Author Topic: So...I want to go on tour  (Read 10287 times)

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ddsherrer

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So...I want to go on tour
« on: Jan 09, 2006, 10:46 am »
I have been stage managing professionally for four years and I think it is time for something new. I am 21 and I don't have a degree. (Educational theatre and I don't mix.) I think I want to go on tour, but I don't really know what to do. I'm a stagehand at a couple of different theatres so I've met a lot of people and gotten a lot of different opinions about being on tour, and I think I want to go. Any tips on what to do, or who to call? I don't know a lot of people currently on tour, so anything will help. Thanks in advance.

Deb
If all the world's a stage, where's my stage manager?

Mac Calder

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So...I want to go on tour
« Reply #1 on: Jan 09, 2006, 02:38 pm »
It is really just like getting a job with a regular company, however you find one that does touring shows as well. If you are with the show from auditions to the unloading of the trucks at the end of the tour, then you want a company that is relatively close as at least half of your time with them will be at the rehearsal venue.

Touring can be a bitch. Especially when you are organising a lot of it. For example, compiling a technical rider to send to venues can be absolute hell. It relies on the fact that your designers know the exact specifications for the rig, then you need to calculate loadings etc.

Then you have to deal with the fact that a lot of venues will say "Yeah that should be fine" after glancing at it, send you their tech specs, and you have to tailor each show because of subtle nuances in the sightlines, differences in bar locations and lack of power.

I love touring, I think it is a great way to get out of the box and to meet some great people, but new venues every week is enough to make you want to scream. I even did a school tour. Minimum of 2 schools a day. 1 hour to bump in, 1 to bump out, and 1 hour to do the show. Arive at 8, finish at 4 and be on the road that night to the next town. That was a damn busy tour.

Bottom line - if you are not prepared to give touring everything you can, and then a little more, dont bother. Then again, your a SM, so chances are you do that anyway.

ddsherrer

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So...I want to go on tour
« Reply #2 on: Jan 12, 2006, 09:19 am »
I don't have any tour experience other than working local crew for Rivercenter and The Davis (and other concert type venues.) Many of the shows that I SM are with the Children's Theatre. Here's what I've done in the last six months: Charlette's Web, Sideways Stories from Wayside School, The Bible: The Complete Word of God (Abridged), and A Tuna Christmas-directed by Ed Howard. That was my life from July to December. Most of these were guest artist contracts, Tier II.  I also teach through the Springer Theatre Academy. My next wave of classes start on Saturday and they will be Stage Management and two different Stilt Building classes.

I know I'm young, but I'm a quick learner and I think I have the right kind of personality to be an asset to a tour. I just don't know how to get the ball rolling.

Thanks for your time,
Deb
If all the world's a stage, where's my stage manager?

kjdiehl

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So...I want to go on tour
« Reply #3 on: Jan 19, 2006, 10:27 pm »
Are you Equity? If you are, then unfortunately it will probably be very difficult for you to find an Equity touring SM position at so young. AEA Touring SM slots are really some of the best paying jobs out there, so the best people with the best contacts and most experience tend to get them. Not that you're not any good, but the chances of you having the contacts and experience necessary are slimmer at your age. There are some smaller Equity tours that you might be able to find. Especially for TYA contracts. You might start looking into the various children's tours available.

If you're not Equity, then there's alot more available to you, though at a great cost. Stage managers on non-union tours tend to do EVERYTHING and for VERY little pay and extremely hard hours. However, if you do enough research and asking around, you might find some that are more appropriate and with decent enough working conditions. Troika's one good example. Good luck!
-Kris Diehl, AEA SM

"Somewhere in the city there's a stage manager waiting,
standing in the shadows with a clipboard in hand..."

ddsherrer

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So...I want to go on tour
« Reply #4 on: Jan 25, 2006, 11:48 am »
I am not Equity, but I seem to be well connected on the east coast. I've had a couple of job offers in Atlanta, but not for touring. I don't mind the long hours and little pay (for now). My niche is children's theatre, so I'm looking into a couple of those. Thanks for your reply.
If all the world's a stage, where's my stage manager?

centaura

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intro to tour
« Reply #5 on: Mar 01, 2006, 12:49 pm »
If you're into children's theatre, and want to a basic "intro to touring" experience, I'd recommend AFT / ATAFY = American Family Theatre or American Theatre Arts for Youth - www.atafy.org

They put add out on Backstagejobs.com a lot.

Its about one of the smallest scale tours that are on the national arena, and folks usually end a tour either hating them or going back out tour after tour.  In my experience with them, the folks that hated the company usually didn't have 'touring' personalities.

I reccomend them 'cause you can get hired young, don't need previous touring experience, and it gives you a taste of life on the road.  It'll introduce you to the range venues available in the US, the kinds of folks you'll find at those venues, and it'll teach you a LOT.  It doesn't pay great, but if you go into it with a positive attitude you can have a lot of fun.  Its a bit late for their spring tours, but you could try for a fall tour - which is shorter anyway and a better 'quick test' if you're going to like tour.

My 2cents on the subject.

-Centaura

khx

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Re: So...I want to go on tour
« Reply #6 on: Jun 25, 2006, 10:55 pm »
If you want to start touring I would suggest VEE Corporation (Sesame Street Live, etc...) [www.vee.com]
They tend to have a mixture of new/young people that just finished school, as well as people that have been with the company a few years. If you have the right attitude/personality, are a good worker/employee, and if you can accept to live with what they offer payscale-wise (it's not a lot, but the experience can be quite good). It's good for someone just starting out; especially since any "big" tour is usually looking for someone with touring experience (they don't want to take chances when they're paying people full-scale!)

Another good place to look is Feld Entertainment, which does the ice shows, and some Disney Live shows.

The same applies for VEE and Feld; people leave with a great experience or they hate them (because they got fired, or just couldn't conform with the company "system"). These companies can be much more "Corporate" than most theatre people are comfortable with.

Both VEE and Feld post on Playbill every now and then. VEE also has an online submission form. Good luck.
Kyle Heartt
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afought

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Re: So...I want to go on tour
« Reply #7 on: Jul 22, 2006, 06:17 pm »
Hey there. New to the site. What do they say, "First time caller, long time listener." Anyway...

There are other options out there than your bus and truck tours. Take my company for example Cirque du Soleil. We will set up shop in a city for months at a time. The shortest that i have been in a city with Cirque was 6 weeks. You actually get to see the city, surroundings, sites instead of just the theatre and your bunk (socks not included).We employ General Stage Managers, Backstage Managers and Junior Backstage Managers on our tours (well the Junior not so much on all). The benefit is, that i can see from your posts, is that you like to work with children. Currently on my tour out of 60 performers we have quite a few children. All of them artists. They are a blast to work with and keep you guessing. A lot of our tours have children on them and they work, go to school and act like normal kids but honestly sometimes they are more professional than some of those that have been in the industry for decades.

Just some food for thought. Keep an eye out on New Member Link: http://www.cirquedusoleil.com [nonactive] and at the bottom of the page you will see something that says "Working for Cirque". Click there.

Good luck in all that you do.

Alfie

loebtmc

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Re: So...I want to go on tour
« Reply #8 on: Jul 23, 2006, 04:03 am »
How fascinating your work must be! A million years ago I was asked to submit a resume to Cirque, but at the time, requirements included fluent French (mine was good but not brilliant), moving to Florida to train, and all the work was nonunion with no benefits. I assume at least some of this has changed?

smejs

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Re: So...I want to go on tour
« Reply #9 on: Jul 24, 2006, 05:58 pm »
Quote
The shortest that i have been in a city with Cirque was 6 weeks.

Note that there is at least one Cirque show that does very short stays.  A friend of mine tours as a stage mgr with Delirium which for example will only perform in Denver for 4 shows, August 30-Sept. 2nd.

Erin

Gina

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Re: So...I want to go on tour
« Reply #10 on: Jul 26, 2006, 10:02 am »
I am a younger Non-Equity Stage Manager. I work for a small company called the California Theatre Center. People have mixed feelings of the company. It is a really hands on job and has its quirks like any company, but I have gotten to tour, see part of the country, make decent money with health insurance, and even teach children 8-18. I don't know if it is going to help me onto a larger tour, but for not I'm able to pay my bills by stage managing and get a taste of what touring is like. We do only children's shows during the schoo year and have a rep season at our home base during the summer. If you ever want to check them out their website is www.ctcinc.org.

Food for thought,
Gina

megf

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Re: So...I want to go on tour
« Reply #11 on: Jul 26, 2006, 06:46 pm »
Wow! I started doing theater at CTC 13 years ago, and was back only last summer as a staff member at the Advanced Conservatory!! How's the summer program going? Summer Rep? That's so cool! Small world...

I have heard from a number of CTC company members over the years that the tours are fun - great opportunities to see the country, to move a show, etc. For a while I kicked around the idea of hopping into a SM job there upon graduating from college, but have found that musical theater suits my preferences more. I'm a Production Assistant for a national tour right now, and it's quite an experience - my first tour, first time traveling a show hundreds of miles (our move from rehearsals in NYC to our tech theater was 2,000+ miles... whew!), and first time working with the various performing arts labor unions in this setting. After being "brought up" in the hands-on CTC atmosphere Gina describes, it's a lot to adjust to - but I'm having tons of fun, and learning plenty!

Gina - I'll be in the SF Bay Area from July 29 thru August 5 - my kid sister is an Intern in Training 2 this year. Maybe we should find a moment to chat around the Festival of Plays?

megf

loebtmc

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Re: So...I want to go on tour
« Reply #12 on: Jul 26, 2006, 06:51 pm »
(and Meg, what are you touring?)

(one of these days we WILL meet....)

lineberger07

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Re: So...I want to go on tour
« Reply #13 on: Apr 28, 2009, 11:23 pm »
hi guys, i am Tyler.....and i too want to tour. i am twenty, and am ready to take that next step.  Already in my life i feel as though i have accomplished alot.  I am on an internship that is ending in may.  The internship is at Walt Disney World working in Entertainment Costuming on Parades and Shows across the whole property.  I get paid to dress preformers yet learn how WDW does things....needless to say i am ready to take that next step.  I live in orlando florida.  I have already submitted my resume to networks on tour...but i find it hard to find these websites...so i was wondering if you guys knew of any more websites with job postings?


Thanks a million!!

NomieRae

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Re: So...I want to go on tour
« Reply #14 on: Apr 30, 2009, 12:34 am »
I'm not sure if you're NY based but two ways to get your foot in the door in this area are..

TheaterworksUSA, and Two Beans Productions.. both are small children's touring companies (Theatreworks is much bigger and offers Equity TYA contracts, so if you're ready for your card it's a good "in")

They are smaller tours that usually involve 1-2 vans, 3-7 actors/asms and 1 touring stage manager. I went on a  4 month tour with Two Beans and learned a lot. Things like how to maintain company morale while you're stuck in Wyoming with no night life (bowling is always fun!) and how to problem solve when you're nearest support is in NYC. I met tons of great people and had a good time. Money wasn't horrible.

Good luck!
--Naomi
"First, I honor life, and with it my life in theatre." -- Jacques Burdick

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