Saturday, 7 June 2008

Does a lot of work for charity mate!

Okay, it's rant time, sorry! As most of you know, and should know if you've read the short profile to the right of this post. I'm a stage manager, I work in theatre and over the course of a year we do a lot of charity shows and fund-raising events. I don't mind them too much, sometimes they can be badly organised due to their lack of experience but then that's why we are there. We are the professionals tasked with making sure their event runs smoothly.

Just recently certain organisers seem to have got the wrong idea though. Comments have been made that it's a charity event and we should be volunteering our time to make their expenses lower. Now I'm sorry, but that is really not acceptable. Everyone who works in the theatre does so for a living, it's our job. We try our best to keep staffing levels to a minimum but certain people are needed to run a show. If we gave up our wages for every charity or fund-raising event staged in our theatres then our income would be significantly lower.

That's not to say we are all heartless though, when the tsunami hit Asia we had a huge event with lots of big names. It was a lot of work and we all put in a lot of hours. Everyone was paid for their time, but as far as I know, everyone involved donated all the money they earned to the charity.

I also do a few things each year outside of work as well. For example, tomorrow I have given up my day off and volunteered to do a fund raiser for St. Wilfrids hospice which is a local charity. I'm even going to miss the Grand Prix!

So, if you ever organise a charity event, please don't expect the people working on it to do so for free. We have to make a living the same as the rest of you and if your charity show is in the theatre it means another professional show isn't. We still need to pay our bills regardless of how much we like the cause you may be raising cash for. We all do our bit in our own way, but at the end of the day it's our job.

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