Author Topic: Dear Abby: Sound Board Op vs Stage Manager  (Read 2123 times)

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Dear Abby: Sound Board Op vs Stage Manager
« on: Mar 25, 2014, 06:39 pm »
Sometimes our members want to ask sensitive questions while remaining anonymous. We allow members to send these questions to our staff, who will post the anonymized message on their behalf. We call these 'Dear Abby' posts. Here's another one that arrived today:

Dear Abby:
 I am currently SMing a production where the sound operator is an intern.  Instead of the sound operator coming to me if they are upset about what I put in the rehearsal report they go to the producer.  The producer has completely taken the sound operator's side and has told me to tone my performance reports when it comes to sound issues. They said that the operator has more experience than I do and I am insulting them.  I am not able to have personal communication with the sound operator without them getting offended or speaking ill about me in the green room.  How do I handle this?
 Thank You!


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Re: Dear Abby: Sound Board Op vs Stage Manager
« Reply #1 on: Mar 25, 2014, 09:23 pm »
Is the anon poster willing to send the relevant text from the report in question?  I'd be interested in reading that prior to offering an opinion.
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Mac Calder

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Re: Dear Abby: Sound Board Op vs Stage Manager
« Reply #2 on: Mar 28, 2014, 07:46 am »
I agree with KMC - it is hard without context. Sound guys especially can be a touchy breed. Sound quality is largely subjective, but there are some very clear objective measures too. If your report deals with the objective (called cue & he took too long to go, wasn't paying attention, did not turn down X's mic when he left stage, 7 audience members complained about the sound in the room) - and phrased it objectively, then all's well. If your report mentioned "I thought XYZ had too much kick drum" - then you are going to get bitched about.

Technicians are worse than 14 year old girls when it comes it to gossiping and bitching and moaning (I say that as a technician) - it is largely a coping mechanism. I don't know how far your relationship has deteriorated, but it may help to phrase reports as suggestions more than as comments or commands. It is clear you are dealing with ego - unfortunately that may be something you have to just put up with on this run.

I would try and sit down with the producer however and swing them around - provided your report is accurate and not overly dramatic then facts are facts and he should support you in that matter. He may however be trying to keep the peace - by asking you to tone down your reports. If they are relying on an intern for audio, chances are they are having issues filling the role with the budget they have - so it may not necessarily be that they are on his side, it may just be that you pulling back on the AX reports may keep the show running.


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