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Messages - MarcieA

on: Sep 29, 2014, 02:46 pm 1 Onstage / The Hardline / Re: AEA LORT COSTUME FITTINGS

i had no idea there were senior business reps.

are the ultimate business reps?

supreme business reps?

on: Sep 10, 2014, 11:55 pm 2 Onstage / Employment / Re: "...interviewing locals only..."?!

What would you do if they asked you for an in person interview for a local job and you were out of town for a job?

Visiting a friend?

I live n NYC and have interviewed for jobs in NYC while I was in China, in a hospital in NJ, Boston, Chicago, etc, etc . . .

Sorry, I can do a phone/skype interview, I am currently out of town.  If they press for an in person meeting - well, then - then they have called your bluff and you should fly out there and meet with them (for seasonal work, I would be reluctant to hire ANYONE without spending some time in the room with them).

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Open Office is free and compatible with Microsoft Office formats.

EDITED TO ADD: And it works on both Macs and PCs.


Had this made for my birthday a few years back, comes with me to every tech :)
"Hold, please." A terrific double entendre for an SM. I like it!



I found this thread quite interesting which prompts me to just throw it out there: What would your ideal SM T-Shirt be if you could make one?---GO!!

"Hold please."

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on: Jan 29, 2014, 02:12 am 6 Onstage / Tools of the Trade / Re: POLL: Paperwork Ownership

As a student, I'm fascinated by this argument...

At my uni, we keep several dozen old prompt copies assembled by past students, and it's the most useful resource we have. We all love being able to compare other people's paperwork and pick and choose either the best or use it as inspiration to make something that fits our needs. (I recently compared five different props tracking templates with my SM to find something that suited both of us).

Many of my peers and I are completely happy to share our paperwork. Don't worry about attributing, change as you wish and if someone asks, you should just give it to them, too; that's our shared attitude. And we love it. Yes, some stuff isn't useful - so it doesn't get used by anyone else! We sort of consider it a paperwork version of natural selection. The good mutations will survive and thrive, and the ones not so well suited will die out. If you think this is silly, I'd like to point out that this process has continually improved the quality of paperwork by all SM students across the uni for the past half decade and has allowed us all to do our jobs better.

Do I think there's a place for some paperwork to be proprietary? Perhaps. I've seen some masterful solutions to managing some paperwork via FileMaker and I would never consider asking the creator to give me the file so I can use it. Having said that, I'd appreciate it if people didn't get precious over me using their particular pre-show checklist or similar. Will I ask if I can use your documents? Definitely. But consider just how much of a professional edge it really gives you, and whether helping train people and improve the quality of work across the industry is more important before you say no.

As for the SMNetwork forms collection: I can't count the number of times it has either saved my backside when I've needed something in a hurry (not lazy, just stressed and under the pump) or helped me devise better ways to do my own paperwork. So thank you, everyone who does support it. If you ever find your work in a show I'm working on and it's because I've found it here, please let me know so I can buy you a drink.


Tempest; I like your idea. If a company gave me templates, I'd be delighted to put whatever they want on their paperwork however they want it. They pay me, I do what they want.

sievep: I'm with you on this. And I feel that whether I list things in a certain order or use a certain font or not may make someone else happy, but at the end of the day, paperwork isn't the heart of this job. People are.

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on: Jan 16, 2014, 12:55 am 7 Onstage / Tools of the Trade / Re: POLL: Paperwork Ownership

okay, I tried a search, but couldn't find if I already did a big posting on this.

some of you know me IRL, so may have heard about this.

Look, a form is a form, and my forms are modification from previous stage managers, and it's involved - and is a summation of input from hundreds of stage managers I have had the pleasure of working with.  My call form, is my call form, and if someone likes it enough to steal it.  Fine, I really don't care.  My prop list form isn't special, it maybe unique to me - but borrow it (I mean how many different ways can you list props . . . I maybe clever how I break them down or deal with numbering, but it works for me . . . if you can take it and make it evolve for you.)

That's about format . . .

WHAT I DON'T LIKE PEOPLE BORROWING IS CONTENT DRIVEN THINGS.

I have an 8 page production list I have put together - it's sort of a stage management check list - every SM has their own form like this - but mine is detailed, and really geared for stepping into a new Regional Theater and figuring out how to quickly assimilate into a new environment.  I don't give it out electronically.  I print it out, and use it for my check list.  It's for me to do my job, and I don't turn in it - it's not required to mount, call or run the show.

I did a show at regional theater, and in a shared SM office space, I saw my check list with the next show's logo on it.  Someone from the production staff at this theater took the form out of my dropbox account, customized some stuff (basically change the in-house font and removed my name) . . . it was so obvious my form.  I have things and forms I call different things (I don't call it a rehearsal report, I have certain things I put into actors packet) - it even had my stupid misspellings in it - even my pre-production shopping list was copied and handed out.

This is a piece of paperwork that is for me, about me and my process, and to have it taken without being asked, was personally and professionally hurtful. 

So, I have become very protective over things now . . . I would rather give out a PDF of my calling script, rather then the word file, so for those who are too lazy to figure out how to duplicate my calling script, the can't just cut and past my formatting.  I have seen paperwork form my shows end up being taught in some schools - and I have no idea how that daily call form got there . . .  I don't honestly care about the form, but, yeah it would be nice to be credited . . . (For a long time a major regional theater used call form . . . and it still have the 1 pt font in white on a white background of my name on the footer . . . it warmed my heart).

So, format I don't care about . . . content . . . that's something different . . .

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I really just fail to see why anyone would really get worked up over this issue.  This is how we teach, and how we learn; and especially here at SMNetwork, if we are not here to exchange ideas then I fail to see the purpose of the community entirely.  If we punish members for asking for help, what kind of professional community are we?

I think to answer this, when it's being used to teach - no problem.  But when it's being lifted because someone is being lazy, or trying to take the easy way out - or steal my "Knowledge" - then it becomes more of mean spirited thing - and that's what I don't like.

Again, I have had my thoughts changed 180 on this because of one bad apple . . .

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A student wanted to use it as part of their research

No problem, please credit me.

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A student wanted to use it as part of an extracurricular school production

Again, with credit.

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A publisher wanted to include it in an anthology or textbook

Seems like this would be great with credit . . . and possible payment . . . especially if someone is making money off it.

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Someone were to repost it here, on another tech website, or in their online portfolio claiming it as their own

This seems to be a no-brainer . . . if it is a direct lift, I would be pissed . . . if they took the form and made it their own . . . then cool.


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A subordinate stage manager/PA/intern wanted to use it within the confines of your current production

Of course, and if they wanted to take the form and have it evolve to the next level or personalize - great.


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on: Dec 22, 2013, 10:54 am 8 Offstage / The Green Room / HAPPY BIRTHDAY PSMKAY

Thank you for this site, a gift that gives to all of us every day. Have a gloriously fun day with tons of presents and lots of good times with good friends!
Few things as awkward
As giving actor-playwright
Line notes for their play.

on: Aug 11, 2013, 05:28 am 10 Offstage / The Green Room / HOME!

After four months in Macau doing a temporary residency the biggest show (or at least one of the biggest shows) in the world, and 39 hours of travel (delays affecting international flights are the worst!), I am HOME!!!  Granted, it's only for four days - but when I am back in November, me and my husband will have to look at this travel thing - as when this is over it will be 12 out 15 months on the road, and he, rightfully feels that that is too much.  But so, so nice to be home.

I think being away physically so far away, along for the length, has allowed us both to be more vocal about our wants for the future . . . it's interesting to have to verbalize why certain gigs are important to one's career for a civilian spouse - but at the end of the day, it's important you both figure out what you need.

But now, HOME!!!  (Tuesday, Chicago . . . )
Things I would theoretically consider before typing a paper script (or printing an e-script!)...

- How talky is the play?
- Cost per use. Yes, I like my margins a certain way and I like to add space, and I like line numbers for being on book. Is that enough to make it worth the (probably unpaid) time I will spend typing?
- RE: doing it to "learn the script." I will hear the script a billion times and learn it along with the actors. I will be sick to death of it by closing. There will be oodles of table time when I will be gently escorted through textual analysis. Could I better spend the time learning authorial context, historical research, listening to the proper dialects, doing a real knockout Cue Fu*, or looking into shows that my design team & company have recently done? After all, these the things that will be important to MY job through the process. Knowing the script before rehearsal starts? That's the director's job. The actor's job. The dramaturg's job.
- How "locked" is the text?
- How will my escript look in my portfolio vs a paper script? Will it look like I'm diligent and dedicated? Or that I'm willing to do a lot of extra work for free? Or worse, that I'm high maintenance and will waste company money on fiddly things?
- Chances of a remount? And when? 10 years ago we were saving digital stuff on CDs and ZIP drives. 20 years ago it was floppy disks and tape drives. Remounting a show using your digitized script next year is one thing, but could you even access an archived e-script from 2003 using today's tech without scrounging high and low for rare peripherals?
- Is this a case of "make ALL the paperwork" cleverly disguised as dramaturgy?
- How active is rehearsal going to be? If I'm going to be running all over the hall, will it be easier to carry paper or my tech gear?
- How reliable is the power at the theatre? How about the weather? How's security in the hall? What's my photocopy budget for this show?
- How old is my laptop's battery?
- How pictorial is my blocking shorthand? It's easier and faster to draw diagrams on paper. It's easier to type text abbreviations.
- How tech-savvy is my crew? If I get HBAB** can my assistant/the PM/the director's brother/whoever they get to cover for me figure out my escript?
- Am I setting a precedent that I will be retyping every script for this company going forward?

* Cue Fu - line by line analysis of the show for potential tech issues, using a big honking grid. Kind of like a WWW. Kind of not.
** HBAB - hit by a bus

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Not to ask a stupid question...

But has the actor/actress TRIED pancakes with ketchup on them?  It might taste okay.  I think pancakes with a bit of cheese in them would be nice(ish) with ketchup (or better yet chili sauce -- but now I'm getting sidetracked)

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on: Feb 10, 2013, 03:21 am 14 Board News / Announcements / Staff changes Feb 2013

It's a pretty rare year when both of our main on-topic boards get new staff members, but that's exactly what has occurred this year.

Yomanda has finished the gauntlet of abuse cleverly disguised as training and is now officially moderator of Stage Management: Students and Novices. Maribeth is now moderator of Stage Management: Plays & Musicals in addition to her ongoing assignment as moderator of our members-only Regional boards.

We give many many thanks and tea and cakes to these new volunteer staff members, and also to Bwoodbury and Rebbe, who are departing the SMNetwork staff after quite some time handling these busy boards.

Make sure to say hi and congrats to the new staffers when you see them around!
The AEA Audition Department/Committee is getting smart about negotiating into contracts a requirement for theatres to publicly say how SMs can apply. That being said, I'd appreciate seeing a phrase like "accepting SM resumes for future reference (or future openings) only."  That way we'd all know what we are doing, up front. Sort of like an actor knowing a role is already cast, but auditioning as a possible replacement or understudy.
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