Gig&Tell: The Historic Skagway Inn

  • BEWARE.    
    06/18/2018  3:03pm

    This is not what they advertise it to be. I remember sitting during my audition and thinking how wonderful this opportunity was going to be. Booked and blessed, free travel to Alaska, free housing, kind people... what could be better? I WAS WRONG. A month into rehearsals we learn that this is not really a show but a bunch of facts about the town in an old saloon. I was told not to look at the other actor and only interact with the audience even though its only a two person "show". We learned that this was a family owned business who has no theater experience and will pull the "family helps family card." But there comes a time when that becomes too much. The business has such a bad reputation in town that they have locals working in their inn, show, restaurant, or store. The contract is for 400$ a week without pay for the first month. It was very hard to make ends meet during this first month. The first sign was they refused to pay for transportation of our luggage, which was a little strange but we went with it. We get to town and little by little they would ask us to do more and more. We were told that we MUST clean their inn van, mop floors, bus the tables, set up for the show (since the guests are taught to make drinks during the show this set up took 1.5 hours), plate the food, serve the food, get ice, put together the parting gift, communicate with the kitchen, and drive to the docks every morning to get the counts from the cruise ships (or in my case bike with their half broken bike). Since I could not drive my cast mate would have to do an extra thirty minute driving tour before each show for the passengers. They would park the van outside our shed and text us numerous times to clean it. My cast mate was pulled into the restaurant twice to simply bus tables for no extra pay. My contract says Primary role: Actress/Pianist. When we did the math out with the extra work we were barely making minimum wage. When the extra work got too much we had a meeting about how this work was not in the contract or if we could get a raise. They instantly got angry and asked if they needed to look for somebody else and if we wanted to leave. They often got very angry and unprofessional. When the reviews came in they asked us to start brainstorming ideas. We met and offered to help rewrite the script and they got angry and told us they are uncomfortable with even thinking about that and told us that when their actress from a previous year was here they ALWAYS got good reviews and that she even wanted to come back this year. They couldn't describe what our show was so they called it a "living history bartending experience presentation." They told us that if we wanted to earn more money, we could take a shift as a server in the restaurant. They told us they could not pay us anymore but we could earn tips. These people are very manipulative and will listen behind doors and switch your words... And let's talk about the housing. We lived in a shed out back with 12 other people. The room was filled with dust and old broken furniture. We all shared one bathroom. When we arrived the first week we had NO kitchen. We used a vending machine outside as our fridge the whole first month. When the kitchen was put in they gave us a conventional plug in stovetop and a microwave. The stovetop only could use a certain type of pan. All 12 of us had to share one pot and one pan and one spatula. When the three girls were moved to the apartment above their store we were told not to use the shower because the erosion in the water. We did not have anything to cook with for the first week but a huge pan too big for the stove top. We also had a frequent problem of losing electricity. They did not handle their problems in the business well never mind the countless health code violations. They overworked my poor roommates who were visiting from countries around the world. They would work more than 8 hours a day and not have a day off. They would have them switch from being a sales associate at the store to working in the garden at the inn but say they could not pay them overtime because it is two different jobs. This job is not what they will tell you it is. They will find your weaknesses and try to manipulate you into doing more. They have a lack of workers so to make up for it they try to get their actors to do the extra work. My breaking point was when I was sexually harassed by a coworker. When meeting with them they asked me the following, "But he's okay when he's not drunk right?" People in town started warning me about them within a week of being there. We tried very hard to make the situation work but unfortunately they belittled us and treated us like less than a human. Only to find out, past actors have had it worse. I would not recommend this place to anybody.

    ^that locals do not work in their business.

    06/27/2018  10:13pm
  • Stay away    
    06/18/2018  1:55pm

    In all my years, this has got to be the worst experience of my entire life. This show and the people who run it are the worst of the worst. Also "show" is a loose term. They lure you up here with the promise of free airfare and housing. You rehearse for a month in NYC with no pay, then have to survive for a MONTH with no pay after getting to Alaska. And food is not cheap here. They make you depend on them. Then they start throwing in new "responsibilities" that are "part of the job" that are nowhere in the contract and should be done by a stage manager or producer, not an actor. You are getting laid $400 a week to essentially run an entire production. But it's ok because "it's a family business". Their business practices are reprehensible at best. They have WiFi, but simply won't give it to you. Your "housing" is 3 sheds smushed together that is shared with up to 3 people. There is a single restroom you share with up to 9 people. This is a terrible job. The only thing to do should you book this is to fly here then immediately run into the woods and live there. They are manipulative and care nothing about their employees. They also lack any theatre experience whatsoever, which is evident by the lack luster script and absolutely mindless "direction" you will get that will go against anything you've ever learned as an actor. Best of luck should you end up here