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Author Topic: Williamstown Theatre Festival Sound Crew Walks Out  (Read 1633 times)

Steve-White

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Re: Williamstown Theatre Festival Sound Crew Walks Out
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2021, 03:11:13 PM »

I side 100% with the crew on this one.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Williamstown Theatre Festival Sound Crew Walks Out
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2021, 06:08:14 PM »

I posted this on another site, but it seems appropriate here, too.

"Bring down the curtain on shit shows. I said in another thread that live entertainment is the most emotionally, physically, and monetarily abusive of any industry I've worked in. "Tradition" is more than a song in Fiddler, it's a way to ensure that new people in theater get the same shitty hazing in conditions, hours, and general misery, at the hands of those who proceeded them. And "we" have perpetuated this b.s. myth because we, too, were victims and part of how we process that is to inflict it on others to rationalize it as 'normal'.

The business of art exists because without it, art would be pretty much a one-on-one thing, or at best "to-a-few". Without commercialization, making any kind of living as an artist of any kind, without a patron, king or duke would be nearly impossible.

What must be done is for organizations to stop making 'art' with the pretense that it is NOT a business. It is. And it costs a lot of money to throw people at a business, compensate and treat them fairly, and not abuse the concepts of internships and apprenticeships in the process."
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

Brian Jojade

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Re: Williamstown Theatre Festival Sound Crew Walks Out
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2021, 08:12:12 PM »


What must be done is for organizations to stop making 'art' with the pretense that it is NOT a business. It is. And it costs a lot of money to throw people at a business, compensate and treat them fairly, and not abuse the concepts of internships and apprenticeships in the process."

100%!  It's pretty amazing that how much talent and experience certain crew members must have to be able to put a show together.  Their skillset has to bridge across many normal disciplines.  Any of those jobs pay a heck of a lot more and have far more regular work schedules.  It's somewhat mind blowing that you have higher demands and crappier and unpredictable work schedules yet expect to pay less for the work.  It's just crazy.
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Dave Garoutte

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Re: Williamstown Theatre Festival Sound Crew Walks Out
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2021, 09:33:27 PM »

I posted this on another site, but it seems appropriate here, too.

"Bring down the curtain on shit shows. I said in another thread that live entertainment is the most emotionally, physically, and monetarily abusive of any industry I've worked in. "Tradition" is more than a song in Fiddler, it's a way to ensure that new people in theater get the same shitty hazing in conditions, hours, and general misery, at the hands of those who proceeded them. And "we" have perpetuated this b.s. myth because we, too, were victims and part of how we process that is to inflict it on others to rationalize it as 'normal'.

The business of art exists because without it, art would be pretty much a one-on-one thing, or at best "to-a-few". Without commercialization, making any kind of living as an artist of any kind, without a patron, king or duke would be nearly impossible.

What must be done is for organizations to stop making 'art' with the pretense that it is NOT a business. It is. And it costs a lot of money to throw people at a business, compensate and treat them fairly, and not abuse the concepts of internships and apprenticeships in the process."

I think college athletes are up there, playing for 'free' and making the colleges millions.  They are just now getting some rights in that regard.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Williamstown Theatre Festival Sound Crew Walks Out
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2021, 10:57:45 PM »

I think college athletes are up there, playing for 'free' and making the colleges millions.  They are just now getting some rights in that regard.

The college athletes on scholarship are basically indentured servants.
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

Keith Broughton

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Re: Williamstown Theatre Festival Sound Crew Walks Out
« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2021, 07:25:25 AM »

I would like to preface my comment by saying I don't condone venues running crews down with bad work conditions.
That said, if you don't like the schedules or pay, "no" is an option.
To continue to work in bad conditions, (safety, pay or call times) you are giving tacit approval to the employer and helping them get away with whatever they want.
In this case, without a union, this crew managed to change the situation and good for them!
It's just unfortunate that the management allowed a poor working condition to develop in the first place >:(
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Caleb Dueck

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Re: Williamstown Theatre Festival Sound Crew Walks Out
« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2021, 10:47:30 PM »

That said, if you don't like the schedules or pay, "no" is an option.

It's not quite that simple.  One person quitting doesn't do jack to fix the real problems.  Most/all of the people quitting together - might.

I used to work for a very poorly owned company.  1/3 of the company walked out - got the owner's attention, but nothing changed.  Another 1/3 walked out, including myself, started another company, and most clients followed us.  Got his attention big time - but nothing changed.  Another 1/3 walked out - nothing changed.  It's easy to fire an employee or quit; it's harder to fire the owner. 
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Justice C. Bigler

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Re: Williamstown Theatre Festival Sound Crew Walks Out
« Reply #17 on: July 25, 2021, 04:14:52 AM »

So I got another piece of information this evening, from an associate who knows one of the sound crew members that walked out.

The first individual who walked out, the one who was quoted by name in the LA Times article is an IA member, and was formerly on tour with a Broadway show. That person took this position because it was some amount of work when none existed elsewhere because of the shut down. That person also chose to leave and not come back to the Festival (even after the pay bump). Apparently, once that person left, the others decided to follow.
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Keith Broughton

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Re: Williamstown Theatre Festival Sound Crew Walks Out
« Reply #18 on: July 25, 2021, 06:07:42 AM »

It's not quite that simple.  One person quitting doesn't do jack to fix the real problems.
Of course, one person walking out won't change the business model of a company. I wasn't suggesting that it did.
However, staying at the job and bitching and complaining won't change anything either.
Sometimes, one has to decide to look for other opportunities.
In this case, they were able to get some results by working together, and good on them.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2021, 06:16:14 AM by Keith Broughton »
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John Fruits

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Re: Williamstown Theatre Festival Sound Crew Walks Out
« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2021, 11:47:15 AM »

It seems there are a few misleading things in the LAtimes article.  The 8 hour turn-around and maximum 10 hour shift weren't new, they were already in place at the start of the season, it's just that managment  stated that they would no longer violate those terms!  The pay raises were for a limited number of the hourly workers.  There were no pay raises for salaried staff members.  Oh and the forfeiture of OT was still in effect for them too.  The housing fee was $200 per week for a shared dorm room. 
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Re: Williamstown Theatre Festival Sound Crew Walks Out
« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2021, 11:47:15 AM »


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