My Economy

Tackling the unpredictable gig work of Broadway

Andie Corban Jan 13, 2020
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Hatch and a coworker at the 2017 Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. He was then working on CBS's "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert." Courtesy John Hatch
My Economy

Tackling the unpredictable gig work of Broadway

Andie Corban Jan 13, 2020
Hatch and a coworker at the 2017 Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. He was then working on CBS's "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert." Courtesy John Hatch
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My Economy” tells the story of the new economic normal through the eyes of people trying to make it, because we know the only numbers that really matter are the ones in your economy.

John Hatch, 63, has worked on a stagehand on Broadway shows, late night TV programs and the opera. Hatch, a Connecticut resident who commutes nearly an hour and a half to New York City every day, has struggled to find employment since being laid off an opera job in April of 2019.

When he doesn’t have a job, Hatch wakes up at 4:30 a.m. to arrive at his union hall in New York City’s theater district by 7:00 a.m.

“Sometimes you get lucky,” he said. “Sometimes a call comes in. There’s a production going on, and someone has called in sick or is late or for whatever reason they’ve added some work and they need somebody.”

Stagehand John Hatch's headshot.
(Courtesy John Hatch)

Recently, though, Hatch hasn’t felt so lucky in his attempts to find work.

“I was on unemployment for about 12 weeks until that ran out,” he said. “I’m really just getting by with occasional gigs here and there, and doing some handyman work for people in my neighborhood.”

Hatch hopes to continue working until full retirement age, but isn’t sure if he’ll be able to find work.

“I feel like, in a way, I’m almost being forced into early retirement,” he said. “But I’m not ready to, neither financially nor personally.”

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