An Open Letter to a Producer

I am not going to name your organization here because I don't want to be accused of libel, even though what I write here is true. You don't pay a living wage, or anything approaching it. Still, you expect your employees to work extraordinarily hard in dangerous conditions to make your shows a success. When is the last time your space got a visit from the fire marshal? I ask because one of the stagehands got a nasty shock when she tried to plug something into the electrical outlet backstage that was just dangling out of the wall. Cap that shit off or fix it before someone is seriously injured.
We had a standard contract that you would pay half of my fee on opening night and the other half on closing. I kept up my end of that agreement, but on closing night, the production manager didn't have checks for the crew. Sure, the actors, who have the legal muscle of Equity behind them, were all paid on time, but the crew got lame excuses about a printer in the office being out of toner. I guess the accountant's check writing hand was broken, too.
Isn't it bad enough that you paid members of your run crew $200 total for a five week run? That's not even minimum wage. Then you had the audacity to take your time paying them after they've performed the work. You ought to be ashamed of yourself for treating fellow artists this way. Hell, for treating fellow human beings this way. When I mentioned that US Labor Law requires employers to pay their employees on the date agreed upon, your production manager told me that some people in town don't even pay. I know. One of my exes got an Equity agreement yanked from a company that stiffed him $700. That's not a threat. You eventually sent me a check with both my first and last names misspelled. Thanks for that laugh.
The saddest part of this is that I had a wonderful time working on your show, with really great people. It's just that asshole in the office who handles payroll that completely soured me on your company. I wish you all the luck you deserve in finding qualified people willing to work under these conditions, because I certainly will never work for your company again.

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