Beware the Ides of March, indeed...
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Sad day yesterday. My whole team was laid off. This was my first paid acting job and it had been around a looong time. Some of the team members have been there since day one. We were all feeling like something was going to happen, but when we got called into that conference room when we were supposed to be on stage...
So we all packed went down to the dressing room and grabbed our things. The management let us take any memorabilia we wanted. Everything left behind is going to be destroyed. As far as I know ,the set is already being demolished. It really makes a pit in my stomach. I was only there six months but I was there so much of the time and the people and the place really made a profound impact on me.
I'm going to be ok. I was actually due to resign at the end of March. However, I really needed these last two weeks in March so that I could have one more paycheck to pay the rent with. Now I need to rely on unemployment. Not a fun prospect. I do have a good chance of getting my old job back though so I can't complain. And I only have myself and my husband to look out for.
What makes me feel the worst is the looks on my coworkers faces, and hearing how much they are struggling with this. Many of them have nowhere else to go. Some of them have kids to support. All of them were like me: happy to be paid to act. Sure, we butted heads with the company from time to time. It's hard work to run a show like ours and it's a delicate thing to fit it into a corporation. But none of us wanted to see it go so quickly and unceremoniously. It hurts to know our space, the very space we put our blood, sweat, and tears into (literally! I scratched and bruised myself up so many times!) is being torn down right now. I am a bit of a superstitious actor, I feel that sets and dressing rooms and such are nigh sacred places. I can't bear to think of it all being thrown in a dumpster and disappearing under something else, from people who have no idea what went into this space.
I know that most acting jobs don't last forever. This is really another version of striking a show at the end of its run. I think what hurts about it is that most shows get a great send-off. They are reverently taken apart. This is quick and sterile.
Well, if you see some gloomy actors in Las Vegas today, give them a high five and some words of encouragement. Please remember there are real people behind the entertainments of Vegas, who are working to support their families and their dreams.