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Gig&Tell: Ocean Professional Theatre Company

  • NO! 03/10/2014  2:05pm

    Before working for this company I read these reviews and thought "gee… It can't be that bad..."

    …I was SO mistaken. NEVER work for this company. They treat their actors like complete DIRT. I was proud to be non-equity until I was a victim of the ABUSE by this the management. They are FRAUDS.

    if you have any dignity as an actor DO NOT WORK HERE.

    All of that has been said is SO true. Never work for any company associated with these people.

    09/02/2015  10:11pm

    Do not EVER work for this company. I assure you they have not improved by any means. In addition to "Ocean Professional" they also go by "Jersey Shore Entertainment" and "Boebe Productions". They WILL screw you over. No matter how desperate you are for a job I promise you this is not worth it. Paula Sloan (director/choreographer) is the only redeeming quality about this place.

    05/10/2016  10:33am

    If you use this as the umbrella that also shades "Jersey Shore Entertainment," there was a lot of trouble in their most recent Reno show too...but another production company (from L.A.) has muscled in on the casino (and swiftly plugged in a three-show contract), so that ship has probably sailed. It's ok...both casino and JSE informed us of their mutual hatred.

    They hire good casts, they have devoted, caring stage and company management (those poor people)...and they don't offer them any support at all. They rule with an iron fist from the other side of the country, constantly solicitng gossip, and using the word "fault" as a weapon. Like more than Sondheim.

    I did think the physical production for Rock of Ages was lovely, though...a lot of their sets and costumes are traditionally gag-inducing. Glad they spent the money on this one.

    Get every single word of your contract clarified, and don't do a single thing that's not outlined in it...or you will be taken for the ride of your life, all in the producer's view of "esprit d'corps."

    08/22/2016  5:18pm

    This operation has failed, and they are permanently closed. I can only hope that this group of miscreants can not resurrect their sorry troupe, and the adulterous former employees stay far far away. Good riddance to bad trash...stay in Ohio or Florida or wherever the crowds are too blind to see your horrible acting, or too weak to throw tomatoes when they do.

    10/06/2016  7:54pm
  • Far from the worst.    
    07/21/2014  1:18pm

    From what I've seen of the other reviews, this company has improved a lot over the last year or so.

    I worked on the Sweet Charity tour produced by this company, and actually was treated very well. I was able to negotiate an improved salary, and the director/choreographer (Paula Sloan) is an absolute dream to work for. She is endlessly professional, sweet, supportive, and creates a fulfilling and artistic show.

    I have also worked there for the summer season, and had a less impressive, but not terrible experience. Housing is decent (although one of the houses is also used as the costume shop, and partially as a rehearsal space, which makes it very hard to maintain), and I was able to negotiate yet again a considerably higher salary than what was initially offered to me. I was treated well, and have had the opportunity to learn original choreography for some very popular shows that are done a lot.

    That being said, the technical end of things is lackluster. The performance space is a high school, and the sets, costumes, props, etc., are of similar quality.

    The rehearsal processes are very quick, and the shows aren't glamorous, but the pay is decent, and the directors/choreographers are very talented, and able to make the less-than-stellar technical limitations work.

    For an actor early in their career, I would highly recommend this job. It's a good way to get some roles on your resume, and make enough money to feed yourself, and save for your next sublet.

  • Good Summer    
    03/18/2014  10:55pm

    I worked there last summer and had a great time. Directors and choreographers were excellent, my fellow cast was good and I made some best friends. Shows were good, typical summer stock schedule from what my other friends did at their theatres, housing was fine, some sets weren't terrific, but that was not a big deal. Seven Brides and Cats were amazing.I had a great time. Learned a lot, worked hard and always got paid on time. I was glad I took that job.

  • 11/03/2012  12:49am

    no no no no NO.

    those are the only words i have. too many things wrong to even begin.

    no, just no.

    I haven't worked for the producers under this company (only under a previous one), but everything I know from my experience and from friends of mine who have worked with them under Ocean Professional would agree with the previous post.

    11/04/2012  11:35am

    Uh oh...

    Could you elaborate? I have a friend who may be working with them in the future, and I'd like to give them the heads up.

    11/04/2012  11:58pm

    The producers are decent people who want to create great theater. However that does not make them good at the jobs they hold! I would be hesitant to accsept a gig with them! The pay is descent for non equity! The accomedations are good... Well at least before hurricane sandy! No checks bounced like other theaters such as Cohos. Not the worst job you could take... Not the best Job you could take.

    11/07/2012  11:19am

    i hate to speak ill of my employers, but in the interest of keeping my fellow actors safely away from this company, i will reveal all i can and try to remain civil. but everyone needs to know that this company treats those they hire like cattle.

    if you see anything with the names steve steiner, gail anderson, boebe productions, ocean professional theatre company, or jersey shore entertainment, seriously, SERIOUSLY consider your decision to work - or even audition - for these folks.

    i just finished the national tour of titanic that they mounted, and i am not exaggerating when i state that we suffered nothing less than the worst actor abuse i have ever encountered (and i've worked at some pretty shitty places).

    one nighter bus and truck. ten, eleven, twelve, and even thirteen hour drives were pretty much the norm rather than the exception, and then we would have to immediately go to the theatre to do a show, no time to get to our hotel first. the hotels booked by the theatres themselves were heavenly, but when the producers booked the rooms, we were made to stay in dirty, roach-infested dumps with shady characters that made us truly worried for our safety.

    our "opening" night was the most embarrassing two and half hours i have ever spent on stage. we never teched the show, we never even had one full run-through, and there we were, thrown completely unprepared in front of a paying audience. the sound was atrocious, the lighting was all wrong, quick changes were a mess of flying costume pieces and colliding actors... now, i am a regularly working professional, and i have never felt such humiliation.

    the sound issues on tour were completely avoidable and utterly unreasonable due to the cheapness and ineptitude of our producers. sound checks regularly lasted over an hour, and the actors would be blamed for the inadequacy of the equipment the sound technician was given.

    we were never told anything. information was withheld, conflicting, or revealed at the very last minute, usually because arrangements were MADE last minute. completely inconsiderate, and it created an atmosphere of mistrust, fear, and uncertainty.

    it seems that this team is always playing the blame game, but never taking responsibility for the things that go wrong upon themselves. it was always the actors' fault, the company manager's fault, the stage manager's fault, the sound guy's fault, and so on and so forth, when the issues really begin at the top and trickle their way down. their business model is one of revenge (toward surflight, their previous theatre), and it creates a very unstable, anger-filled, stress-loaded environment.

    they way these people treated us is the reason that actors' equity was created in the first place. DO NOT PUT UP WITH ACTOR ABUSE. DO NOT WORK WITH THESE PEOPLE.

    11/20/2012  6:11pm

    Amen. These producers look out for themselves and nobody else. It is a terrible atmosphere to work in, full of paranoia. If you don't deal well with stress (Never once did a show with them where we had a full dress and tech before opening) or abuse, stay away.
    We did atleast get paid, though I've heard stories of them asking actors to wait to cash checks at Surflight.

    12/03/2012  4:02pm

    Also just got off of the national tour of Titanic...I 100% agree with all of these comments. It was the worst experience. I have performed professionally for years with numerous theaters...and this one was by far the WORST. Run, don't walk away from these auditions when you see them. Nice People...but they cannot run a theater.

    12/17/2012  7:53pm

    I have had friends who have worked here and I have heard mixed reviews. I will say that there must be some truth to the revenge comment because when I tried to get a audition appointment for the company I was bluntly told in a very 'professional' way I guess you can say (not really) that they are not giving me an audition time because I worked at surflight. Didnt ruin my life or even my day lol I just kind of thought that its kind of unfortunate.

    12/23/2012  5:37pm

    and by here I meant there lol...

    12/23/2012  5:38pm

    Steve Steiner and Gail Anderson are the Carpetbaggers of the theater. If you dont have standards and want credits on your resume, then do it, but beware. They dont treat you well. They want to make their money and get out, and go onto the next victims.

    02/23/2013  3:35pm

    Horrible company to work for! Completely unorganized and can be extremely rude. They do NOT care about their actors at all! Do not waste your time.

    02/24/2013  8:19pm

    I was hired to do one show for this company and I have no complaints. The important thing to remember is that this company is still young. They are still working some kinks out. I was picked up from the airport by the producer himself. I got to work with some amazing talent who quickly went on to do Nat'l tours. We got to do a reading with Aaron Latham. The housing is fine. Nothing extraordinary but definitely livable. I was paid on time every week without any problem. I would work at this theatre again.

    03/16/2014  10:36pm
    02/04/2014  7:06pm

    I performed in several shows at this theater and overall I had a great experience and had a very fun summer. OPTC does not put garbage on stage. We were very well rehearsed & had great directors and choreographers come in and work on individual shows. Steve and Gail are excellent at casting and finding amazing talent to showcase. As an ensemble we represented both union and non union members. We were a diverse cast from multiple countries which was awesome. This company's goal is to find great talent and prep them for the future. Myself and others have gone on to bigger and better productions after working at OPTC. The audiences in Barnegat loved us and treated us well! One amazing family invited us to their home/pool several times. The theater is just a 15 min drive to the beautiful beaches of Long Beach Island. Housing is only 5-10 min drive from the theater. The housing was acceptable. Not luxurious by any means but it really wasn't bad. You will most likely have a shared room and bathroom. It is a cast house: 12-16 people in each house. So it kind of has a college feel. When I was there we had a small pest problem but they helped us take care of it. There is really cheap food in the area so it is easy to save money! Not to mention the amazing FROYO place next to one of the cast houses. Our casts bonded and became really close, closer than any other cast I have been a part of. We worked hard and our hard work paid off with some excellent productions. The theater had some sound/tech problems but they are a new company and have some kinks to work out. It is a low budget theater so our sets were not spectacular...some may have been falling over..some were missing when we opened..but the audience still loved the show and didn't notice. Our costumes were great and we had a lot of them. Overall I made great friends, worked my butt off and made delightful memories. Of course everything wasn't perfect but I wanted to share a positive experience with this company! I got paid timely every week. Would I work there again? Sure.

  • Never ever ever!!!!!!!!!!!! 06/13/2013  11:07pm

    Don't ever work for this company. This place needs to change their name to Ocean Non-Professional Theatre Company. Negative stars.

    I did a show with this company during their 2013 season in NJ. I was treated very well. Was paid promptly. Some things were not ideal, e.g. lack of wifi, poor stage manager. But overall a positive experience.

    I wanted to add this review since there are a lot of negative ones here and my experience was good.

    12/04/2013  4:09pm

    Between the unprofessional management, the drunken "stars", and the box office help who chase the actors, this company provided me with the most unpleasant experience of my life. I have had to deal with young coworkers who chased women and got themselves in trouble, but when a 60+ year old actor has to get a restraining order against the husband of the female co-worker he is fooling around with, and when NOBODY in management responds, this place gets cast as a free-for-all. These guys were out drinking night after night, coming back falling down drunk, and bringing women back to the cast-house nightly. You'd expect it from teenagers and 20 somethings, but these are men in their 40's, 50's and 60's. The entire operation is a joke.

    To call the housing substandard would be an insult to slumlords everywhere. Packed into rooms, on couches, floors, etc., no a/c in the summer and insufficient heat in the winter. A complete joke.

    The productions are staged in a local high school. Granted, its brand new and in pretty good shape, but management is too cheap to hire competent people to run the lights, sound, etc., so they use teenage "apprentices" (read that as cheap help) to do those jobs.

    Unless you absolutely positively cannot find work anywhere (and I would include cleaning the floor of a bus station men's room with your tongue as a better job) RUN, do not walk, RUN away from these clowns.

    01/06/2014  12:51pm

    I was offered a contract. When I wrote a very professional email asking questions regarding housing, travel, etc. as well as requesting a higher salary, this was my response: "I will jump right to the end of your email as there is no negotiation on salary. That is a deal breaker. Everyone makes exactly the same in the company." Although the salary was very low, I never said that it was my bottom line. I was just negotiating, like one would do in any professional prospective employment situation. I would say it's more like Ocean NOT Professional Theater.

    01/21/2014  8:28pm
  • 02/08/2013  12:14pm

    Most of my castmates and crewmates have given up on trying to get the producers to respond to our numerous emails in regards to their paychecks issued for the wrong amount...... and tour ended 2.5 months ago!!! However it's hard to overlook the fact that although our contracts state a certain amount of our paycheck was salary and a certain amount per diem, they have taxed us on the FULL AMOUNT..... including our per diem. ILLEGAL. We'll be lucky to get a response on that.

    Good thing we can all file a form reporting the incorrect W2 to the IRS. I'm sure they won't be happy to get 40 of those forms all reporting the same mistake.

    NEVER NEVER NEVER WORK FOR THESE PEOPLE. I don't care how long it's been since you've had a job or you need roles on your resume. This company is NOT worth it.

    I give this company no stars on the little ratings ticker thingy.

    not illegal in a non-AEA arrangement. Without AEA, you have zero protection

    02/25/2013  9:16am

    ^False. It is illegal according to our contracts (as well as the lawyers and CPAs that I have consulted). Don't work for them.

    04/03/2013  12:12am