Costume Design & Tech
THEATRE COMPANY WARNING
Do not EVER work with Cornerstone Theatre Company or Nicholas and Cheryl (his mother) Murphy. The TL;DR version is:
This “company: started in January, and I’m pretty sure I worked their very first production. Not only are they horribly unprofessional, they don’t take criticism and blame all the issues of the production on their cast and production staff.
When given constructive criticism at the post-mortem by the costumes, lights, and scenic aspects, the mother of the director (yes, this 26 year old MA had to get his mother to speak on his behalf) personally attacked all of the production staff even though they all had the same grievances and all the issues were addressed in professional manners. Those grievances were:
I know she personally attacked my sewing skills (asking me how long it honestly takes to sew a dress when I finished it in two days between my final projects, my classes, and my two other shows), my work ethic, as well as calling me the “most dishonest person [she] has ever met in [her] life”. Rather than giving considerate constructive comments, she decided to demean every person on the production team. None of the staff will ever be working with them again. I’m just the only one who’s been vocal about it because I honestly can’t stand injustice and baseless accusations.
I’ve worked harder than almost anyone I know without overstepping my boundaries or undermining anyone along the way to get to where I am now. I have made more mistakes than I care to admit when it comes to work ethic and failing myself. I’ve been working every single day to make those mistakes obsolete when it comes to myself as a professional.
I will not stand for people treating others this way, especially when it was on a volunteer basis. These people say that they’re theatre professionals, but the way they treat as well as the way they speak about others shows otherwise. If this is the way they treat volunteers, do not let them be successful so they can abuse the ones they may actually pay. In fact, even if, heaven forbid, they do become successful, I doubt they would pay.
I don’t have a huge influence in the Orlando industry as it stands, and I don’t want to stay here for my entire life. However for as long as I’m here, I’m going to be as professional as I should be for this industry, and I expect everyone else to do the same. I’ll be sure to continue working my hardest to be the best I can be because I want everyone else to love this industry as much as I do, whether they’re a tech, actor, or audience member. These people are only trying to be successful in theatre for the betterment of themselves, not because they genuinely love this art. If there are people like this theatre company who are unprofessional, I’m going to do my best to spread the word about not working with them because every person who strives to be a professional should get the respect they give. I gave respect and was given none. Don’t let anyone fall to that trap.