Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - RuthNY

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 33
I'd love to hear more details please, about the new processes you and your AD created to decrease stress!!

Having just recently done some research on it for a project, it's astonishing how much of burnout's description and characteristics you personally recognize working in theatre.

I was doing personal research earlier this year due to a stressful spring of overlapping shows, and was quite disheartened to see a term called the "stage manager syndrome" in a businsess manager help article. It made me really step back and think about what I consider my job, and what I should consider my job. My AD and I have worked through some new processes that will hopefully decrease the stress in our next season. Reaching out and clearly articulating when you need help is difficult, but vital.

The Hardline / Malcolm Ewen
« on: May 21, 2019, 11:15 am »
Malcolm Ewen, Stage Manager, first SM to be named as a member of the Steppenwolf Ensemble, Equity Councillor, Artistic Director, Director, Negotiator, Mentor, Friend, and all around best person ever, has passed away.  He was a member of this board, although in recent years he didn't post often.  Malcolm was a Titan of our industry and will be missed forever.

Employment / Re: Not Working
« on: Apr 27, 2019, 10:59 am »
Try clearing your browser cache.

Does anyone have an editable version of OUR TOWN? PM me, please!  Thank you in advance!

It really depends on the show. If it's a new script, do it single sided, as rewrites will be much harder to insert if it's double sided. I'm not sure there is one single "standard," otherwise.

How about for staged readings? Is there a standard for that?

Tools of the Trade / Re: Dressing Room Mirror Lights
« on: Nov 30, 2018, 08:34 am »
Equity is now using this as the basis for required mirror light in dressing rooms. It's the new standard!

Thanks for breaking down the information for all of us, KMC!


The specification that Ruth provided is quite helpful.  Reading through this briefly your key points are 1) a color temperature in the 2700-3500K range  (2700 is warmer and will be what most people associate as a "normal" color and 2) CRI rating of 85 or higher.  You can easily find relatively-inexpensive LED lamps that meet both of these criteria.   

I wouldn't go and change every makeup station immediately, but your heat-sensitive performer may be a good test case in considering swapping out all of your makeup lighting for LED.  If you make the switch it will save your facility a considerable amount of energy cost: each lamp will save you roughly 5x its cost in energy over its life, and this doesn't include indirect savings from reduced cooling costs.

In any case (LED or otherwise), keep the specification document handy as it will be a good data point for you to use in the inevitable case that someone deems the quality of your selected lamp unacceptable.

Tools of the Trade / Re: Dressing Room Mirror Lights
« on: Nov 29, 2018, 11:00 am »

So having an actor that overheats and sweats easily has caused us to reopen a conversation about converting dressing room mirror incandescent lights to something else that would show off less heat and still keep color proper for makeup purposes.  Has anyone come up with or seen a viable alternative to regular incandescent lightbulbs? 


Wow. I sure hope the SM team gets to complete a survey on the cast, crew, and designers for the same reason.

Hello All,

I am trying to make an anonymous survey that the cast, crew, and design team completes regarding the Stage Management Team and if they have any criticisms or ways to improve. Does anyone have any suggestions for what I should be asking?

Thanks in advance for your support!

Funny! I also can't help keeping track of how many times in one show I say "Go" on or just after the scripted word "go."  In my current show it's twice.

(I always enjoy when my cue times w the word "go in the script..." tho it always takes a moment for board ops to hear me as opposed to the actor)

In LORT, Production Meetings ARE counted in the SMs total hours, EXCEPT in Tech week.

I seem to recall that production meetings are time not counted in the SMs total hours. So this is actually an interesting conundrum. (Am I misremembering this contract? I remember having this specific discussion more than once....).

As far as I know, this was not addressed in the recent negotiations. But the rule quoted earlier should cover a situation where the SM is required to attend a meeting over a meal break. A smart producer/AD/manager will ask the SM department to stagger meals breaks so that eveyone is covered and no gets overtime. 

However, there's a catch in the LORT book that seems to be in our favor. It's this rule:
(H)Working Conditions for Stage Managers and Assistant Stage Managers.
(1) The Stage Manager or Assistant Stage Manager must be present at all rehearsals and performances. The Theatre shall not require members of the Equity Stage Managerial staff to absent themselves from rehearsals or performances.

What this says to me, is that only the SM can make the decision on staggered meal breaks, depending on what is happening in rehearsal and what personnel is necessary to run said call. But I've never tested this out in real time with a producer and a business rep's interpretation.

Thanks for these helpful responses. As a follow-up I'd like to know whether the recent LORT contract specifically addresses the situation when the stage managers miss their meal break in order to attend production meeting? Thanks again for your support and advice.

LORT actually has a rule about that, Fred.  "If the Theatre requires the Stage Manager or Assistant Stage Manager to work during the meal break, including, but not limited to, work which is necessary in order to enable a rehearsal to resume properly and appropriately on time, the Theatre shall provide the Stage Manager or Assistant Stage Manager with a meal and pay no less than one hour of overtime." (64-I-3-b)

So, your trepidation about presetting over break is correct.  You and your AEA assistants are not to do so, unless the person who approves overtime at the institution give their consent.

Pat and Vernon have already given great advice.  Staggering breaks is a great solution. However, as you suggest, letting the director in on the rule, and telling them that your department will begin preset as soon as the break is over, is also a choice. Depending on your relationship with them, of course. They can do scene work, or notes, or music until you are ready. There's ALWAYS something small that needs work.

But, you are backed up on this one, by a very specific written rule.

Need your advice:  I am PSM at a LORT ā€˜Cā€ theater and am in rehearsal for  HELLO DOLLY. Just before the Company went on its scheduled one hour lunch break the director  announced he wanted to have a stumble-through of the entire show after lunch ( A major schedule change!!). I have two ASMs and one production assistant. My question is whether to: Take our required one hour meal break and return in a hour to preset for the stumble-through  thereby delaying the start of stumble-though; OR do the preset over the lunch break and eat in whatever remaining time is left before afternoon rehearsal begins; OR advise the Producer stage management will be putting in for penalty meal time if they have work through the meal break; OR stagger  individual breaks of stage management so each has a full hour to eat as well as preset for the stumble through;OR immediately point out to the director some of the consequences his decision to change the schedule have made for stage management. I am assuming that all members of the stage management here will support the final decision. I know there are other solutions and I  welcome your alternative suggestions. Thanks!

The Hardline / Re: AEA ELECTIONS ā€” VOTE!!!!
« on: Apr 29, 2018, 10:31 am »
Thank you, Pat! Your support is much appreciated!

Yes, all, please vote!

And, if you'd like advice on who to vote for, I'm sure many of us here would be willing to offer assistance.



It's that time again ā€” our own amazing Ruth E Kramer is running, along with some other folks. Please feel free to ask any of us our thoughts on the candidates running (ideally over PM), but no matter what, please VOTE. This is a really important election (I know, I know, aren't they all)


Calling button bumps is something you practice the very first and second days of rehearsal when the cast is learning music.  That's the SMs opportunity to learn the music too, and count/memorize the final notes of any song.  Learn the button bumps just as you learn where the music changes are in dance numbers, because yes, there will be a light change there, too.

Now although some of this is about preparation, it's MUCH, MUCH more difficult without a conductor cam.  Without a cam, the singers and conductor must do the same thing at every performance if they want that kind of cue at the end of the number to be both correct and effective.  If the singer is given latitude to cut off whenever they want to, that can be a huge issue.

Talk to your conductor, and ask them to count the end of each number for you,  That way it's much easier to find the "GO" even without a cam.

1-2-3-4-5-6-sev-go-eight, will give you the correct bump on eight every time, and you adjust for other time signatures.

Best of luck,

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 33