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0708: Demanding a seat at the big kid’s table

For 8 years now Jobsite has begged, borrowed and stolen to get our shows up on stage.

We’ve suffered through a fair share of crap, and have worked well beyond our means in every way. We’ve continued to push ourselves, to top our work from show to show, season to season and I believe the proof is certainly in the product.

But we still have giant, gaping needs. We have certain folks who act as a staff who aren’t getting paid a dime outside of directly working on shows. You don’t even want to know how many billable hours I do a week that’s gone unpaid for all of these years. We have artists who sometimes work two and three jobs to be able to come in and do what they love, and what many love to see. We’d still like more money to again up our production values.

We’re not getting any funding from the city, county, state or federal governments. We have no financial corporate support (not to sleight our season sponsors who provide in-kind contributions one bit – we love them for it). We’re not getting any grants right now.

What we do have, we have in spades. We put asses in seats. Over and over again. We have a coveted demographic attending our shows. A lot of what we’re doing in this regard is unique to us, and organizations with much larger resources at their disposal struggle with these efforts day in and day out.

We know we deserve the money. For years we felt funny asking for it. I think a lot of us were afraid it would change us. We know now that won’t happen, and we’re only interested in getting money from those who believe in what we do and want to support it.

0708 is going to be a big year for this. We’re changing how we operate. We’re getting help where we need it – addressing some key needs and adjusting how we do some things internally to make sure we have a better chance.

I’ve had a year-to-year agreement with myself on this whole thing from the beginning. I’m getting closer to my 35th birthday than I’m likely comfortable with, and that’s a big landmark for me. I don’t want to be working two full-time jobs, staying awake til 1 or 2am every night in the process. I want to be able to know I can offer someone proper compensation if I need their help with something. I want to be able to hit that milestone birthday with some certainty and with a trust that we’re heading in the right direction for this company to have some permanency above just making great art.

It appears we’re not going to get an invitation to that big kid’s table, but we are after all Jobsite – so we’re going to crash that party one way or another. Keep an eye out.

Can you help with any of this? Are you interested in helping Jobsite become a better business? Do you run a business or are you the assistant or secretary to that person who runs a business? Have you thought about giving to Jobsite but wanted to know more about what we’re doing and how? Please drop me a line, I’m ready to listen.

I know I got into the wrong business if I ever wanted to be loaded, but I also know I can make a modest living at this if we can get some support, and that we can develop and nurture an actual fully-functional business from this thing we’ve begun.

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3 thoughts on “0708: Demanding a seat at the big kid’s table

  1. One way we can all help is by taking on the stance of DEMANDING to be noticed. Enough pussy-footing around. No more “aw shucks.” We are a well respected company deeply committed to this community and the art we create. We’ve been here for almost 9 years and we don’t have plans to go anywhere else. We are the most passionate, vibrant, robust theater in Tampa!!! That means something. Those of us who create the shows and those who watch… let’s all get on board. We need everyone to make this happen. Thank you David for putting it in such clear, wonderful words!

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