by Grace Smith. @gracectomy.
SYRACUSE, NY - With the theatre industry paused and actors out of work, unemployed stage manager Sandra Goscicki has recently begun offering her freelance services chastising people for touching things.
“I wanted to give back to my theatre community while keeping busy myself,” Ms. Goscicki explained over coffee, while slapping our hand away from the sugar bowl. “I’ll come to an actor’s home if they’re already vaccinated; otherwise, I can chastise over Zoom.”
Her standard package, called “No Phones Backstage,” provides numerous phrase options to correct and berate you. Fan favorites include a sharp inhale of breath followed by your name in a clipped tone and a passive-aggressive, “Is that your prop?” Ms. Goscicki and her team of unemployed stage managers can also adjust their levels of aggression to suit the customer’s preferred style of punishment, from gentle but disappointed, to barely contained violence.
“We can confine our chastisement to all objects in a single room, or follow you around your parent’s house,” said Erin Hinsen, one of Ms. Goscicki’s employees, while proactively color-coding our interview notes for us. “Many of our satisfied clients haven’t touched anything in days.”
If you choose Ms. Goscicki’s deluxe, “Wait For My Go" package, her team will mark your corners with glow tape, put blue filters on your lightbulbs, and complain about how they haven’t slept all tech week. Rave reviews from satisfied customers are already flowing in.
“It’s a great gift for your spouse who can’t stop talking about his glory days starring in his High School musical,” stated one 5-star review. “My husband is so chastised - it’s the first time he’s shut up about being the ‘Valjean understudy’ in ten years!”
Ms. Goscicki’s website confirms her team’s fees are absolutely less than they deserve, to keep in line with stage manager rates in the professional theatre industry.