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Gig&Tell: Grand Majestic Theater

  • Sour Grapes?    
    09/18/2018  9:25pm

    Sounds to me like it’s your word against theirs. I know the management has its problems but they are such sweet people. Doug and Jackie are a mega power couple. And Doug’s ex-wife is a brilliant GM. She is also a real people person. She is so approachable. Her tone and demeanor are always inviting. Jackie’s musical and choreography skills are what set their shows apart from the others. How does she pack all that talent in that frail little body? Doug’s soothing emcee commentary just creates a warm and fuzzy feeling. His production ideas are so innovative no one else would dare try. Nobody even comes close to the competence and success the Grand Majestic Theater possesses!

    This is either a very clever tongue n cheek post or pathetically ridiculous. With way it was good for a laugh.

    09/19/2018  12:19pm
  • DON'T WORK HERE!    
    01/24/2013  2:41pm

    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?

    01/27/2013  1:41pm

    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.

    01/27/2013  1:46pm

    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.

    01/27/2013  3:51pm

    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?

    01/28/2013  11:33am

    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.

    01/28/2013  7:12pm

    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.

    01/30/2013  3:23pm

    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.

    01/30/2013  5:48pm

    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.
    -Albert Einstein

    01/31/2013  4:04pm

    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.

    01/31/2013  4:34pm

    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.

    01/31/2013  5:26pm

    I see there are people coming back. They must of enjoyed the work there.

    02/21/2013  11:23am

    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.

    02/21/2013  12:17pm

    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.

    02/21/2013  12:40pm

    I agree wholeheartedly. I regret working there and if you decide to work there, you will too. Trust the TONS of people who have all shared their similar horror stories about working there.

    09/18/2018  9:43pm
  • Grand Mistake Theater is more approproate    
    01/28/2013  11:23pm

    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.

    01/29/2013  12:03am

    Both shows had a complete turnover this year.

    01/29/2013  12:09am

    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.

    01/29/2013  1:57am

    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.

    01/29/2013  2:05am

    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

    01/29/2013  10:15am

    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.

    01/29/2013  11:05am

    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.

    01/29/2013  12:14pm

    Exactly! So true! Terrible place!

    09/18/2018  9:39pm
  • Regrets Galore 04/06/2018  8:55pm

    What can i say? Hate it here!!! Trapped. terrible show, terrible direction, no one in charge knows what they are doing.

    at least when they cancel shows (and they will) you wont have to be there, lol...

    04/13/2018  10:39pm

    Maybe you should try being in charge and see how you do. I have seen this show several times and will always go back when time allows.

    07/02/2018  4:33pm

    glad you like the show..believe me you would not want to work here

    07/11/2018  8:25am

    Join the club. there are many members

    09/14/2018  9:05pm

    I feel for you. Get out if you can.

    09/17/2018  2:40pm
  • Unprofessional. I can’t recommend. 06/29/2018  10:32am

    I’ve been a full-time professional entertainer for over 20 years. When one enters this field as a livelihood one should expect bountiful times as well as lean times. There will be filler jobs along the way. You may to wait tables for a short while or mow grass. All in all, it’s a wonderful way to make a living if you’re as fortunate. You will also encounter theater owners, mangers, producers, directors, choreographers, and fellow entertainers that are wonderful. The opposite is also true. But you can still manage to fulfill a contract and do a professional job. So there is no real bias on this post other than I’ve experienced working for the Mirandas.

    I could not, in good conscience, recommend working for the Miranda’s in any capacity to anyone. They create an unhealthy environment both mental, physically, and spiritually. On top of that, they are very unprofessional and quite honestly very limited in their knowledge of music and performance in general. I won’t rehash the points of previous comments but I agree with the general consensus. There is really nothing more I can add other than to say I’ve witnessed some of the firing and mistreatment first hand. You can’t believe their promises. They rarely follow through.

    In short, just stay away. Your career will thank you.

    Your post could not be any further from the truth. Doug and Jackie are two of the most generous and accommodating people in Pigeon Forge, and East TN. If you're unhappy with them man up, be classy, and talk to them directly. As for their shows, they have some of the best all around singers and dancers in town.

    07/02/2018  4:22pm

    Well said! Worst experience of my life was working here. The stress of dealing with Doug and Jackie on top of not knowing if shows were cancelled or not was just too much.

    09/14/2018  9:07pm

    Your review is 100% accurate and well-said. There's no way I could ever recommend working here. It was such a terrible experience.

    09/17/2018  2:15pm
  • Warning    
    09/17/2018  2:10pm

    This was truly the worst experience of my professional career. I have performed at many different venues around the world and have never worked for a more unprofessional or toxic company or director (I use that term loosely). If you're remotely considering working here, please read all of the reviews here and reconsider. They all are similar horror stories from multiple people who've gone through the terrors of this theater and simply want to warn others to prevent anyone else from going through the trauma we've all experienced.

  • 09/16/2018  4:35pm

    The theater owners use an ouija board before the shows to summons spirits to help them gain crowds. They are open members of the illuminati. The owners promised us 11 shows a week. We were lucky to get 6 per week. Always short on the paycheck at least 12 shows for a two week period. . Always drama with the Motown singers. . They pay them double what they pay the other singers in other shows. . They cater only to the Motown singers but they really don't care about them either. The band was overworked as they were constantly expected to rehearse and they were at the brunt of all ridicule because Doug had to place blame on somebody. It should be placed on himself. They've had the greatest talents in America at this theater and have no respect for any of them. The show this year is tremendously terrible. They run off all their good employees. The band is at an all time low this year. I feel sorry for them. No leadership. I've found more cheer in a graveyard than I have listening to this years padantic band. After talking with one of them, two of them are getting psychological help to cope with anxieties from the stress of Doug and Josephine. Please. please. PLEASE. DO. NOT. WORK. HERE. This is the devils den. Literally. It is nothing more than a beautiful letdown.

    LOL this poster sounds high, but it was very entertaining. not sure about the ouiga board or illuminati but it would not surprise me. as a former room mate in the Miranda McMansion I can say some weird stuff went on in that house.

    09/17/2018  7:30am
  • Such a bold and vague post. What exactly makes them liars?

    07/02/2018  4:23pm

    I'll tell you what makes them liars

    08/13/2018  10:04pm

    They tell you a certain amount of money you'll make and it doesn't come to pass.

    They will make a deal and back out of it. i.e. full time year round position only to lay you off in the winter.

    Jackie (Doug's wife) will look you straight in the eye and blame the GM Cheryl (Dougs ex-wife) for things.

    Promotions and raises are promised and never happen.

    08/13/2018  10:11pm

    sounds accurate

    09/14/2018  9:03pm
  • Give them a chance and you won't want to leave.    
    07/02/2018  4:31pm

    Every single negative comment on here could not be further from the truth. Usually, when one posts something obnoxious and is unhappy, they're insecure. Having known several quality performers at this theater, I can tell you you'll not wanna work anywhere else. It is simple really:

    DO YOUR WORK.

    STUDY.

    KEEP YOUR HEAD LOW AND DO NOT BACK TALK OR ARGUE.

    BE KIND TO EVERYONE, including the GM and wait/kitchen staff

    And you will have a fun time.

    Ever consider it is YOU who are the problem and not them?

    All 70 plus negative comments? lol

    07/11/2018  8:27am

    every negative comment is the truth.

    09/14/2018  9:02pm
  • Little Dougy Like to play peek-a-boo 07/13/2018  7:38pm

    he frequently popped in the girls' dressing room without invitation. many will confirm this