Posted by Bruce Miller
Ah, so much to write about and so little time. I have a list of about ten theatrical matters that I'd meant to address on this blog by now--and I'll get to them, honestly I will. But something caught my eye this morning that has elbowed its way to the top of the heap.
One of the links that is being promoted on my start-up page over at MSN.com this morning reads as follows:
Paramedics & Cops Only Make How Much?
10 stressful jobs you'd think would pay more
And underneath this headline appears this enticing tickler:
Find a job by salary range
Seeing as how Phil and I are facing our third salary cut in as many years (isn't this economy fun?), I thought I might just check out what the employment professionals are saying I should be making.
Three years ago, Phil and I made salaries that were only a little shy of principals in Greater Richmond's high schools. That salary range is pretty comfortable, actually, and seemed appropriate considering the breadth of our responsibilities.
Then as the economy began to shrink, we took a 7% cut in 08-09. In 09-10, we and everyone else at Theatre IV were asked to assume more of the costs of our health insurance. Pretty soon, if things continue to go as they're going now, we'll be taking an additional 10% cut in 10-11.
I'm not complaining. I'm lucky to have my job. It seems everyone is being asked to sacrifice these days. Being a glass half-full kind of guy, I prefer to focus on the notion that sacrifice is good for the soul.
But just for the heck of it, I decided to click on the little box that suggested I could "find a job by salary range." I thought I'd check out just how the high school principals are doing these days, and how theatre directors are doing in comparison.
The link took me to CareerBuilder.com, and a specific off-shoot of their site called cbsalary.com. I was asked to type in a job title. I typed in "Theatre Director." I was invited to search for actual salaries within a particular community, and I typed "Richmond" and "VA."
Particulars immediately popped up, and I was glad to see that my job was included in CareerBuilder.com's data base. But I was puzzled to see my job described thusly:
Supervise and coordinate activities of correctional officers and jailers"
There it was. That was it. And "theatre" was even spelled with an "re."
Now I know that when one is fighting in a world war, the global battlefield is divided into "theatres." I guess it makes sense for prisons to adopt similar language. So I'm not dismayed to learn that someone who supervises jailers calls himself or herself a "Theatre Director."
Actually that's kind of cool.
But I am disappointed to learn that this is the only type of "theatre" job to have earned the attention of CareerBuilder.com. The type of "theatre" that you and I love, my friends, completely escapes their attention, at least in terms of "directors." Are there really more "theatre directors" working in Central Virginia's prisons than there are working in Greater Richmond's theatres? Or, once again, are jobs in the arts being overlooked and/or dismissed as somehow being less worthy than "real jobs."
With attitudes like this being developed and propagated by employment specialists, no wonder politicians continue to make cuts in the arts (one of the most labor intensive industries out there) while calling for more expenditures directed toward "job creation."
Stop the madness!