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Messages - MatthewShiner

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Oh - PSMKay - Projection Scorpion - the code name for my current Data Base project is killing me already.

Ultimately, this is a tricky thing about line notes and who is on book and who is giving lines notes - and the team dynamics - ideally you have one sm on book and one sm taking line notes - but some staff sizes would limit that - even on my luxuriously large teams, I don't think that is the best use of resources, except for perhaps during a run.

I am worry about putting this all on to a computer - and here's my on my well worn soap box - a computer, by nature, and how we interact with it - is a multi-task machine - and putting someone with an open computer, you really have to fight staying focused on the task at hand (prompting / being on book / line notes). 

I think the easiest high tech way of taking line notes is open the script, highlight missed parts, and then cut and past into email.  Saving that script with a date.  I never want my assistants to put the WRONG thing they said, so, sending a note

To be or not to be

Should be enough to give the actor note where he messed up (And yes, I had an a Hamlet call for line after that . . . he really just screwed up his blocking, but being off in blocking made him screw up his lines)

Stage Management: Plays & Musicals / Re: Call Times
« on: Jul 28, 2014, 12:08 pm »
I, for one, would get OUT of the habit of announcing the next days call prior to sending it out at the end of the day.

You might be able to tell the possible span, but a lot of the time, when you get to the end of the day, you might have to change the call - add a costume fitting, adjust someone's call - and then you have to think - wait, who did I tell when - and then have to contact them to tell them, "Hey, check the call - you are now coming in earlier".  I have fallen into the trap of actor saying "Oh, you told me 7:00p, so I didn't even check the call".

What I do say is "It looks like your call will be 6:00p, but check the call tonight to confirm."

It just ends all confusion by putting out one call sheet with all the calls, and gives you the freedom to make the best call possible.

Post Merge: Jul 28, 2014, 12:09 pm
And - putting up a sign in sheet too early does lead to the problem of people signing in and leaving . . .

You should get in the habit of breaking down notes to the individual actor - and including the actors involved in one specific line note if it effected multiple people.

Stage Management: Plays & Musicals / Re: Call Times
« on: Jul 28, 2014, 07:58 am »
The standard now seems to email the call when it's set, typically 12-hours prior to the call - some theaters also do a hotline where you call in, but many theaters are doing away with that.

Often when you get to show calls, unless there is something special with that call - a stage manager will do away with the specific daily call break down.

One may indeed be posted on the call board, but who is going to go to work to find out what time their call is - to come into work.

welcome back . . .

Tools of the Trade / Re: Scheduling Software
« on: Jul 12, 2014, 10:46 pm »
I am planning the last day of the performance report to be the list of performers / crew on for that show.  So, there is a daily document of who did what that show.
Cast, conductor, SM, crew, and choir . . . Orchestra is orchestra (and will just mark the typical outages or subs . . . )

In the body of the report listing important changes / outages (first time a new mixer mixes the show, etc)

The Green Room / Re: SM Over The Head
« on: Jul 12, 2014, 06:57 pm »
But good on them for keeping him thru the various incarnations, because normally that person is left in the dust, bitter and muttering about fairness and opportunity.

Yes, but here is the one time it back fired on the producers . . . I think it's lesson to learn that sometimes the development PSM may not always make the best PSM in production.  So, if you get passed over on a production it might be good to remember this.

I think that's is also a good lesson that not every stage manager is right for every job.

The Green Room / Re: SM Over The Head
« on: Jul 12, 2014, 05:03 pm »
Sadly, the PM was not an AEA Stage Manager . . . and truly the size and scope of the budget would not easily allow another AEA contract due to money $$$ (not to mention the PM was filling in a lot of the SM duties over seeing the deck for a complicated show . . . )

Again, everything on this show was exasperated by too small of a theater (too young of a thetaer) trying to do something too large.

The Green Room / SM Over The Head
« on: Jul 12, 2014, 03:56 pm »
So, a recent situation has arisen . . . I am at a weird junction is that I know both sides of the story.

A PSM, let's call him Jake, was hired to do a new musical at a regional theater . . . and Jake has been with the show from workshop phases, for many years - long before a theater or the level at which the show was going to be producer.  Jake had put a lot of work into the show, and it was, in everyone's opinion, the right thing to let Jake continue with the show.

Very quickly the physical production grew - size and scope of the show - and Jake was very excited to be working on such a dynamic show.  Then the show hit tech, and it became very apparent that Jake was out of his element, and was in way over his head.

I know both Jake, the director and the production manager . . .

Jake felt like e could eventually handle it, but was just not picking it up and working as quickly (and thoroughly as the Production Manager would like) - and he was not able to call the show as precisely as the director would like.   Many options came up - do they let the SM go, bring in an more experienced SM to come over Jake, do they dumb down the show (make it easier to call)? 

There was a lot of pride in Jake's handling of the situation . . . he didn't ask for more help as the show grew, he was perhaps too stubborn in his dealings with people trying to help.  The production manager could also be at fault for knowing where the show was going production wise and allow Jake to continue on with the show.

How would you handle it if you where in this situation?

(Jake's situation played out okay  . . . the show was simplified a bit, and a lot of the tech time was eaten up by "calling rehearsal" - and a lot more dry tect time , and everyone is walking away a bit smarter . . . perhaps . . . )

Tools of the Trade / Re: Scheduling Software
« on: Jul 12, 2014, 03:34 pm »

KMC - thanks . . . this maybe an answer - I will play along with.

(The reason why database came up - my husband is a data base manager . . . it's his answer for everything)

Tools of the Trade / Re: Scheduling Software
« on: Jul 11, 2014, 02:17 pm »
It's overkill right now . . .

But truly this is the case the journey maybe more important then the goal - and learning how to use databases, setting them up, etc . . . might pay off.

Tools of the Trade / Re: Scheduling Software
« on: Jul 11, 2014, 02:28 am »
I started there, and it going a little too big for excel.

I am trying to recreate a system from my circus adventure . . . in a sort of very simple way.

I could easily deal with the robe size if in it read like

Choir 1
Dennis Lewis (48)

Where the size tracked with the name . . .

I think it might be too much for excel, but we will see . . .

The reason I am leaning towards the data base it basically because the option to generate different reports, and put it up on the web.

Tools of the Trade / Re: Scheduling Software
« on: Jul 11, 2014, 12:55 am »
I think the way I am going to go is create my own data base

So, it would allow me "cast" each performance, and then from the generate the following paperwork

1) Cast List for the evening
2) Sign In List
3) List for Wardrobe of choir robes needed
4) Performed list (versus who we thought would perform, who would actually perform)

This  #3 would make life easier to just hit a different report for wardrobe.

#4 for payroll.

So, for the next four weeks I am going to teach myself access and web application programming . . .

Employment / Re: resume format
« on: Jul 10, 2014, 07:10 pm »
Then I think in your case, for the next couple of years, put the *.

Or, again, list yourself as AEA at the top . . . and leave it at that.

Tools of the Trade / Re: Scheduling Software
« on: Jul 10, 2014, 02:33 pm »
Yeah that's the current plan . . . but I am looking at improving it . . . especially when dealing with Choir Understudies, and replacements as needed  - and also looking at home we will deal with this as the show moves forward.

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