The days are long, better than fourteen hours. The performers are amateurs. The location is inconvenient. The script is, at best, questionable. There is no safety marshal, no matter how much it seems we need one. The food, when there is any, is terrible. The attitude of the above-the-liners is standoff-ish. The equipment is shoddy. Tensions are high and the pay is very, very low. If this was a union show it would have been shut down after day two and everybody knows it. We're all running on fumes, pushed forward only by the desire not to be the first one to quit.
It's one of those gigs that tests one's soul.
The AD sits down next to me as I smoke during one of the long stretches of needless downtime that inept upper management has provided. We both know how miserable this show is and we both comment on how glad we are that it will be shortly over.
I ask him, "Would you rather have a real job?"
"No," he replies.
Sometimes it's not about getting what you want but wanting what you've got.