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Messages - MatthewShiner

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Employment / Career Oops'es
« on: Dec 21, 2014, 12:00 am »
Wanted to share a couple of career move oops'es I have either done . . . or have run across . . .

1) A friend of mine emailed me a notice of a show he had written - I emailed, jokingly to him . . . "Who do I have to f*** to get on this show?" - yep, responded to all . . . a virtual who's who of commercial theater got it (I played it off well, and got some positive feedback about showing enthusiasm as a stage manager).

2) Had an assistant apply for a job that conflicted with the current job they were working on with me . . . and used me as a reference without telling me they were looking for other work.  Made the reference awkward . . . to say the least.

3) Send out a cover letter without changing the name of the theater company from the last cover letter I sent out.  Sad really.

What other mistakes have you made and recovered from . . .

Employment / Re: WHAT NOT TO PUT ON YOUR RESUME . . .
« on: Dec 17, 2014, 01:05 pm »
Yeah, I think the juggling, oddly is theatrical and fights.

Equestrian riding.  Synchronized swimming. Summer Camp Counselor 

All of these things I have read on resumes - which I find interesting, and with enough thought . . . I can figure out how they apply to stage management . . .

It's when the get cutesy, or have no relation to theater . . . I can the question of taste in the reason to put it on the resume. 

On the flip side, I no longer list special skills in my resume.

Eventually you will want the space on the paper for something else.

Employment / Re: WHAT NOT TO PUT ON YOUR RESUME . . .
« on: Dec 16, 2014, 08:23 pm »
If I am putting together a team, I want professional, serious minded stage managers (who get along well) - if you want to pull a cutesy trick in your resume to stand out, then you probably will - but note some SM's/or PM's may not see it a positive way to Stand Out.

But, if you are early career and desperate to stand out - and your resume doesn't have the hook you need, then add something like this - what would you have to loose?

Remember the cover letter is to get them to read the resume, the resume is to land the interview . . .

Employment / Re: WHAT NOT TO PUT ON YOUR RESUME . . .
« on: Dec 16, 2014, 12:09 pm »
I read a bit of advice somewhere that I really liked; put one interesting, non-related skill on your resume. It rounds you out as a person, makes your resume stand out a bit, and it gives an interviewer a jumping off point for the dreaded, "So tell me about you, I see you can juggle..."

This can back fire, you have to be very careful with it.  I think juggling is not that out there our weird. 

You can stand out in the wrong way.

Why not stand out based on your skills and show list instead?

This happens all the time - very rarely are people only working on one show at a time . . . actors are shooting commercials, directors are developing three or four shows down the line.

You can't control what people do outside the contracted time.

I am concerned that you are concerned at this point.  They have yet to be late once . . . if there was an hour break between gigs and travel time was 90 minutes, or even 60 minutes, I can see sending up a red flag.

I would assume they are hopefully adults and will figure out how to make it work (maybe one leaves early, if the commute becomes an issue).  And then, if they are late once, be ready to run lines, and then discuss with them how the team would like to handle the time issue.

You should communicate as much as the project needs with each designer - no more, no less - while always keeping the door open for more communication if they feel they need more.

I find that I am usually the SOURCE of information for most of my design staff, and they end up coming to me (or the director through me) to get more information - I find, after an initial list or ground plan - there may be little they have to offer me.

My job is to make sure they have the information they need for success.

I think this really depends on your style.

My first meeting is the set-up for the entire relationship of the project.

Let's assume, for some reason, I am already on the project, but we haven't had a meeting yet.  (It happens).

This is how I start.

1) Why this show?
2) How do you feel about the cast?  Do you have any concerns?
3) How has the design process gone?  What have you lost or had to adjust?
4) How are your interactions going with the theater?  Producer? GM?
5) What do you want this final project to "be"?  (Look like, make the audience feel, what is this event?)
6) What do you want from me?  What do you like in past successful stage management relationships?  What do you hate?
7) How do you like rehearsal to be?
8) Good cop or bad cop?
9) I outline my "typical" style, how I can adjust, and what my process is like, and what I want/expect from the,.

I start in territory he feels comfortable talking to, and the turn it back on me.

But, this works for my style.

If you aren't comfortable engaging a director in artistic conversation . . . then maybe don't start there.

The Green Room / Article: Career Ladder versus Lattice
« on: Dec 14, 2014, 03:05 am »
Interesting Article . . .

Although, slanted towards corporate work, it sums up a lot about what I think about making lateral moves to get higher up the ladder.

Employment / Re: Staged Readings On Resume?
« on: Dec 11, 2014, 01:45 pm »
I have a section for stage reading/devo workshops, etc . . . just to show I do do those "short term" / 1 week / 2 week gigs besides full productions.

The Green Room / Re: Peter Pan Live
« on: Dec 06, 2014, 04:24 pm »
I haven't seen either of the live musical broadcasts, but in general, it seems to take all the best about live in person entertainment, and filter it through a filmed event, while not taking advantages of what film / videotape has to offer . . . it's odd in some ways.

But, I have a lot of friends who have gotten a lot of work out of these shows.  And that is great.

The Green Room / Re: The Great SM Gift List
« on: Dec 04, 2014, 08:31 pm »
I bought myself this . . .

I use it for tech table supplies that have to be carted up and down from the booth

Love it.

The Hardline / Re: Tech + Actors in Costume
« on: Dec 04, 2014, 12:40 am »
Some contracts do require time to get out of costume.

If an actor needs to get into costume you need to give them 30 minutes is a myth.  This is not true, you are not required to give them a half-hour except for PERFORMANCES.  (There are a lot good reasons why you might want to give them half-half).  You can give them ten minutes to get dressed.

In tech situations, where you give half-hour, half-hour needs to be counted as work.  (I know, it's odd) So often what I do during tech is give the actors 25 minutes to get dressed, give them a five minute break, and then we are set to do anything.  (Some producers think that half-hour is not counted against break time . . . so, a 12:00n half-hour, they think the first break would be do at 1:50p.  It is really do at 1:20p.)

The reason why some contracts have getting out of costume as part of work hours is, well, it's 12:00m end of the day, I should be able to just walk out. But, for some reason we count getting dressed as work, getting undressed doesn't count (on most contracts). 

The keeping actors in costume is a tad bit disrespectful to your wardrobe crew - I tend to before any notes - to get them out of costume - usually saying, "You guys are on ten, and not required to be in costume at the end of the break . . . so if you want to get out of costume during your break - you are free to do so."  It's amazing how often then we get out of costume.

But again, check your contract . . . as to if getting out of costume is required.  If my cast asked for that, I would do an exchange, okay 15 minutes to get in costume, 15 minutes to get out of costume.  And then I am not losing time.

The Green Room / Re: Sean Avery...
« on: Nov 06, 2014, 01:28 pm »
that is a gossip site

and chances are there are two sides to this story.

but still, not the best casting choice by the director/producer in hindsight

Self-Promotion / Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame
« on: Oct 31, 2014, 03:55 am »
If anyone is in the San Diego area (or can get down here during the run) and would like to Shadow . . . let me know.  We have a very aggressive cross training plan for the show, so not all dates would be available.

Christmas Carol is tricky, since most theaters use a very specific translation . . .

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