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Messages - MatthewShiner

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I think you might do well looking for an internship with a major regional theater in a large market (Chicago, Washington DC, NYC - although you stated you weren't interested in NYC).  This would allow you to get a regional theater credit to your name, while soaking in connections and the theater scene in this city.

It might help you get focus, and if you feel like you need grad school to help give you a larger skill set, an internship may help you get in.

Uploaded Forms / Re: Props/Properties
« on: May 22, 2015, 06:03 pm »
Source could also mean where the prop was generated from

Director Add
Designer Add

etc . . .

So, you can figure out where the prop idea came from

The Green Room / ARTICLE: The myth of multi-tasking
« on: May 20, 2015, 12:57 pm »

Now, there is a lot to be said about improving your ability to "Switch-Task",  but there is always the plus of focusing on one thing at a time.

Tools of the Trade / Re: Ideas for a small burst bag of sequins
« on: May 20, 2015, 07:40 am »
I've searched several terms and nothing is popping up useful, so here goes.

For one of our ballets, a world premiere, we need one of our dancers to make glittery dust fall from his hand. My thoughts went to blood packs, filled with silver sequins. The problem is the dancer wears a shirt with medium length sleeves, so I can't hide it in his cuff/around his wrist. I don't want to use real glitter for obvious reasons (plus it's a rented dance floor). I figured sequins would be easier to clean up and would reflect well in the spot light.

If I use a blood pack design, I have to figure out how to store it on the dancer (there is no set) and how does he get rid of the empty pack without making it noticeable?

This is the last piece before intermission, so we have 20 minutes to clean it up. The downside is, it's in the middle of the piece, so dancers will have to dance on it (or try to avoid it).

I welcome any and all thoughts - or better suggestions for what to do.

(And no, our company doesn't have a prop shop, so this does fall into my scope of work.)

The other option might be silver mylar confetti, it should fall relatively flat . . . sequins might have some dimension which may make it hard to dance on.

Still hiding it still a problem . . .

The Green Room / Article: Goal as Compass
« on: May 16, 2015, 03:06 pm »
I think this maybe a new philosophy in my career

The Green Room / Re: The Trouble with Paperwork
« on: May 08, 2015, 11:46 pm »
LOL - don't get me wrong, I am fine with paperwork being used with permission - I was able to quickly track down how this piece of paperwork got into that persons hand and back in my inbox.

It happens.

I just think Paperwork is a poor indication of a stage manager skills, unless it is a unique piece of paperwork solving a specific issue . . . like, tracking for a show like "House" and "Garden", or something like that - where I could see some independent thinking.

But otherwise, any sort of paperwork submitted I toss out, since I don't know where it originated from.    (And, anyone picking up a production book of my mine, if they were impressed by the paperwork, I would have to tile my hat to the team, since very few pieces of paperwork were created by me . . . usually contact sheet, daily call, calendar and sometimes scene by scene set up . . .)

The Green Room / The Trouble with Paperwork
« on: May 07, 2015, 07:42 pm »
So, if people follow my posts, they know I have been burned in the past with paperwork being stolen by other stage managers (taken without permission, given to other stage managers, etc. . . ), that I have become ever so shy about sharing paperwork.

There is a couple reasons for this - the paperwork I use has been put together by my team, and by adding improvements when working with new team members.  Also, stage managers are, like it or not, in competition with each other at some point.

Today, funny story, a very early career stage manager submitted a resume and some paperwork samples, I asked to see the word version of the PDF document he sent - and sure enough, my name was on the author page (I suspected as much).  This is one of the reasons that when hiring someone asking for paperwork samples is sort of pointless.  They probably got it from someone else, who got it from someone else. 

The Green Room / Re: Do you ever forget how?
« on: May 04, 2015, 06:52 pm »
like a drug you never get out of your system . . .

CM = Company Manager
GM = General Manager

I am currently on a commercial show, and the PM's responsibilities are as follows:

Oversee all technical aspects of the show (except wardrobe and costumes)
Oversee and "supervise" all crew (except wardrobe)
Hire, fire and find subs for all crew (except wardrobe)
Do major repairs on the set crew can't get done during work calls.
Represent us with all rental houses for rented equipment.
Approve all crew requests for leave (With PSM and CM)
How problem solve issues with scenic, prop, sound and lighting.
Review all production related costs on a weekly / monthly / yearly cycle, and propose costsaving or more efficient solutions.
Be a resource for all on-site crew and stage management for technical issues as they arise.
Be our representative with the theater management and maintenance in the theater - anyplace the show connects with the theater building.

(I am sure there are other repsonsibilities to General Management and Designers I am not aware of)

Employment / Re: Websites part deux
« on: Apr 30, 2015, 09:37 am »
Yeah, but my husband wanted to make sure didn't get snapped up by anyone else.

Employment / Re: Websites part deux
« on: Apr 30, 2015, 03:27 am »
Working on a new website . . . trying to rebrand myself to work more in nyc


still futzing . . . .

The Green Room / On the importance of a clean calling script
« on: Apr 30, 2015, 01:05 am »
So, on my current show, I took over the day after opening, and we are in the middle of US training, cross training crew, training crew subs, and trying to locate a new PA to sub on the deck so the ASM could learn the call - since both the original SM and PA were going to unavailable for most of the month of May.

Thursday of last week, I had to stay home from US rehearsal due to a very quick fever, cold and chills, but was able to come in for the show.  Friday, on my way into the show, felt like I was internally stabbed.  Made it to the theater, talked my ASM through the calling of the hard parts (this is a four person show, no automation, no may to hurt anyone) - and then went to the hospital - for six days - and will most likely be out another two.

Not an ideal situation at all - but important to note

a) have a plan to train someone to call the show, and talk them through.
b) make sure you calling script is clean and someone else can call from it.  There are actually two schools of thoughts on calling script . . . one is to make it so clear anyone can call from it and two is to make a calling script you can call from . . . but maybe not anyone else.  (This is an old school method of job security . . . )
c) Make sure not only you have someone who can call the show - for example your ASM . . . but someone to sub for you.

Even for a short run, think of this plan . . . something like this can come up instantly . . . not hit by bus, but a very angry gallbladder which needs to get out . . . can side line you for a bit.

Tools of the Trade / New Drop Box Feature
« on: Apr 29, 2015, 09:37 am »
Ram Across this press release . . .

Dropbox rolled out an update Tuesday that makes it easier for users to collaborate on shared files with a new commenting feature that allows people to have conversations within individual documents.

more at

There are two ways to take this thread . . .

What to do after stage management?

How does one stay in stage management long term?

The answer to the first question is ANYTHING.  Depending on your personal interests, your time as a stage manager will develop huge amount of skills, that with the right spin, could be an asset to almost any field.  There are some things that are more a direct line - project management, production management, general management, theater admin, etc - but really the world is your oyster.

As far as staying in stage management - that's more complicated, and perhaps better suited for an post not 15 minutes before curtain - but it's about longevity, thinking long term, making personal sacrifices, being educated, selling yourself, running yourself like a small business.  But more on that later . . .

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