Author Topic: But I don't *want* to be onstage! That's why I Stage Manage!  (Read 8025 times)

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Michael

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Setting: a community college production of The Elephant Man

Time: not enough

So, we have this actor who is great. Except he cannot make one Friday perf during our three-weekend run.

We've been looking for an understudy for that night. The guy we read last night was... well, awful.

At the time of casting, we were already a week late starting rehearsals, due to not being able to find a cast that was competent.  We cast the particular actor (who can't make the one perf) because we were desperate.

Well.  The director and his assistant are now telling me that there is one person they know who can do it.  Yep. Me.

My assistant (just out of high school) will be calling the show that night while I'm onstage.  Therefore, she is totally useless backstage for the remainder of the run.  And it's going to be the most technically difficult show *I've* ever called -- I feel for her.

My question: for the pickup rehearsal the (Thurs) night before I go onstage, do I have the right to insist it's a full dress?

loebtmc

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But I don't *want* to be onstage! That's why I Stage Manage!
« Reply #1 on: Oct 15, 2003, 01:50 pm »
(sorry, duplicate post - and can't seem to delete)

loebtmc

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But I don't *want* to be onstage! That's why I Stage Manage!
« Reply #2 on: Oct 15, 2003, 01:56 pm »
YES! in fact, when replacing a lead it is always appropriate to have a full-on run through with everything. Safety and sanity for the whole company (and for your poor SM who needs to rehearse a complex show once without an audience).

drummer_dude

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But I don't *want* to be onstage! That's why I Stage Manage!
« Reply #3 on: Oct 16, 2003, 06:01 pm »
Great googly moogly, yes! Asking for a full dress should be the least of your worries. Do you have much acting experience?

U>_<U

kjdiehl

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But I don't *want* to be onstage! That's why I Stage Manage!
« Reply #4 on: Oct 17, 2003, 02:24 am »
What do you mean, ASKING for a Dress? You're the SM, you get to insist on a Full Dress. Wow, big props to you for actually going onstage for them. I'd send on my grandmother, book-in-hand, before I went on, no matter how much a director begged.
-Kris Diehl, AEA SM

"Somewhere in the city there's a stage manager waiting,
standing in the shadows with a clipboard in hand..."

SMuppet

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But I don't *want* to be onstage! That's why I Stage Manage!
« Reply #5 on: Nov 10, 2003, 12:58 pm »
yay! so i'm really not as weird as all the actors think i am for having no desire whatever to be onstage where people can see me... good to know. I'm new to the site, but it's really nice to know im not the only type-A personality who loves theatre and all the craziness of artsy people... :)

Michael

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But I don't *want* to be onstage! That's why I Stage Manage!
« Reply #6 on: Nov 10, 2003, 07:21 pm »
Update:

Due to time constraints and the newfound flakiness of my assistant (who would be calling the show while I'm onstage) they have cancelled that perf.

Color me relieved!

It also gives me two extra nights off this week..... what to do, what to do...?

SM_Art

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what to do...?
« Reply #7 on: Nov 10, 2003, 09:49 pm »
Get an agent, get your headshots, find a monologue or two... oh, wait a moment....

stageman7

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I don't want to be an actor, mommy!
« Reply #8 on: Jan 05, 2004, 05:33 am »
That was a great story, and I'm sure that you are glad that you never actually had to go out on stage that night. I have a funny story from my early (when dinasours roamed the planet) days of being an SM in high school: We were doing the musical Guys and Dolls, and everyone sings and dances at some point. One night, the actor who played Joey Biltmore
and had six or so key lines during a phone call scene became ill after the opening number. My music teacher and play director buzzed the SM console on the intercom and said "Kid,I'm gonna make you a star". He then suggested in his stern teacher's voice that I grab my prompting script and go out on stage during the set change,as I was now Joey Biltmore. It's a good thing there was no singing or dancing-the audience would have laughed me into oblivion, but it was easy because I was sitting behind a prop desk and simply read the lines into the prop phone from my SM script-after all desks do have papers on them. That was my one and thankfully only stage appearance. Keep the faith- Rich

VSM

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G&D
« Reply #9 on: Jan 05, 2004, 01:31 pm »
YOU...

LUCKED...

OUT!!!
Ordo ab chao

MVarnerJr

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I know how you feel
« Reply #10 on: Jun 01, 2004, 05:38 pm »
I am High School SM and we generally have 1 or 2 performances a month.  I was put in the same situation you were except when they asked me to go on they wanted me to go on right then.  I knew the part and had a lot of acting experience!  I just didn't want to go out there!  I ended up going out there.  It turned out ok (NOT).  Except our director was going to call the show because i had no assistant!  The show was a flop and we had hardly any ticket saled for the last performance!  It was so bad that we brought the lights up after every scene because our director didn't know how to do a scene change!  Our director was not our theatre teacher, she was a woman brought in from somewhere else!
Marshall Varner

centaura

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Close call
« Reply #11 on: Aug 28, 2004, 10:29 pm »
My favorite close call to almost being onstage was on tour in Michigan once, where I got woken up at 1am with a violently ill actor, who was so sick she couldn't even sit up in bed.  So, being the kind and generous person that I am, I actually waited until 5am to call my boss and wake him up to discuss solutions for our 10:00am school show that day.  He told me that I was going on for her.  So, I'm a techie, I don't travel with nice clothes, and the character was a russian immigrant girl from the turn of the century.  So, at 5:30am I was at Mejers, the local equivalent of a Walmart, and the only thing even open at 5:30 in the morning, trying to find SOMETHING to wear that was vaguely female/historical.  By the time I got back from shopping, it was time to wake up the cast and get them prepped for the day's fiasco.  To make a long story short, once we started brainstorming, we worked out how to re-write the script without the female romantic lead, in about an hour without any rehearsal, and I was able to later in the day thankfully return everything that I had bought, unworn!  I was never happier in my life!

-Centaura

guilkey

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But I don't *want* to be onstage! That's why I Stage Manage!
« Reply #12 on: Nov 28, 2004, 03:21 am »
I wouldn't expect that much luck ever again.  Why not send out the worthless ass. SM.
Plug it in and see if it blows.

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