Author Topic: ASMS: Duties of the ASM (Meta-thread)  (Read 20217 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

djemily

  • New to Town
  • **
  • Posts: 45
  • Gender: Female
  • God said "GO", and then there was light.
    • View Profile
ASMS: Duties of the ASM (Meta-thread)
« on: Feb 28, 2007, 03:16 pm »
I just found out that I will be having an ASM for the show I am working on. I hear she works hard and will help me out a lot. I'm working on To Kill a Mockingbird and we start rehearsals on Tuesday. What I'm wondering is, aside from a script, contact sheets, etc. what else should I ask her to put in her prompt book? Of course I have everything I can think of in mine right now, but what do you guys usually require your ASMs to have with them at all times?
« Last Edit: Jun 09, 2009, 01:01 am by PSMKay »

Jessie_K

  • Superstar!
  • *****
  • Posts: 528
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • International Stage Manager of Mystery
  • Affiliations: AEA, AGMA, SMA (on leave)
  • Current Gig: Queen of the Night
  • Experience: Professional
Re: ASM's Prompt Book
« Reply #1 on: Feb 28, 2007, 03:22 pm »
An ASM should have copies of all medical forms/ accident reports etc. 

Also, s/he should have set diagrams/ ground plans, props lists, entrance/ exit chart.  Basically, anything that you have at the beginning of rehearsal s/he should also have.

As your rehearsal progresses into performances, his/ her book could become more of a backstage bible (focused more on the running of deck and props) and your book more of a show calling book.  But when I ASM I tend to keep copies of my PSM's paperwork for reference (for me, the crew and the cast backstage).

Balletdork

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 210
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA
  • Current Gig: PSM, The Human Race Theatre Company
  • Experience: Professional
Re: ASM's Prompt Book
« Reply #2 on: Feb 28, 2007, 04:44 pm »
I'd agree aside from medical reports... I think med forms should be under lock and key at all times. Available only to Company Management...

I guess this is easier if you have a full-time company manager and your rehearsals take place during the regular business hours.  ???

djemily

  • New to Town
  • **
  • Posts: 45
  • Gender: Female
  • God said "GO", and then there was light.
    • View Profile
Re: ASM's Prompt Book
« Reply #3 on: Feb 28, 2007, 07:37 pm »
Well, I don't want to put the medical forms in her book because 1.this is college, and I don't want to let that kind of information get out and 2. there are at least 28 cast members and I'm sure someone would throw a fit. As for having her as a backstage manager, I haven't seen our space yet (we had to relocate because our mainstage caught fire earlier this semester), but I more than likely will be calling from backstage. I myself still don't have ground plans (again due to the fire, everything is out of whack and behind schedule), but I agree that she should have copies so that she can help set up the space for rehearsals.

Thank you guys for your input.

Emily

MatthewShiner

  • Forum Moderators
  • *****
  • Posts: 2477
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, SMA
  • Current Gig: PSM THE LION KING NORTH AMERICAN TOUR; Assc Director and Production Supervisor HUNCHBACK International
  • Experience: Professional
Re: ASM's Prompt Book
« Reply #4 on: Feb 28, 2007, 08:53 pm »
Here's the reason the ASM should have this info.

You are calling the show.

An actor breaks a leg (or gets sick, or hurt) and goes to the hospital.

Have you ever tried to call 911 or someone's emergency contact info while calling a show and trying to make decisions on how to keep the show going without stopping it.  Being an SM who has had to call 911 (three times) while calling the show, it's nice that someone else has the info.

Also, I feel strongly the ASM should have a copy of the calling script.  (Ever need to rush to the bathroom, loose all headset communication, have to call 911, put a fire out in the booth . . .)  Nice to know someone else can carry on.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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.

MarcieA

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 371
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, AGMA, SMA
  • Current Gig: PSM, Lake George Dinner Theatre/Tri Cities Opera
  • Experience: Professional
Re: ASM's Prompt Book
« Reply #5 on: Feb 28, 2007, 10:53 pm »
Here's the reason the ASM should have this info.

You are calling the show.

An actor breaks a leg (or gets sick, or hurt) and goes to the hospital.

Have you ever tried to call 911 or someones emergency contact info while calling a show and trying to make decisions on how to keep the show going without stopping it.  Being an SM who has had to call 911 (three times) while calling the show, it's nice that someone else has the info.

Also, I feel strongly the ASM should have a copy of the calling script.  (Ever need to rush to the bathroom, loose all headset communication, have to call 911, put a fire out in the booth . . .)  Nice to know someone else can carry on.

I agree with Matthew 100%. Medical forms are Continental and for the necessary personnel, and that includes the entire stage management team. A prompt book should never (in my opinion) be just left laying around with that information in it anyway.

As someone who's been in similar situations (gotten sick in the booth, had an op get sick in the booth, had to call 911...though that was backstage...it was good to know that my team and I were on the same page and things could run smoothly.

Also, I believe that if an injury happens during the course of the show, while I am ultimately in charge, it is my ASM's job to manage the situation backstage. I will make the decision through communicating with them whether the show stops or not, but they are going to be that actor's first line of assistance and they need to know if they're allergic to penicillin or not.

Also, if EMS does come, it's great to be able to just rattle off the pertinent info without having it relayed through a headset.
Companions whom I loved and still love, tell them my song.

Jessie_K

  • Superstar!
  • *****
  • Posts: 528
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • International Stage Manager of Mystery
  • Affiliations: AEA, AGMA, SMA (on leave)
  • Current Gig: Queen of the Night
  • Experience: Professional
Re: ASM's Prompt Book
« Reply #6 on: Mar 01, 2007, 01:14 am »
I'd agree aside from medical reports... I think med forms should be under lock and key at all times. Available only to Company Management...

I guess this is easier if you have a full-time company manager and your rehearsals take place during the regular business hours.  ???

Yes, this is one of the differences between dance and theater.  Though most theaters have company managers, most times they are not as present/ involved as dance company managers.

In most larger dance companies all medical info is handled exclusively by company management, in theater SM is usually the first point of contact and passes info/ responsibility on to the CM.

I think it is very important for ASMs to be informed about medical conditions of the cast.  Often the ASM is point of contact backstage.  If (for example) a cast member has diabetes or some other chronic illness, I as the ASM need to know this. If the SM is calling the show and the actor starts to get sick, the ASM is the first person to help that cast member.  It is my responsibility to treat this information carefully, but it is also my responsibility to know it.

It is your responsibilty as the PSM to make sure your staff is informed and aware of procedure, but an uninformed staff can be a dangerous staff.

Of course we need to be discreet with our cast's information.  This applies to contact info, overtime pay, hazard pay, medical info, anything that we as stage managers end up knowing.

thehayworth

  • Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 82
  • Gender: Male
  • Uh oh.
    • View Profile
    • Propaganda Pipeline
  • Current Gig: Santaland Diaries
  • Experience: Professional
Re: ASM's Prompt Book
« Reply #7 on: Mar 01, 2007, 03:27 pm »
Every ASM must have a stick to hit my knuckles if I try to strangle an actor.
"This time for sure."

djemily

  • New to Town
  • **
  • Posts: 45
  • Gender: Female
  • God said "GO", and then there was light.
    • View Profile
Re: ASM's Prompt Book
« Reply #8 on: Mar 01, 2007, 05:11 pm »
being aware of/sharing information with them is one thing but they should not be entrusted with something like that (for their own safety).  let the AEA SMs be the heavies!

I don't understand why this would be "for their own safety"....

MatthewShiner

  • Forum Moderators
  • *****
  • Posts: 2477
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, SMA
  • Current Gig: PSM THE LION KING NORTH AMERICAN TOUR; Assc Director and Production Supervisor HUNCHBACK International
  • Experience: Professional
Re: ASM's Prompt Book
« Reply #9 on: Mar 01, 2007, 07:55 pm »
Yes, I agree the ASM and the SM only - the origional post was what should be in an ASM's book.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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.

MarcieA

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 371
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, AGMA, SMA
  • Current Gig: PSM, Lake George Dinner Theatre/Tri Cities Opera
  • Experience: Professional
Re: ASM's Prompt Book
« Reply #10 on: Mar 01, 2007, 10:49 pm »
The "entire" stage management staff have medical forms?  Can't disagree more.  They should know where they are but they should be limited to the PSM and the ASM.

I should clarify that when I said entire, I meant PSM and ASM. I have only ever once worked with a PA in addition, so when I think of the entire SM team, I am really only thinking of 2 people.
Companions whom I loved and still love, tell them my song.

thehayworth

  • Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 82
  • Gender: Male
  • Uh oh.
    • View Profile
    • Propaganda Pipeline
  • Current Gig: Santaland Diaries
  • Experience: Professional
Re: ASM's Prompt Book
« Reply #11 on: Mar 02, 2007, 08:08 am »
my ASM has the script ... and line note sheets ....

and that is all.
"This time for sure."

Jessie_K

  • Superstar!
  • *****
  • Posts: 528
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • International Stage Manager of Mystery
  • Affiliations: AEA, AGMA, SMA (on leave)
  • Current Gig: Queen of the Night
  • Experience: Professional
Re: ASM's Prompt Book
« Reply #12 on: Mar 02, 2007, 07:03 pm »
Speaking from experience, having an intern/PA mouth off about someone's medical condition is something you don't want to give them the chance to do.  Perhaps "safety" was a strong word - at least for their reputation as well as the privacy of the actor.

Lots of interns (and some PAs) don't have a perfect grasp on when to share info and when not to....

When I hand out confidential info, it usually has "CONFIDENTIAL" written all over it and I specify that it is such when I hand it off.

Also the medical forms that my casts fill out have a note at the bottom that says "STAGE MANAGEMENT" will keep this information.  Which includes ASM and PSM.

I would not share medical info with PA's or interns.

Daz

  • New to Town
  • **
  • Posts: 12
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • Random Ramblings
Re: ASM's Prompt Book
« Reply #13 on: Mar 04, 2007, 07:18 pm »
I'm not sure if this is something inferred or not, but I would also suggest having the ASM take down blocking and also having Preset lists when the show is closer to production.  Scene breakdowns and Contact sheets as well.
*Aude Sapere*
*Nosce te Ipsum*

If I could read your mind, I wouldn't need the headset

MarcieA

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 371
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, AGMA, SMA
  • Current Gig: PSM, Lake George Dinner Theatre/Tri Cities Opera
  • Experience: Professional
Re: ASM's Prompt Book
« Reply #14 on: Mar 05, 2007, 12:24 am »
I'm not sure if this is something inferred or not, but I would also suggest having the ASM take down blocking and also having Preset lists when the show is closer to production.

My ASM is responsible for creating props presets. Is that what you're talking about?

I'm confused.

It's been a long tech.
Companions whom I loved and still love, tell them my song.

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
21 Replies
12747 Views
Last post Jun 07, 2009, 04:36 pm
by Sarah
40 Replies
16199 Views
Last post Aug 11, 2008, 07:23 am
by MatthewShiner
61 Replies
28410 Views
Last post Jun 28, 2009, 01:02 pm
by bethanyb5