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Messages - Maribeth

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Introductions / Re: A Step Toward the Future :)
« on: Aug 13, 2018, 09:59 am »
Hi and welcome, Brooke! Sounds like you have a lot plans. Very exciting! We'd love to hear about your experiences. What has been your favorite production that you've worked on so far?

Employment / Re: Post-Grad Options/Jobs- help
« on: Jul 11, 2018, 01:03 pm »
Do you have a certain geographic area that you're interested in working? If so, I would start researching theatres in that area and see where you'd like to work. Polish up your resume and cover letter, and have someone (like a friend or professor) look them over. Some theatres will list on their website what email address you should send resumes to- if they don't you can always try the production manager. Tailor your cover letter to the theatre you're sending it to! If you're applying to different genres (like dance or opera) it can be helpful to tailor your resume as well, to highlight relevant experience.

You can look up job postings - there's a thread here that lists a number of job posting websites. If you are planning on working in the same area that you studied, your professors may be able to get you introductions to folks hiring in that area. If you have connections from your internship, use them! Ask them if they are hiring, or if they would be a reference for you. It really helps to have a connection when you're applying to a new theatre- people will consider your resume more carefully.

Are you interested in ASM positions or SM positions? (Or both?) Are you looking for one full-time position all year, or are you willing to freelance?

Once you turn Equity, you'll be competing with all of the other Equity members in your area for those positions, so it helps to build up some non-AEA experience on your resume for a few years. Then, when you're ready to turn, you'll have the experience to get hired in those positions. Once you have started working, I think you'll get a better sense of how much experience you need before turning.

Re: finances. There's no one right answer for this. I would research the cost of living in whatever area you plan to work, and make a budget from there. If you live at home for a while after graduation, you might be able to afford to take some lower-paying positions while you build up your experience. If you are paying for housing, utilities, etc, you might need to look for higher-paying work, and/or supplement with a day job or other freelance work, like electrics calls. It's hard to budget as a freelancer - I found it helpful to create a spreadsheet with all of the work I had scheduled for the year and how much each job paid. Then I could see which months were going to be light and look for filler work, tighten my budget, and save up so that I had savings to tide me over.

Hope this helps!

Introductions / Re: When Life Gives You Lemons
« on: Jul 04, 2018, 09:09 pm »
Welcome aboard! Looking forward to your contributions to the forum.

Introductions / Re: Hi
« on: Jun 30, 2018, 09:40 pm »
Welcome aboard! Sounds like you have your hands full! We'd love to hear about your experiences.

Introductions / Re: Greetings from Kentucky!
« on: Jun 30, 2018, 09:39 pm »
Welcome! Sounds like an exciting project. :)

Introductions / Re: Livin' la Vida Loca
« on: Apr 30, 2018, 11:49 pm »
Hi and welcome, Bruce! Congrats on your AEA contract.

I don't think it's appropriate to have someone who's vomiting come in to run their track. No one benefits from having someone who is that sick come in. It would be different if you just had a cold. This is not the same thing. If I was in your position, I would have escalated matters to the production or company manager.

When I was younger, I worked through extreme illness a few times, and it honestly wasn't worth it. You know yourself, and you have to make a judgment call about if you're well enough to come in. Your health is more important, and in this case, it's the company's responsibility to figure out how to cover your track. As previously mentioned, no one should be "irreplaceable". It is smart to give as much notice as possible so that the company has as much lead time as possible to find a cover.

If you have a family emergency, you should talk with the person who hired you to work out a leave if needed. That situation is so dependent on the circumstances that it's hard to say exactly what should happen. But as the SM, if I had a crew person who had either a family or health emergency, I would work with the PM to come up with a backup plan.

As for coming in for an early call where there's not a lot to do, sometimes that's just the way it goes. I would try and find a way to make use of the time. Clean up your paperwork, make glo-dots for tech, prep prop tables, offer to be a light walker, etc. Bring a book or knitting if needed. No one likes to feel like their time is being wasted, so it's understandable to feel frustrated by it. If it's worth it to you to have a conversation with the production manager, you could. But my inclination would be to accept that sometimes there's some sitting around involved in the job. During tech, I sometimes come in early to sit in the room while other people are prepping for tech- it lets me see what is going on in the space, be available for questions, and do my own prep work.

I think it might mean that not a lot of SMs on this board take time off and come back to stage management....much more likely that folks slide into related careers like production management that have more family-friendly hours.

Can you ask to have a brushup rehearsal to practice the bump cues? A half hour with the music director and the singer before the show could help you learn their "tells", as loebtmc mentioned. They might also be able to tell you what visual cues to watch for.

Introductions / Re: Greetings from Great Britain
« on: Apr 10, 2018, 07:49 pm »
Welcome, Paul!

What is the director's role at the company? Are they also the artistic director? I ask because there are theatres that do a live curtain speech for some performances but not others. If they are the artistic director, it could be at their discretion whether or not there is a live speech that day. But it is reasonable to have a plan in advance for how the preshow speech happens. I would ask about what days the director is planning on doing one, and during tech, figure out what happens when they are not there. Is there a pre-recorded speech? Does the HM do a live speech?

If you haven't talked with the director already, I think having a conversation could help clear up some of the confusion- perhaps they are jumping in because they are worried about something not happening, or they don't realize that there is an overlap. If it were me, I would address things individually as they come up (like the director giving calls), or pre-emptively for something like the preshow announcement. I think most of them can be framed positively, i.e. "I noticed during the last show that it was hard to hear you give the pre-show announcement, since the preshow music was running and the audience was talking. For Current Production, on the days that you are giving a curtain speech, I can cue your entrance after I've given places. That way I can bring the preshow music down and bring up your special."

I think a conversation that frames the director as being overly controlling will not go over well, but smaller conversations about how to fix some of these issues will be seen as more constructive. If there is a production manager at the company, use them as an ally. I bet they can help come up with some strategies to help you. I know that at smaller companies, it can be tricky when people do more than one job- sometimes the roles are less clearly defined and things get muddled.

Welcome aboard!

In light of the recent posts about burnout and taking time off, I'm posting about my own work/life balance experience right now.

I've been taking time off this past season because I had a baby last summer and have been staying home with him. I've taken a few short gigs, and found some work that I can do from home, but I'd like to be able to come back to stage management more in the future. For those of you who have taken time off, what have you done to stay on people's radar, and what steps have you taken when you do decide to come back?

So far, my strategy has been to take a few smaller gigs (sub positions, short runs, special events) and when I'm offered shows for next year, explaining the situation and letting potential employers know that I'd like to continue to be considered for future positions. But I'd love to hear how other people have approached this!


Escripts are useful, and we are OK with you sharing the work you've done in digitizing scripts for stage management purposes.  However, it is a VERY touchy legal ground and as such we have some very strict rules that must be followed.  If we see repeated violations of these rules, we will have to put an end to the escript exchange.

OK.  Here's the rules.

1. If you (or your company) don't have the rights to produce a show, don't ask for the script.
2. You may only request copies of scripts here.  No audio.  No video.  Just escripts for use in setting up prompt books.
3. If someone asks for an escript and you have it, do NOT post it here publicly, nor admit here publicly that you have it.  Offer your copies by PM, email or instant message.
4. If you have received a script from someone, do NOT thank them publicly here.  Do not acknowledge that you have received it in the thread. Do not cross them off your list or edit your post to say, "Got it, Thanks!" Just leave it alone. Thank the sender profusely and eloquently off site via email, send them flowers & liquor, but do it off of the SMNetwork servers.
5. No unsolicited offers of e-scripts, please.
6. You may not request an e-script as your very first post to SMNetwork.
7. Posts more than six months old will be removed.

Thanks in advance for adhering to these rules. It will help ensure that we are able to keep hosting this exchange.

Tools of the Trade / Re: Digital Script App Query
« on: Feb 20, 2018, 08:59 pm »
I don't have any advice about features for your app, since I personally am not interested in using a digital calling script at present, but you may be interested in the results on the recently published 2017 Stage Manager Survey. There were some questions about which SM-specific apps people use, and what features they would be interested in seeing in future apps.

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