Poll

Which is the better tool?

Stopwatch
41 (89.1%)
Call Button
5 (10.9%)

Total Members Voted: 45

Voting closed: Dec 15, 2012, 01:02 pm

Author Topic: University, Round 4: Stopwatch vs Call Button  (Read 2134 times)

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PSMKay

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University, Round 4: Stopwatch vs Call Button
« on: Dec 11, 2012, 01:02 pm »
In this corner... [gesture] ... the stopwatch. Along with the clipboard and the headset, it is one of the three sacred symbols of stage management. Be it Omega or Radio Shack, new school or old school, it is doubtless a crucial part of our industry. We time scene shifts and quick changes. We time french scenes to ensure the actors aren't getting too creative. In rehearsals we time the work segments and the breaks. We use it to time verbally paced fades. Oh yes, the stopwatch is a mighty competitor in this tournament.

Aaaand in this corner... [gesture in opposite direction]... the call button. Separate from the headset and often neglected, the call button allows us the freedom to get off the leash when running a backstage track. In a pinch it can be used as a substitute for a cue light on the rail. It's the hooked boomerang that brings our board ops back into the fold, provided they haven't dozed off at their desk.

Only one will make it to the sweet sixteen. Which will it be? We'll find out when voting closes on Friday at midnight, CST.

Tempest

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Re: University, Round 4: Stopwatch vs Call Button
« Reply #1 on: Dec 11, 2012, 01:14 pm »
As I never can seem to get my crew to see the call button when I am frantically trying to summon them, I'm going Stopwatch all the way!
Jessica: "Of course I have a metric size 4 dinglehopper in my kit!  Who do you think I am?"

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LCSM

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Re: University, Round 4: Stopwatch vs Call Button
« Reply #2 on: Dec 11, 2012, 06:27 pm »
In a pinch it can be used as a substitute for a cue light on the rail.

...for stage managers whose ASMs and Board Ops don't have a chronic case of Oops-I-Was-Trying-To-Press-The-Talk-Button. I swear, there's one on every show. :-\

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yomanda

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Re: University, Round 4: Stopwatch vs Call Button
« Reply #3 on: Dec 12, 2012, 10:20 am »
Functioning in a non-conventional setting where no one but me even really cares what the run time was and there is no such thing as timed breaks, I would much rather have a call button so I can get a hold of my audio man when there's a problem. 

On_Headset

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Re: University, Round 4: Stopwatch vs Call Button
« Reply #4 on: Dec 12, 2012, 05:18 pm »
In fifteen years none of us will be using stopwatches, with very few exceptions. (I'm thinking a few handfuls of old-old old school SMs and a few hundred of those people who work in community theatre and have always used a stopwatch and nobody's going to tell them otherwise, so *huff huff fume indignance huff*.) In rehearsal you'll use your smartphone, and for performances it will be integrated into the digital show control system. (I've worked in venues where it already is.)

In fifteen years, your com will still have a call button, and it will still be useful.

Advantage: call button.

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