Author Topic: stagemanager portfolio  (Read 10328 times)

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esnynyluv

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stagemanager portfolio
« on: Jul 07, 2005, 02:54 pm »
so i have been looking at many internships and i have seen that they would like a portfolio to see and i was wondering what are things that i should put in a portfolio for these internships.
thanks
emily
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- Little Women the Musical

wilmister

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« Reply #1 on: Jul 07, 2005, 05:36 pm »
Well.. here is what I did.  March of 2005 I had attended the UPTA's in Memphis and I brought a long with me my prompt book from a previous show I had SM'ed, which was cleaned up and re organized.  I also had brought along a portfolio of forms for SMing that I had created through the years.  Now this worked especially well for in person interviewing because I could explain it all.  Howevedr if I were to mail something I would send a chunk (not originals) of my prompt book in a small portfolio and photos of the production, just a couple.  I would have it in an envelope so if they were to lay it out they could get a grasp of what I had done for the production.  Also you MUST send a return envelope even if they don't ask because it is very helpful to them, even if they don't know it.  So I hope this helps!
William E. Cruttenden
AEA Stage Manager
425.879.5903
Wilmister@Gmail.com

Mac Calder

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« Reply #2 on: Jul 08, 2005, 07:02 am »
Here is a brief outline of my portfolio:

I choose three shows I have done - ie a musical, a 'play' and an opera.

I take a few (3 or 4) pages from each prompt book (the good bits with lots of cues) and a couple of the forms - ie rehearsal reports, performance reports etc. etc. Add some photo's to the back and if you have them, review cut outs.

I bind each one up as their own show (staples down the side).

Each one ends up being about 10 pages. A cover letter at the front, detailing EXACTLY what each one is:

ie:
Code: [Select]

Show X is a musical written by ____. I stage managed this in ___ with ___. This show is a challenge due to the necessity to use both the score and script to call from.

Show Y is a new Australian play, which was directed by the playwrite, and involved a number of re-writes. Scripts were revised weekly, requiring prompt alterations and log keeping.

Show Z is an opera composed by ____. This was my first attempt at calling straight from a score.

Please find enclosed for each of the above shows a few pages from my prompt book, and x,y,z,a,b,c. Also enclosed are some images of the shows and reviews.

I look forward to a response in the near future.

Regards

ABC

kjdiehl

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« Reply #3 on: Jul 10, 2005, 07:42 pm »
Interesting. I was jjust discussing this with my interns last night. I told them that you don't  need to even bother having a portfolio because:

#1-It doesn't really illustrate anything about how good an SM you are. Anybody can make a fancy looking form or prompt book, especially given time to redo it for inclusion in a portfolio. We all know this is not what SMing is about. What's the point of photos of a production? They illustrate the designer's work- not yours. Whether to hire someone as part of an SM team can only be gleaned thru careful interviewing, and checking of resumes and references.

and #2- because any theatre that requires a prompt book/portfolio for an SM clearly knows nothing about what an SM truly is, and therefore you don't want to work there anyway.

Now, I can see that some theatres are looking for an additional filter in order to weed thru the many many candidates, especially at job fairs like USITT or whatever, but honestly- I still think my two above points apply. Certainly portfolios are ONLY utilized in hiring intern or apprentice SMs and ASMs. I've never heard of any professional theatres looking for any sort of portfolio to hire a real professional SM, AEA or non.
-Kris Diehl, AEA SM

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

Mac Calder

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« Reply #4 on: Jul 10, 2005, 07:57 pm »
Yes, you should not NEED a portfolio, but if the employer ASKS for a portfolio, the employer GETS a portfolio. The potential employee's opinion - or public opinion does not matter.

It is all well and good to say you don't need one, but if you want to work for a certain company, and they ask you to jump, you jump.

MatthewShiner

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« Reply #5 on: Jul 11, 2005, 12:04 am »
Outside of an educational environment, I have never been asked to show any sort of paperwork. Never. I also would suggest YOU never send any sort of paperwork sample cold to a possible employer until requested.

Basically, when I am looking for a Stage Manager, Assistant Stage Manager or Production Assistant all I want is a cover letter and resume with references.

I think in general, and this is my thought, that all the good qualities of the SM can not be summed up on paper - the way you handle pressure, the way you deal with people, the way you look at a show, your sense of humor. When you work for a new theatre or work under a new SM, most of the time you are going to have to adapt your paperwork to the new place you are going to work for. Yes, I can see you can do a prop list, can type a call, etc, etc . . . these are things I usually get from a reference.

Often, when receiving materials from Interns, I actually find that their submitted materials are often a mark against them - they sound great over the phone, the present themselves well in the interview, they have the experience that would make them ideal, but the paperwork they submit is either substandard or "too cute". Make sure when you are submitting materials it is professional.

As far as submitting pages from your calling scripts . . . fine, unless you are doing something amazing in your calling script, I think it is wasted paper. Also, often submitting for a job as intern, you will not be calling a show.

Submitting reviews for a show sends an odd message to the person reading the materials. Does a SM have any control over the quality of the show???? Unless the review says something outstanding about the quality of the technical elements of the show or mentions you by name, I don't think the review is an addition. For example I think some of the best Stage Managing I have ever done is on some of the worst shows I have worked on. I would be VERY careful when submitting reviews.

But, there are still programs that will request some sort of example of paperwork. Just make sure you are submitting the best of your work, exactly what they ask for. ALSO . . . be very careful that any work you submit as part of your portfolio does not include personal or confidential information - such as phone numbers, medical information, etc.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Anything posted here as in my own personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer - whomever they be at a given moment in time.

kjdiehl

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« Reply #6 on: Jul 11, 2005, 08:43 pm »
Quote from: "mc"
but if you want to work for a certain company, and they ask you to jump, you jump.


Not necessarily. Let me clarify my position: Say I want to work for Company X. So I apply with a Res&CL. Company X responds and says, thanks, we'd love to see a porfolio. NOW my desire to work for them changes. Because I have more information which leads me to believe they don't know too much about my job after all, and thereby maybe not as much about theatre, and maybe I actually don't want to work there. And so I do not Jump. Unless maybe I'm only applying for an intern-type position or I have some good reason to think their requesting a portfolio is a good idea.

Also, I concur with everything Matt said. Well stated, sir.
-Kris Diehl, AEA SM

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

Mac Calder

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« Reply #7 on: Jul 12, 2005, 06:42 am »
Quote from: "kjdiehl"
Quote from: "mc"
but if you want to work for a certain company, and they ask you to jump, you jump.


Not necessarily. Let me clarify my position: Say I want to work for Company X. So I apply with a Res&CL. Company X responds and says, thanks, we'd love to see a porfolio. NOW my desire to work for them changes. Because I have more information which leads me to believe they don't know too much about my job after all, and thereby maybe not as much about theatre, and maybe I actually don't want to work there. And so I do not Jump. Unless maybe I'm only applying for an intern-type position or I have some good reason to think their requesting a portfolio is a good idea.

Also, I concur with everything Matt said. Well stated, sir.


I see your point - I suppose I am in a different situation though.

I do not live in an area that one can afford to be choosey - and the fact that they want to see a portfolio is not a big enough reason to not apply for the job. So far I have been employed through either the company or through the producer, the fact they need a portfolio does not matter to me - even if the company does not know the role of an SM, I can usually get that sorted in one of the first production meetings.

Admittedly, I am not pro - I am a uni student, and I fit shows into my schedule when I can, so I have only done 5 or so payed SM jobs (portfolio required for one of them), none of them have had problems when I handed everyone a basic breakdown of roles during the production.

FallenRain

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« Reply #8 on: Jul 12, 2005, 10:50 am »
Quote
Admittedly, I am not pro - I am a uni student, and I fit shows into my schedule when I can, so I have only done 5 or so payed SM jobs (portfolio required for one of them), none of them have had problems when I handed everyone a basic breakdown of roles during the production.


I agree with kjdiehl - and mc I do think your point of view is because you're in a different situation.  There comes a time in every Stage Managers career when he or she starts drawing lines in the sand of what he or she will tolerate in a job - be it money, perks, working conditions, etc.  For example, I am at the point where if I thought walking into the first production meeting and distributing a breakdown of production staff roles/responsibilities was an appropriate action for a particular company, I would not take a job there.

We do this job because we love it and unfortunately it's a job that invites some companies to take advantage of us if we let them.  It's hard enough trying to make a living with this career, we all need to look out for ourselves and try to avoid situations that will lead to burn out.

Congratz for fitting shows outside your university into your school schedule, not an easy accomplishment but definitely worth the experience :)

loebtmc

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« Reply #9 on: Jul 12, 2005, 04:26 pm »
While I agree w MS, I live in a large city where they can easily check up on my skills. But having worked in smaller and less theater-based areas, I can see from their side that maybe they want to know you aren't just blowing smoke (after all, everyone's references are going to be glowing or you wouldn't list them). So it's worth a discussion/interview over the phone to decide if they are pro enough for you and you are pro enough for them - and then if they need proof, showing a small sample may not be inappropriate. Tho I agree, I've never been asked to show one (well, just recently I was asked to bring a sample of my work to an interview but I never actually got it out of the car).

Gina

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« Reply #10 on: Jul 17, 2005, 04:57 pm »
I usually carry with me a portfolio and a prompt book. What I have found is that if I ask would they like to see my portfolio first, they usually don't ask to see a prompt book, or they flip through it just to check for thouroughness.

At Florida State, my alma mater, the stage managers have started to do a portfolio. These come in many varieties from scrapbookish collections to more streamlined electronic printed versions.

I usually use a mix of adobe acrobat, illustrator and occasionally photoshop. The benefit is that my portfolio can be printed multiple times rather easily, and corrections are also much easier and faster than standard glue mounted portfolios. Also, your whole portfolio can be put on a cd and mailed out rather inexpensively, rather than the cost of shipping a photocopy of my prompt script.

I feel a portfolio has its own benefits in some situations. First, you can show that you do have a creative artistic eye, without going to far out there. As a stage manager I am not a designer, but I need to make sure that Cues are executed with the eye of one.

Another benefit of a portfolio, is that instead of a line on your resume that says you have certain computer skills, you can SHOW that you are computer literate or savy. You can also show different shows- which is difficult to do with a prompt book. I can show a variety of deck trackings for different styles of show- showing that you are not just saying you are flexible, but SHOWing that you actually are.

I'm not big on bells and whistles with my protfolio, I like to keep it clean and simple, but I do like to include production shots to show the level of theatre for the production, to give them a feel for the paticulars of the show.

I would suggest still hauling a book with you. Some people will still want to flip through and read a randomly chosen daily report, ect. As I said earlier though, most people I have interviewed with seem to only take a token look though my prompt book, if that, after I present my portfolio.

I change up my format from time to time, depending on what I've been working on lately but I usually keep tracking sheets, any stellar paperwork, some blocking pages, some cueing pages- pretty normal enoug- but I have found people still want to see (what I feel is) the blander paper work. Meeting notes and Daily Reports which look boring (at least compared to deck tracking) shows alot about you as a stage manager.

In todays increasing technical world, it is easy to put together a digital portfolio, burn it to a disk, coordinate a label, and case cover with your business card and resume to give as a leave behind package. At first it sounded very corporate to me- (having done data entyr/marketing for so long) but it has grown on me. If you have strenghts in these areas, why not use them (just don't flaunt them).

Mac Calder

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« Reply #11 on: Jul 18, 2005, 04:38 am »
The largest problem with taking a copy of an entire bible with you is the fact that it is VERY rare that you get to keep one. The only one I got to keep was my very first because it was a new australian (I seem to do a lot of them) and the writer did not want it and we put it on independant of a company. I have done a ton of AmDram new aussies, and even then either the company or the writer will insist on them being returned.

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« Reply #12 on: Jul 18, 2005, 01:18 pm »
I think the way most of us get them is that we just make copies for ourselves - before leaving any given show, I stand at the company xerox and make a complete copy of whatever I am leaving them - and keep either the original or the copy, depending on my mood.

I used to make two copies of the calling script, one that I cleaned up and included all Qs plus the final blocking for them. Gotta admit I don't do that any longer - I do always make a clean copy but it's the prompt book/calling script I create after we tech, the one I use/adjust as needed for the run.

Mac Calder

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« Reply #13 on: Jul 19, 2005, 06:41 am »
spose that is the difference between larger companies and the ones I end up working with... I end up with a pc budget of about $20 - enough to photocopy enough stuff for the production, and they charge far too much for copying (read AU$0.10 per page per side) so my prompt copies, often upwards of 500 'pages' begin to get expensive.

DeeCap

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« Reply #14 on: Jul 23, 2005, 11:12 am »
I've never been asked to have a portfolio at an interview. I also do not bring a prompt book since they become property of the theatre when the show closes.
Anyone can have pretty paperwork, but what do you do when your actress calls out sick three hours before a performance and you have no understudy? Experience helps there, not pretty paperwork.

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