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Messages - Maribeth

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Introductions / Re: Greetings from Minneapolis
« on: Dec 28, 2018, 03:16 pm »
Welcome aboard! And congrats on making the leap.

Uploaded Forms / Re: Spike Matrix
« on: Dec 15, 2018, 08:54 pm »
I'm not Marcie but might be able to answer your question. You can use it to recreate your spikes in any space you're in. So you can make your spike matrix (or spike chart or spike list) in the rehearsal room- in this case it's measured from down center, so you measure how far upstage your spike is, and then how far SL or SR. Then when you move to stage, you can re-spike exactly the same as you had in the rehearsal hall. Or, if it's a touring show, you can recreate your spikes quickly and efficiently in every venue.

The other way I've seen it done is by triangulation. You put a screw into the floor on the plaster line 10' SR of center and 10' SL of center. Hook a tape measure onto each screw and measure out your spikes where the tape measures meet. You'll end up with two measurements per spike, a SL and a SR measurement. Do the same wherever you're taping out. It's fast and exact, and doesn't need anyone to hold onto the other end of each tape measure.

Employment / Re: Sources for job listings
« on: Nov 29, 2018, 09:54 pm »
Here's a thread with a number of job websites.

Have you thought about a Google Form? It would probably take a little trial and error, but you would essentially create a survey that people fill out, and you can have the responses auto-populate on a spreadsheet. It's not exactly what you described (having the info arrive in an email and go right to a collection point) but is fairly customizable and the document created would be easy to access for all involved.

And make sure your sound/light operators have their own copy of the script with just their cues noted down. Ask if they have a pencil/eraser/highlighter/eraser tape. If they don't, be ready to hand those out.

Just to throw an alternate viewpoint out there, it's not standard at all theaters to give the board ops scripts with cues. In many professional theatres, it's not usually done as it's the SM's responsibility to call the cues, and the board ops wait for their "go" over headset.

It can be helpful in some situations to have a script marked up for a board op, like for an audio engineer live-mixing a musical, so that they can keep an eye on when the next entrance is coming up. But I think in some theatres, it would send a mixed message- that they should take their own cues, since they are marked in a script for them.

However, along similar lines, I think that having copies of running paperwork for the backstage crew is very necessary, and making sure you have a system for updating paperwork as things change during tech is helpful. (Does an ASM collect everyone's paperwork every night and do an update? Do you wait until you've teched through the whole show? When is fresh paperwork issued?)

Mizi, as Tempest mentioned, those are broad questions, but one piece of advice that I have is to take some time before tech planning things out. Figure out if you need some extra time to practice costume or scene changes, figure out approximately how quickly you need to move so that you get everything finished before the end of tech. That will help you be the one to "steer the ship"- you can nudge things along if you're moving too slowly, or allow some extra cueing if you're doing okay on time. You'll have a sense of what scene you'll hit before the next break, and be able to tell the stage crew what to get ready for backstage. I usually make a little cheat sheet for myself- I divide the pages in the script by the number of hours in tech, and from there I have an approximation of how many pages we need to hit per hour. (I usually add a little padding to account for breaks and to get through the first sequence of cues, which always takes longer than expected.)

Introductions / Re: Hello there
« on: Nov 08, 2018, 06:47 pm »
Hi and welcome! Sounds like you have a lot on your hands with your current production. Hope you have fun!

It's a judgement call. Similar to what you describe, I like to start with the bigger notes first, then move on to more specific notes as the actors get more solid with the lines. This might mean that an actor who memorizes all of their lines by the 3rd day of rehearsal gets more "nit-picky" notes earlier, and if someone else is just getting off book by design run they are still getting more general notes by then.

One thing that can be really helpful is to make sure the actors are not learning lines incorrectly, which can be hard to fix later on. If there's an actor who's consistently giving an incorrect line, I will jump up (with script page in hand) and quietly give them the note verbally. This is especially useful if it's a line that affects another actor's next line.

Introductions / Re: Brand new SM
« on: Oct 22, 2018, 09:02 pm »
Welcome aboard, Krista! It's an interesting career no matter when you start. Looking forward to hearing about your experiences!

Students and Novice Stage Managers / Re: Writing a new script
« on: Oct 20, 2018, 12:53 pm »
You can decrease the amount of space between lines, use a slightly smaller font, decrease your margins, or let it spill on the next page and call the next page "77A".

POINTLESS THEATRE seeks an enthusiastic and organized individual to join our staff as Production Manager for the 2018-2019 season. The Production Manager works with upper management to ensure timely scheduling and planning of the production process, proper budget development, and supervision of artists and technicians. The position is directly supervised by the Artistic Directors and Deputy Director.

Production Manager is responsible for working alongside the Director, Artistic Directors and Technical Director to hire, contract and supervise technicians, stage management, designers and performers for each production. A successful candidate is proactive, and leads with a positive and supportive attitude. Being able to anticipate needs, problem solve resourcefully, and prioritize time sensitive tasks are essential strengths in this role.

Dates for the 2018-2019 season:
Show #1: November/December Rehearsals, January/February Performances.
Show #2: April/May Rehearsals, June Performances.

This position is paid hourly.

Pointless Theatre strongly values equity and challenges historical inequity with a persistent focus on dismantling systemic racism. We work towards a more just society and as such we are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, or physical handicap.



The Hardline / Re: Joining AEA!
« on: Oct 09, 2018, 09:10 pm »
Congrats! I think the number one thing I didn't know is that when you have a question, it's totally okay to call your AEA rep! They are there to help. A lot of AEA questions that come up are situation-dependent, so you can't necessarily get a clear answer by asking someone else. Sometimes a particular theatre will get a special concession from Equity about a particular rule, so something that's okay at one theatre or on one contract might not be okay at another (or vice versa).  I've never had a rep mind me calling and asking, and it's usually the quickest way to get a question answered. If you don't know who your rep is, ask your production manager (or whoever handles AEA contracts at your theatre).

I also think it's really helpful to print out a hard copy of the rulebook for whatever contract you're working on and put post-it flags on any rules that you might want to reference quickly. For me it's usually things like the rules regarding rehearsal and performance hours, how many hours of fittings are allowed, etc. So much easier to reference them quickly. (Though the search function on a pdf is helpful too!)

Hi Paul,
There's no right or wrong way to do it, but something I've done in the past for stages that don't have a traditional 'upstage' and 'downstage' is to assign each wall of the theater a direction - 'north south east and west'. That way you can note that an actor crosses north, or exits southwest. You can also use positions on a clock, or assign specific walls to be upstage and downstage (though that can be unhelpful, if you're trying to play to both sides of the house, if you think of one of them as 'downstage'.

Whatever method you choose, it's useful to put a note in the rehearsal report at the beginning of the process to let other people know which wall you're referring to as 'north'.

EDIT: And it's important to put signs on the wall in the rehearsal room, so that actors know which way to go when the director says "Exit through the South door" or something similar.

Welcome aboard, Dani! Glad to have you and your students on the forum.

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