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 Farewell To Palmdale Playhouse

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Kara
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PostSubject: Farewell To Palmdale Playhouse   Thu Apr 10, 2008 10:28 am

It's with a heavy heart that I'm posting a sad goodbye to my fellow City Players at Palmdale Playhouse. Effective immediately after the close of The Sonnets (an obligation I will fulfill to completion with a professional attitude), I've withdrawn my involvement with the Playhouse.

A conversation with a staff member last night led me to realize that the problems at the PPH, as I've addressed in other postings, are insurmountable at this time. The frustration it's causing me simply isn't worth it, and the mutual distrust has grown palpable.

I know I will probably be seen as many things: a disgruntled hack-actress, a trouble-maker, whatever. But I know my frustration is shared by many of my fellow Players. I'm just the one who's talking about it the most and the loudest.

So for you Palmdale City Players--all of you--and to our incredible and brave director, who I've come to know and admire and learn SO MUCH from, I hope that one day things will change. Until then, I will see you all at Spotlight (that's me, laughing my head off from the audience!) and I'm still here doing makeup for ANYONE interested in learning. Please ask. And, of course, I'll still be here on this forum...

There's lots going on this summer--I hope I'll see you in another show somewhere doing something...

Break a leg, friends.

Love-
Kara
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James Jay
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PostSubject: Re: Farewell To Palmdale Playhouse   Thu Apr 10, 2008 12:08 pm

I'm very sad that it came to this, Kara. I certainly respect you and your talents as a thespian and artist, and I will miss working with you. I'm sorry you will not be doing the spotlight; your humor will certainly be missed. I truly hope to work with you on another production in the future. Keep smiling and best of luck and that sort of stuff to you.

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QuantumCowboy
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PostSubject: Re: Farewell To Palmdale Playhouse   Thu Apr 10, 2008 12:40 pm

It's been wonderful working with you Kara... you have become like my sister. I understand your frustration, and while I, the perennial optimist, would have hoped you would stay in the trenches with us to see this through, I know why you had to go. My goal this next year in my performing, my tech work, my (hopefully) directing apprenticeship, and my involvement in the council is going to be to make PCP a place where you and others with your experience are willing to go out of your way to get involved with. This isn't farewell at all; obviously we have our friendship, and it seems like you will be coming to the shows, so... I'll see you sooner than later is more like it!

My love and best wishes always.

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Last edited by QuantumCowboy on Thu Apr 10, 2008 2:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Kara
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PostSubject: Re: Farewell To Palmdale Playhouse   Thu Apr 10, 2008 1:44 pm

QuantumCowboy wrote:
My goal this next year in my performing, my tech work, my (hopefully) directing apprenticeship, and my involvement in the council is going to be to make PCP a place where you and others with your experience are willing to go out of your way to get involved with.


Oh, Nollyanna-
If PPH becomes that sort of place I'll be back in a heartbeat! You know I will!
It's just too much right now--tempers are too hot, stress is too high, I'm just waaaay too uncomfortable. And moreover, my husband and daughters deserve a happy mom who does something FUN with her very limited and precious spare time, not something that sends her home frustrated and angry. You've seen it--and it isn't pretty. I'm gonna seek out other venues, do other things, be where I'm wanted.

Thanks for the kind words. I admire your fortitude and your optimism, truly. And I very much regret I don't feel the same way.

See you in the pool... Wink
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keltroncybo
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PostSubject: Re: Farewell To Palmdale Playhouse   Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:44 pm

*sigh*

Frustratingly, I fall between my dear sister and my dear Sri Lankan Gold! I am tempted to throw in the towel, but even with the angst, I still live for and love the stage. I will certainly be branching out and trying some other venues to broaden my AV Theatre experience.

I detest being negative about the PCP and PPH's future, but after the conversation that took place on Wed, I am finding it difficult to imagine a truly reasonable and positive outcome. I do not think there is any reason whatsoever for there to be conflict over an experienced theatrician wanting to volunteer her expertise and experience. I understand that there is red tape to be cut, but it doesn't seem right for other members of the theatre to balk so violently at the prospect of pulling out the scissors and chopping away. It seems we should all be in it with the same end results at heart and I just don't feel that that is the case.

Nonetheless, I will continue working and striving for excellence in my work, and I will always push for perfection wherever and whenever possible in myself and those I work with.

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James Jay
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PostSubject: Re: Farewell To Palmdale Playhouse   Fri Apr 11, 2008 7:45 pm

Agreed. In the words of some great philosopher of the late 20th century...."Can't we all just get along????"

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ragman5
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PostSubject: Re: Farewell To Palmdale Playhouse   Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:53 am

I feel bad about the whole situation. I like and care about everone involved and I can feel and understand the frustration, and I can see both sides. I understand corporations and policies, myself working for a very corporate corporation. Rules and regulations can seem so silly and ridiculous sometimes, but it's all an attempt to avoid lawsuits. For instance, we are unable to give a band-aid or an aspirin to a customer because if they should have some kind of reaction, and it's determined that the reaction came from that band-aid or aspirin, the corporation could be held liable and sued. I'm the assistant manager for the particular department I work for and lately it seems I'm going to labor relations at least once a month for employee issues that to most people would seem small and trivial, and believe me it gets really old and tiresome. But to the corporation these are not small and trivial issues and should be addressed. I know the Palmdale Playhouse is owned and govened by the city of Palmdale and have their own corporate rules and regulations to follow. To the best of my knowledge, all contracts made with other theater groups we're made with the City of Palmdale, not the Playhouse directly, and that, also to the best of my knowledge, all who currently work at the Playhouse were not around when those contracts were made, and they must adhere to them, even in the face of city wide budget cuts, which cost the playhouse 6 jobs. I know they are trying to cope with the loss of those 6 jobs as best as they can, but are receiving critisism in the local press from those groups in regards to issues such as the marquee not being changed. Budget cuts don't happen overnight. I'd be willing to bet the city of Palmdale knew about the possibility last year. Again, in regards to the corporation I work for, a couple of years ago, we faced massive layoffs, not due to any strike, but due to the fact that we fall under the umbrella of a larger mother corporation and THEY were having financial problems. So alot of folks lost their jobs here, even though WE were doing fine, to help out the mother company, and those cut backs were months in the planning, if not longer.

I've been personally involved with the playhouse for only about a year and a half, but only with that, and of course other family members being involved, I've come to know and respect alot of people there, and feel a close family relationship with some. They have become a haven, and have personally helped us out in times of family tragedies. The Palmdale Playhouse definately has a special place in my heart. It has, as everyone knows, a wide range of activities for the community to be involved in, and it would be a tragic shame if anything happened to it.

Having said all that, I also have to say, if you can hang in there with me just a little longer, that I thoroughly enjoy the Palmdale City Players. I really felt good about this year, feeling that really good, talented people came on board to mix in with the talented people that were already there. I still feel that way, and am saddened that someone is leaving. I also feel that PCP has become like a family, so for me it's like having a 3rd family. Can there be a blending of my 3rd family with my 2nd? I certainly hope so, and I too, like someone mentioned here, am remaining optimistic.

Whew! I'm outta breath, and time as well, so I gotta run, (it's about time, someone might be saying).

Best wishes to you Kara, I'll see you around the Sonnets, and maybe even some day at the studio.
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Kara
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PostSubject: Re: Farewell To Palmdale Playhouse   Mon Apr 14, 2008 12:53 pm

Joe, what sweet sentiments! I think you definitely said some important things--I know you're right about liability issues, etc., especially when the City becomes involved.
The frustration with all the red tape and the ridiculous contradictions has become so much (really--I can't touch the costumes in the shop as a volunteer without a criminal background check and fingerprints but I can WEAR it onstage as a volunteer actor? What's the difference? Yeesh.)
This weekend's experience volunteering with Whiskey Tango Productions (see the post under "television and film") exemplified what I'm looking for--the ability to give, and be trusted, in a way where art is made in a fun way without all the extra crud mucking up the works. Just pure, unadulterated theatrics! It's out there--easy to find--why beg for it at PPH when I can get it so easily somewhere else?

Or make it myself...

Yep, I'll see you at the Sonnets. And I'll miss you and all the Players so much--but this is what's right for me.
Smile
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ragman5
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PostSubject: Re: Farewell To Palmdale Playhouse   Mon Apr 14, 2008 2:34 pm

Kara,

I understand what you're saying, and you make a good and valid point. But consider these 2 possiblities.

How specific is the wording on the playhouse' insurance certificate. Are they covered for incidents when volunteers are wearing the costumes during a rehearsal and performance, but not if that same volunteer is engaged in pulling and preparing them? This is definately a small and trivial point, and probably not true, but in the corporate world, maybe not so small.

Second, and more likely is the fact that costume area is small, at least by the standards I've seen. The personel down there is limited, so items may not be marked on hold for a certain character with a tag of piece of paper. Items may be set aside with the intent to be used for a certain character, and known by only 1 or 2 people. If somone else went down there to pull an outfit for themselves, not knowing that fact, may select an item already earmarked for someone else. It happens here at the studio from time to time. A costumer will come in, select items and hang them on a rack, tag that rack with a large HOLD sign listing their show name, their name, phone number and dates, and still there are times when someone else will take an item by accident (or not) , off of that rack. Most of the time the costumer whose rack was on hold can find something else, since we have such a large place. Not so with the playhouse. The item selected by a playhouse staff member may be the only item they have that will not only meet the definition of what is needed for that character, but the only item that will fit.

Now having said that, I need to check out the "television and film" posting.
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Kara
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PostSubject: Re: Farewell To Palmdale Playhouse   Mon Apr 14, 2008 3:38 pm

Absolutely valid! I love that you have the perspective from your professional life as well as your involvement with PPH, and it makes for a unique and understanding point of view on both sides for you.
However, Joe, I think you misunderstand what was asking to do for PPH (and I use costuming and makeup only because it's the area I know most about). I'm CERTAINLY NOT asking to go down on my own and start pulling stuff for my own use--or anyone else's for that matter! What I'm envisioning is much more like the volunteer work I experienced in college: I walk in and am asked to replace all the buttons on a jacket or distress a new pair of boots to look more used, or arrange all the spools of thread by color, or vacuum the costume shop floor (I've done that hundreds of times!)--stuff that the costumer just might not have time for. Or given a photo and a wig and being asked to re-style it to look exactly the same, or to just wash wigs. Or be given a makeup design and the instructions and be assigned the actors (and the time) to apply it. Or just given the makeup and be asked to sanitize all of it. Let me reiterate that this isn't about me taking anyone's job, or about my ego to prove anything to anyone--it's about being able to get a good job done well for a theatre I love being a part of. For whatever reason, that's really hard for PPH to understand.
No big deal (and too late now, anyway).
But I do appreciate your take on it, and it's interesting to see how asking to help has somehow come to be perceived as a hostile takeover! Yikes.

affraid
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ragman5
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PostSubject: Re: Farewell To Palmdale Playhouse   Mon Apr 14, 2008 5:21 pm

Gotcha. And you're right, I did misunderstand. Apologies. I do know and realize however that you were not out to take over someones job, I believe you already have one. I too was using costumes as an example for somewhat obvious reasons. I do not know of any other reasons, or possible reasons why things are the way they are, and I don't want to sit here and speculate any further. All I know is that its difficult to see 2 groups of people I care about a great deal at odds, and I feel useless not knowing what to do to help. But as I also stated earlier, I remain optimistic, thats all I can do, for the future of The Palmdale Playhouse and The Palmdale City Players.
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Kara
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PostSubject: Re: Farewell To Palmdale Playhouse   Mon Apr 14, 2008 6:19 pm

ragman5 wrote:
...I remain optimistic, thats all I can do, for the future of The Palmdale Playhouse and The Palmdale City Players.

Joe, this is exactly why I think THE WORLD of you!! Here's to you and your entire family--I admire you all so much. I love you
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keltroncybo
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PostSubject: Re: Farewell To Palmdale Playhouse   Mon Apr 14, 2008 9:06 pm

Exactly what Kara said...I don't think that we are being listened to when we are asking to help. People seem to think that I intended to COSTUME the show...I just wanted to play the role of a warm body to get the job done during a difficult time when Susanna was out.

*sigh* Neutral

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