Author Topic: Drinks, Teas...  (Read 6278 times)

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wilsom6317

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Drinks, Teas...
« on: Nov 01, 2006, 09:21 am »
:-\
 I was wondering if anyone had any solutions on dealing with drinks onstage. I know tea is the best solution but what if your cast does not like tea. Has anyone done Rumors by Neil Simon? What if your director says one thing and does another what is the best way with dealing with this?

Mac Calder

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Re: Drinks, Teas...
« Reply #1 on: Nov 01, 2006, 09:31 am »
In the grand scheme of things, it really does not matter if your cast likes tea or not. Their job is to drink it - a minor discomfort - no way comparable to other discomforts that are faced on a regular basis. My (personal) response, in situations where a cast member says "It tastes yucky" would be to say "Well, if you can find an alternative, we will use that, otherwise, buck up. You only have to drink it X times a night."

I know finding another alternative would be preferable, but there really is not much that gives the right colour. You could try mixing coke and water and leaving it to go flat, I suppose, although that still will not be the best colour. Ginger beer is also an option - once it is flat. But I think you will find people prefer the tea over flat ginger beer.


reds

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Re: Drinks, Teas...
« Reply #2 on: Nov 01, 2006, 10:20 am »
I agree with Mac....it's thier job to drink what is there, and wear what they are told to.  Not always easy I'll admit.  You also have to try to be nice about it, although nice doesn't always work.  The last show I worked, we had a cast member that kept changing her costume.  She would come out in a different dress, or her hair different, or whatever, and it drove us nuts.  Needless to say, she won't be used again.  Actors can be babies, and sometimes if you just say "no" this is what you have to do it usually works. 
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wilsom6317

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Re: Drinks, Teas...
« Reply #3 on: Nov 01, 2006, 10:29 am »
I want to thank you both. My college is a two year and so we have community members in our show. I have had an actor change her lipstick! To chapstick  (community membe!).

Lester

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Re: Drinks, Teas...
« Reply #4 on: Nov 01, 2006, 11:15 am »
just wanted to a raise a quick point.  We made tea to simulate brandy on stage for our show this summer.  While at the beginning we had been sweetening it with brandy, a major problem that came up was our actors were swigging the stuff like no tomorrow because I'd made it taste so good.  Well in high british society one doesn't usually go through four or five tumblers of brandy in a half hour, unfortunately.  So the director requested I make it taste awful so they wouldn't go through it so fast.  I mean yeah, we make things easier on the actors but what they have to sip is such a tiny detail, remind them their acting?

MarcieA

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Re: Drinks, Teas...
« Reply #5 on: Nov 01, 2006, 12:09 pm »
Whenever I use tea as alcohol, I brew it double strong to make it bitter, and then dilute it as needed.

Also, a drop of green fool coloring will help make the color less like diluted tea under the stage lights.

Another thing to try instead of tea is flat (caffeine free is my preference) Coke or Diet Coke. Same thing, diluted and then add a bit of green if you need it.

But everyone's right. If they're on stage and their character is drinking, they need to drink. It's their job to do it without complaint. While diffusing a situation like this seems simple: You're the actor, it's your job, this is the prop, use it, it is not so uncommon a situation. As a stage manager, how far to you go to serve an actor without being taken advantage of? To accomodate is one thing, and I feel like it's a big part of being a stage manager, but to allow people to walk all over you is another.

Anyway, there you go. I'd offer the choice of flat Coke (if the other actors are allright with that) or tea, and say those are the choices.
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Jessie_K

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Re: Drinks, Teas...
« Reply #6 on: Nov 01, 2006, 12:37 pm »
For making prop alcohol, I have used the food color used in cake icings.  There are a variety of colors and it has no flavor.  It also doesn't give you the nasty froth you can get from powdered ice tea.  You can get it at a craft store like Michael's.

PencilQueen

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Re: Drinks, Teas...
« Reply #7 on: Nov 01, 2006, 01:15 pm »
Re: cake icing food colouring

Oooo, that stuff is wicked for staining.  I had a teen who liked to bake go through a goth phase for a few years, and my countertops *still* bear the scars o'black.  Have you had any problem with staining in the theatre, either when you're mixing or if it gets spilled onstage?

RuthNY

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Re: Drinks, Teas...
« Reply #8 on: Nov 01, 2006, 01:20 pm »


Try Caramel Food Coloring for brandy, whiskey, etc.  It has no flavor and very few calories!

Beverage Recipes

Red Wine:
112 oz (2 pots) hot water
10 Celestial Seasonings’ Wild Berry Zinger tea bags
1 ½ teaspoons red food coloring
16 drops blue food coloring

White Wine:
56 oz (1 pot) hot water
4 Celestial Seasonings’ Chamomile tea bags

Brandy:
1 gallon water
3/8 teaspoon caramel color

Tea:
3 Lipton tea bags in pot


Coffee:
1/2 tsp. carmel coloring
1 pot water

Whiskey
1/4 tsp. carmel coloring
½ gallon water
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Laurs

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Re: Drinks, Teas...
« Reply #9 on: Nov 01, 2006, 01:46 pm »


Try Caramel Food Coloring for brandy, whiskey, etc.  It has no flavor and very few calories!

Beverage Recipes

Red Wine:
112 oz (2 pots) hot water
10 Celestial Seasonings’ Wild Berry Zinger tea bags
1 ½ teaspoons red food coloring
16 drops blue food coloring

White Wine:
56 oz (1 pot) hot water
4 Celestial Seasonings’ Chamomile tea bags

Brandy:
1 gallon water
3/8 teaspoon caramel color

Tea:
3 Lipton tea bags in pot


Coffee:
1/2 tsp. carmel coloring
1 pot water

Whiskey
1/4 tsp. carmel coloring
½ gallon water


that's brilliant
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Noah: Nein! T-Rex!!

rdagit

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Re: Drinks, Teas...
« Reply #10 on: Nov 01, 2006, 06:30 pm »
For Brandy or burbon of the sorts, we just used Apple Juice. It worked quite well as it was found out later that the Actress would (from time to time) switch out her juice with the real stuff, and no one noticed untill she got to the end of the show.

nmno

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Re: Drinks, Teas...
« Reply #11 on: Nov 01, 2006, 11:43 pm »
There are often so many problems a day I CAN'T solve; when I can, I like to.  I try to put myself in another's moccasins in cases like this...   

To say "you will drink tea because I say so" seems a little power trip-ish.  If you present a few options (tea, coke, food coloring - or maybe just a different type of tea) most actors will be able to find a suitable one; if they refuse, and can't offer a proper alternative on their own, you're probably off the hook.  But I feel the production staff should at least make an effort.  Plus, aren't your best moments when you managed to make something work when you thought it wasn't possible, when you found a solution to a problem?


Laurs

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Re: Drinks, Teas...
« Reply #12 on: Nov 02, 2006, 12:47 am »
unless of course two people are drinking from the same pitcher or something that gets poured onstage. then they need to get over their differences.
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Mac Calder

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Re: Drinks, Teas...
« Reply #13 on: Nov 02, 2006, 02:30 am »
It is not so much a power trippish issue. It is the fact that whilst part of our job is to make actors comfortable, there are so many more issues deserving of our time. Small theatres, the on stage drinks are usually made by the SM or ASM.

Now I am unsure about the rest of the people here, but I usually make the quantity I will need on the night, whilst doing my pre-show work (I rarely have access to a fridge for storage, and I am against the serving of stale water). Frankly, tea is the most time efficient, and the easiest method.

If actors do not like tea, then I am open to alternatives, however if it is anything more complex than placing an item into water, or if it involves making large quantites (ie due to the strength of one ingredient) then the logistics will probably end up being the actors responsibility, because I believe that my time can be better spent else where in most shows - like making sure everything is ready to go.

Re "the joy of making something 'work' when it was thought not possible" - true, it is enjoyable, but tea WORKS. It is not dangerous, it does not have any ill effects upon the actors, all they have to do is put up with the taste.

tara0302

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Re: Drinks, Teas...
« Reply #14 on: Nov 05, 2006, 02:23 pm »


I agree that we should try to accomodate their tastes.  It is only a small thing.  Obviously if they have to share then someone's going to have to get over it. Does anyone use burnt sugar or gravy browning or is that just an Irish thing?  It makes a really great brown colour, you can use it for brandy, sherry whiskey..all the brown drinks (!!), there is virtually no taste and it's less hassle than making tea. :)

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