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Messages - MatthewShiner

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The Green Room / SMNetwork Member Spotlight Interviews
« on: Today at 01:54 pm »
Here's our first Member Spotlight SMNetwork Interview . . .

Maribeth Chaprnka!!!!

Please see PDF Attachement

I agree . . .talk to your PSM.

I tend to work with large teams (packs of stage managers), and often delegate EVERYTHING to the ASMs.  (I haven't taken blocking on a production in over ten years).  But, every time I work with an new ASM on a new project, I try to figure out who will do what.  What's important on the show, what's special, etc - and divide up duties accordingly.

The Green Room / Re: ARTICLE: Career or children?
« on: Aug 12, 2015, 09:35 pm »
Long before I was AEA, my wife and I job shared a position during the pregnancy and first few months . . . they got the benefit of two people employed, and we each got time to spend with the little one - but were lucky we could get by on the one salary.

The Hardline / Re: To Off-Broadway or not...
« on: Aug 10, 2015, 10:03 am »
It depends on why you ask . . .

there are off-broadway theaters.

but, for resumes and so-forth, I would go with the contract

The Hardline / Re: "7 out of 9" vs. "8 out of 10"
« on: Aug 05, 2015, 07:27 pm »
Ruth, interesting, the way I shaped my opinion was after discussion with a business rep on a verbal ruling.

But, my logic is the 7/9 and 8/10 rule falls under span of day, and not the work weeks . . . 

But look further down in the straight six rules

(ii) Each six-hour rehearsal block used shall count as eight hours for the purposes of calculating the hours rehearsed in a work week.

Note, that it does not say it counts as an 8/10, it counts as eight hours of rehearsal time.

I think the rule is vague on purpose.


The Hardline / Re: "7 out of 9" vs. "8 out of 10"
« on: Aug 05, 2015, 04:13 am »
This is all my opinion . . . I wonder if Ruth (or others) agree with me.

Okay . . . here is how I always thought about this . . .

It's a poorly written rule

(1) At the Theatre’s option, on non-performance days, rehearsal shall not exceed  “7 out of 9” or “8 out of 10” consecutive hours. The Company shall receive no  less than 12 hours’ notice of the span of each rehearsal day.


So, can you do a 7.5 out of 9.5?  I always thought so . . . it's does not exceed a 8 out of 10.

So, let's see what works for this schedule . . .

Can you rehearse 12:00n - 1:00p, 8:00-10:00p - yep, it does not exceed 8 out of 10.

Can you rehearse 12:00n - 1:00p, 7:00p - 9:00p - yep, it does not exceed 7 out of 9 (which also does not exceed 8 out of 10).

Can you rehearse 10:00a - 12:00n and then 8:00p - 10:00p - nope, it exceeds 8 out of 10 (it exceeds the later part).  I mean you can do it, you have to pay the overtime.

So, let's look at this schedule . . .

Monday: OFF
Tuesday:  12:00n - 2:00p, 4:00p - 10:00p  (Total Rehearsal hours 8 out of 10)
Wednesday:  12:00n - 2:00p, 8:00p - 10:00P (Total Rehearsal hours 4 out of 10)
Thursday:  12:00n - 1:00p, 9:30p - 10:00p (Total Rehearsal hours 1.5 out of 10)
Friday:  12:00n - 5:00p, 7:00p - 10:00p (Total Rehearsal hours 8 out of 10)
Saturday: 12:00n - 4:00p,  6:00p - 7:00p (Total Rehearsal hours 5 out of 7)
Sunday:  12:00n - 5:00p, 7:00p - 10:00p (Total Rehearsal hours 8 out of 10)

Great, so every day his daily schedule does not exceed 8 out of 10.

You are clear on the daily check.

Let's say this is small play.

You have 48 hours in the work week. no more then 45 can be rehearsal.

This is where things get tricky, and you should talk to an Business Rep . . . (Corrected from deputy)

I feel that work week was 34.5 hours against his 45 hours rehearsal week.  (I don't think you count the full span of the day - so I don't think you count this as a 47 hour rehearsal week.  (That is, I don't think each 8 out of 10 counts as 8 rehearsal hours against your weekly count).

The 7 out of 9, and 8 out 10 only counts as day to day span OF REHEARSAL.

You have to count actual rehearsal hours in regards to the 45.

NOW - depending on your business rep is . . . the work week thing gets really bonkers.

Let's say you are doing an ensemble show, and you are maxed out . . .
you are doing
three 7 out of 9's and three 8 out of 10's.

You have the 45 hours.

Now, you have three hours to play around with costume fittings (and anything else you and your general manager feel should be billed against work week hours). 


You rehearse 12:00n - 10:00p, with a two hour break, your rehearsal fits with in the 8 out 10.

NOW, you can schedule a costume fitting up against that, but outside the 8 out of 10 - rehearsal span does not equal work day span.  The span of work shall not exceed 12.

So you could do . . .

10:00a - 10:30a Costume Fitting
12:00n - 10:00p Rehearsal, with a two hour break.

That's a legit day.

Can't do 9:30-10:30a Costume Fitting - outside of the 12 hour span.

(Although you will find VERY different readings of that rule, I still stand firm that's a legit day . . . some people got hung up on the "consecutive" word - but I have already ranted about that . . . just hope you are working on east coast).


Doesn't 7 out of 9 not exceed 8 out of 10?  Does it need to be there?  Do we need that spelled out?  If we spell out 7 out 9, do we need to spell out 7.5 out of 9.5 - it all seems very silly.  But that's the way the rule is written.

Remember that's just your daily span, and has to do with week bucket of hours.

Students and Novice Stage Managers / Re: 'Wicked' Internships
« on: Aug 04, 2015, 07:03 pm »
321 Management handles the show.

You might want to contact them

321 Theatrical Management
321 West 44th Street, Ste 801
New York, NY 10036

P: 212-768-8255
F: 212-768-4516

Or, figure out how to contact the PSM through Theatrical Index, and reach out directly - maybe a later addressed to the PSM c/o the theater.

It's pretty esoteric, but does anyone have Impassioned Embraces by John Pielmeier, in any electronic format or scan?

If you find one . . .

The ask versus tell is a big deal . . . but, sometimes the ask is just a nice formality.

I got dinged early in my career by a production manager for thanking people for doing what is their job.

"You don't need to thank them, we pay them".

I still feel like a thank you is nice.

Stage Management: Plays & Musicals / Re: STAGING: Realistic CPR
« on: Jul 17, 2015, 04:36 pm »
I am wondering if the person having the CPR performed on him could have some sort of shield over their chest, and perhaps be on something soft under them . . .

Students and Novice Stage Managers / Re: PAing while in Equity
« on: Jul 17, 2015, 03:12 pm »
VSM, it's not just a humble opinion, it's a great opinion.

There are a lot of pros and cons to run by this . . .

but I think at the heart of this is the duties of a AEA SM are vague (and one could argue they are vague for a reason).  So, as long as a PA is being hired to assist the production, but not do the duties of what should be done as an AEA stage manager, it's technically okay.

The trouble we get in is when a show of a certain size is assigned two stage managers by the contract, but really needs four, and the producers in a cost saving measure, assign two PA's to fill the gaps.  There are Broadway shows that have PA's tech a deck track - not cool.  (I mean a great experience for the PA, but not cool).

I always had felt that it was the AEA Member's bad for accepting NON-UNION Stage Management work, but again, they aren't really doing the core duties of the stage manager, so are they doing non-union SM work?  Are they just doing adjunct work?

If we take it out of stage management, if the music department was to hire a PA to photo copy, track changes, etc - they are really an assistant - I think we all feel okay about that.

It's just that every stage manager does SOOO MUCH that's not listed in the duties, on a regular basis, that the PA is going to end up doing some of those duties.

I feel like the PA position should be unionized, and then we have a win/win situation.

I would love to see the PA position paid at minimum wage  (Since they wouldn't be on a management contract, they should be making minimum wage as to not fall out of favor with labor laws), plus health care/pension - at a rate set by the union.  But, there would be delineation to what their duties could be (can't call cues, can't run a deck track), and be limited to "X" amount of weeks - something like up to opening, plus three weeks - at which points, the PA's would either need to say goodbye, or be converted to an AEA contract.  After opening, a PA can be hired only in small batch of weeks - say two or four weeks - to cover cast changes, etc.  The longer a PA stays on, their wage should increase.

The lure of AEA members to PA on big shows in NYC is multi-level.  It's a way to introduce themselves to a PSM, GM, or SM team.  PA's tend to get on the short list for subs, vacation covers, and sometimes, but not always, replacements.  (This I think is the number one reason AEA PA's do the non-union work is for the hope of the lucrative contract, or work days on contract, down the line).

Until the PA position is unionized, the union really has no control over this in a way I would like.

It does seem very odd to me, an Union SM can't do a non-union tour, but we can take a non-union PA position.

My humble opinion.

Students and Novice Stage Managers / Re: PAing while in Equity
« on: Jul 17, 2015, 02:34 am »
Every off-broadway show I did in NYC, and even top tier LORT in NYC - and every Broadway show - the PA's are AEA.

Outside of NYC is really less common.  For example, when I ran the department at STC in DC, my policy was only non-AEA members could hold non-AEA jobs.

It's horribly vague.

Tools of the Trade / Re: Is Valuable or a Gimmick?
« on: Jul 15, 2015, 04:40 pm »
You may also eventually deal with a GM/Producer that is more real world office base, and this may come into play.

Not my current producer, but a film/theater producer used for remote workers.

The Green Room / Re: Patrons behaving badly
« on: Jul 11, 2015, 07:15 pm »
I don't know - I try to cut the audience a bit of slack.

Although we spend every day in the theatre, this maybe their first time, or come so rarely.

I am working on a show right now that pulls in a lot of families, a lot of first time theater goers, and a lot of international patrons.  I am amazed at how they treat it like watching a movie, or even worse, watching TV.  I am not sure what the answer is . . . but house management and ushers are always the first line of defense . . .

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