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This is why I don't act anymore - Jeffrey Hitchin [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Jeffrey Hitchin

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This is why I don't act anymore [Jan. 16th, 2015|12:14 pm]
Jeffrey Hitchin
[mood |depresseddepressed]

A local company is staging a production of "Into The Woods" this spring and their audition notice just went up. Now, I know these people, have worked with a few in the past and they're a great bunch of guys. Their passion for live theater and their willingness to try some oddball plays or musicals makes them special and I'm glad that they're around.

The problem, though, is that they're a small non-profit, so they have almost no budget and can only afford to pay a stipend of $50 for the entire production start to finish. I did the math and if I auditioned, got cast and did the show, it would cost me nearly $700 in gas, tolls, parking fees and other related expenses.  Also, from my past experiences, I would probably have to provide some of, if not all of my own costuming as I'm fat and most costumers not at the Equity level just don't have items to fit me and don't have the budget to go out and get anything. I've lost count at the number of costumers who have, upon measuring me, said, "You wouldn't happen to own any of...?"

"But you shouldn't be in it for the money!" is the usual thing that I hear, and it's true. You're not going to get rich doing stage shows. But on the other hand, our finances can't handle that kind of financial hit just so I can sing Sondheim for a couple of weekends.

I know they'll be putting on a fine show. But I just can't afford to be part of it.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: mrdreamjeans
2015-01-16 10:25 pm (UTC)
Since I haven't seen "Into the Woods" on stage, I have to go with what I saw in the movie. Sadly, I don't see a role for myself in the musical. *sigh* ...

When I first started to do theatre at Theatre Under the Stars in Houston in the 1970's, we would be promised $100 for five weeks of work; often, they couldn't afford to pay us. I went ahead anyway to get my foot in the door. Now, I can't do a project just because I want to because of Equity membership. It's a fact I'm willing to live with.

I have written my Will to donate my clothing to the 5th Avenue and Village Theatre because I've gone through what you're describing as a large man. When I'm gone, you should be able to be costumed at either theatre:)

Edited at 2015-01-16 10:26 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: tbass
2015-01-17 04:37 am (UTC)
There's a character they completely cut out called the Mysterious Man (the bakers father) and the Narrator is a huge part of the stage show and actually stands on stage and interacts with the cast... So you could totally do either part.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2015-01-17 09:46 pm (UTC)
Ouch... that's a bit of a shame.

I do have to say, though - it'd take a special kind of fool to say that you're not doing it for the money in circumstances like this. I mean, sure, you'd be doing a lot of work for essentially a "thank you" card with a tiny cash value. That's the nature of community theaters, though.

But the extra expenses can't be blown off - it's one thing to ask people to labor for love, but no one can reasonably expect someone to spend a significant chunk of change for love. (Some people do, and more power to them! But that's got to come from their *own* desires, their own choices.)
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[User Picture]From: cflute
2015-01-17 11:51 pm (UTC)
A wise choice, but a sad and regrettable one. Would be happy to get together sometime for a jam session, including Sondheim, just for fun. I miss having a chance to jam with you!
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[User Picture]From: sarekofvulcan
2015-01-31 11:57 pm (UTC)
Sorry to hear that, Jeff. I hear you on the finances, though.

I haven't acted since The Mousetrap a few years ago, mostly because of other time commitments (or I'm just not good enough to pass the auditions). It's a dream of mine to play the Narrator in Into the Woods someday, though -- I hope I never have to choose whether to take a $700 hit to do it!
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