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Messages - MatthewShiner

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The Green Room / Re: Was I out of Line?
« on: Apr 24, 2014, 08:00 pm »
In my experience, combativeness is not a trait producers look for when hiring stage managers.

I am unsure if comes across as combativeness, but definitely defensive - which is also not a great trait, but understandable - especially in a tech notes situation where people are trying to figure out how the tech is working.  I think a better response would have been to not make it about the actor - but make it about the blocking.  Anytime I can make an issue about something separate from the performer - so that I can help me and the performer work together to find the solution.  Especially since this an improvised show, set blocking maybe hard . . . but explaining that there needs to be clear blocking cues to call cues - or that you and the actor need to up with some sort of communication to make sure you are calling the show in the best way to support the actor.  Anytime, especially as a younger stage manager, you can make less about person versus person and make it PEOPLE versus the PROBLEM - you will come out better.

Anything that could simply be read as "combativeness" should be avoided.

But this is subtle management style issue . . . you have to find the management style that works best for you. 

The Green Room / Re: Was I out of Line?
« on: Apr 24, 2014, 03:11 pm »
My vote is out of line - not that you are wrong - but not knowing the more subtle things at play at the moment you spoke you - the director thought you were out of line, so you probably were.

I do the same thing . . .

I have a contact sheet with everyone . . .

Creative Team
SM Team

And the the theater staff . . .

From Artistic Director to run crew

You need to get to know everyone to do a show

Often a 6-10 page document at times.

And then my staff prepares a final contact sheet with physical address.

Post Merge: Apr 17, 2014, 07:26 pm
As far as confidential information . . . no confidential information is ever put on any contact sheet that I hand out that is not approved by the person who's information it is.

This is why doing a contact sheet in word using hidden text is great.

There is a SM copy, where I print the hidden text, and a every other version with confidential information is not.

(but that way I am only maintaining and updating one piece of paperwork)

there may also come a time when, for security reasons, you don't even post a daily call or calendar . . .

oh the stories I can tell

Employment / Re: Putting ASM on Resume at Equity Theatre
« on: Apr 16, 2014, 11:13 am »
Putting ASM on the resume would be a slight embellishment since you weren't on contract to do so.

What about listing it as something like PA (ASM Duties) or even Production Assistant (ASM) or Non-AEA ASM.

Oh this is so hard to answer . . . and experience will help you down the line.

My gut would be sure, call a break . . . but you would have to know the temperature of the room - is that going to make it MORE tense . . . in one situation of my history, when a break was called, there were calls to agents, threats of quitting/firing, etc . . . that may have been calmed down if we addressed it during the rehearsal time.

And maybe the director wants the room to be tense . . . if people aren't off book and are supposed to be . . . maybe a bit of tension is okay. 

I think it really depends on what you are the director are aiming towards.

Stage Management: Plays & Musicals / Re: Noises Off
« on: Apr 10, 2014, 04:47 am »
Even if you were to do a modified set, in which the "Second level" was not a full story up - I have done this before in Noel Coward, where we needed a second level . . .

If you were to add just a few steps, the blocking, the blocking that is outlined so well in the published version of the script, would require quite a bit of change . . . so, let's say you were able to pull off the set in space confinement . . . all the business with the second level, falling down stairs, dropping sardines, people be above people and not seeing people on the different level, would all need to be restaged . . . and created. 

Stage Management: Plays & Musicals / Re: Noises Off
« on: Apr 09, 2014, 02:59 pm »
I think it would be impossible to do the show as written - you would need to do so much text changes, it would be big issue.

Also, you would have to reinvent so much stage position.

Try a different farce . . . like Lend Me A Tenor

Tools of the Trade / Re: SM App Price
« on: Apr 03, 2014, 03:23 am »
my issue with any sort of app or program is always going to be is - does it do what I need it to do the way I do it or I am going to have to adapt to the program.

How long is the app or program going to be around?

What operating systems is it going to be on?

Is it a novelty or does it genuinely make my ob easier?

Does the app program over simplify the process and thus dumb it down (think scheduling programs that do it the "way that makes sense to the process")

Tools of the Trade / Re: Social Media and Self Promotion
« on: Mar 31, 2014, 01:37 am »
i think you will want to keep anything like this separate from your professional image.

Introductions / Re: Long-time lurker, first time poster
« on: Mar 30, 2014, 01:48 pm »
Welcome - hope you can make it to our meet up on Monday!!!!

If not, hope our paths cross in the city soon.

Learning a musical instrument is probably the easiest way.

I learned a lot for a class called music for dancers . . . which was a lot of tones, beats, terminology . . . as well as how dancers talk to accompanists . . . which was extremely valuable.

Self-Promotion / Back to the cartoons . . .
« on: Mar 24, 2014, 10:46 pm »
So, it's all official like . . .

I will be the PSM for Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame at La Jolla Playhouse and Paper Mill Playhouse . . . this fall to Spring 2014/2015

Tools of the Trade / Re: Social Media and Self Promotion
« on: Mar 22, 2014, 01:31 pm »
It’s tricky . . .

I think a top tier, professional web site – that hosts your resume – is a good online presence.

Social media is tricky.  You need to understand the sporadic nature of how people read your posts – and how more popular posts get seen – so that one time you go the hospital that gets 40 comments, is seen by more people – and then – well, people remember you being in the hospital.  Tricky.

You have to figure out what sort of on line presence you want to have.  Posting all your jobs, makes you look busy, and if you are perceived as always busy, the people are mpy going to think of you for jobs.  Remember, most jobs will come to you from professional contacts, rarely from postings.   Always looking for work and posting about it . . . then you might look unemployed and unemployable.  It’s about finding the right balance for you.

Over self promoting smacks of desperation . . .

You also have to work about making sure you posts are positive, upbeat and consider yourself ALWAYS under the microscope.  There is a stage manager I know on Facebook, who recently posted about a bad work situation – none of her employers or co-workers saw it, but it definitely gave me an insight into how she works and deals with “issues” at work – just not my style.  Recently, she came to me about an opening I have on an upcoming show – we met, but it was impossible for me to shake the information I had from her in the heat of an issue.

Also, remember, if any social media becomes filled with professional contacts – be prepared for any and all vague comments to be associated with work – posting “Having a bad day!” could be about the fact water is out in your apartment – but if someone only knows you in a professional atmosphere . . . then we might and probably assume it is about work.  (Because, as we all know, stage managers have no personal lives).

Also, remember, there comes a false sense of closeness that comes with being associated with someone via social media . . . that may not exist in real life.  (There is also a flip side to be becoming popular on social media, you can develop “stalkers”.)

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