Recent Posts

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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.
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Hey hive :)  I am currently helping out with a small, international film festival (60+ films) and I'm the main contact for all talent involved with the films. I need a clever and easy way to track who's attending, who's sending their "people", who those people are and their titles, what day they arrive in town (for airport trans), if they need accommodation and for how many people, what their film is and category, what workshops they're hosting/attending etc. Unlike other "attendee registration" boring forms sent out associated with event software, I basically would like to take the info they send me in a personal email and transfer it to their "file" (or spot?) that I've created if that's possible. Or maybe there's another way? A database is the first way I came up with to do this but I'd rather avoid spending days learning software. Also I have no budget. Ideally I'd create a document that was easy to access all info for me and my team of festival organizers. Over our first couple of years, a google doc spreadsheet was created by someone (festival organizer above me.. not an SM lol) which I had access to, however I found it daunting to access the info I needed and it was difficult to keep up to date. There's got to be a way to quickly look up someone's name and see all their deets.. Any thoughts??!! Thanks! :D
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The Hardline / Re: Collecting info on ASMs
« Last post by loebtmc on Nov 11, 2018, 11:58 pm »
Yes please, this is an ongoing project. Feel free to PM me with anything you want kept discrete, or print on this network and I will copy/paste with the rest of my paperwork.
Thank you
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Tools of the Trade / Re: Kit Containment
« Last post by smejs on Nov 11, 2018, 12:10 am »
I'm happily at the stage of my career where I don't carry big kits of my own any more, and work to help each theatre create their own. (Last one had its own large road case.) That said, I now have a fantastic multi-zippered notions bag given to me by another stage manager, which holds just the items I want for myself.

In college, I did have a folding rolling cart, and two toolboxes stacked on top of it, then moved to a tackle box before abandoning it all.
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The Hardline / Re: Collecting info on ASMs
« Last post by leastlikely on Nov 09, 2018, 05:42 pm »
I didn't have relevant answers when you first put out the ask but now I do. Do you still need responses?
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Stage Management: Plays & Musicals / Re: First time SMing tech
« Last post by Maribeth on Nov 08, 2018, 08:33 pm »
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.)
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Introductions / Re: Hello there
« Last post by Maribeth 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!
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Tools of the Trade / Re: Smart Watches
« Last post by abhibeckert on Nov 07, 2018, 08:49 pm »
Sorry to bring up an old thread... but it's been a year now and smart watches are getting better.

In some ways they're frustrating ó for example, I really wish mine had *seconds* on a digital watch face, is really that too much to ask?!

But overall they're great. For example it has the best stopwatch I've ever seen, with four completely different visual modes to display the same data, depending on the situation is.

I love being able to leave my phone at my desk while still being able to make and receive calls/text messages... those are a distraction during a show but they're oh so important in the couple of hours before the show starts. When someone's car breaks down and needs to be picked up, it's invaluable to receive that call immediately instead of being greeted by a voicemail whenever I happen to be at my desk next. And I like not having to check my phone regularly to see if there are any voicemails.

Once the show does start, simply flip the "do not disturb" switch and the distraction is gone. My pre-show procedure includes a reminder to do that.

When I work as crew, I like how mine (an Apple Watch) is available in an entirely black model, with no white writing or shiny silver or glow in the dark dots that would prevent me wearing a typical watch during a scene change. It even has a theatre mode where the screen stays off unless you tap the touchscreen with a finger. I like to run a stopwatch for the length of each act and take note of how many minutes into the show each of my tasks usually happen. When I have a break, I find it easier to relax if I can glance at my wrist and see how much longer I've got before needing to be in position.

I frequently use the voice assistant to take notes when I haven't got my pen and paper handy. Usually I just set a reminder to write something down later on.

I feel like there's a lot more I could use it for - there are smartphone apps for stage management but none for a watch that Iíve seen. And it seems like a smartwatch plus wireless headphones could be part of a perfect comm system. But even without those things itís already indispensable to me.
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I have, so far, been mostly lucky. The only time I've been sick was very early in the rehearsal phase (we had barely finished auditions). In that case it was definitely the best option to stay home, even though I was healthy enough to do my job. The last thing anyone wants is to make everyone else sick.

Later on in rehearsals and certainly while running the show, in my experience everyone comes in no matter how sick they are. I've seen people vomiting into a bucket seconds before and after going on stage, but somehow still performing so well you couldn't tell from the audience. The last time I saw that happen was someone with a minor role who could easily have been cut from the show and nobody in the audience would notice.

Sometimes major changes have been made to reduce the workload of the sick person. Ranging from swapping two crew members to cutting out physically demanding parts of a show to having someone who lost their voice just mouth the words while someone behind a curtain spoke their lines and sang their songs.

The only time I can remember someone missing a performance it was the sound operator, who was in hospital with an illness so sudden we had to find a friend in the audience, who had never even seen the show, to operate sound that night (and she came back every night for the next week). For scenes with complicated sound cues we had a second person who was familiar with the show, but didn't know how to operate a sound desk, sitting next to them helping out.

For me that night demonstrated how critical it is for everybody to strictly turn up by the final call time. And when I'm Stage Manage anyone who is especially irreplaceable is given an even earlier call time, so that if they don't turn up I have as long as possible to figure out how to deal with the situation. I have had complaints about unreasonably early call times, but most people are happy to relax in the greenroom for a while.

I sympathise with your stage manager. If you really are too sick, then it would be really really helpful if you could somehow still come in even if all you do is spend a few minutes telling your replacement what they need to do.

In an ideal world, I agree nobody should be working while sick. But sometimes that's just not an option - and when you do call, rather than saying "I can't come in" try to approach it as a discussion of how the situation can be dealt with. You're likely to get more sympathy that way, and maybe they'll just say "No worries, we can manage without you. I hope you feel better tomorrow!"
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Introductions / Re: Hello there
« Last post by VSM on Nov 07, 2018, 07:41 pm »
Welcome Aboard!
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