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Messages - NJ.JerrySmith

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Employment / Re: resume format
« on: Jul 29, 2019, 10:54 am »
Thanks for the suggestions!

Employment / Re: resume format
« on: Jul 19, 2019, 11:21 am »
For those PSMs who don't call all the shows in their companies season, how do you go about listing that position on your resume?

Specifically, at my summer stock me and another stage manager swap calling and assistant responsibilities for a 4 show season. But I'm the PSM because I take care of ordering supplies, managing smaller concerts and events, general production catch-all work. Listing all shows with the title of PSM feels a little disingenuous to me. Thoughts? Examples? Thanks in advance.


Tools of the Trade / Re: Headset Comfort/Customization
« on: May 26, 2019, 08:05 pm »
For the smoothing out of the ends bit, look into heat shrink tubing. It's normally used in electrical cabling to cover a solder connection between two wires. It's a rubber product that comes in many sizes, lengths, and colors and is readily available on Amazon. Ideally, you would find a diameter that is the most snug fit before you go about the shrinking.

Heat shrink tubing works by slipping the tubing over the wires (in your case, the hook part) and then shrinking when you apply heat via a heat gun (or hair dryer).

Hope this helps

Employment / Re: Sources for job listings
« on: Nov 29, 2018, 08:46 pm »
I tend to browse the following website when I get bored. I'm lucky enough to have a pretty recurring "season" of theaters that I work at so I'm not constantly looking for jobs. These three are national encompassing, try asking around your network for more local based options.

Stage Management: Other / Re: Opera score: printing and binding
« on: Sep 14, 2018, 08:56 pm »
Hi TarytheA,
       I professionally live 100% in the opera world so I'll give my 2 cents here. As both a PSM and ASM I double side 3-hole punch all my scores. I like the flexibility and ability to add or remove pages that you don't get with the spiral binding.

       When I'm a PSM I'll double side my blocking pages and just insert them into the score and deal with the blocking page being on whatever side of the binder it ends up on. By the time calling comes, I'm not looking at the blocking much anyways and sometimes remove those pages for fast sections. If you have the pleasure of working with an AD, maintaining the artistic integrity is their task, so missing some blocking isn't the end of the world.

       As an ASM, no slip page. Blocking isn't their domain, and with all the traveling you have to do as an ASM, less weight is better.

       I've also seen an ARC notebook used which looks to provide a happy medium with being able to add pages but having the portability of comb binding. Haven't looked into this with any depth though.

       That's what I got, happy to answer any more quesitions.

Stage Management: Other / Re: Blocking Notation for Opera
« on: Nov 06, 2016, 11:03 am »
Ditto to what smejs just said.

On the opera that I'm working on now I just had a situation like that occur. Also there were some entrance cues I didn't actually give until the final room run because we didn't run two scenes back to back until then. During rehearsals I am constantly being chorus members, supers, or some times even principals (without the singing) because we only seem them for about 3 or 4 times a week. I'm always a fan of noting those moments in my score too.

Introductions / Re: Glad to have found an SM forum
« on: Jul 09, 2016, 12:08 pm »
Hello to a fellow Jerry! I don't come across too many of us

I just recently had this experience as an ASM for an opera production of the Barber of Seville. I had worked on the show before (with another director on another set), so I was familiar with the music but was not familiar with anything else. Looking back, I was happy with how my work turned out. If the situation presents itself again however, I'd do some things the same, and definitely do some things differently.

I found that making a score in my style was probably the best choice I could have made, trying to call the show from the old assistants score would have been a challenge at best, and updating the paperwork would have proved next to impossible. Because of the timeline I was under (I was called in after the Final Room Run and before the first day of tech) I didn't have a chance to see any of the show, however I had a video which was "close enough", and very much regret making the choice not to watch it before we got to stage. I leaned heavily on the other ASM and the PSM during the load-in to pick up what nicknames the props had gotten (i.e the "purple note") which had made their way to my paperwork, and super heavily on my props crew (who I have a great working relationship with) to run the show for the first time, and man was that piano tech a doozy.

If you want to go for the insert pages for blocking method, try finding a logical place to split the score between two binders (intermission, long scene change).

Tools of the Trade / Re: Stopwatch recommendations?
« on: Sep 16, 2015, 09:22 pm »
Similar to Maribeth mine doesn't beep, and it also has a tally counter (to make quick work of double checking large opera chorus scenes)

Stage Management: Plays & Musicals / Re: Hairspray spray.
« on: Sep 04, 2015, 10:48 pm »
When I did Hairspray about 5 years ago (wow) we used a "professional haze" product by Fantasy FX (we found it at Just give their website a search for Fantasy FX and it pops right up.

I actually have a can on my shelf above my desk and just gave it a quick shake and spray and it looks as great as I remember.

Similar to Beatr79's system. I've both seen used and used the initials of ensemble (chorus, supers, what have you) members to take blocking. Doubling of initials tends to occur and is generally remedied by adding another letter to the pairing (ie NMa for Nate Mattingly and NMi for Nate Milson).

I also exclusively use a system of circled letters for principal actors. It is based off their character name as opposed to their actual name, with a similar system as above in case of doubling.

I then combine these on a full page minis (for chorus scenes) and smaller half page minis for principal only scenes.

The Green Room / Re: Superbowl Half-Time Stage Set-Up
« on: Feb 03, 2015, 09:06 pm »
Live Design Online also has several postings with various plots, breakdowns, designs from events not only including the latest super bowl.

Here is a link to the lx plot and credits from this year's halftime show:

But a cursory search on the site for any major event (Oscars, Tony Awards, ect.) will return results as well.

Tools of the Trade / Re: latest toys...
« on: Feb 02, 2015, 12:47 pm »
Now that I've adopted a clear clipboard, I'll never go back.

I keep whatever I'm working on on the clipboard, but a schedule or contact sheet goes at the bottom of the clipped papers so that I can always see it through the back. It's like having two clipboards in one!

And for those of you who work with music stand lights (operas and musicals, usually), check this out:
These cordless clip lights are awesome, and can even clip on the top of a clipboard. Now I can grab my stand and dash upstage without tripping over or tearing out wires (used to happen often...)

An alternative method to this I have adopted is to scotch tape a sheet protector to a regular clipboard. Cut off the white 3 hole part and tape three closed sides, and presto!

Tools of the Trade / Re: TOOLS: GaffGun
« on: Nov 23, 2014, 01:09 am »
Now, if it can fit any/all gaffee/spike tape sizes, then I would consider spending the $200 on it.

They sell a set of three different size adapters for $18, I haven't tried them so I can't speak to their effectiveness, but I can't imagine it being horrible.

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