CMU School of Drama

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The workers who make Broadway hum deserve a standing ovation

NY Daily News: Giving all due respect to Irving Berlin, it is fair to wonder exactly what he meant when he quipped, “There’s no business like show business.”

A career in the theater certainly is a unique sort of job, but Broadway is a business, after all, with owners and employees, investors and customers, budgets and deadlines and good years and bad.

Producers and actors and agents will sometimes talk about that, which is great.


Mark Ivachtchenko said...

I'm glad this article was posted cause this is constantly a long time concern I've had and I'm sure I'm not the only one. I've seen so many stagehands and union technicians complain about awful talent's they've worked with that had blown up egos. This never helped the fact that they get paid more for being on stage for a few hours while the union guys are there all day setting up the and running the show. In terms of applause and audience reception, I've only seen the crew applauded for in 1/3 of the spectacles I've seen in my life. Back in my old high school, the crew was mentioned in bows every night for every show so I was raised in a culture where the crew always gets credit. So, whenever I see a show where the cast bows....the pit bows....and then people go on about their days, I feel a little cheated and exit with a little pout. The article brings up some important points that YES, we make people fly and YES, we can make it rain and snow and shine inside a theater and we're the reason that thousands of people can hear every word an actor says and frankly, can SEE the actor in a dark space. So, I think we should be getting more credit, especially in the commercial world because we're definitely just as important as the cast or orchestra, we're just never seen (and should get an even bigger thumbs up if we're completely hidden all night).

Alex Talbot said...

I'm really glad I read this article, and I think it offers a great viewpoint. I don't think the crew deserves huge recognition--they are not, after all, the stars of the shows, but often I think they don't get the recognition they deserve. Often, like Mark said, I hear about artists who treat crew members terribly, and along with that I often see people thinking that this is the correct way to treat the production staff. Of course, this does not nearly represent the vibe of the entire entertainment industry, but it certainly sets a precedent--and it bothers me when I see Mariah Carey's manager saying on tape that she should have thrown a mic at a technician following the issues on her past New Year's performance. Of course, we would all be out of a job if it wasn't for actors and performers, but at the same time, Broadway wouldn't be Broadway without the designers and technicians who make it happen.