Okay, I work at a professional theater conservatory. This means that, although we do professional shows and are a for-profit company, we are also a two-year school for aspiring actors and theater technicians attached to a local community college. One of the reasons I love my job is because of the teaching opportunities. On this particular show, I have a second year student assigned as one of my assistants. Fairly common, although I had worked with this student before and, although he is pleasant and bright, he is not the most reliable of people, which is a necessary trait in the position he was assigned. Concerns were voiced by myself and some others, and shushed down in the hopes that Student would take this opportunity to prove himself. Concerns were soon proven valid, he has been late, been "sick" on weekends after having been seen partying the night before, and, this weekend,just plain didn't show up for calls without leaving any messages. EVERY time I have reported this to the Powers That Be, an excuse comes up from somewhere that lets him off the hook. This last time, I all but got called a liar to my face, and was told that he HAD called and left a message on MY extension. (They "know" because HE said so, and I have nothing better to do with my time than make up stories to get my students in trouble, you know! Okay, they didn't say that exactly, but that was certainly a subtext I heard.) I ALWAYS check my messages, especially when people are MIA, and there wasn't one. Do they really think that as soon as he didn't show up, and we couldn't get in touch with him, that I wouldn't have checked my phone??? We checked every extension in the office, and there was no message. Not only that, but they are just NOW telling me that I can't call Student in for any office work OR rehearsals this week because of USITT. He's not in Kentucky this week. He is going to his classes. People have seen him. But he's an ASM who is not required to be at rehearsals for a show that opens in two and a half weeks?? And he gets out of it for a WEEK?? Why the HELL was he assigned to this particular show slot, then?? And, why didn't anyone else know about this? The Artistic Director (the head of the company, for the uninitiated) himself didn't even know that. (Yes, I stomped on some toes by going straight to the Artistic Director, as Student's direct supervisors/hierarchy are at USITT this week, so no one else was around, nor did either of them bother getting back in touch with me about the situation until AFTER I went to the Artistic Director.) This is all so frustrating! I mean, I don't want the kid kicked out of the conservatory or to make his life more difficult, but I don't want someone I can't rely on working on this show. Is that so much to ask? He's PROVEN that he is unreliable. I can't make it too much clearer. How am I supposed to work him back into the show now? We are blocking all of Act II this week and running for the first time this weekend. He's missing all of that because of this stupid "USITT release" policy. And then I'm somehow supposed to work him back into the running of the show a week before we go into tech?! Granted, he's basically going to be Furniture Mover, as that's all I could really trust him to do at this point, but it's also the principle of the thing. That kind of conflict would NEVER have been approved for an actor, student or intern, in the conservatory. That kind of conflict would only have been approved for a tech intern or student if they were actually GOING to USITT, because we like our kids and encourage them to go and network and get jobs. Most of the second years are going, along with one first year. But if you're NOT going, and you're not going BECAUSE you're assigned to a show that is currently in rehearsal, is it so totally unreasonable to expect that you should actually BE at those rehearsals?
Unfortunately, it's really turning into an issue that is showing the splits in the company. The Artistic Director, PSM, and Dir. for the Acting Conservatory agree with me that this is a serious situation and we need to look into some other assignment options for Student. The PM and the Dir. for the Tech Conservatory are trying to get it covered up and tell me that I'm making too big of a deal out of this. If this was a real world situation, I'd have fired the kid on the spot when he didn't show up and went incommunicado, especially since this is the THIRD time that I have had to file a concern against him. I've only been here a month now. I was woken up this morning by the PSM (who is at USITT this week along with the DTC and the PM) calling to tip me that the DTC was on the warpath that I had gone over his head. It's a pissing contest, and that irritates the hell out of me.
This has given me a headache already. I need to go knit.