Author Topic: cold calling an opera  (Read 5688 times)

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Maribeth

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cold calling an opera
« on: Jun 14, 2007, 03:07 am »
i had an interesting (and somewhat surreal) experience last night, and am wondering if anyone else has done the same-

during the day, i got a call from the PM of an opera company i've worked with for a few years. her stage manager had an emergency and she asked me to come in a call the dress rehearsal. the show i'm currently rehearsing ended early, so i was able to get there about an hour before the orchestra arrived. the show was little women, which is not one that i'm familiar with. the score is in mixed meters-  the time signature changes frequently, sometimes nearly every measure. i have worked with the director and lighting designers before, which made things a little easier.

the SM had unfortunately taken the calling score home with her, so i ended up using the LD's score, and the director gave me the rail cues before we started the dress. luckily, there's no chorus or supers that would need to be cued, and all of the principals took their own cues, without needing to be paged. the ASM cued all of the rail cues off of my GOs, and backstage functioned fairly smoothly. we stopped a few times for the maestro to work some things out musically, but no tragedies with the lights or flying panels- all told, i think it went very well.

all in all, it was kind of fun, and since i haven't gotten to do much opera recently, it was great to get back into it, if only for a night. anyone else ever have to call a score they'd never seen before?

Mac Calder

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Re: cold calling an opera
« Reply #1 on: Jun 14, 2007, 06:11 am »
Nothing as bad as that.

I have had panic calls before shows though "Our SM has not show up, can you give us a hand?" or "The clients show caller has not rocked up, here is a guide to how tonight should run - maybe you can do it" (whilst I have been LX/AV or VX op) - however I have always had access to the propper paperwork when it is a theatrical show.

I agree though, in a sort of horrifying way, it is great fun. Especially when the show is over, and people come up and say "Wow, that went well... I was expecting tonight to be a debarcle".

centaura

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Re: cold calling an opera
« Reply #2 on: Jun 14, 2007, 12:01 pm »
I agree with Mac - it can be fun in an adrenaline-junky sort of way.  I've never cold-called an opera, but I have gone out on tour as a replacement stage manager and had to cold-call some shows.  If there's ever a test of your shear, gut level instinct, its cold-calling!

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jspeaker

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Re: cold calling an opera
« Reply #3 on: Jun 14, 2007, 01:23 pm »
I have also answered a lot of those kinds of phone calls.

I LOVE IT!!  Its such a rush to call a show you have never seen much less seen the call book for.
Jess W. Speaker, III
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BeckyGG

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Re: cold calling an opera
« Reply #4 on: Jun 14, 2007, 05:30 pm »
I've never cold called a show, though I have cold teched a show.  The company lost their first stage manager for various reasons and hired this other SM.  Apparently she and the director were okay during the few days of rehearsal she was in, but when tech came things were not going well.  I was working with the company on another show and got a phone call late at night asking if I could step in and take over in the middle of tech - keeping the SM on as the ASM for the run.  I couldn't do the entire run due to other commitments, but I walked into the second of three days of tech without ever reading the show and teched Act II.  The next night we did our one and only dress with me calling mostly visual cues for a show I'd never seen and opened it the next night.  Once the show opened, I trained another SM and left the show.

Certainly a good adrenaline rush, though not something I want to do often.
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sievep

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Re: cold calling an opera
« Reply #5 on: Jun 15, 2007, 02:02 pm »
I've been an emergency sub before . . .I agree with Jess, it can be a lot of fun
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Plabebob

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Re: cold calling an opera
« Reply #6 on: Feb 21, 2016, 12:45 pm »
Wow. This is why you never, NEVER take your book home!

loebtmc

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Re: cold calling an opera
« Reply #7 on: Feb 21, 2016, 11:16 pm »
agree w Jess - I love those last-minute calls but they are ... interesting every time. Always keeps the adrenaline pumping and why I love events so much. Seat-of-my-pants calling can be great fun!

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