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Messages - KMC

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1
Employment / Re: low stipend what to do
« on: Feb 25, 2019, 10:53 am »
It is generally not advisable to lose money while working. 

2
Tools of the Trade / Re: Sound Software
« on: Feb 21, 2019, 10:37 am »
You can try SFX from Stage Research; it is PC compatible.

In reality though these theatres should have their own solutions and not rely on staff members to provide personal hardware/software for benefit of the production.  The theatre can buy a Mac Mini to run QLAB.  The rig with the Mac Mini and QLAB Audio license should be around $1,500.  If the theatre's audio system has a Dante network you can run the audio from the Mac Mini via Dante for $30 using a Dante virtual soundcard license.  If the audio system is analog only you can get a thunderbolt to audio interface for another $500-600.  Add another $100 for cables and your max budget will hit somewhere around $2,300-$2,500.

I am not sure what to tell groups if the money for that isn't there - it's a heck of a lot cheaper than a foley artist or live orchestra.

3
Tools of the Trade / Re: Dressing Room Mirror Lights
« on: Dec 10, 2018, 07:55 am »
This is great information.  The Lighting Supervisor is getting some LED lights with an acceptable CRI and color temp at one station and then get some feedback before changing other stations.   Thank you for the help!

Please do let us know how it turns out! 

4
Tools of the Trade / Re: Dressing Room Mirror Lights
« on: Nov 30, 2018, 07:47 am »
The specification that Ruth provided is quite helpful.  Reading through this briefly your key points are 1) a color temperature in the 2700-3500K range  (2700 is warmer and will be what most people associate as a "normal" color and 2) CRI rating of 85 or higher.  You can easily find relatively-inexpensive LED lamps that meet both of these criteria.   

I wouldn't go and change every makeup station immediately, but your heat-sensitive performer may be a good test case in considering swapping out all of your makeup lighting for LED.  If you make the switch it will save your facility a considerable amount of energy cost: each lamp will save you roughly 5x its cost in energy over its life, and this doesn't include indirect savings from reduced cooling costs.

In any case (LED or otherwise), keep the specification document handy as it will be a good data point for you to use in the inevitable case that someone deems the quality of your selected lamp unacceptable. 

5
I am curious how the idea for this survey came about.  I think it could (maybe?) be helpful but its results should be given limited weight.  Remember that the SM team works for the Producer and not for the cast, crew, or designers. 

It's certainly helpful to get perspective from everyone on your team, especially as to how your decisions and "bedside manner" impact them - but would this be more effectively done through relationship building and honest conversation; and during the production as opposed to after the curtain has come down for the final time?

Wow. I sure hope the SM team gets to complete a survey on the cast, crew, and designers for the same reason.
 

Ruth, no kidding!

6
Students and Novice Stage Managers / Re: Writing a new script
« on: Oct 08, 2018, 06:34 am »
I would use Word and force a page break in your document where there is a new page in the script.  If you're using a PC hold down alt then press i, then b. 

In practice you will have a lot of white space on each page, however your page numbers will match the group (very important for rehearsal) and you'll have plenty of space for blocking notes :)

7
I agree with you that it will be damned near impossible to enforce, but still I think important to do if for no other reason than to absolve the production company of any liability against improper use/distribution of copyrighted material. 

If your production company has an attorney on retainer for anything you may suggest that the language be authored or vetted by them.  Off the cuff though I'd suggest points where the actor acknowledges that it's copyrighted material and that it can only be used for the duration of and for purposes directly related to the production.  I would also include language stating the the actor agrees to destroy / delete the data following conclusion of use.  Should allegations of improper use ever be leveled against the production company, having obtained an affirmative commitment from the actor would help the production company demonstrate they've taken reasonable steps to protect the copyright holder's interests.

8
Be careful with virtue signaling, especially if wholly unrelated to the subject matter of the production.  If this is a professional production put on by an established and respected company then your audience is likely going to run the gamut of age, income level, and opinion.  A heterogeneous group will have a wide range of emotional response to a statement like this; the response is likely to range from complete concurrence and support all the way through to dismissal and laughter.  Your audience's experience begins the second they step foot in the door of the facility - why risk alienating supporters if the subject matter of the production is unrelated?

9
Can you show a short video clip from a childrens' TV or Theatre show they may be familiar with at the start of your segment?  You could then move in to what it is a Stage Manager would do in this context.  While the connection to TV is not direct it is somewhat relevant, and a great way to get through to young'ins is to relate what you're talking about to something they're familiar with. 

An anecdotal story on the subject of relating to small children: a few years ago my wife and I moved to Dubai for a one-year work assignment for my job.  When we explained it to our four year old niece where we were moving and that it was far away, she was rather confused.  We then explained we were going to move to where Aladdin lives, and the light bulb clicked and her eyes lit up.  She understood we'd be far away for a while and in a different land.  It's all about the context.

10
Tools of the Trade / MOVED: AEA ELECTIONS VOTE!!!!
« on: Apr 29, 2018, 12:22 am »

11
Don't get hung up on having control.  Honestly, and I don't intend this to sound curt, reading your first post gave me the impression you're primarily interested in having control and you've presented it through the lens of doing your job.  If you approach it from that angle it will be transparent that your interest is being "in charge" rather than deliver a high quality product to the patrons.  This is a mistake many managers make early in their careers - lord knows I was guilty of it.  I shudder when I look back at how I handled some situations in my early 20s.

If he is a resident director and on the board then like it or not he does have the authority to make pre-show speeches every night, some nights, or not at all.  If it's a regular occurrence and the other board members haven't stopped it, then it's an accepted aspect of that company.  You don't have to like it, but if you want to work for them you do need to deal with it.

Maribeth (as usual!) has some great suggestions.  I would also suggest you do your best to plan for the pre-show speeches.  I think you're certainly appropriate to have a conversation with him about it, but consider expressing that you need a heads up so you can make him and the rest of the company look good (this is hard for you to do if you don't what's going to happen).  Maybe work with the LD to design a pre-show special or have a bump button ready that can be hit by the board op regardless of what cue you're in, or have a follow-spot on the ready to hit him.  If you spin the conversation to be about how you can make him look better I think you'll be surprised by the level of cooperation.

12
Tools of the Trade / Re: Need help updating our intercom system
« on: Mar 05, 2018, 12:08 pm »
Hello Ray, a few responses to your questions below.  Good luck!

Can I daisy chain a beltpack to one of the terminals in the booth? As in, run a cable from one of the terminals to a beltpack, then use a splitter so that more than one person can be on headset connected to the same beltpack? If it does work, does that diminish the sound quality?
No.  You can daisy chain beltpacks (i.e. more than one beltpack connected in series) but you cannot connect multiple headsets to one beltpack - and I'm not sure why you'd want to, unless you've got a pair of conjoined twins running deck.

If you need to have more than one person listen at a single station you can also use a remote speaker station paired with a table-top box.


Does anyone have experience with the HME DX100 or similar wireless system from Clear-Com? We want to stick with the same company, since I want to keep the headsets we do have, and since weve used their equipment for at least 10 years now. We really only need the most standard capabilities, and will not have more than 5 people on headset at once.

Yes.  The DX series are products that we regularly specify into our integrated systems.  It doesn't have the bells and whistles of some of the cutting edge stuff but for the purposes you're describing it should work well.  Considering you're looking to integrate with [what I assume to be based on your post] a party line system you'll want to look more at the DX200 or DX210 range.  The DX100 line is portable and doesn't interface with party line systems, where the 200 line is more permanent and should play nice with your existing system.

Is it at all possible to integrate our current setup with a wireless one? Thinking about it, I find it far-fetched that something like that could work, but Im wondering if its possible to like, hook up a receiver to one of the backstage terminals so that everyone on deck could be wireless and anyone in the booth could be plugged in.

This is most likely possible, but do so with caution.  There is enough current and voltage traveling on a party line system to damage components if connected incorrectly.  My recommendation would be to contact HME / ClearCom and find a dealer local to your area.  Provide them with your existing system components and they should be able to steer you in the right direction with regards to new equipment that is compatible with what's existing in your space.

13
Thanks Erin!  I haven't actually called a cue in over 12 years - hard to believe - so I am not a member of the SMA.  If I am able to make it I'll wrangle an expo pass somehow, or just catch up with the folks I want to see at happy hour or for lunch.  Mostly looking to network with a few select individuals about getting some younger entry-level folks into our employment pipeline for the more technical aspects of entertainment technology.

14
Many good spots in the Las Olas / A1A area up there for a night out.  Might actually be able to make my first USITT in 10 years but can't guarantee just yet.

15
Employment / Re: Websites part deux
« on: Feb 01, 2018, 09:22 am »
I would suggest removing personal contact information from the "contact" section and the PDF version of your resume that's available on the site.  Your email and phone number are available to the world, which is not always a good thing.  You have a contact form, and I'd also suggest pointing to your LinkedIn profile.  Between those two it will not be difficult to contact you.

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