Monday, February 16, 2009

Meh with a capitol M!

My two week stint mixing a local production of The Producers came to an end last night. We packed out and headed home. I even got back in time to see my Short People off to bed. I loved the show and the cast was truly magnificent. The producer, already a somewhat shady character, seems to have crossed some invisible line and descended into a world of madness though.

Ever the micro-manager he tends to try to do everything himself. It's not such a terrible thing, when things get done. Adding a second week of performances seems to have been a little too much for the guy though. He had forgotten to do a couple important things. Like adequately promote the show. Somehow strangely appropriate for a show with a story line about creating a show that's a flop on purpose. Not sure if there's any significance to that.

The thing that's particularly annoying is trying to get this guy to pay me. While most other shows put a check in my hand on closing night, he maintains that he has to close the books first and mail me a check. Whatever, it's worked out all right on two past productions.

This time he's been crying the blues about loosing his shirt the whole time. There was even an incident where he claimed to have misplaced a significant amount of cash, the value of which kept changing until it finally settled somewhere around the amount that he owed the musicians.

The cast and crew were plotting a shut down when it came time to strike the show. One of the actors headed him off though and told him he had better go get some cash and pay people off or he was going to find himself loading the truck all by his lonesome little self. So the actors and musicians got their pittance in cash.

That leaves the director, the rental company, and myself still waiting on our sizable checks. He told me that he was going to cash in some stock and would mail me a check as soon as he had it. I doubt this is the case as he is known to be fairly wealthy by the standards of most people our age, swimming in cash was how one person put it.

So I got a call at dinner today from the company he rented wireless mics from. I had already been on the phone a bunch with him over some technical issues. Misseur Producer wanted me to help him swindle some fee reduction out of it, but I wound up siding with the guy from the rental house instead. (You can't screw a sound guy without all the other sound guys finding out about it, and I have to work in this town.) Mr. P had fed him a line about the truck being broken for a week (not true) being broken down on the side of the road (not true that I know of at this time) and having to leave to return the set to Virginia (that one's true), and if he wanted his mics back he would have to go pick them up himself. This came after business hours when all his employees had already gone home. He also got the news that he was going to have to wait thirty days to get paid.

So now it's on. I'm preparing to work all my connections to lean on this guy and get everybody paid. I'm also going to do something I've always wanted to do but have never felt justified enough to go through with it. Mr. Producer is getting black balled. Actually I won't have to do much. Anyone involved in the show is never going to work with him again and the stories they have to tell of this production are not flattering. Secondly, with the rental house now fully in the know about his shenanigans the rest of the production people in this end of the state are going to know about them shortly as well. Huh, I don't actually have to do anything. Looks like he's pretty well black balled himself. HA!

Well, that's the story. And I'll end it with one of my favorite phrases. It came to me while working a strike at Summer Stage in Central Park years ago. There was a ramp on the back of the stage with a big hole in it. Someone had written, "What?! And quit show biz?" next to it. And man, ain't it the truth! No matter how deep the hole you fall into, there will never be a cure for the bug.

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  1. Or you could just turn your crazy pregnant wife loose on his scrawny ass.

  2. No cure for the bug.. damn. SO true.

  3. Anonymous11:19 AM

    excuse me sir...but i as well am wating for a check...PS we just just put him in a cage with pamela and watch her tear him to shreds


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