If you want to pay $350 per month rent with them (NO professional theaters do this), work 1-2 shows per week, though your contract says 4-7, not get paid for FREQUENTLY cancelled shows, be one of THE leads , get paid MINIMUM ($65 per show, when the lead Soul of Motown guy gets $160 per show), then by all means, go for it!
Oh God I hate them so much!!!!! I can't believe I had to deal with ALL of these problems that everyone from every season has described and MORE. The only silver lining I can find is that now I know every red flag in the book to keep me from ever working under these kinds of oppressive, illegal (and at times dangerous) conditions again.
All I can say is everything on here is true. I don't think they will ever run out of people that will continue to give it a try, and then regret it. They won't change. They move from place to place and try different things but it's such a joke. I do feel sorry for all the people that will move and have moved to Pigeon Forge to be in their show. They promise things and they don't deliver. Oh well live and learn I guess
There was a post about a new Rock n Roll show on playbill under the guise of an anonymous email address. I was excited. Both that and a fabricated live!rocknroll email address they gave rejected my youtube links. So upon googling the address they gave for hardcopy DVD submissions, Grand Majestic came up. TRICKY
They are getting a good amount of TV/news publicity in Pigeon Forge right now because of their move to the Smith Family Theatre. Here are two stories:
They have been there for 7 years and this is their THIRD location. They have to keep moving because they break contracts, run their business unlawfully and no landlord wants to continue doing business with them for an extended period of time.
THEY CANNOT BE TRUSTED. Do not waste your time, money or talent on them. Whatever carrot they dangle for you to run toward, they will never let you have it. Even their most loyal performer/stagehand has moved on and works at more reputable theatre down the Parkway. They are abusive, both emotionally and physically. They will try to isolate you from your family and friends - textbook controlling/abusive behavior.
I would disagree with the guy above me, but he's spot on!
The current owners in Pigeon Forge TN, of a theater right next to RUby Tuesday's, are unjustly and illegally withholding my good friend's last paycheck, and half of his rent as well.....they made threats for legal action if he posted here again, so I will do it for him. FYI jerks, if you're reading this, its an OPEN FORUM and freedom of speech, so goodluck coming after my buddy. Its not him you have to worry about, it's his entire circle of A-List friends :-) Who btw know about you all and not for a good reason.
They moved the poor kid around from Place to Place, and house to house, first from the GM's house because she didn't want her niece and nephew sleeping on couches....Well shit, dont ya think if this was to be an issue, DOug shouldnt have flown them out here?
Second time, they moved him to a different room (after only being in his latest room for a week) to make room for two new cast members. This is bullying and disrespectful in the highest regard....
Theyve also breached his contract by trying to lower his pay without any amendment, which Im pretty sure makes his contract null and void.
As for the owner's Son (Yeah, heard about you two Nancy Pants): He would call Daniel a pussy almost everyday, and belittle him whenever he had the chance.
These folks are some of the most unethical fuck faces in the world I've ever met. I already want to go visit them myself and I DONT EVEN KNOW THEM!!!!
Stay away from them.
This is PRECISELY how they operate. Working with them will give you PTSD. Thank you for standing up for your friend (and in that, actors everywhere)!
I have read all the bs listed on this post and have to say it can't be further from the truth. I have worked for Doug for over 9 months and its a great job. They listen to their employees and try to see that all the problems get solved. Its a job its supposed to be hard thats why its called work. They open their own home to the cast providing a place thats cheeper than what you can find anywhere else. Truly they saved my family. If you get fired or decide to quit from this job all i can say is maybe its you. The Grand Majestic is better off without you...Quit bitchin and move on.....
Sorry to the last poster but no one will even mildly agree with you. Over years and years, cast after cast, everyone has the same horror stories. So one or two "they're not so bad" or "maybe it's you" just will not cut it in the way of excuses. They have another casting call out on Backstage now - looking for "immediate replacements" through the end of 2016. So nothing has changed; actors jumping ship left and right forever and always. Because this theatre is the worst.
Worked with this company for a little while. They have some amazing people working there. Not for sure what all the fuss is about. This Daniel guy LMAO. Joke he was. The company owners were nice to him. He messed up. There's been the same people there forever. Cj from soul of motown has been there since 2011 Anthony from soul of motown there since 2010. Then another singer David was there in 2009 left for a cruise ship and then came back for another 3 contracts. They are different, laid back rehearsals not very stressed about things. To work there you must be flexible..thats what a professional does right? You be good to them and they'll be good to you. Simple
"Be good to them and they'll be good to you" is not at all how they've operated with me. They've also done the same backstabbing, harassing, threatening things to several other cast members throughout the season. That's why they can't keep a cast together for 10 months. If they're smiling, it's because they think they're pulling something over on you. They only get upset when they're challenged or proven wrong. Danger zone. Don't work there.
I started at the grand majestic as a swing for the stage manager. I was unable to perform due to a non compete I had with another local theatre. After meeting the owner Doug and him finding out my situation I was quickly takin in and given work. I was doing tech work, serving ($$$) and working the box office. Doug his wife Jackie and Cheryl the manager were so good to me. After a few weeks a spot had opened to perform I took care of my non compete and went right into the shows. I loved performing to the audience and loved working with the people there. After they were so nice and did all this for me I was offered a Contract for a cruise line, was nervous to go talk with Doug and Jackie about it..Clearly they shoulda been upset and screw me for everything being I basically went in and said I need to leave in less than 2 weeks..Well the exact opposite happened. They were SO understanding and gave me their blessing to go do my thing. I was so lucky to have done everything I had done there and learned so much! I really do hope I am able to go back and work for them again at some point! :)
So all the reviews are true. This is the worst theater gig ever. You know the saying it can all ways be worst, well this is "the worst". This is long. but hopefully entertaining and HEPLFUL
Here are a few things that were not mentioned in the other post or perhaps I missed them either way get for the shadiness of this " company"
In the post it say 5-7 shows a week. Not true and there isn't much you can do about that. They see sure to it. Here is the break down for A.H.P the magic number of guest needed to cover payroll is 75 and for S.O.M 50.
Here is where it gets shady, if they just make "magic number" Doug and/or his Ex-wife Sheryl will go through the reservations and try to move the guest to another "more full night"
Found this out because one of the cast members to earn more money started working the box office. When Doug was confronted his reply was " this way you guys have a bigger house with more energy isn't that great Jackie says bigger houses are better".....The truth he gets to pocket more money
For the first few days you are treated great. Then you are treated like crap some people were bullied by Doug he tried pitting us against each other. He would make obvious racist, anti-gay and sexist remakes. Oh and the sexual harassment
Racism, "I don't think I want you to sing "lion sleeps tonight" bc your black and I think you would be a better cave man."
Anti-gay: "Your a little to faggy can you butch it up"
Sexist: "she's a woman and only good for two things and only does one of them well"
Harassment: There were a lot of people groped and "nut tapped" but he would only do it to the ones he felt wouldn't fight back.
We were told that the previous 2011 cast were horrible that's why the had no re-hires. We shortly learned that was not the case at all. When working in that town and you tell people you work for that theater the response you will get is "you didn't sign the contract yet did you?", "good luck" or my favorite "RUN"
OK housing. You are given 30-days free housing to allow to focus on the show and getting your bearings in the area. This is true. They will give you the option about two weeks in to stay in the "cast housing" for a fee. They have two options, one house is off the strip about 0.4 of mile away from the theater. The other is their mansion about 3-4 miles from the theater.
with in the first two weeks Doug informed the guys who lived in the house on the strip ( the soul of Motown house/ the black house) that the rent would be about $150-200 and we shouldn't tell the People in A.H.P because their rent would be $300. now within those 30 days you will get a paycheck and it will help you figure out how much you can afford in the area. Doug to keep you in his control/property will say " this is the cheapest rate you will get in the area, you will have to pay a deposit cable internet furnishing" Now after our second payday and end of the 30 days Doug informed us that the rent for The S.O.M house was not 150-200 but $300 a person for the 3-4 brd. 4x350=1400 house reasoning the owner bumped up the pricing bc of the number of ppl. and the utilizes were higher than expected. It sucked but what else were we going to do so all of those guys got a second job except me bc I was in both shows. (Which is the only reason they got me down there and the only reason I stayed for 5mnth. )
HERE COME THE SHADE. About 2 months real landlord came by to fix a broken window screen, there he told one of the cast members that he was giving us a really good deal because he loves the theater. When asked what kinda of deal he said he was only charging $600 for the house. We as a household were paying double. When confronted Doug. actually Doug sent his wife and cast member to try to smooth it over she said it was due to utilizes, furnishing and lawn care which was Jeremy the SM and son of Doug and Sheryl mowing our yard. When we asked to see the utility bill is wasn't available.
Now to the mansion. In the A.H.P house they were paying $300 a month to share rooms. in that house there were 5 people. 5x300=1500 they were playing the mortgage. So recap, S.O.M house profit about 600 A.H.P 1400 after utilities that is 2000 month profit, which they are paying you. So in turn there would be some months that you would be paying them to do a show. SHADEY
That was the final straw for most of us.
If you are already there Bless you. If your ready to leave type up a quick letter of resignation, it must be handed in 30 days prior to your leave date. Now be financially prepared to not have those 30 days because Doug might just fire you on the spot or have some poor sap as your replacement there in a week.
Here are a few tips:
Now if you have signed the contract or about to, know that the Non-compete clause is tricky because TN is a right to work state and the theaters in that area are pretty close (the Majestic that red headed step cousin whose uncle is also his daddy in other words the joke of the parkway) SO they will try to stop you from working in that area even if they fire you.
Make sure in your resignation letter for put something in there about begin released from all contractual agreement made by you and DDM production as wells as any agreements made by you and Doug and Jackie
Do not let him push you into being an independent contractor. it stops them from paying unemployment. And it lets you keep some control he is less likely to fire you bc he will still have to pay into unemployment.
Tip # 3
If you live in the mansion watch what you say and do. Not kidding the place has Cameras.
This saved me. If you have two contracts with them make sure that one is contingent on the other. It seems weird but its a way out for you.
Tips #5 The MOST IMPORTANT
DON'T DO IT!!
AND I FORGOT in "treatment" there is no h.r so you are on your own
Doug and Jackie have posted on Playbill that they're in need of performers in both America's Hit Parade and Soul of Motown shows. Don't go, even if the contract is only October through December. They will not give you 5-7 shows per week. You will not get paid if a show is cancelled. They will sign you as an "independent contractor," a sneaky employer's method of not paying employment taxes (social security and unemployment) and other employee benefits like workers' compensation insurance and unemployment benefits. If you are required to show up for work at a particular time, punch the clock, use the employer’s equipment and are paid an hourly rate, or another set rate based on time served, you are an employee. Doug admitted to a couple of us that he fudges numbers and doesn't pay all the taxes he should. And you'd better check your pay every time because almost every cast member at one time or another wasn't paid for one or more shows every time it was pay day. Don't let them scam and degrade you. Go on ANY audition instead of theirs. Just don't bother. They're an embarrassment and disgrace to show business.
Wow. How right everyone is on here. Owners, that call themselves producers cut people down, have no dignity for their own family so really how could they respect others. They are not going to change. They would have to change and treat people right before they could even possibly have a decent show. It is like a high school production with a cast that works hard. From what I hear year after year this is the way it is. A hard working cast and owners that try to produce a show. A show that can never come together because of them. What a joke
CAUTION!!! I wish somebody told me this before I accepted the contract.
1.) ALWAYS a problem with paychecks (being the wrong amount)
2.)Cancelled Performances (you get paid per show)
3.) they treat ALL of their performers poorly
4.) loopholes in contract
5.) DOUG AND JACKIE have no prior experience and have no idea what theyre doing.
6.)they dont wash laundry in between seasons and expect you to do it
7.) you have to pay them rent, otherwise you have to find a place to live (they dont pay you enough to afford rent without another job)
8.) a secondary job is a MUST!
9.) not only is DOUG rude to his performers but the patrons as well.
10.) they dont have a costumer. so goodluck if it doesnt fit. youll be dancing with safety pins in your clothes.
WORST EXPERIENCE EVER!
Everything said here is 100% accurate. Such a dissatisfying experience. They are sexist, racist, homophobic and sexually harassing. They have NO experience with theater. For example, they only know how to line dance, so all Jackie's choereo is line dance based. (Some guest choreo is used.) They ask actors to perform 10-second quick changes without a dresser. They have no concept of music or dance terms. They have never kept a cast intact for a full season - people start bailing (or considering it) in the first month. You will need a second job and they will ask you to give your employer virtually no notice when they decide to schedule a mid-day rehearsal. If you say no, they will threaten to fire you and sue you for the $5000 fee for breaking contract. These are not the complaints of a disgruntled former employee. They are facts known and talked about throughout the area and among former cast members. Do not go there. There are plenty of theatres in the area not run by crooks and unprofessional hacks.
Doug and Jackie call RIFFING... rifting! and they actually think thats the right term no matter how many times people try to correct them.
Doug also admitted he has no idea what the difference is between belt and mix. he thought it just meant LOUDER when you belted!!
Jackie is very sweet but Doug yells and talks down to her constantly (and in front of performers). Makes for a very hostile environment!
Oh God yes - RIFTING! They're terrible directors..they know little to nothing about the craft of theatre. Doug is so inappropriate with everyone from cast, crew, to audience members. Jackie would be cool if she didn't just go along with everything he said and did. They would keep a lot more cast members if they didn't treat people like trash and constantly create drama. They LOOOOVE their drama. They pit people against one another and ask really inappropriate questions about everyone's personal lives. Oh and don't forget to WEIGH IN on the scale Doug brings to rehearsal without any notice. It's not in the contract that you have to do public weigh-ins, but you'll be in huge trouble if you don't comply.
A lot of performers in PF have second jobs, not just at the Majestic.
Never stay with your boss
Figure all that out before you take a job.
If the contract says you will be doing a certain amount of shows then thats what you get paid for. Always get a attorney to go over a contract
I can understand people wanting to play devil's advocate and maybe try to see things from the other perspective, but these are the views and opinions of every cast member I encountered. No disrespect. I have no hard feelings towards the owners (even though I can recall numerous situations and occasions that were completely and utterly unprofessional and left me wanting to walk out the door on my first night of a show). I wish them all the best, but everything that has been previously stated is legitimate. I've never seen so many people leave a contract (our contracts say that you can leave if you give 30 days notice, although it is frowned upon)! I'm so thankful to have met the talented performers that they have hired! Here's my advice-take it or leave it as you will with the rest. Do not accept a contract that pays per show if it does not GUARANTEE you a specific number of shows per week. That's where we all went wrong and we paid the price. It did say we have 4-6 shows per week in our contract, but we weren't guaranteed it. If I had the capability of getting a lawyer to look over every contract I was offered it would be wonderful! I, unfortunately, am not blessed with that opportunity.
Anyway, I just wanted to hopefully help someone to make their decision with the most insider information possible. I'll say it again. I'm not out to get the owners in any way, I just would have appreciated this information before I accepted the contract. Best of luck to everyone.
Everything everyone said in these post are true. My friend took a job there and they are gone now but I feel sorry for people that are there and for people they are auditioning right now on Playbill.
In order to be respected a person has to show respect and Doug does not do that. Many people tell the stories of The Grand Majestic. ( or shall I say horror stories) All these post are 100 percent correct. (Everything)so watch out before signing anything with them. I saw the show, and Doug (owner producer) is mc. That is the most boring part of the show. Guess he wants to be a star , but he takes the energy away from the show. My advice is stay away from that theatre or you will be miserable.
All of these posts are 100% true. Doug and Jackie cannot be trusted. They know nothing about running a theatre. Do not be fooled by their promises and kindness upfront - they will say anything to get cast members there. You won't do 5-6 shows per week, you won't be able to make a living and you won't want to finish out your contract. You WILL regret accepting a job there. They are a total, pathetic mess.
okay to the one that signed the contract did it say in contrace how many shows you would do per week?
meant contract. Also that they could not be trusted. Why do they have such high reviews on tripvisor.. such good reviews? They must know what they are doing if the show is opening again in 2013.
About the costumes they looked good on stage.
Every theatre is drama so why should this one be any different ..just saying.
I have heard great things about the owners.
They have positive reviews on tripadvisor because those reviews are posted by audience members, not the performers who work there. In addition, they're watched closely by the owners and they write in and complain about poor reviews in order to have them deleted. Regardless of the contract, they make promises they never deliver and still expect outstanding loyalty. Unlike other theaters in the area, no one comes out of a season there happy. For example, they cannot keep a cast together for an entire season. Not just one or two people, either - the turnover is ridiculous. But that's just how bad it is there. I agree - never live with your boss!!!!! They are involved way too much with the cast's personal lives.
How many years have they had the show in Pigeon Forge?
How can there be such a turn
over when theatres always have a clause in there about if a performer quits they pay a huge fine.
Is there any cast member there from the first year?
They've been doing the show for 4-5 years. No one from the first year is still there, unless you count the owners, Doug and Jackie, who are in most of the show. (It's their show, they can be in whatever they want, but they don't see errors from the stage and they aren't 20-30 like the rest of the cast and it's obvious.) Also, they have horrible sound and lighting - the mics are old and short out during songs and the lights go out whenever there's a storm. They only sell 20-40 tickets per show on average (and even do shows for 8-15 people), but anyone willing to pay for entertainment deserves to get their money's worth. As a performer, working for them just feels like rock bottom sometimes, and why settle for that when there are so many other places to work.
Maybe this year will be different. I heard the show will be at a new theatre and on their website
the bios of the cast are impressive. Maybe the owners will learn from past mistakes.
That's as likely as them paying $1 million per show.
If you read all of these detailed personal accounts from several cast members from different casts over the past 5 years and you STILL take a job with them, you have no one to blame for that mistake but yourself. That's why these posts are here. People are trying to keep others from making the same terrible mistake they made in agreeing to work for Doug and Jackie. If you ignore the reports of their son's violence (both against a cast member one year and his father the next), their incompetence in directing, choreographing and running a theater and their inappropriate behavior and remarks towards cast members and audience members, you will regret it. If you take a job with them, you will be back here before 1 year has passed, lamenting that you did not heed the warnings.
When we first got into Pigeon Forge and interacting with other performers in the area, I heard horror stories. I gave it a fair shot. When you can't keep a cast in five years, one would imagine that they would learn from their mistakes. The problem is that Doug never accepts responsibility for the problems or issues. It's everyone else. When I arrived last year, Doug and Jackie sat there and told me about all the drama from the year before, how ungrateful the cast was, how unprofessional they were. They said horrible slanderous things about former cast members. And I believed them until I started to see it all myself. They don't learn, and it's just a new group of people every year.
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
That happened the year I got there too. Doug and Jackie said the last cast was a nightmare, they fought and there was always drama, they were unprofessional and not as talented as us, etc. Then, it all started unraveling in our cast. Doug blamed it all on us, but I couldn't help but notice that the common denominator every year is Doug and Jackie. When I got to know the young ladies in my cast that they were telling me to hate, I realized everything they blame on their casts is actually the drama they created blowing up in their faces. I have no doubt I was one of the "terrible" people they were glad to see go, but I have also never had a negative experience with cast mates before or since the Majestic. What I'm saying is, I know it wasn't me or my cast mates. It was Doug and Jackie talking about everyone behind their backs, telling us to trust them and then broadcasting our business. They thrive on drama, ask insanely personal questions, Doug hits some of the female cast members' rear-ends constantly and he sits in the women's dressing room while they change. He comments on everyone's weight publicly and harshly. Jackie lets him literally push her around and then defends him against all these charges. It's a toxic environment and they will never change.
If they don't change at some point the place will fold. Nothing is any worse than two face people especially if they are running a business.
I see there are people coming back. They must of enjoyed the work there.
Doug and Jackie have to settle for anyone that will work for them. I can tell you one of the returning cast members is absolutely awful to work with and matches Doug and Jackie's bullying, lack of theatre professionalism and knowledge, and it's proof that their claim of "world class" entertainment is false. Honestly, it's not worth the frustration and economic hardship you'll face in working with those people. Be smart and audition for Lumberjack Feud, Murder Mystery, Dixie Stampede, the Opry, Country Tonite or anything else in Pigeon Forge.
Who knows why people make the choices they do. As far as I know, the people staying only worked there the last part of the season.
As far as I am concerned this forum is not to bash doug and jackie, nor is it a place to defend them. It is a forum for performers to share their experiences with one another to help make a choice about where to work next. I feel that I have shared my experiences truthfully. I hope it helps at least one person to make the right choice for them. If someone reads these posts and still chooses to work there, at least they have an idea of what they are getting themselves into. I have done my part. I wish this theatre was on this list before I accepted the gig. Unfortunately, it wasn't. I accepted and aside from the wonderful friends I made, and learning that it is important to negotiate ALL terms of a contract, not just money, I totally regret working there. I still have nightmares about working there and still feel a lot of anger toward them. I feel that I have contributed all I can to this these threads and now I just want to get as far away from the whole experience as possible.
I hope that me sharing my experience will keep someone from making the same mistake that we all did.
Every performer takes an absolutely horrible gig at some point in their career. Think about your worst gig and multiply it by 756... that's still not close to how miserable you will be working at the Grand Majestic.
1) Money: They pay squat. On top of that they will cancel shows ALL THE TIME due to poor ticket sales. As others have said, you WILL have to have a second job while you are working there, but they will schedule last minute rehearsals (undoubtedly to reblock for another performer who has left) with complete disregard for your other job.
2) Production Value: What production value? For real, a middle school theatre has more production value than this show. Their sets are poorly painted flats and unstable horribly constructed block units. Anybody who has worked there can tell you that we were always in fear of going through one of those stupid pods.
The costumes are purchased from party city or poorly constructed by Doug's mother. Forget alterations. Unless you can sew and do you own alterations expect to be in ill fitting costumes. Go look at the picture on trip advisor to get an idea.
3)Choreography and vocals: I was in the opening cast 2012, so I was lucky enough to actually work with a real musical director who actually taught parts, and was lucky enough to have a great vocal captain, but after he left, they gave new people sheet music and CDs and that was it.
As far as choreography is concerned, I have nothing to say other than it is TERRIBLE. Literally nothing but step-touching or grapevining. There is an occasional 3-step turn when Jackie feels like getting fancy. I had the "pleasure" of choreographing 2 numbers and they paid me peanuts for it and then I never got any sort of credit. The whole 70's section of the show is also someone else's choreo and they only credit Jackie for choreography during the opening credits. When she "teaches" choreography, she doesn't teach with counts and teaches large chunks that don't make sense while doug stands in the back of the house screaming "cleaning notes" before you've even had a chance to run it with music. As other have stated, they have no clue what they're doing. None whatsoever. They do say "rifting" as well as "pas de Mooray"I was more amused by it than anything else.
3) Housing: They will house you in their own home. Free for the first 30 days, after which they'll expect you to pay $250/month if you are in a shared room and $300/month if you have your own room. Basically, you're paying their mortgage. Now it is a beautiful house, but Doug and Jackie will always show up and try to be involved in your life. Doug would send me text messages at 3am that I left the porch light on. The highlights of living there: their son (who is the "stage manager") lives there and got into fisticuffs with his Pop, and ripped the faucet out of the kitchen sink.
The worst part of living there is that somehow some way, I could have a whispered conversation with my roommate in our room with nobody else around and somehow Doug always would mention something we had been talking about the next day. I'm not saying that the place is actually bugged, but it wouldn't surprise me in the least if I found out that it was. They were not clear about the housing when I accepted the contract. Shame on me for not being more forceful when asking them questions... They didn't give me the address until I got ready to leave to TN, and[ never once did they mention that it was in their home.
4)Doug Is Just Plain Shady:That is 100% correct as people have said. He can be very kind occasionally, but if he has a chance to screw you out of money, he will. He'll ask you to serve dinner to groups that request a dinner (they don't have permits to serve food) and he claims that he'll pay you hourly while doing so, but then he refused to pay us for the full time that we served because "the contract states that we can call you in up to 90 minutes before the show, and you during that time you have to do anything we ask you to including ushering, serving food, working concessions, etc..." As others have stated, he does try to pit performers against eachother. They hired me on as dance captain from the beginning. It was in my contract from day 1. However, they refused to pay me the extra dance captain wage until I made a notebook with all the choreography and formations notated. That notebook was totally worthless after the first month because people were leaving and new people were coming in at least biweekly.
I could go on an on and on about what a horrible experience it was there. Don't do it. Seriously. They have a horrible reputation in town and everyone has been burned by them. Don't walk. RUN AWAY!!
Sounds scary.. How do performers leave without paying money?
There are two different shows right?
Is it the same with both shows?
What about Matt C. I noticed he is coming back. He must be happy there.
Both shows had a complete turnover this year.
WOW. I'm blown away. You took the words out of my mouth. And finally someone mentioned their son the "stage manager." I've never been in a show during which the "stage manager" was arrested and sent to jail for domestic violence. (It was published in the paper - not making this up.) And it was not the first time he was violent - just lucky it was Doug and not a cast member this time. They will not treat you like a performer - they will treat you like dirt and then will definitely try to buy your silence and loyalty with trips, dinners, solos in the show, insider info about their plans for the show, etc. They are very good at snooping and do not believe in privacy rights in your own room. Prepare to be your own seamstress, stagehand, dresser, vocal coach and dance captain, because they're inept at all of the above. Do you really want to perform at a theater where, in-between songs, you often find yourself asking, "Why are we wearing Halloween costumes?" while you're rearranging the set before your solo quick-change? Bottom line: RUUUUUN AWAYYYY!!!!!!!! You don't create this many unhappy people by running your theater intelligently, professionally or legally.
Soul of Motown and America's Hit Parade are both clusterf*cks and turnover cast members with great regularity. Did anyone mention yet that sometimes people go out and buy their own costumes, plus costumes for group numbers? They'll reimburse, but why do they send cast members to find costumes? They don't need second jobs - why don't they go out and buy them with all their free time instead of snooping and speculating about the personal lives of their cast. No one can honestly speak for Matt C. but him. I imagine he gets plenty of gigs without the Majestic's help though.
It is getting to sound like its a nightmare.I first heard of audtions via backstage or another site ,can't remember now, but news travels fast and no one would want to work at a place that sounds like a total mess. How did people quit without paying that big fine. Even giving 30 day notice with most contracts there is a huge fine.
How does that work with the son being a stage manager? Probably not well. Sounds like a lot of unhappy people worked there but it must not of showed to the audience ,cause of the good reviews. They sound like really good shows. oh well
They don't do really good shows - they do nice shows. There are things the audience doesn't know, which would make for good reviews on Trip Advisor. For example, they use background tracks that make the singing sound way fuller. They do a 2.5-hour show and you're lucky if you're not in 1 or 2 of the numbers, but you'll have 18-20 costumes changes (including hair/wig and shoes) and be expected to be on stage for nearly every number. They don't understand that a revue style show isn't conducive to a 2.5-hour format or a full stage for every number. They even had their son cover up his prison tattoos and stand on stage for some of the songs to "keep it looking like a full stage." The Trip Advisor reviews are from people who only see the outside, and your average tourist doesn't see every show in the area. People choose The Grand Majestic because the tickets are cheap in comparison to the other theaters in town. If they saw the other big shows in town, they would know that America's Shit Parade looks and feels thrown together, despite the best efforts and talent of its cast. You can't keep a show tight when you've got to rehearse and integrate a new cast member every other week AND decide that you want new songs and dances every other month. As mentioned before, they write in to Trip Advisor to expunge poor reviews. (Some still stayed on that you can find.) I am all for working hard and being a slave to my craft, and I've worked at theaters for less money, but I had a wonderful time and made dear friends. At The Grand Mistake, I busted crazy ass, then I had money withheld and daytime employment compromised because they can't hold on to cast members. If you give them an inch, they will take a mile. If you drink the Kool-Aid and become friends with them, Doug will end up threatening you, he will make your personal life hell, and Jackie will go along for the ride and say she never saw anything that you didn't deserve. No matter how much you love to perform, WAIT for another offer before ever accepting theirs.
Piggybacking on the tripadvisor reviews, they hand out trip advisor cards at the end of the show. Doug tells the cast to only hand them out to people that are extremely complimentary of the shows, not just anyone gets a card.
As far as the show is concerned, yes, it's a terrible show. The best thing about the show is the talented and hard-working casts that they seem to pull in. It's the cast putting their heart and sould into every single show that makes it watchable.
Kudos to those cast that go out their every night and perform their hearts out for the 12 people in the audience. I can say from my experience working there, that it is like performer olympics. You're hustling to make impossible changes. Trying to smile while doing non-sensical choreography. Singing over feedback because Doug doesn't understand that when he adjusts the volume on the CD player from which he runs the show (yes, he runs the music from the stage on a walk man) that it affects the entire balance of the sound that the poor sound guy (we went through 5 in my 6 months there) is trying to fix. Sometimes mics are out. Sometimes monitors are out. Sometimes the monitors are too loud and sometimes the music is drowning out the vocals (again, Doug with his volume...) CDs skip. Often. Way too often. Sometimes Doug will notice and fix it, other times he won't and just leave you to flounder as you try to keep up with a skipping CD. Seriously, if you are a performer in this show, expect to be mortified.
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