Author Topic: CALLING: Taking Notes (during a run)  (Read 6609 times)

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RuthNY

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CALLING: Taking Notes (during a run)
« on: Feb 02, 2008, 11:08 am »
How do you keep track of notes, for the Performance Report, for the Cast, and for the Crew, when:

You are doing a big show where you call non-stop and can't take your eyes from the stage or the page,

and your hands are needed, pretty much full-time on the cue light switches.

Discuss!
« Last Edit: Jun 09, 2009, 02:05 am by PSMKay »
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ljh007

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Re: Taking Notes
« Reply #1 on: Feb 02, 2008, 01:22 pm »
I have a preformatted rehearsal/performance report sheet on top of my clipboard, an open notebook ready to accept all illegible scribbles, and an army of post-it's standing at attention while calling a show. Usually just slapping a post-it on the moment that needs the note is enough to jog my memory later. I also take a moment when writing notes each night to flip through my calling book and see if any fly-by moments had notes, just to prompt my memory while the night is still fresh. I'm flipping the pages to find the post-it's, anyway, so all it requires is a little more active thought in remembering the evening play-by-play.

PSMAK

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Re: Taking Notes
« Reply #2 on: Feb 04, 2008, 10:54 am »
If possible, you could dictate notes to your ASM(S) through headset.

hbelden

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Re: Taking Notes
« Reply #3 on: Feb 07, 2008, 11:37 pm »
I was calling a show from backstage (fairly busy, most of the time, as you say) and I had an actor who, after exiting next to me, would stop at my console. I would hand him my pencil and he would lean over and write a note on my clipboard.  It was usually something I would have written down if I had had time, but sometimes it had to do with the stage monitor being out or something similar.

I became a big fan of the post-it flag as ljh007 said.  Occasionally, if a critical note came along, I'd ask the ASM over headset to take a one- or two-word note that would remind me what I was thinking at the time.  It's sometimes hard to do that over an open channel, though...
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geoffsm

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Re: Taking Notes
« Reply #4 on: Feb 08, 2008, 12:23 am »
The last show I worked on (a crazy devised theater piece with a lot of cues), I was ASMing, so I was backstage, while the SM was in the booth.  She would dictate notes to me over headset ("Geoff, take a note...", "Hey Geoff, did you get the note that..."), and I also took a lot of my own notes.  After the performance, I would just hand her a stack of post-its and she would pass them on accordingly.  Then, again...we kind of read each others mind sometimes and many time, I'd end up handing her a similar note to one that she scribbled down between cues.  It seemed to work well, we got through the production alive, at least.

zayit shachor

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Re: Taking Notes
« Reply #5 on: Feb 08, 2008, 02:22 am »
If you're not in a position where someone can take notes for you, what about a tape recorder or digital voice recorder?

RuthNY

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Re: Taking Notes
« Reply #6 on: Feb 08, 2008, 02:34 am »
This thread has become like a game of telephone.  The original post asked for a discussion on how YOU go about taking notes while calling a very busy show, and has somehow morphed into advice for me, where none was requested.

Kudos to those of your who actually answered the OP question which assumed one was A) constantly calling cues AND B) needed ones hands for cue lights throughout the majority of the show.

Now, once again, how do YOU do it?




If you're not in a position where someone can take notes for you, what about a tape recorder or digital voice recorder?
"Be fair with others, but then keep after them until they're fair with you."
--Alan Alda

BalletPSM

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Re: Taking Notes
« Reply #7 on: Feb 08, 2008, 10:17 am »
I keep a legal pad to my right so that I can just scrawl notes as we go....as long as I look at them immediately after the run I am able to recall them to mind and decipher them long enough to type them or re-write them. 

But I've never been in a situation where I have THAT much to do that I can't even take one note. 

Perhaps that is why the topic deviated from your original question.  People want to weigh in on this topic even without the practical experience.  It helps to put things in the second tense sometimes, when trying to work something out for ourselves and how we would handle a particular situation.  And remember that this is the internet, which is always like a giant game of telephone!
Stage managing is getting to do everything your mom told you not to do - read in the dark, sit too close to the TV, and play with the light switches!

Fitz

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Re: Taking Notes
« Reply #8 on: Mar 08, 2008, 02:52 pm »
I adore post it notes... I'm known for them when I SM.

I have all kinds of post-its or tape flags and for each rehearsal or production I have a colour scheme... eg. pink for sound issues, blue for lighting, orange for blocking, yellow for 'interpersonal' (ie. someone needs a smack)... that way if I don't have time to make a note I grab the appropriate colour and stick it in my book... then when i look back i at least have a clue what the note was about... if i have time I can scribble 2 words and sum up later...

The notes I most need to take are most likely to happen when no time to actually write them down, so the post-it note system evolved... One thing I learned the hard way... if you plan to use this system in a tech booth... make sure you the colours you use LOOK DIFFERENT UNDER BLUE LIGHTING!  :D

stagebear

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Re: Taking Notes
« Reply #9 on: Mar 09, 2008, 12:06 am »
for easier shows. i use a pre-formatted report template and fill that in, but when things get crazier, i have a notepad right next to my script for me to jot down notes. since i don't usually have to watch myself write, it's easy for me to decifer them later. also, as long as i do the report fairly soon after the show, just writing down a page or cue number does the trick to jog my memory.

LCSM

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Re: Taking Notes
« Reply #10 on: Mar 09, 2008, 02:57 pm »
I keep a notpad or a fairly large stack of paper nearby. However, Inever take notes directly on my script because when I'm in a rush my handwriting becaomes fairly disorderly, to say the least.  ;)

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