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Messages - AndyS

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Tools of the Trade / Re: Kit Containment
« on: Sep 25, 2018, 04:11 am »
That is fantastic. Damn, I'm going to start drawing up plans for mine - I'm a kit-heavy SM, so this will be fun. Thanks!

Tools of the Trade / Kit Containment
« on: Sep 20, 2018, 10:05 pm »
What do you all use to carry your kit gear?

I've been using an old-lady grocery cart with my various boxes (sewing kit, tool kit, med kit, stationary kit, &c.) stacked inside, but I have friends who use fishing tackle boxes, construction-site toolboxes, hotel housekeeping carts, &c., and recently I've been very interested in those larger rolling cosmetic train cases.

@KMC In my experience (which - I'm getting from your response - is not your experience, so there's more diversity on this point than I was aware of) pretty much every company does a land acknowledgement before each performance. The big stodgy civic theatres do a fairly preemptive one ("we are grateful to perform on the traditional territory of Coast Salish people"), while the smaller companies tend to do a more involved one with a stronger political stance (more like mine).
There are hold-outs, but they are the subject of social censure - one of the city festivals' producer decided he wanted to insist his company Not do a land acknowledgement, but it was kindof a scandal.

@Mac Calder - would you potentially ask an aboriginal cast member to make the acknowledgement, or is this someone outside the production? And how would you approach someone and ask that they welcome you?

For people working on colonised land (I get the impression a lot of people here are from North America? But also anyone else to whom this applies), I'm wondering what the various regional norms are for land acknowledgements and any thoughts and suggestions for the choices you make when drafting one? There's a LOT of variation where I am, and I have strong opinions on some aspects of the one I do, but it's also always evolving.

Some basic questions to get started:
  • If the name(s) have been anglicised, do you use the anglicised names or the names in their languages?
  • What descriptors do you use for the land? (unceded, ancestral, occupied, traditional, stolen, &c.)
  • Are you on treaty land and how does that affect your choices?
  • Are there political tensions between local nations and how do you navigate that?
  • Does your company do a version for the programme, and does that differ from the spoken one?
  • What's your position on including an expression of gratitude?
  • If you draft yours in consultation with your company/producer/venue, have there been conflicts and how do you navigate that?

Mine as it stands is:
We acknowledge that this performance is taking place on stolen land within the unceded and occupied territories of the Halq’eméylem peoples, including the Xʷməθkʷəy’əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, and Səlil̓wətaɁɬ nations.

What's yours?

Edited to add topic tag - Maribeth

I love knitting backstage, yes! If I was idle during rehearsals I would also focus on memorising the script - makes answering line-calls quicker and less stressful.

Tools of the Trade / Re: Rehearsal Reports
« on: Feb 04, 2018, 05:28 am »
A report of "no news" also positively lets your designers know that they can continue working without any alterations to the plan, they don't have to worry that they missed something or are out of the loop. Makes for less miscommunication and confusion.

Tools of the Trade / Re: Purchasing Gaff and Spike Tape
« on: Feb 04, 2018, 05:22 am »
I get all my tape from film suppliers (usually HollyNorth - because they're local - but any will do) they tend to have a huge selection.

Tools of the Trade / Re: Steel toe boots?
« on: Feb 04, 2018, 05:09 am »
I definitely value mine; along with the uses mentioned above there's also the question of inspecting set construction progress in the shop, having full freedom throughout the theatre during tech, and - if you're touring - loading and unloading trucks. For the actual run, though, I always wear soft black ballet flats. Even if the normal plan doesn't involve you even leaving your booth while the house is open, you still never know when an emergency is going to have you bolting down the pass to backstage.

To me, I think the difference comes down to how it meshes with your demeanour generally - I'm a warm person, but low key and I tend to err on the side of seriousness, and so "No notes, Thank you!" or such would come off as insincere from me, whereas it would sound entirely sincere and friendly from someone whose normal demeanour was similarly bubbly.

Personally, I like to keep things simple. The point of "no notes" is to affirm that I haven't just forgotten to include their notes, they can be positively sure there's nothing to worry about, so in the body of the email I say:

"Hi all,

Notes today are for Wardrobe, Props, Paint, and Projections.

NO notes for Sets, LX, or Audio.


...and then in the report itself I will have boxes titled "Sets" "LX" &c., with nothing further in them.

You never know when this is the day a dancer felt a funny twinge in her ankle and sat down for "just a sec" in a "quiet corner" (directly in the path of your mechanism) to massage it out before running back to the green room...

Similar to Joshua's, but if the audience is quite close and you want even lower profile, you could wrap their feet in cloth tape (broad medical tape, or hockey tape, like dancers often do). You'd have some protection but still have toe-shaped-toes and such.

I agree, though - as long as you sweep and mop the deck carefully (which would presumably be happening anyway) there's usually no reason to worry about bare feet.

Black paper-tape is WAY cheaper than gaff and has much less tack. I get mine from the local film-suppliers - try there first, otherwise I'm sure it's online

Super unprofessional, since your job is a lot more than just saying "go." How are you supposed to give notes on changes in blocking or altered lines if you weren't paying attention when they happened? How are you supposed to respond to a crisis if you never saw it happen?
Even little things (especially little things) are important: if my actor steps on her hem and trips, she might not even remember it happened by the end of the scene, but I know to check the stitching on her bodice, to contact Wardrobe if it needs repair, ask the actor if she needs the hem raised... &c. &c. &c.

What would that SM even be putting in their reports?

Stage Management: Other / Re: Blocking Notation for Opera
« on: Jan 13, 2018, 10:33 am »
I usually do pretty comprehensive blocking notation (just use bar numbers in place of line numbers, with a second column for repeats) since - as mentioned - you're going to have people whose characters are receiving blocking when the performer is not in the room, so you're going to have to do some heavier-than-usual sessions catching people up. If I can afford to stick an ASM on table I'll usually have them cover prop-tracks, which is more relevant to what they'll need to know, but which can be matched up with blocking notes for confirmation - e.g. if the prop notes say that the vase exits USL, and my blocking says the maid carrying it is exiting DSR, then we know we have a problem ;)

Introductions / Hi from Canada
« on: Jan 13, 2018, 10:06 am »
Heyo, my name's Andy (short for Miranda), and I'm an SM from Vancouver - mostly do plays and musicals, some opera, some circus, occasionally dance. On the fence about going the caea route, so I'm non-e for now.

I come from a theatre family - I was supposed to become an actor, but I did not love it. Got into lighting for a while, but my main money gig since I was mid-teens has been stage management. Never went to highschool but I did the college degree thing - Douglas College, for those who know the city.

Vancouver's is a pretty heavy film/tv town, so I do also moonlight on shoots occasionally - LX, some art-dept, occasionally PA if I'm super broke ;p


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