Recent Posts

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Tools of the Trade / Re: Android Cue App
« Last post by Michelle R. Wood on Oct 16, 2017, 09:49 pm »
Thanks for the recommendations KCS: good information for me to consider.
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Introductions / Re: Student Alaskan SM introduction
« Last post by Michelle R. Wood on Oct 16, 2017, 09:46 pm »
Wow, I would feel the same panic if I thought my prompt book had been torched. What a lucky save. I've always felt dubious about leaving my book in the booth (especially theatres I've worked at where "booth" is more a polite term than actual fact), and now I've got more to think about in terms of securing things each show. Welcome aboard.
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Introductions / Student Alaskan SM introduction
« Last post by AdiDavis on Oct 16, 2017, 04:21 pm »
Hi Everyone!

I've been lurking on this site for the past couple months and I figured that it was time for me to finally register and join the fold. The forums here have been so helpful lately in finding info on SM related questions.

As far as introductions, I'm a senior technical theatre major focusing on stage management. I wasn't planning on majoring in theatre in college, but I made the mistake of wondering into the scene shop one day and then I fell in love with theatre ever since.

I'm currently stage managing for a devised piece of theatre centered around the 1964 earthquake in Alaska. 

My most memorable moment so far in my SM experience is when my prompt book almost caught on fire. It was during intermission for a projections heavy show, and as such, I had two different monitors on my desk. While I was off getting water and checking in with my ASM, both of the monitors caught on fire. My prompt book was literally mere inches from the smoking mess. Luckily the assistant projections designer was in the booth fixing some technical issues with projections (the projections program had decided to quit near the end of ACT I). He thankfully grabbed a fire extinguisher, moved my prompt book to the ground and stopped the fire.

He decided to play a prank on me though, because as I came back into the booth, and saw the mess, I panicked and searched for my prompt book. He decided to inform me that he wasn't able to save it, and it was lost in the fire forever. I had a thirty second absolute panic, but then he quickly saw he'd overstepped and pulled the prompt book from his backpack. It was an emotional roller coaster that day.

And ever since then, I always photocopy my prompt book once it's finished after tech. Just in case.

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Tools of the Trade / Re: Android Cue App
« Last post by KMC on Oct 16, 2017, 11:10 am »
Thanks for the quick reply KMC. In the past my understanding is that this group (a ninprofit children's theatre, so small budget) has used a board member's tablet or phone, plugged it into the sound board, and played music files through the music player. Said member is leaving so they want to purchase a tablet owned by the group. I would like to prod them out to music players and into cues management but the only thing we're really able to control that way is the sound board (no intelligent lights, moveable stages, etc). I'll have to go check what type of board it is.

My assumption, based on the little documentation that is available, is that this Android app is strictly audio or video file playback and does not have control elements associated with it.  For the stated purpose in your post, my assumption is that it will work (should be verified prior to purchase, if the $ is a concern).

If the theatre is planning to buy a tablet anyway, I would suggest that they take a slightly different path.  If the performance demands are not immense (e.g. large video file playback with complex mapping) then a mac mini can support QLAB for most show uses (and we have successfully designed and integrated small show control systems with this structure).  A mac mini is not going to be materially more expensive than a good tablet, so that cost is a wash.  The QLAB license will be a hit up front if you do an outright purchase.  If the funds aren't available to purchase a license outright up front, I think Figure 53 has a rent or rent-to-own option.  Long term, this will give the group far more functionality and a major upgrade over the entry level solution now being considered.
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Tools of the Trade / Re: Android Cue App
« Last post by Michelle R. Wood on Oct 16, 2017, 09:52 am »
Thanks for the quick reply KMC. In the past my understanding is that this group (a ninprofit children's theatre, so small budget) has used a board member's tablet or phone, plugged it into the sound board, and played music files through the music player. Said member is leaving so they want to purchase a tablet owned by the group. I would like to prod them out to music players and into cues management but the only thing we're really able to control that way is the sound board (no intelligent lights, moveable stages, etc). I'll have to go check what type of board it is.
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Tools of the Trade / Re: Improvised com system?
« Last post by KMC on Oct 16, 2017, 08:23 am »
If your theatre is already cabled for it (and dear god I hope it is if it's brand new) an entry level hard-wired comms package really is not terribly expensive.  If money is really tight you may even contact a rental house in your area to see if they've got anything they're looking to retire and sell or donate.
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Tools of the Trade / Re: Android Cue App
« Last post by KMC on Oct 16, 2017, 08:19 am »
What types of devices are you needing the show controller to trigger and what functions are you intending the alternative system to perform (e.g. audio playback, timecode distribution, etc...)? 

I had a quick read over the live cues site and their documentation is vague to non-existent.  My biggest question that is not clear from the admittedly small amount of research I did is what is the remote app driving (or is it not a remote app, and the phone/tablet app is a stand-alone product)?  The QLAB app is not really doing much other than connecting back to your QLAB rig and acting as a really fancy remote control.

Have you tried contacting them through the form on their website?

Typically you get what you pay for,  and at $20 I wouldn't expect much.  That said, it's not a terrible loss if you buy it and it's a dud.  A full QLAB license I think is running close to $1,000 retail these days, so looking towards a $20 solution to act as a replacement is not going to deliver the same quality product.

If you can give me a bit more information I'll be happy to think on it a bit further and recommend something.
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Students and Novice Stage Managers / Re: Is college necessary?
« Last post by leastlikely on Oct 16, 2017, 02:40 am »
I do not have a degree and I regret it deeply. On the one hand, if I had completed my original degree as planned, I very likely would not be a stage manager today. In that regard, I'm so glad I had the opportunity to find this path even though I came to it a little later in life than most.

 But for life in general, I regret dropping out. And for my work in specific... I learned everything I know about stage management through experience. I've never taken a single course in it. I would not recommend that. Yes of course experience and on the job training is an enormous part of how we grow as SMs but there is a lot of foundational knowledge I never learned. I didn't enter the workforce with connections, mentors, apprenticeships, etc. Because I didn't come up through a university program. I kind of forged my own way and I love what I'm doing but I'm not nearly as far along in my career as I wish I was. Plus if I end up leaving theatre some day... it'll be harder to find a job in any other field being a college dropout.

So no, it is not truly 100% necessary. You can find work in theatre without going to college. But I really strongly recommend you go.
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Tools of the Trade / Android Cue App
« Last post by Michelle R. Wood on Oct 15, 2017, 10:20 pm »
Does anyone have any suggestions for an Android app for cues (aka a non-Apple Qlab)? Reddit recommended something called LIVE Cues (http://www.livecues.net/live-cues-android-tablet/) but I have no experience with it. I personally use MultiPlay a lot on my Windows machine to run shows, but the theatre is considering purchase of a tablet to aid in running sound. Anyone have thoughts/suggestions/horror stories to share?
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Tools of the Trade / Re: Improvised com system?
« Last post by NewTheatrePSM on Oct 15, 2017, 10:40 am »
Thanks! Cue lights are a good thought. However, that doesn't help to talk through any issue. It's a community theatre so I'm deck chief and calling some cues while we have one person running lights and sound together at the back of the theatre.

We will be getting some walkie talkies from a local high school with headphone jacks, so that should help for now. And then hopefully we'll be able to purchase an effective com system.
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