MySpace comment thread from previous entry

The comments generated by the previous entry are preserved for historical purposes behind the cut.

Yay for ill-informed opinions!!

Yeah, I still check here.

First, David wanted to branch out on his own. That’s his thing. Second, hmm…we’ve always let Random Acts play here, so why is another “blue” show inconsistant?

Posted by Tim Sinclair on Sunday, August 13, 2006 at 00:05

I do want to clear something up. Tim, I love you like a brother, but to characterize my leaving as “David wanted to branch out” is highly inaccurate. I’ve kept my mouth shut for a long time now about all of this, but for the record I was perfectly happy in the company with every intention of growing in the company, until my troupe was scuttled. Remember I wanted to pay large portions of everything I earned to the company in order to stay in the fold. It wasn’t until I was accused of stealing the property that I created, and offered a generous 10% of the profits of that property, that I thought about leaving. I saw myself in a partnership with someone who considered me an employee (even though I was unpaid.)

Even then, after I took some time to calm down and put things in perspective, I asked to return as a player. I was told that I was no longer welcome because some people had blogged that they had seen me at a show. Apparently, I was hanging out with the wrong people. I’ve never actually read these blogs, but that’s what I was told.

I don’t know what the story is that’s going around, but my feeling about the whole issue is that I was attacked and betrayed by someone I considered not only a close friend, but a mentor. I’d seen it happen before, but I always thought it would be different with me. When it came down to it, it wasn’t.

So yes, I did branch out. And yes, being pushed out of the nest is one of the best things that happened to me. And yes, I have been wildly successful since. But no, I did not “want” to branch out on my own. In fact I did everything in my power to keep that from happening. I was driven out by my so-called friend, plain and simple.

Posted by David Patton on Sunday, August 13, 2006 at 20:12

I’m just happy to see someone from That Place admitting that 13 months after I was fired, they’re still monitoring what I have to say.

And I can hear it now — “but wait, Rob, you’re keeping an eye on them, obviously” — there’s a combination of things… yes, I do watch in amazement at what comes out of there publicly… I also hear about what goes on over there from people who either know that I used to work there or who don’t realize that I left… and I guess there’s a bit of a vicious circle here… since I’ve known all along that they read my blog, I kind of have to keep up with what’s happening there so I can continue to amuse myself…

As to your comments, Tim… I’m not about to start getting into “he said I said” here. I’m not about to change your opinion and you’re not about to change mine. So I’ll simply let my comments and yours stand for themselves.

Posted by Rob Hoffmann on Sunday, August 13, 2006 at 08:11

My one question is…

Why the need to mention ‘us’?

You’re right. It’s been 13 months. GET OVER YOURSELF. Move on. Find a new hobby.

You could have easily said ‘Hey my friend David got promoted! AWESOME!” but no, because you’re holding a grudge you had to throw something in at us. Hey, remember that blog you wrote about how you hated that the improv community was full of grudges?Sounds a bit hypocritical to me.

Posted by Tim Sinclair on Sunday, August 13, 2006 at 08:51

Why mention That Place? Because I am amazed at how much talent they’ve chased away (and no, I don’t count myself in there). Because it amuses me. Because I know there are people reading it… and because I know it irritates one particular someone. Petty? Hell yeah. But in this one small corner of my world, I like being petty. What can I say? I’m human…

And the last time I checked, I wasn’t part of the improv community. I’m just a customer. Then again, it was made pretty clear that even when I was working at That Place, I wasn’t considered part of the improv community… but that’s beside the point. I’m on the outside looking in… if I ever do find myself doing something for an improv troupe (an unlikely event, but one never knows), then I would definitely change my posting habits…

Posted by Rob Hoffmann on Sunday, August 13, 2006 at 09:22

Well, there are a lot of humans who aren’t petty. That’s a really weak excuse. Someone who is a big advocate for improv in Richmond is part of the community. The community incorporates the improvisors, the venues AND the fans.

I don’t see how you can hold a grudge for something you brought on yourself. You knew coming into the whole thing that someone was previously fired for blogging bad about the company. You were even given a second chance after your blog was found. However, you failed to listen to direction and got yourself fired. If there is anyone to hold a grudge against it should be yourself.

Posted by Tim Sinclair on Sunday, August 13, 2006 at 14:12

I just want to clear up a popular misconception.

I have no problem with why I was fired. You’re right, I brought that on myself. I should have known better… I let my emotions get away from me, and screwed up on several fronts. But that’s not the “problem”.

My problem with That Place ties to things that happened before and after my firing. And no, I’m not about to get more specific than that.

Anyone who’s familiar with That Place would be most interested in your definition of “improv community”. I know I was.

Posted by Rob Hoffmann on Sunday, August 13, 2006 at 16:43

I just want to clear up a popular misconception.

You have to earn people’s respect and trust, you don’t just expect it. I know you were put off when you had to hand off the phone to another player so they could give a message. You know why? You hadn’t earned the troupe’s trust and respect yet. You assumed that they did. The message had more meaning coming from the one who said it. Sure, you’re older than some of the troupe, but age doesn’t equal trust or respect. You were only at “That Place” for 8 months. Half the time you started earning trust, and you spent the rest breaking it back down. We put you on our committee, and tried to include you. However, things change if you break someone’s trust. You can’t break someone’s trust and expect to be left in charge. I’m sorry you felt left out. Several of us tried to include you, but if you weren’t gaining respect and trust, much less breaking it due to your behavior, no one would care. No one should be blamed if you’re a wall flower. Sheesh, you must hate every place that doesn’t throw a party in your honor.

Communities exist even if people don’t get along. Actors and theatre’s are all part of a “community,” regardless if they like each other. Houses are planned in “communities.” Nothing says you have to like your next door neighbor.

Posted by Tim Sinclair on Sunday, August 13, 2006 at 18:33

I have spent the last few minutes trying to untangle the pretzel logic in that statement and I’ve gotten nowhere.

If I’m reading it right, your idea of respect and trust is a chicken-and-egg game where you start out at “mistrust” and all actions lead back to it (and if I’m not reading it right, I’m sure you’ll correct me). In hindsight, I guess it was that circle of mistrust that drove me to act out and do the other (really dumb) things I did. No, it wasn’t the right thing to do. I should’ve realized it was a lost cause and bowed out gracefully. As noted before, I bungled it.

I’d go into the litany of things that REALLY irritated me about my stay there, but it’s not really relevant. You did mention some of the symptoms rather than the problems, but that’s understandable, I don’t think you could possibly see what really bothered me from your perspective.

In closing…

– I think David Patton’s response (above) is rather instructive.
– I guess I have a much different take on respect and trust than you do. Different strokes for different folks….
– And, finally, a question I’ve been wondering all day. I’ve explained why I continue to make my comments about That Place (it amuses me to be a brat about it). Why do you care what I say, anyway? You’ve made it clear you don’t agree with me, don’t respect my opinion, and I haven’t set foot in That Place for over 13 months. What does it matter to you — or anyone else over there?

Posted by Rob Hoffmann on Sunday, August 13, 2006 at 20:44

David, you’re a great friend and I’m glad you’re happy where you are. If I remember correctly, the “pushing out” was that we didn’t have the time or resources at the time for your next show, David. So it was more of a “let’s wait until later.” However, at that point, you decided you wanted to go do your thing, which was fine. We all have to move on at some point. The situation with CROSS was that majority of the people involved saw it as a production of “That Place” and not any one individuals property(other than the owner). It’s a missunderstanding. That’s about it.

Rob, my logic is this. When you start a new job, you have to build a trusting relationship with your boss until rewards are given. If you felt like you weren’t accepted or given the right authority, check back and see if your actions warranted, or continued to warrant, a good standing with the company.

Why do I check/respond here? I’m tired of hearing all of this slander from OVER A YEAR after the incident happened. I feel really bad if all you have in life is the desire to sit at a computer and right about how someone has wronged you. Go outside, breathe some fresh air, take up Zen or something.

Posted by Tim Sinclair on Sunday, August 13, 2006 at 22:32

Tim, this really doesn’t sound like you. Are you letting others use your profile?

If you read over my comments and then the comments written here, you’ll see that the issues addressed here are not the issues raised in my comments. The pushing out had nothing to do with any show or a wait until later. It had a lot to do with the CROSS situation though. I am even willing to buy the misunderstanding theory, but the handling of it was inappropriate, or at least hurtful to me. Tim, you weren’t aware of the everything that went on, and I intend to keep it that way. It was a bad situation. I felt like I was not treated like a friend and colleague, but like a lackey.

Bottom line. I did a lot of good work there. if I had been treated better I would still be doing good work there, or at least might be using my influence and connections to help out.

As it is, I’m having to defend my leaving, because I don’t want Rob bashed with it. He and a few others are aware of how badly that whole thing shook me up and how much it hurt me. I really never expected things to end the way they did.

And as I said before, I even offered to come back. I missed you guys, the players, and I just wanted to play. No responsibility, no troupe. Just play. I was already running my group at VCU. I just missed my friends. I was told that I was not welcome.

It’s funny because I talked to one of the guys that this happened to before when the thing with CROSS first started. I wanted to see what I could do to save the situation. He told exactly how everything was going to play out. and he was right to the tee. It’s a predictable pattern. I dare you to take look around. Ask yourself who’s it going to be next. Whose name are you ging to be afraid tio mention in certain company next year? Who is going to get that brittle smile and meager well wishes? Who used to be your friend, but now you’re nervous because they’re in the audience and you don’t know what the reaction in the office will be?

There are a lot of people who don’t work there anymore. Ask any of them why. How many do you think will give the same answer. It won’t be misunderstanding or “branching out”. It’ll be neurotic or crazy or paranoid. I’ve even heard vindictive and “down-right evil”. I’m not really one to take pot-shots, but when you poke a sleeping bear. . .

At the end of the day, bad things have been done to good people there. And all of those situations only have one thing in common.

Posted by David Patton on Monday, August 14, 2006 at 01:22

Amen, brother.

Posted by Michael Bruckmuller on Monday, August 14, 2006 at 20:42

Well then what IS the whole CROSS situation then? If what I witnessed and heard is wrong, then I need a new set of eyes and ears. If I was lied to about you starting Mustard Seed because you couldn’t produce Godspell at That Place and it was God’s calling, then I feel decieved and cheated. CROSS was going with Mustard Seed because you felt you should be the controller of it(thus the arguement I made earlier of misunderstanding who actually ‘owned’ it). Also, why would Christine want to partner with CROSS when CROSS wasn’t at 100%? We weren’t performing nearly as much as we were supposed to according to the original plan. We had practices here or there, and our shows at the theatre weren’t really driving in the dough.

If this is wrong, then please correct my vision. It’s what I saw. Why don’t I sound like myself? You should know why I am fighting for the honor of That Place. It’s something I believe in. That Place has helped me on so many levels.

Posted by Tim Sinclair on Monday, August 14, 2006 at 09:18

In all honesty, I’m glad you fight for what you believe in. I’ve always admired that about you.

You are absolutely right about the reasons I created Mustard Seed, but that was not intended to be my leave-taking. As for partnering with us, we were being offered $1500 for full day workshops. That’s more than I ever saw CSZ make on a remote. I’d take $750 for doing nothing everyday. Financially, it was a potentially very viable idea, especially considering the financial outlay was minimal. However, the choice to not partner is a business call, and business isn’t personal. My leave-taking was personal.

The whole situation left me hurt. As I said, I don’t want to get into the details of everything that went down. Let just say I left feeling driven out and mistreated. As it stands there are two types of people there, people I love and miss, and people I love, have forgiven and can’t stand. Nobody can hurt you like the people you love. Problem is that you can’t ever really stop loving them. If when you wish with all that you are that you could just hate.

Maybe that left over love and the pain associated with it is what keeps people thinking about that place. If we’d never loved it, we just wouldn’t care. There’s nothing quite so vehement as betrayed love.

Posted by David Patton on Tuesday, August 15, 2006 at 09:01

For all my frustration in how my tenure with That Place went, my larger frustration continues to lie in how people with far more performing talent than I have got the treatment that David got.

And David’s right. The story doesn’t change. Chapter and verse, I’ve heard it from quite a few people. I managed to live an abridged version myself, if only because I made all the mistakes I did.

David, don’t worry about me being bashed. It’s happened before and will happen again. 🙂 I am glad to give you a platform to tell your story.

Posted by Rob Hoffmann on Monday, August 14, 2006 at 07:32

I’m going to try this again, then I’m going to give up.

In order to “hear” the “slander”, you have to make a choice to come to my blog. If you’re tired of it, stop reading.

So that begs the question.

Why do you choose to inflict this on yourself? This is really honest curiosity. I mean, I knew people from the theatre were reading this. I’m really trying to figure out why.

As to the rest of your comment — I wonder if David will reply. I hope so. And as to the “new job” comments. I have had many jobs over the last 30 years. I know all about ramping up a new job. I’ve had jobs that have lasted for 7 years in my early 20’s (got as far as I could with that company, left on good terms), 7 years (20% staff reduction in one day and I had one of the higher salaries in my department), my current day job for 5 years and my radio gig for 3 years. Clearly, I have some idea how to integrate into a work environment. So something had to be different about the environment at the theatre for it to go so bad so fast… I leave it to the reader to work that conundrum out.

And your concern for my life is touching, if misplaced. The amount of time, in general, that I spend writing my blog (when I’m not responding to comments) is fairly small. And the number of entries that you are referring to are smaller. So while your concerns are noted, you don’t have to feel bad for me. Really.

Posted by Rob Hoffmann on Sunday, August 13, 2006 at 23:13


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