A former conductor for a promoter and producer of musical concerts, who alleges she was fired because she complained of pregnancy discrimination, told a jury Thursday that losing her job has left her wary and depressed.
“I don’t trust anyone in the industry,” Eimear Noone said. “I wonder who’s going to stab me in the back. It’s ruined my faith in people.”
Noone, who said she also is a composer, testified that her current mental state has made it more difficult to come up with ideas, which she said is a crucial part of her livelihood.
“It’s been a nightmare,” Noone said. “I want to be able to do my job without worrying, It’s hurt my confidence as a performer.”
Noone, 38, sued Jason Michael Paul Productions Inc. in Los Angeles Superior Court last July, alleging she was fired in August 2013 after complaining to company founder Jason Michael Paul that she was mistreated after she became pregnant for the second time while working for him as the conductor in the symphony production of “The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses.”
Noone began working in 2011 on the “Zelda” production, which featured visual effects of the popular video game with accompaniment by an orchestra and played in concert halls nationwide and in some international sites.
Attorney Brett Bitzer, on behalf of JMPP, told jurors in his opening statement that Noone was fired because she had joined others to form a competing symphony.
Noone maintains that during her second pregnancy, she asked the show’s producers if they could shorten their unscripted comments or let her sit on a stool during their routine practice of addressing audiences during performances. According to Noone, they did not grant her requests during two shows in June and July 2013, even though she made multiple inquiries about such accommodations.
She said she implored JMPP founder Jason Michael Paul to let her stay on board with the show.
“I said, ‘Please, let me do my job, it’s all I wanted to do my whole life,”‘ she said.
Noone’s first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage in April 2012. She said that losing her job was compounded by the fact she was pregnant a second time and expecting a son.
“I felt like I was already failing him and he hadn’t even been born yet,” Noone testified.
Noone, who lives in Southern California with her husband, son and stepdaughter, said she and her family are “still in a glut of debt that we cannot climb out of” as a result of losing the “Zelda” job.
Although she is working in her field, Noone said the income is not what she made while working for JMPP. “I’m working 10 times as hard for less,” she said.
Noone also maintains she is owed hundreds of thousands of dollars in past and future wages, and that JMPP has profited by using her image after she was fired to promote the “Zelda” shows by making it appear she is still the conductor.
“It feels terrible, I’m struggling and Jason is making money and using my image,” she said.
Noone said she has had therapy to treat her depression, which she described as “like looking at the world through black-tinted glasses.”
–City News Service
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