When I was a kid, I'd decide on a whim to put on a show with my brothers or with the neighbor kids. We also do this sort of thing in Girl Scouts. We'd make our parents sit through these creative yet often poorly executed shows. I'm sure my mother was ready to get back to washing dishes more than once.
When I was a teenager, I started doing community theatre. The first shows I did were directed by a stage manager out of New York. He ran a tight ship, so it was a very stable, well organized and predictable environment.
My college professors also ran tight ships. Even if we didn't always get along, their shows were very professional and I was glad to take part. They were also very respectful of people's time.
Since moving to Los Angeles, I've experienced both end of the spectrum. Most burlesque producers I've worked with are very on-the-ball and run a professional show. Some theatre directors have been well organized and professional. I like working with these folks.
Then there are the others. These are the people you audition for and can tell from the way you're handled in the audition that you want to stop right there. You don't want the part. You can sense they maybe don't have the same definition of "good" or "ready for an audience" as you. Or they're so desperate for participants that you wonder what's chased people off. Or maybe you finally get to see the script or find out exactly what the project is and it sucks balls. I know I don't want to be associated with something that isn't good.
This is part of the reason we started Theatre Unleashed last year. We're not putting on shows in our front yard on a whim. We're making quality entertainment. I just wish everyone in Los Angeles had the same drive.