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Gig&Tell: Smithtown Performing Arts Center

  • A toss up    
    08/01/2012  11:03am

    Okay I want to let YOU decide, so I'll just put some things out there in my experience...

    Okay, the pros first:
    1. If you're a NYC based actor, having a gig here means you can stay in the city, and still do a paid regional gig.
    2. The director/choreographer was FANTASTIC - personable and professional.
    3. We rehearsed in NYC.
    4. The theater space itself once you get there in tech is quite big and charming (it was an old movie theater- the walls are brick, there's a neat little balcony.)
    5. The other castmates were pros who knew what they were doing (some even had Broadway credits.)

    Okay, now the 'not-so-pros':
    1. The whole staff (this means stage management, the artistic director/producers) lack forethought/awareness. The artistic director openly tells the actors at his theater about their financial woes. In general, they seemed like they didn't care that they had out of town actors coming in when sometimes a little forethought and quick communication would've saved their actors a lot of time/effort.
    2. The commute every day once you're in tech and in performance is kind of a bitch. It's an hour and a half by train, one way. Now this isn't always a con because I found time to read, listen to music, etc. and I'm very used to traveling to do theater, but yes, sometimes it plain sucked. Especially on the weekends when you have a night show on Saturday and the train comes an hour later because there's fewer of them, (so you get home around 12:30-1am) and have to catch a 10am train at Penn Station the next day... just a heads up.
    3. The staff- the people who call the show, run the lights and sound- were all high schoolers. Now I'm not trying to discriminate because that shouldn't make a difference... but it did. It affected the show. It felt more like a community theater than a professional theater. The lights were different every show (sometimes for big moments we were in the dark, sometimes lights were in the totally wrong cue). Maybe the audience didn't notice, but as a professional actor up there, it's a little embarrassing and definitely makes you feel like you're in a community theater production.
    4. Just the atmosphere was kind of non-supportive at times, because everyone there besides you is a part of the local crew, and what do local crews do? They bitch about everyone else. So I advise keeping to yourself, being as kind and open as you can, and taking the rants you hear with a grain of salt.

    Bottom line it's a job. I was happy to have it. It kept me in the city. You have to put up with bullshit everywhere, so I guess this is no different. Just wanted to give you a heads up and hope it helps! Merde!

    Your Auntie forgot to bring her fur coat while dressing backstage in the basement w/no heat or bathroom.....Still the case?
    Is KW still the Producer/GM? He's worse than Mr Babcock(dick!)

    10/07/2013  7:20pm