Friday, March 21, 2008

Episode 4: The First Load-In Day

New Line's adventure continued. They were supposed to move into the Ivory Theatre for the first time on Sunday, September 9. Ha, ha.

On Friday, September 7, the New Line people called Horror Show and she assured them that everything was in great shape and on schedule. They agreed to meet at the theatre to get a key. But when the New Line people arrived at the theatre, Horror Show was outside, handed them a key, and then told them she didn't feel well and had to leave. The New Line people insisted that she walk through the building with them before she left. Of course, this was exactly what she was trying to avoid.

According to a report from New Line, the place was a total disaster area, no lights anywhere backstage, no working toilet anywhere in the building, no front door on the building, and the whole place was filthy dirty. It was still a construction zone. There was no way they could move in, and it disturbed them that either: A. she thought this was “ready” to move into, or B. she was a genuine pathological liar. Sadly, the answer turned out to be C. Both A. and B.

New Line decided not to move in on the 9th, and to wait a week (they had built some padding into their schedule just in case). Horror Show swore the building would be totally finished the following weekend. New Line knew by that point that she was lying. The next day, September 8, Horror Show emailed New Line and wrote, “All backstage, stage, and house areas will be finished by the 16th so you can take possession.” This would turn out to be one more in a long series of lies. But they would get used to that...

Finally, on September 16, New Line moved in. To a big mess. The stage, backstage, and house were still largely unfinished, and the lobby was still under major construction. Horror Show had promised the New Line board back in January 2007 that they'd have a locked room in the theatre at least 12’ x 12’ for storage. Just one day earlier, she had told them they would have a 10’ x 10’ storage room upstairs – and that she had measured it herself. In reality, it wasn't a room, just a landing for a staircase that goes up to the bell tower, not even half as large as she promised. Of course. And this stairwell was also filthy dirty. Horror Show told them it was their job to clean it if they wanted to use it. She also told them that they would have to pay extra rent if they wanted to keep that storage room, even though she had been promising it to them since January.

She had also told them they could use the garage as a scene shop, but it was filled with church pews. and was far too small to ever build anything in there. There will be no scene shop.

But wait, there's more! They also found out that instead of six body mics, as promised at that first meeting with the New Line board in January, and then again in June, the theatre will only have four. The New Line people found this out only because they happened to ask about it. She wasn't planning to tell them about that change. So they had to quickly arrange to rent more microphones.

Then Horror Show declared to the New Line people (including board members) that she was an owner of the building. She even repeated the claim for emphasis. Later, New Line asked one of the owners if this was true and he said it was not. Then New Line confronted Horror Show about the claim and she admitted it wasn't true. Then the New Line board met with both owners in January 2008 and they asked both owners about this claim -- they both repeated that Horror Show was not an owner of the building. Yet she would continue to make the claim. And in an even later meeting with the NonProphets, the owners would tell them Horror Show was an owner of the building. It's like living inside an Edward Albee play. No one can tell what the truth is.

Back on Move-In Day, Horror Show also told New Line that "none of this" was her responsibility, that her job “doesn't really start till opening night.” If that was true, then why had they been dealing with her for the past nine months? She also said at one point, to their collective horror, “Maybe you should have stayed at the ArtLoft. Maybe you were better off there.” They began to realize the whole affair was a giant con game. Promises were never meant to be kept. They had seduced New Line, the NonProphets, Hydeware, and others into the game in order to look legit and get press, then once the building was open, they would throw them under the bus. This is exactly how it would play out.

But she would be very surprised at the coming fallout from her abuses...

The majority of the things promised to New Line would never happen. Horror Show had promised them in February 2007 – more than once – that there would be a way to get from backstage to the back of the house without the audience seeing the actors, in order to stage entrances from the back of the theatre. That would never happen. Horror Show had promised them a heated scene shop – she told them this entire building out behind the theatre would be a scene shop. In fact, most of that building houses a boiler, and all New Line got was a garage that was already half-full of other stuff. In fact, there would never be a scene shop. Horror Show had promised them a center aisle, but that would never happen either. Horror Show had promised them in March extra tall, extra wide doors into the building and onto the stage, to load in scenery. That would never happen. The doors are all small enough that companies have to build their sets onstage. Everyone now suspects that Horror Show never even told the architects about any of what she promised.

This was when New Line realized they had made a horrible mistake in moving to the Ivory, and they let the other companies involved know what was going on. But there was more fun still to come...

Sic Semper Tyrannis!
An Ivory Survivor