Poll

Which is the better tool?

Headset
25 (53.2%)
Cell Phone
22 (46.8%)

Total Members Voted: 47

Voting closed: Dec 22, 2012, 01:32 pm

Author Topic: Regional Round 6: Headset vs Cell Phone  (Read 6258 times)

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PSMKay

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Regional Round 6: Headset vs Cell Phone
« on: Dec 18, 2012, 01:32 pm »
Regional is getting all of the potentially violent matches this go around. Headset vs Cell phone. Both have been tapped be assorted pundits as headed straight for the finals, but they have to get around each other here in the sweet sixteen.

Many will see this as a hall vs booth debacle much like the flashlight/paper match running concurrently. However, this one has far moire significance. The headset is one of the three signifying symbols of the stage manager. It's proven its worth time and again, and any SM who's worked in a smaller house with no coms will understand the vital need for this device.

The cell phone, might seem at first glance to run circles around the headset, but remember: one is provided by the theatre, the other you must bring on your own. And let's not forget what happens to the cell phone when it falls into the wrong hands - like those of an audience member.

Match runs through Friday at midnight CST.

nick_tochelli

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Re: Regional Round 6: Headset vs Cell Phone
« Reply #1 on: Dec 18, 2012, 03:55 pm »
Seriously? Now I have to advocate for cell phones (currently 4-1 headset)??!!

I'm still fuming over the multi tool injustice. I'mma pull a Koch Brothers and flood this race later on if I have to.

maximillionx

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Re: Regional Round 6: Headset vs Cell Phone
« Reply #2 on: Dec 18, 2012, 04:07 pm »
Seriously? Now I have to advocate for cell phones (currently 4-1 headset)??!!

I'm still fuming over the multi tool injustice. I'mma pull a Koch Brothers and flood this race later on if I have to.
I'm with you nick...bring down big photocopy...

Can't you use a cell phone as a headset? Last time I checked you can't use a headset as a cell phone...

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On_Headset

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Re: Regional Round 6: Headset vs Cell Phone
« Reply #3 on: Dec 18, 2012, 05:19 pm »
I'm constantly telling people to turn off their  cell phones and put on their headsets. (At least at show calls.) Never mind sloppy follow-spot operators who blow their cues because they're playing Angry Birds or what have you. If I had to banish one from the theatre forever...

nick_tochelli

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Re: Regional Round 6: Headset vs Cell Phone
« Reply #4 on: Dec 18, 2012, 05:32 pm »
So when people don't show up on time, do you try to contact them via headset or cell phone?

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On_Headset

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Re: Regional Round 6: Headset vs Cell Phone
« Reply #5 on: Dec 18, 2012, 06:14 pm »
I still work with technicians and other staff who don't have cellphones. (Or if they do, only turn them on when they're expecting or making a call.) Modern theatre works just fine in a landline-only world: it's less convenient and you don't get instant responses (where are you, why aren't you here, change of plans: we need you to swing by the party rental place when you're finished with the LX rental, etc.), but you can correct for most of this through planning.

F'rinstance, it's true that, without a cellphone, you can't reach someone when they're late. So instead you make it their responsibility to reach you. Here: this is a business card with the Running Number on it. (The Running Number = a landline somewhere in the theatre on a desk which is staffed for at least the first half of the show: box office, stage door, house manager's office, etc.) As soon as you know that Something Has Gone Wrong (the subway breaks down, you get stuck in traffic, you're sick, whatever), go find a payphone (yes, they still exist) and call this number. Crucially, you should do this even if it involves a detour: I'd rather you be five more minutes late (with some notice of when to expect your arrival) than for you to be "only" 30 minutes late but have no clue when you'll be in the door.

There. It's not a perfect solution, but we can run a theatre under these circumstances.

Conversely, I'm not sure I'd consider it baseline safe to run a modern automated show without headsets. Even without automated elements, I'd still take the headset over a cellphone.

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LCSM

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Re: Regional Round 6: Headset vs Cell Phone
« Reply #6 on: Dec 18, 2012, 07:46 pm »
Seriously? Now I have to advocate for cell phones (currently 4-1 headset)??!!

I'm still fuming over the multi tool injustice. I'mma pull a Koch Brothers and flood this race later on if I have to.
I'm with you nick...bring down big photocopy...


ScooterSM

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Re: Regional Round 6: Headset vs Cell Phone
« Reply #7 on: Dec 18, 2012, 08:39 pm »
My cellphone totally saved a show when the headset system shorted out. Just saying...
“I've never been paid a lot, but the theatre has kept me, and for that I shall be eternally grateful.” Tony Church

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leastlikely

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Re: Regional Round 6: Headset vs Cell Phone
« Reply #8 on: Dec 18, 2012, 08:51 pm »
I'm a hearing person who works in a Deaf theatre. There is no (functional) comm system, and they're probably not planning on remedying that situation any time soon. Of course, it would be wonderful to have headsets... But we don't. So I keep my cell phone on me and text my SM if something goes wrong. In the past, on a different show at the same theatre, there were a few scenes where my track involved being on the phone (hands free) with the SM and she would call my cues that way.

So I can definitely do a show without headsets. As long as I still have a phone.

Plus, if someone is running late, they can't call my headset to let me know.

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On_Headset

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Re: Regional Round 6: Headset vs Cell Phone
« Reply #9 on: Dec 18, 2012, 09:05 pm »
My cellphone totally saved a show when the headset system shorted out. Just saying...
But how many actors and technicians are alive today because of the split second it takes to press the talk button and scream "HOLD", rather than the 20-30 seconds it would have taken to dig out your phone, switch it on, "open" it (slide the switch/punch in a code/however you lock your phone), open your contacts, find the right contact, wait for it to find service, press the call button, wait for it to connect, wait for the other person to answer (assuming their phone is even switched on) and communicate "Hi, this is stage management. HOLD."? ("What? This is Tony." "HOLD" "Donna, this is my day off. You need Patrick.")

Edit: and that's assuming your building even gets reliable cell service, which--as many of us know--isn't always the case.
« Last Edit: Dec 18, 2012, 09:11 pm by On_Headset »

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nick_tochelli

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Re: Regional Round 6: Headset vs Cell Phone
« Reply #10 on: Dec 18, 2012, 09:28 pm »
So what on_headset is telling us is they commit the cardinal sin of headset use and press the talk button prior to screaming hold.

Screaming hold should be enough one would think. One should also probably use a god mic for said purpose.

ps: I'd vote for god mic making a bracket next year.

smejs

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Re: Regional Round 6: Headset vs Cell Phone
« Reply #11 on: Dec 18, 2012, 09:36 pm »
While I absolutely want to use headsets for a show, the truth is that with my current touring gig, I don't always get one - though I quite often get to borrow a headset system from a friend. And if one of my performers isn't there at half hour (we all arrive at the schools separately), out comes the phone. During rehearsals, the cell phone is of course more present, too.

I do like the idea of adding god mic to the list for next year, though I think something else (like cell phone) might beat it in the final rounds.

megf

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Re: Regional Round 6: Headset vs Cell Phone
« Reply #12 on: Dec 18, 2012, 09:37 pm »
Cell phone, all the way. And in some Off-Broadway theaters, that IS your headset.

On_Headset

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Re: Regional Round 6: Headset vs Cell Phone
« Reply #13 on: Dec 18, 2012, 09:47 pm »
So what on_headset is telling us is they commit the cardinal sin of headset use and press the talk button prior to screaming hold.
The cardinal sin of sitting in a soundpoof booth a few dozen meters away from the actor who's about to get squashed? (In a house where, I might add, cellphones don't work anyway.)

nick_tochelli

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Re: Regional Round 6: Headset vs Cell Phone
« Reply #14 on: Dec 18, 2012, 10:35 pm »
So what on_headset is telling us is they commit the cardinal sin of headset use and press the talk button prior to screaming hold.
The cardinal sin of sitting in a soundpoof booth a few dozen meters away from the actor who's about to get squashed? (In a house where, I might add, cellphones don't work anyway.)

But again, wouldn't a god mic be more useful then? What happens if someone is off headset? You can tell them hold all you want. For the example you're giving, a god mic is the best tool. It's a direct line to the sm and it goes through the sound system.

Now, I may be misunderstanding how your set up works. Headsets can tie into the sound system i realize that. But if you're calling hold through a relay of people, that's not exactly a plus.

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