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Late = Fired

January 9, 2014

I had the two most unfortunate, almost back-to-back experiences of my entire theatre existence and both occurred for the same reason.

Early = on-time. On-time = late. Late = fired.

I’d like to believe that it’s a very simple concept. I became aware of the meaning a long-time ago during high school musicals and the importance of being ready to start at 3:10 p.m. for our rehearsal. I didn’t actually learn that phrase until I got to college, on probably the first day of classes.

Recently, I had two very different actors arrive late to their rehearsals. It was my miserable duty to inform them of being late and the consequences for being so. And both actors responded…to put it kindly, I lost every ounce of respect I could have ever possibly had for either of them.

There’s a happy ending and less satisfying one. The first actor, I had the power to say “we are done” and I had him replaced immediately. As for the other actor, I don’t the right to have her replaced too – I reported it to the directors and it was left at that.

Later, I mentioned the incident to one of my professors offhandedly, frustrated with how that day had gone and the response was instant and stunning: “Give me the name and they’ll never be cast again.”

Early = on-time. On-time = late. Don’t get to Late = Fired. Don’t. Even if we never work together again, you’ll never work with anyone else if they know you got to fired. Just be early instead.

College Sig

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 9, 2014 12:14 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story. It’s comforting to see there are other young professionals out there (by which I mean you) who understand the meaning of being on time. I find myself embarrassed when others are constantly showing up late. It slows us down, keeps us there longer, and (when applicable) reflects poorly on the ensemble as a whole. Keep following your philosophy. It will help you stand out in the professional world =)

  2. California Triple-Threat permalink
    January 11, 2014 4:28 pm

    YIKES I hope they learn the lesson now and this doesn’t happen to them in the future!

  3. Tattooed Theatre Student permalink
    January 12, 2014 7:50 am

    our course motto is “to be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late and to be late is to be plain rude” so I totally understand this! And I hate anyone who is late, especially if they have no reason. I’d much rather be 10 minutes early (at least) than be arriving exactly on time (: I would like to think I’d deal with latecomers in the same way you did but I don’t know if I’d have the guts.

    • The College Theatre Dork permalink
      January 12, 2014 9:08 pm

      Thanks everyone! I hope they do learn their lesson – I know I learned mine the easy way! Always, always be early and that’s my new philosophy. 🙂

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