Gig&Tell: Fancy Pants Productions

  • Great Company    
    10/21/2016  11:11am

    I have had an amazing experience working for Fancy Pants Productions. The two owners go out of their way to make everyone happy. They are very caring and pay really well. The communication was very clear with the owners. I felt like I was taken care of my whole contract. If I ever had a problem I felt very comfortable addressing it. They are a very professional production company that I would recommend working for.

    I didn't stay at the housing they provided only visited but it was very convenient to the park and walkable distance. The shows are very entertaining. They are high energy and a lot of fun. The shows are so loved by the audience. There are actual fans who come everyday to the shows.

    Come on, Patty... did you really think we wouldn't know this was you?

    11/08/2016  12:26am

    It's not Patty. There are people who've worked for this company who enjoyed themselves and worked for the company year after year

    12/28/2016  2:02pm

    There is NO WAY that this post from October 2016 is accurate to the summer prior.

    Maybe in years past the summers were wonderful or professional or the employees were treated respectfully, but I'm gonna say probably not. I agree with every post on this that states how awful the expierence was.

    Nothing was professional, our show quality was not cared about. And these "fans" who come to the show every day are people who harassed us in which security was involved. Should I also state how I had to sign my own paycheck?

    Terrible.

    01/29/2017  7:27am

    The person who talks about show quality makes me laugh. I know for a fact that they didn't have any cleaning rehearsals and did their own thing on stage. It's all on video. And when they got notes the company manager specifically asked, " can Michael not give notes. We know it's messy." I will be telling a lot more in the days coming about the whole season.

    03/14/2017  5:35pm
  • Worst Summer of Your Life    
    11/08/2016  1:30am

    Yep, this was literally the worst summer I have ever had. If you value your gifts, artistry, and sanity, don't get within a 50-mile-radius of Fancy Pants Productions.

    The review from 9/07/16 is pretty much on point. I think every performer that summer would agree with that review 100%. The money is *alright.* I mean, enough to live on comfortably. I wouldn't, however, describe it as "bank-padding" material. But that's really my only difference of opinion.

    Things they are right about:

    *There is only one quality show, and that is Centerstage Live. There are two other shows, and while the performers tried their best, we just didn't have the resources or direction to make a good show. We were left looking stupid and embarrassed and the owners cared less.

    *The housing is atrocious. They fit 20 people into a house made for 8-10. They had people sharing the living room and dining room as bedrooms, with curtains separating the spaces. If that wasn't bad enough, they had 2 performers sleeping in the house's front entry-hall. ADDITIONALLY, they had one girl sleeping on an indoor porch! And nope, I'm still not done. To top it off, they even tried to get one girl to sleep in the utility room next to the washing machine. Yep.

    *The management is a joke. They rarely took care of problems we had or even listened to our concerns. We did not feel valued at all.

    *It is also true that over half of the singers left before their contracts were over. Excuse my french... but it was truly a sh*t-show.

    Now, for an additional warning...

    *YOU HAVE NO GUARANTEE OF WHAT YOU'RE SIGNING UP FOR. The previous post already talked about the wi-fi issue (which did suck) but let's get down to some more important issues here. The producers tried to talk numerous performers into changing the end dates listed on their contracts... the contracts they had signed months beforehand. Then, when everyone started leaving that hell-hole, they had the remaining performers do double the work to cover the missing people's parts. They even fired one girl with no advance notice or warning. It was honestly cruel. Oh, and also... there was one performer who never even received a contract! Where is the professionalism or communication here?

    In summary, I would never work for Fancy Pants again, and I don't believe any of my cast-mates would either. If you choose to accept a job with them for the money (which is the only pro), just know what you are sacrificing... which is basically any form of happiness while you are there. Choose wisely.

    I was informed by a student about this review and the following. Let me start by saying this is NOT Patty or John. In addition, neither one of them would respond to these, but I will. The poster mentioned that there is no direction or resources. Really? This is completely false! Not only am I precise with my teaching, but I also write out each count for dances to keep the show clean. I am beyond clear with what I want. And as far as someone being fired with no warning is concerned, Patty and John cannot fire someone of a whim. They must follow Cedar Fair rules in these kind of situations. Im not going to comment on housing other than the many posts of ppl complaining about other people not cleaning, stealing food, or other common courtesy issues.

    12/28/2016  2:01pm

    Oh come on. No one can honestly in good faith say that performers were treated with even an ounce of respect or dignity. People continuously reached out to Patty and John who just ignored our valid concerns until people started walking. There's much more to this horrific story that everyone here has too much integrity to speak on but I will make it my business to never let anyone I know accept a contract with FP without giving them a FULL account of what took place. IT IS GOD AWFUL. People were seriously depressed and the few that were left counted down the days until the end. I don't care how you put it, or where you are coming from, NO ONE SHOULD EVER FEEL LIKE THAT AT WORK. If you're doing it for the money, waiting tables is much more rewarding and much less mentally draining!

    01/28/2017  8:03pm

    Oh yeah, come on. Don't listen to a word the first commenter says. It's obviously one of the producers. Stay clear from this company and you will be much happier. Follow your instincts. The majority of the posts on this page have been negative. If you're smart, you will listen to that.

    02/10/2017  1:54am
  • There's nothing Fancy about these Pants    
    09/07/2016  7:58pm

    Alright, you guys might need to buckle up for this review, cause its a doozy. Get comfy, get your vodka and cranberry, and lets go.

    Fancy Pants productions, which seemed to be, at one time, a much bigger company, has now shrunk to only providing shows at Dorney Park and Wild Water Kingdom in Allentown, PA. When you see their postings on Playbill for "The Best summer of your life," just know you will be spending your summer in Allentown, Pa (see Billy Joels "Allentown" for a quick guide to the area).

    Now, lets start with the pros.

    You're going to make a crap ton of money. This is, to my knowledge, one of, if not the, best paying Non-Equity Theme Park gigs in the business. If you would enjoy to pad your bank accounts, I can promise you this is the place to go.

    You will be doing quality shows *see Cons for a further explanation on this. The shows at the Centerstage are actually very enjoyable. It's a fun venue, great spectacle, and at least you get to sing some fun songs and dance.

    Also, they do house you *also, see cons for further explanation on housing.

    I won't lie, that's about it for pros, minus the fact that you are an hour and a half away from NYC so you can get away every once and a while.

    Cons
    To start, the company owners.

    The company owners, Patricia Speed and John Rueble, made their company once upon a time. They used to be a couple, and have since decided to end their relations with one another. Due to their personal lives, and obligations, the company is automatically in divide with poor communication between its 2 owners. To be blunt, the management is sub-par at best.

    Now, remember when I said you will be doing quality shows? Well, 1 show will be quality, CenterStage Live! This is the night show that is performed with a live band. It is actually incredibly fun and its a show you are proud to go out onto the stage and do. There is a day show, though, that, from my experience and hearing things from others, is pretty much a grab-bag whether it is going to be good or not. Get ready.

    Again, remember when I mentioned housing? They put you in a very VERY dirty household, that I don't think has been properly cleaned since the second World War, and they pack you in their like sardines. This past year 20 of us lived in this house. Needless to say, it was an experience.

    OH, if you have a problem, don't even bother trying to contact the owners of the company. You will either get something along the lines of "I'm out of town, report all messages to John," or no reply at all.

    The last week you are in the house will be nothing but gummy bears and rainbows, especially when they decided to turn of your Wi-Fi, that is stated in your contract, and not turn it back on AND ignore your requests to turn it back on.
    All in all, you're going to hate the house. This isn't even mentioning that "cable" they said you were going to have while you were there (guess what, its a lie!)

    I don't want you all to think that I'm just one pissed off performer who had a bad experience. There were 14 contracted singer/mover or dancers contracted this year. 6 people left before the duration of their contracts ended, 2 requested to leave earlier than their initial date, and the rest of us wanted nothing more but for the park to burst into flames.

    What I want you to realize before accepting this job is this. You will make money, and that I can promise you, but if the people who you are cast with are NOT great people, you are going to have THE worst 3 months of your life.

    I wish you all the best if you choose to go to Dorney Park, because the company is not professional and, to quote a cast member from this year "Fancy Pants...more like Ratchet Thong."

    First Id like to say I've done numerous contracts with this company and always looked foward to working with them. I did a couple of Halloween shows and one summer with them. Now I want to tell my experience in the housing. We lost internet a few times bc people were downloading things illegally. From my understanding , The internet company will charge John an huge penalty, so they shut it off for awhile. I don't know who was doing it in my cast but we got a couple of emails about it. The housing is like a frat house. It sounds like this person's other housemates made things worse b/c they were dirty. I personally saw Patty come in and clean bc I arrived a couple of days earlier.
    Now as far as the shows go. I came with a couple of friends and saw both shows on Centerstage. The day show seemed weird and the song choices couldve been A LOT better but I got the feeling during one of my seasons that Patty and John don't have much say in that.
    There were some communication problems during our season bc we weren't sure to go to at times. We had a company manager, stage manager, dance captain then Patty then John. I think there were too many cooks in the kitchen. I made a ton of money, did some cool shows, and got a credit. If you take the job, try and find a former employee to talk to. You'll find some ppl who loved it and others who hated it. But that's with any job right?

    10/20/2016  11:52pm

    Oh, hey Patty ^

    11/08/2016  12:23am
  • a mixed bag 11/21/2014  9:17pm

    There are a lot of pros and cons when it comes to taking a job with Fancy Pants Productions. And, interestingly enough, the pros are pretty significant and the cons are pretty significant depending on where you are in your career in terms of boundaries, limits, expectations etc.

    PROS:
    Fancy Pants Productions' primary client is Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom...a mid-sized, fairly traditional theme park/water park located in Allentown, PA. I know that in the past they have set shows at other theme parks across the country but I don't believe any of those parks are current clients of Fancy Pants. Allentown is only 90 minutes from NYC so it is, without a doubt, possible to hit up auditions, coachings, hang out with friends in the city on your day off. There is a bus station across the street from the park that leaves for NYC a few times a day. You could also hit auditions during the day and potentially be back in time for work (you only perform in the evenings) if you are feeling particularly ambitious. I know a few people did that quite a bit. Obviously, the NYC audition scene in the summer is slow but it's still nice to hold a performance contract while simultaneously still keeping up with auditions and your life in NYC.
    The performance schedule is pretty light. The shows themselves are only about twenty minutes in length and you only perform them four times a night. The shows are fairly physically and vocally demanding but, again, they are only twenty minutes long and you only perform them four times a night. It's definitely a very easy performance schedule compared to many other theme park contracts.
    The pay is way above average than other non-equity contracts. Between $400-$500 a week plus housing.

    CONS:
    The housing is a VERY mixed bag. The company sometimes rents apartments that are walking distance from the park. The apartments are okay but extremely bare bones/no frills. Limited furniture and amenities. But, again, you are walking distance from the park.
    The other housing option (essentially the 'cast house') is over 30 minutes FROM the park. It's far. The house is big (6000 square feet) and has a pool, big flat screen television, strong internet, a few nice bathrooms, fire pit etc. However, over the course of the summer as more and more cast-members arrive the house becomes WAY over-crowded. Like INSANELY over-crowded. Fancy Pants Productions also does not provide BEDS for employees. I know that sounds insane. But Fancy Pants does not provide beds in ANY of their housing. You must bring your own air mattress to sleep on. Honestly, it wasn't that bad though. However, I threw mine away at the end of the summer because it had gotten so much wear/tear. There is also a dog that lives permanently in the cast house that is VERY badly-behaved to say the least. And, obviously, if you are allergic to dogs then you pretty much can't work for Fancy Pants because you will almost definitely be living in the cast house at some point during your contract. In my opinion, the absolute worst thing about the cast house is the long commute from the park. The cast house is pretty much out in the country (it's actually in a beautiful area). And the summer I worked for Fancy Pants they did NOT provide a company car. A few performers brought their own cars and drove. The rest of us hitched rides and put in money for gas. The commute can also get expensive for all parties involved.
    The management/artistic team is very much a mixed bag. They pretty much suck when it comes to communication and their organization skills are mediocre at best. Honestly, the bottom line is that as the summer progresses they really care less and less about EVERYTHING related to ANYONE...which, honestly, can be a good thing. I mean, you are just performing theme park shows so who really cares anyway? Most people who take a contract with Fancy Pants are doing it more for the money than anything else anyway. The checks always cleared. It's really a job that is almost 100% about the pay check.
    The show quality is a mixed bag as well. However, the videos on YouTube of Fancy Pants shows don't really give their work justice. The talent level and show quality was just okay but the show product was definitely better than the ratchet shows they have on YouTube. The main-stage venue (usually a generic pop/rock revue) is definitely the show that has the bigger budget, larger audiences, and just seems to be more high-profile in all aspects. The other show you could be cast in is at a VERY modest venue called Coasters Bandstand (and is usually a standard 1950s revue). The production value and general set-up for the show that goes up at Coasters Bandstand is pretty basic/low budget. The audiences are pretty small too from what I saw. However, I think pretty much all Fancy Pants employees make around the same wage whether you are doing the main-stage show or the show at Coasters Bandstand. So, again, who really cares at the end of the day? Fancy Pants is the perfect summer gig for the non-eq performer who wants to make 'better than summer stock' money, stay close to the city, have fun (party? There wasn't that much of what the summer I worked there but, again, it is what you make it), and sing a lot of fun music. Take the gig at face value. Nothing more, nothing less. A lot of Fancy Pants' alums have gone on to successfully book cruise ship jobs after their contract with FP. So...it could be a good stepping stone if that is something you are also interested in?