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Students and Novice Stage Managers / Re: Stepping on toes/Rant(?)
« Last post by KMC on Today at 10:54 am »
It's interesting to me that you find it acceptable to make comments to him such as "You know, we don't like telling you to be quiet every two minutes" (a passive-aggressive way of telling someone to shut up if ever there was) yet it's unacceptable that he puts his hand up to you, which is essentially another passive-aggressive way of telling someone to shut up.  A double standard like that tells me there's more than just a skillset or style issue between the two of you and that it may be borne from a personal issue.

You may look inward at some of the things about him that are annoying you and ask "why" they are annoying you.  Is it him?  Is it you?  Probably a bit of both. 

You don't have to (and surely won't) like everyone you work for or with, but part of moving from a collegiate setting to a professional setting is knowing how to deal with that while getting your job done.

Some things in your career and in life just aren't going to be pleasant.  As a colleague of mine says regularly about uncomfortable situations: "embrace the suck" i.e. lean into it and deal with it head on. 

Good luck.
Introductions / Re: Arizona SM here
« Last post by VSM on Today at 10:40 am »
Welcome Aboard!
Looking for ART - anybody?
Students and Novice Stage Managers / Re: Stage Manager Duties
« Last post by Plabebob on Sep 20, 2017, 11:36 am »
Hello, my name is Arturo Fernandez, jr and I am the current PSM of my school's show. I have been told by the director that I am the swing for the three leading roles in the show. I was wondering if this is standard in the professional world? Thanks in advance for your time.

I'm in the UK so it might be a different picture but this would not fly on any job I've worked on. Standing in in rehearsals is one thing, but stage managers are not performers, it's an entirely different job. I world absolutely turn down a job with a company that thought that was acceptable.

The nearest you'd get would be doing a scene change 'as directed' or maybe donning a costume to bring a crucial prop on stage or so something off. Both of these would earn you a bonus per show by UK Equity rules, but I personally would not take a job that required something like that, my job is to run the show, not be in it.
Stage Management: Plays & Musicals / Re: REPORTS: Report/Notes Language
« Last post by Plabebob on Sep 20, 2017, 11:31 am »
We were discouraged from making evaluative statements (eg. "The audience enjoyed the birds joke.")

That statement brings up a point: do you put anything about the audience in your reports? I didn't originally, then served under some SMs who did and adopted the practice. I feel like it gives a good summary of how the show went, especially for directors who leave and are unable to attend shows. I'd be curious to know how many SMs do and don't report on the audience, and why.

I have to fill in form show reports for panto every year & there's a section for 'audience reaction'. It drives me crazy, we have 2 shows a day for 6 weeks. Not only is the show the same every time, it's the same every *year*. It's identical every time, I really did know what they expect me to write!
Stage Management: Other / Re: Paging Calls in Opera
« Last post by Plabebob on Sep 20, 2017, 10:38 am »
I work in UK opera & I do calls exactly how I do in theatre, which is how most people do them here. We only do a 5 minute during the show & it goes "You call please Miss A & Mr B, Miss A & Mr B your call, thank you".

For department staff I will tell them what it's for & what side of the stage, but performers are expected to know & the ASMs look out for them.
Students and Novice Stage Managers / Re: Stepping on toes/Rant(?)
« Last post by PSMKay on Sep 20, 2017, 10:29 am »
Thing 1 - If you're going to rant you should probably remove your current gig and affiliations from your profile. Just sayin'.

Thing 2 - Part of being an assistant is learning to complement (as in, fill in the gaps around, flow around, not say nice things about) and adapt to the skills and weaknesses of others in the company. If your actor gets easily frustrated at quick changes you make the clothes easier to swap. If your director can't remember actors' names you give them all name tags. If your SM is bad at delegating then you identify the common repeated tasks, assign several of them to yourself, and communicate as much to your SM. This is especially true in an educational situation. You have to expect that every person in the company is doing whatever they're doing for the first time. It will be a scramble. You have the advantage of not needing to worry about union-acceptable divisions of labor, so it shouldn't matter how you divide up the tasks, just make sure they get divided up.

Thing 3 - In SM it cannot be about what you "do not tolerate well." You have to put those quirks and preferences aside and completely submit yourself to the needs of the rest of the company.

Thing 4 - Remember that it isn't about making stage management look good to the rest of the company. It's about making the show look good to the audience.
Students and Novice Stage Managers / Stepping on toes/Rant(?)
« Last post by joeskins on Sep 19, 2017, 10:53 pm »
I'm ASM for The Little Mermaid at my local junior collage. I have worked on musicals before, mostly crewed, but I ASM'd In The Heights in the spring. Anyway, my SM has never worked a management position on a musical. He's struggling, I've been very nice about it. We are a team, and I want to help him but he keeps making me upset. He doesn't delagate hardly ever, he's sloppy and unorganized. I hate to sound like I'm shitting on him when I talk about his management. I feel like I have to be on top of him to make sure things are getting done. Some things he's good at keeping up with, others not so much. One of my things is that I make little comments such as "You know, we don't like telling you to be quiet every two minutes." and "It doesn't take talking to do this." after I say this he'll say my name and then put his hand up a little as if to say stop. I'm sorry, I don't respond to little hand gestures like that. I find them rude. I don't want to step on his toes but his rehearsal room is loosely ran volume wise. I was a ballet dancer and don't tolerate excess talking well. How can I not step on his toes?
Students and Novice Stage Managers / Re: Stage Manager Duties
« Last post by smejs on Sep 15, 2017, 10:06 pm »
Nope, doesn't happen to me.....well, not recently.

I worked educational opera for a decade, and one show one singer simply didn't arrive at the school. We all drove separately usually, with several people knowing each role. My boss was supposed to be narrator, and by this point I'd been around for maybe a year or two. She jumped in for a modified version of the show as the mezzo, and I (with a script, per usual for the role), jumped in as Narrator. Only a little blocking, and two parts I had to sing...but not operatically. It actually worked fairly well, and it became a side gig of mine - especially since for that one the "stage manager" mainly did load in/out and no cues during the show. I'd also started off as an acting major, so it wasn't totally out of my wheelhouse, though it had been a while.

As for a union show these days? Nuh-uh. Would have to be in my contract, with a rider, and be paid more. And asked. Though there are several contracts, especially for Theatre for Young Artists (ie, touring kid shows), where someone is hired as an Actor/ASM. They do load in and maybe a few other things, but also act in the show. There are also some ASM/Understudy contracts still around I believe, though a lot of union SMs are really trying to get rid of those.
Students and Novice Stage Managers / Re: Stage Manager Duties
« Last post by Tempest on Sep 15, 2017, 02:45 pm »
I wouldn't say it's standard, but it's not entirely unheard of, either. Especially if there are no understudies in the picture. Though this typically becomes less of a possibility as you move up to more "prestigious" theatres. I can't imagine a LORT contract telling the SM, "by the way, you're also the understudy."

I've had to step into a performer's role, though only in rehearsal, a few times. And my ability to step in and perform in an emergency has been a theatre's back-up plan, more than once. The secondary stage manager at my current theatre was just informed by our producer that, if our (very) pregnant lead has to step out for health reasons, she'll be stepping in and the ME will run lights and sound.

But the ideal circumstance would be to have at least one understudy, and let the stage manager worry about stage managing!
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