Poll

What format do you use for calling cues?

Warning, Standby, Go
8 (19%)
Standby, Go
34 (81%)
Just "Go"
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 40

Voting closed: Nov 12, 2004, 07:11 pm

Author Topic: CALLING: Calling a warning for a cue  (Read 17315 times)

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centaura

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CALLING: Calling a warning for a cue
« on: Nov 12, 2004, 04:43 pm »
This has come up in the "LX/Light" thread, and I thought I'd open it up for opinion gathering.  Its actually a question I've had, regarding how my calling is received in the houses that I go to.  Do you call a warning, standby and go?  Or just standby and go?  Or just go?  In college, I was told to say all three.  But, since then I've found that that can actually be more confusing to some people than just a standby and a go.  I had dropped warnings altogether several years ago; though sometimes get curious if the way I'm calling is similar or different from other ways that tour SMs call things.

A few folks had commented on this in the lighting thread, but anyone else have any comments?

-Centaura
« Last Edit: Jun 08, 2009, 10:19 pm by PSMKay »

hbelden

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Standbys vs. warning
« Reply #1 on: Nov 12, 2004, 06:01 pm »
For the last couple of years, I've been working with board ops that don't have a lot of experience (acting students, interns, etc.).  So, I've been calling warnings but not standbys.  About 30 seconds before a cue sequence, I warn everything that happens in that sequence (I've been defining a sequence as a group of cues that happen within 30 seconds of each other - I haven't been calling very difficult shows).

I like it because it gets the operator's attention on the show instead of on their book or script or text-messaging or DVD or whatever, and it lets them know how far they have to go before they go back to their pastime.  I do try to warn in clumps as opposed to chron sequence (I know some SMs don't like this), for example:

Warn SQs 160 thru 225
Warn LX 26 thru 32
Warn Trap Down
Warn Rain on & off
Warn Spot 1 on E at rain grate

If the Spot in the above example has to wait a minute before their cue, I may take a second to say "Standby Spot" immediately before the cue but otherwise, the ops just hear this gruop of warnings and then their cues.  If the cues come faster than I can speak, I'll omit the cue number from the call but check the cue numbers at the end of the sequence:

Sound Cue 160 and Elex 26... Go.  
Sound Cue 180 Elex 27 and Trap Down... Go.
Rain... Go.
Standby Spot.
Spot... Go.
Elex 30... Go.
Sound Cue 200... Go.  Sound... Go.  Sound... Go.  Lights and Sound... Go.
Sound, that should have been Cue 225 and Elex, we should be in Cue 32.

(So far, this is my favorite cue sequence of all time, if you include the Wall Falling cue that happened a minute before the warnings)
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Heath Belden

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PSMKay

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warnings verses stanbys . . another poll
« Reply #2 on: Nov 12, 2004, 07:14 pm »
This seemed like a good place for a poll!

For the record, I called standby, go.  My professor shared with me that ops tend to jump on the next thing they hear after their "prep line," and I've found this to be true.  So, I only called a standby.

The exception to this would be if we were going into a very long sequence of cues or if something was *very* off with the performance.  In the case of the former I would warn the whole sequence ahead of time, and then do standbys one by one.  An example of the latter situation would be when I did a play about a blind man for an entire audience of blind patrons.  We had an audio describer explaining the show -- to the whole audience over the PA.  The disturbance factor of this was high enough that I discussed with my board ops and we figured the best thing to do would be to warn sequences, as the timings on all of them were going to be off for that show.

DAE

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warnings verses stanbys . . another poll
« Reply #3 on: Nov 14, 2004, 02:14 pm »
Hi.

For me it depends on the situation. I usually do just standby, Go for lights and sound. (espically when sound is run of SFX). I call warn, standby, go for Rail cues and Deck Cues. Things like these can be dangerous, and the more warning you give to a crew, the better off you are.

Just my two cents.

Have Fun

DAE

dchec2100

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warnings verses stanbys . . another poll
« Reply #4 on: Nov 16, 2004, 01:58 pm »
Quote from: "DAE"
For me it depends on the situation. I usually do just standby, Go for lights and sound. (espically when sound is run of SFX). I call warn, standby, go for Rail cues and Deck Cues. Things like these can be dangerous, and the more warning you give to a crew, the better off you are.


Exactly what I do... I used to give a warn, standby, go for lights too, but awhile back, while calling a show where a good friend of mine was running the board, I noticed he did nothing when I gave him a warning.  After thinking about it, it all made sense, he is afterall, just pressing a GO button, what does he need all the prep time for?

drummer_dude

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warnings verses stanbys . . another poll
« Reply #5 on: Nov 16, 2004, 06:26 pm »
As the ASM on stage left (with all the space and running crew), I take DAE's approach with them. All 'boothed' crew only get a stand-by and go.

U^_^U

jenk

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warnings verses stanbys . . another poll
« Reply #6 on: Nov 16, 2004, 09:12 pm »
Usually, just standby and go, but if there is a gap of more than 3 minutes between one cue and the next, I give a "1-minute warning" about a page before the next cue so that operator can wake up, put away his Gameboy, whatever, and be actually ready for a standby when it comes.

Michael

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warnings verses stanbys . . another poll
« Reply #7 on: Nov 17, 2004, 01:35 am »
Quote from: "jenk"
Usually, just standby and go, but if there is a gap of more than 3 minutes between one cue and the next, I give a "1-minute warning" about a page before the next cue so that operator can wake up, put away his Gameboy, whatever, and be actually ready for a standby when it comes.


If there's been a few minutes between cues, I just call the next standby a little earlier than I normally would.

smatlas

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warnings verses stanbys . . another poll
« Reply #8 on: Nov 24, 2004, 12:01 pm »
Frankly I've never liked the "warning."  I don't like to clutter things up with a third phase of a cue when two works just as well.   If a particularly tricky bit of business is approaching I ll give a heads up, usually something like "Okay... Here comes the B#@ch!"  


Standby ..... Go

Works for me.
Nil actum reputa si quid superest agendum -
(Don't consider that anything has been done if anything is left to be done)

jenk

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warnings verses stanbys . . another poll
« Reply #9 on: Dec 01, 2004, 10:14 pm »
I don't really like the warning either, but my board ops really do, so I give it to them. On the slow shows that require it, it's at least something to do besides watching the show. Again.

Brandywine

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warnings verses stanbys . . another poll
« Reply #10 on: Dec 03, 2004, 07:05 pm »
I typically prefer to just use standby and go. The exception is if there are 10 or so pages with no cues. Then I'll tend to give a warning for the next grouping of cues. Personally - I've found warning are for my own sanity but rather useless as I've watched more often than not as a sound op (sitting about 4 feet away from me) will respond while not looking up from their book and simply wait for the standby before actually doing anything to be ready for the cue.

VSM

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warnings verses stanbys . . another poll
« Reply #11 on: Dec 05, 2004, 10:26 pm »
I give warnings when the spots have frame changes so they are ready when I give the Standby...
Ordo ab chao

Erin_Candice

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warnings verses stanbys . . another poll
« Reply #12 on: Dec 11, 2004, 01:07 am »
Basically, I think what type of call you give depends on each situation.  I always give a standby. Not giving one is a open invitation for someone not being ready at Go.  I've always used warnings for times when there is some space between cues, but not for every cue.  Personally, I think a warning is important is there's more then a page between cues and definatly for deck and rail cues.  

The last straight play I ASM'ed had one live sound cue in a 2.5hr play.  I felt a warning was needed about 60 seconds before the cue so I could get into position, with the standby 20-30 seconds before to get poised for the Go.  

Some people standby 60 (or more) seconds prior to the cue, but I feel that is jumping the gun.  The person on standby gets poised, but then gets tired (or cramped) waitng so long for the Go.  Long standbys should be reserved for times when there is a number of cues in a row that don't leave time for shorter standbys.
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isha

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warnings verses stanbys . . another poll
« Reply #13 on: Mar 23, 2005, 01:19 pm »
WAIT!!!!
what's the advantage of using standby instead of ready?!?!?

I was taught ...Lights 45 ready..(10-18 sec. interval)...GO

Is that the oldschool version? What are the advantage of using Standby?

I can see using a warning would be helpful for deck and rail cues, but its rather redundant since we don't have a fly space and use actors for any backstage techie work..(the school theater has basically no backstage/wing space and we can hardly fit all the actors back there.)
~isha

FallenRain

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warnings verses stanbys . . another poll
« Reply #14 on: Mar 23, 2005, 08:42 pm »
Quote from: "isha"
WAIT!!!!
what's the advantage of using standby instead of ready?!?!?

I was taught ...Lights 45 ready..(10-18 sec. interval)...GO

Is that the oldschool version? What are the advantage of using Standby?


Like in many industries, there are common standards and an established vocabulary used by people in theatre to help us communicate more efficiently.  While the word "ready" would get the job done, it is the usual practice in theater to use the word "standby".  Certain words in theatre are meant to elicit precise reactions - "Go" sets people into action... a response not likely to be seen if you used the word "Now" instead; "Heads!" alerts people to danger specifically from above; "Standby" means people are at the ready, hands over buttons, etc. to execute a cue.  The list goes on...

The advantage to using this already established vocabulary is that you can walk into any theatre and be able to communicate with the staff in place without having to explain to them the special ways you prefer to do things.  

Also, you may want to keep in mind that while some of these things may not pertain to the show or space you're using now, you will doubtlessly come upon these issues again if you plan on stage managing in the future.

Hope this helps  :)

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