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Messages - On_Headset

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The Green Room / Re: ARTICLE: SM left paralysed by fall
« on: Oct 20, 2014, 04:22 pm »
And that's "just" 10 feet in the air. How many times have I seen people climbing unsecured 10 or 15-foot ladders, then leaning over the side to adjust something...

Employment / Re: Which is better?
« on: Oct 20, 2014, 02:19 am »
In general, your CV should reflect every halfway-recent show for which you've received credit, including any "Special Thanks" credit which you'd be comfortable enough discussing at a job interview. (i.e: If you got the Special Thanks for being married to the producer, then don't include it; if you got the Special Thanks for helping with a complex technical problem, or providing organizational support, or otherwise involving yourself in an infomal role, then include it on your CV.)

And there are very limited circumstances under which you might omit certain credits. For example, if you did a gig for the "Throbbing Loins Burlesque Showcase", you might omit this credit from a CV you send to a K-12 school or a church or a summer camp. But this is something you'd do for editorial reasons, rather than to save space.

This means that some SMs have CVs which run six or seven pages, and that's quite normal.

The Green Room / Re: How to be a good stage manager?
« on: Aug 14, 2014, 06:13 am »
It may be just me, but I find the part about "think of the ASM as Assistant to the Stage Manager" a little insulting. The ASM is an integral part of the SM team and go-to person for all things backstage and that "to the" kind of belittles the position, makes it sound more like a go-fer who runs errands for the stage manager than the stage manager's right hand.
Thing is, it's actually an accurate description of what an ASM conventionally does on a high school or a low-level community crew.  :-\

The more high-quality community outfits will use the ASM "properly", with their own distinct duties and responsibilities, but there are plenty of environments where they are just gofers or assistants.

The Green Room / Re: How to be a good stage manager?
« on: Aug 11, 2014, 07:08 pm »
Obvious question: if you don't know what an Assistant Stage Manager is, who told you that you could run a stage crew? (Even at the high school/community level.)


Happy Birthday remains the most profitable song ever. Every year, it is the song that earns the highest royalty rates, sent to Warner/Chappell Music (which makes millions per year from "licensing" the song). However, as we've been pointing out for years, the song is almost certainly in the public domain. Robert Brauneis did some fantastic work a few years ago laying out why the song's copyright clearly expired many years ago, even as Warner/Chappell pretends otherwise. You can read all the background, but there are a large number of problems with the copyright, including that the sisters who "wrote" the song, appear to have written neither the music, nor the lyrics. At best, they may have written a similar song called "Good Morning to All" in 1893, with the same basic melody, but there's evidence to suggest the melody itself predated the sisters. But, more importantly, the owner of the copyright (already questionable) failed to properly renew it in 1962, which would further establish that it's in the public domain.

The Green Room / Re: Mini-rant: This Voicemail Box Is Full
« on: Jul 15, 2014, 12:53 pm »
Some carriers will play that message when service is suspended to save the account holder some embarrassment.
It's also commonly used if the person has voicemail disabled. ("My mailbox is full, so sorry!" is much, much politer than "Hi! You've reached Janice. Please DON'T leave a message. Bye!")

Doesn't address the problems you're teasing out here, though!

(since this is not a contest, not sure why it wasn't in a read-able font initially)
I figured people might want to try to puzzle it out before hearing our solution.

Stage Management: Plays & Musicals / PROPS: Balloon Management
« on: Jul 14, 2014, 03:21 am »
This is a problem a student brought to me a few weeks ago, and -- at the time -- I was genuinely at a loss.

The show (a musical, cast of 30) involves balloons. Lots and lots of balloons: eighty or ninety.

These balloons enter from all directions (black-box venue with your standard 4 "cardinal" entrances: USR, DSR, USL, DSL), and move very quickly: actors (in groups of 3-4) dash off, grab balloons, and then dash back on. No time to run to a "balloon room" or anything to that effect. The entire process should take 20 seconds or fewer, meaning balloons must appear at a rate of roughly 4 per second. (Not so bad when spread across 4 entrances, but certainly far too quick to inflate them on-demand!)

Due to staffing constraints, it will not be possible to have an ASM or "balloon wrangler" at every entrance to monitor or distribute them. Actors must be able to access the balloons unaided, so whatever system is devised cannot be too convoluted or finicky.

The balloons are fungible: an actor might need to grab 2 balloons, but it doesn't matter which 2 they grab. The balloons will be filled with air, none of that fancy helium stuff.

How would you manage these balloons? (Don't forget, we're talking about a truly incredible number of fully-inflated balloons here.)

Here's our observations and our solution (in teeny tiny wee font), but I'm curious as to how others might have solved this problem! Please share!

The main problem we identified is that the balloons needed to be stowed somewhere, or else they were blowing all over the place. We also found that a domestic trash container could only handle 6-9 balloons (depending upon how inflated they were) without forcing them in and risking blowouts. 6-9 actually isn't very many -- and means we have a dozen big cumbersome containers littering the backstage halls.

Our eventual solution was to raid the costume storage for extra-extra-extra-large laundry bags, with drawstrings instead of zippers. These could handle 12-15 balloons (by stretching to accommodate all the bulges), and were also much easier to transport than trash bins: after they were inflated, we sorted them into laundry bags and stationed them by the appropriate entrances just in time for "BALLOONS GO. BALLOONS GO. BALLOONS GO."

No torrents of balloons blowing through the halls; no trash bins getting knocked over mid-show; nothing popped or broken. Worked very well!

Stage Management: Plays & Musicals / Re: Outdoor Theatre
« on: Jun 30, 2014, 01:44 pm »
1. Don't.
2. Oh god, don't.


And yet I have a sickly feeling that, if it weren't for the subscribers and sponsors getting itchy, nothing would have happened...

The Green Room / Re: Article: Casting shuts down show
« on: Jun 23, 2014, 12:07 pm »
The firm sent the cease-and-desist letter Friday, the day that reviews of the show appeared online and revealed the company's casting decision — a decision that the company went to unusual lengths to keep hidden before opening curtain.
If I had a nickel...

Why do people think that being sketchy about sketchy stuff will somehow keep things from getting even sketchier?

The Green Room / Re: Mini Rant---SM T-shirts and products
« on: Jun 17, 2014, 03:48 pm »
My ideal Stage Management t-shirt is black.

That's... that's it. Just black, thanks.  ;)

The Green Room / Re: Mini Rant---SM T-shirts and products
« on: Jun 15, 2014, 09:25 pm »
Oooooh, and that raises a whole other interesting point.

We aren't the market, are we.

I have a friend who is now in her third year of teaching at the K-12 level, and she's suddenly up to her neck in teacherly gear (book bags, bumper stickers, t-shirts, "Keep Calm And Do Grading" posters, etc.), none of which she buys for herself. But now that she's a teacher, any time someone has to buy her a gift, and isn't quite sure what to get her... well, hey, here's a darling little bookbag with an apples-and-chalkboards motif. What could be more perfect for a teacher--right?

The market for these products isn't necessarily us; it's the person who knows her distant cousin who she sees twice a year is a stage manager, and has to buy her something, and on the other end of a Google search for "stage manager gifts", look! Coffee mugs! Oh, on_headset would just love that, wouldn't she!

The Green Room / Re: Mini Rant---SM T-shirts and products
« on: Jun 14, 2014, 11:37 pm »
The only people I've seen wearing dickish SM gear (and, yes, I think "dickish" is the right word for the sort of "I AM GOD, TREMBLE BEFORE ME, HA HA HA" stuff you're describing) are high school students and community-theatre types.

The Green Room / Actor fired after confronting heckler
« on: Jun 03, 2014, 10:43 pm »

Of course, if I rephrase it as "actor fired after assaulting audience member"...

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