit?" Ha ha ha
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Old 20th August 2018, 1:29 AM   #8
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I think those people are full of crap, period. I have a former friend who I actually just discovered deleted me from Facebook (ten bucks says it's because of politics) who showed no interest whatsoever in acting, but somehow, suddenly started getting parts for commercials and TV shows. As far as I know, her career never went anywhere, but at least she got a part. While she may be younger than you, I doubt she is prettier so the age is rather irrelevant. Those theater people knew you just wanted a part, and instead of giving you practical advice, they let you waste 9 years of your life working for one. Screw that.
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Old 20th August 2018, 6:50 AM   #9
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It continued.

On Friday night I ran into someone who I had personally brought into the company while at an art walk. He and I had met on Facebook - he had become a great asset as one of the primary carpenters and took over as the building manager. He was working on a project in the basement to make a new workbench and to reinforce the structure. I wrote to him and the other primary carpenter when I decided to leave, they both said they were sorry to hear this but hoped I would reconsider after taking a bit of a break.

The one I had brought in who I will call Steve said that they were saying the same things to him that I was experiencing (you're not doing it quick enough, you're not doing it right, etc.). And that day someone came to him when he walked in saying that they had decided to restructure and it would be a volunteer position. And they had divided up the jobs he was doing in the basement to others. Steve said okay. Then when they left him in the basement, he took his personal things and walked out. He said he was sad about it. We had a long talk and said that things had certainly changed there, there's an attitude that wasn't there before.

Both agreed that we will not return. I also wrote an email to the other carpenter telling him about the meeting and he should consider leaving as well. It's been a few days since Steve left, a few months since I left, I wonder if some of them are looking around thinking "Gee, where are they? Maybe they quit?" Ha ha ha
Sounds like more drama is going on behind the scenes then on the stage.
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Old 25th August 2018, 5:11 PM   #10
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Time to find a new hobby. They asked a lot and didn't give back, so who needs the grief.

Where I live just about anyone can get a community theater part, I think. My stupid friend that I'm mad at got Blanche at the last minute and the only reason she went to check it out is because I made the mistake of telling her a guy I was in a leather class with was doing community theatre, so since she has to chase every guy I mention, she wasted no time and I couldn't believe she was just instantly given that part. She was terrible, but she can talk anyone into anything. She probably lied about experience. I never knew her to act and i lived with her for some years.

Go get with some little theatre like that who just does it for fun. If it's real competitive where you live, I can only tell you, it's not at all in middle America! Nobody cares!
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