The Show Palace does quite a few things right:
-Stage management and backstage crew are AWESOME. Super professional and competent. Anticipate needs and solve problems instantly.
-Paychecks are always on time or early. Yes!
-They make you feel very welcome in the community and at the theatre. Treated like one of the family for sure.
-The show schedule is EASY! Depending on the production, you may only do three shows a week! But you are still paid for the full week regardless. Awesome!
There are very few things that could be improved:
-The cast housing, as others have mentioned, needs some love. The ask the cast before you to clean, but there are major repairs that need to be done by professionals.
-The cast car needs to be taken to a mechanic yesterday. But there's no urgency to do so.
-Once the shows are open, there's a bit of laziness that sets in from the crew. Sound levels are bizarre, they sometimes forget to call places, the show sometimes starts 5-10 minutes early.
-There's just not that much to do in Hudson, FL. You are within an hour of some great beaches and within two hours of Disney World, but on a day-to-day basis... you need to make your own fun.
So, if offered a contract down here, don't hesitate to take it. Just do some research, have several adventures planned, and bring a good books or two. Enjoy your time!
I definitely enjoyed my experience at The Show Palace Dinner Theatre. The resident director/stage manager/sort of company manager Jill Godfrey is incredible, does Original Broadway choreo to all her shows and is a fabulous person to work with. On the negative, the housing is a residential house, where some of the rooms don't have a ceiling so at night you literally hear anything and everything, but it's better than a lot of other theatre housing I've had. They do provide a company car but it is definitely not in the best shape. The theatre is about a 10 minute drive from housing and has a convenient Dunkin Donuts pretty much next to the Theatre. Sometimes the company themselves can be a little unprofessional, ie. photocall at 930pm after a full day of rehearsal with no notice, but the pay is definitely good. About $325, but you can negotiate up depending on your role. The local actors are fantastic, and a lot of fun to hang out with. The area isn't very ideal, strip clubs and trailer parks, but you can always find stuff to do; the beach, the local famous Mermaid Show, etc. Overall I would recommend anyone to work here and I would definitely come back. Don't listen to the "Stay Away" post. It's a great place to work, and they're pretty good about hiring people back, as long as you don't piss them off ;)
Also we got all of our checks on time, sometimes early, and we got our final check before we left.
Horrible experience all around. Started with the stage manager emailing everyone two days before we were to leave asking us not to arrive until the morning of the first rehearsal because they didn't have enough places for people to sleep with the changeover between shows. Got into company housing where too many people were crammed into one house. Nine people sharing one bathroom. Two "rooms" were the living room and dining room that they converted into bedrooms but didn't have walls up to the ceiling so you essentially slept in a partitioned off space with no ceiling. Director/choreographer was the nastiest person one could imagine constantly putting us down and comparing us to barnyard animals when we performed. Cheap looking sets and costumes. Horrible obligatory dinner theatre receiving line at the end of every performance. Had to fight for three months after the contract was over for final paycheck and travel reimbursement. Stay far away.
They treat their actors great.
Good money, great housing, and fantastic show quality.
The management is a little socially incompetent, but I loved my experience there none the less!
I think that the previous post is SPOT. ON. Great place to work for. Kind people. Not stingy. You never have to force anything out of them and they adhere to the contract really well. Owners can be a little loopy but not in a crazy way and usually doesn't really effect anything. They are very kind people, they're just new to the theater world. Only real downside for me was the theater facilities are pretty meh and surrounded by trailer parks.
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