Author Topic: COMMUNICATION: LX 56 was late- PSM Error (putting your own errors in reports)  (Read 5552 times)

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jspeaker

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Here is a discussion I have never seen on here.

In your performance reports, do you document when you messed up a cue wrong?

Obviously this is after previews and openings are over with as we are always still learning the call.  But sometimes in the run something happens and the cue is called late or early.

I was always told that you SHOULD put this in your report.  Mostly for integrity but also that way if a producer, designer or someone sees the show that night and the bump at the end of "Make 'em Laugh" is late they know that you knew it was late and that’s not how you always call it.  

I also wonder about being too quick to blame crew and board ops when they are late with the cue after you have called it right.  I really think that unless I am calling a perfect show I have no place to point out the mistakes of others.

Thoughts??  Discuss!
« Last Edit: Jun 09, 2009, 01:10 am by PSMKay »
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Scott (formerly Digga)

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Re: LX 56 was late- PSM Error
« Reply #1 on: Oct 02, 2007, 01:52 pm »
I feel that if I'm going to put it in the notes when a crew member is late after a call, I should put it in when I'm late or early with the call.  Like you said, it's not how you usually call the show and keeps things fair.

zayit shachor

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Re: LX 56 was late- PSM Error
« Reply #2 on: Oct 02, 2007, 05:07 pm »
I usually put cue errors in - "SQ 5 was late" - and leave it at that.  In my opinion, the designers/producers don't need to know whose fault it was, only that it's not usually like that.  If the reason for the error is something that would go in the report anyway (like, say, a headset stopped working or something like that), then I'd make that clear in the report.

GalFriday

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Re: LX 56 was late- PSM Error
« Reply #3 on: Oct 02, 2007, 05:22 pm »
My show reports reflect notes that are obvious from an audience standpoint, effected the safety of the cast or crew, or were an issue we need to correct in the future.

I use the same standard when it comes to noting my mistakes. Sometimes I have a really good reason why it all went terribly wrong and that is normally obvious from the rest of the report. I enjoy keeping it just the facts and find myself at times amused by the really small things we missed while really large things were being fixed. I make sure to note them all and they make a fantastic read later on.

 - Dani

"Now the best way to learn the theater, always, is to be a stage manager" - Stephen Sondheim

MatthewShiner

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Re: LX 56 was late- PSM Error
« Reply #4 on: Oct 02, 2007, 07:19 pm »
If I put other people's mistakes in the show, then I put mine.

It's only fair.
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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.

ScooterSM

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Re: LX 56 was late- PSM Error
« Reply #5 on: Oct 02, 2007, 08:40 pm »
For any mistake, I typically will note it if it was noticable by anyone but me (this includes my own mistakes).  If the board op was 2 secs late hitting the go, and he knows that it was late, I feel like it is something that can be handled with a brief conversation after the show and doesn't need to be broadcast.  I also take responsibility (to management) for small crew errors if I know that it was a one time mental goof up, etc that has already been resolved.

However, if there is a error that is chronic or caused by negligence, then I would definitely note it.
“I've never been paid a lot, but the theatre has kept me, and for that I shall be eternally grateful.” Tony Church

KMC

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Re: LX 56 was late- PSM Error
« Reply #6 on: Oct 02, 2007, 09:37 pm »
In my opinion it's not even about fairness or anything like that - your performance reports are the historical record of the show, and many times the only record a theatre has of a performance.  It's important to report completely and accurately.
Get action. Do things; be sane; don’t fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action. -T. Roosevelt

nmno

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Re: LX 56 was late- PSM Error
« Reply #7 on: Oct 02, 2007, 11:14 pm »
I also will note my own mistakes...  Sometimes, I'm just happy to have something different to say in the report.

rocco

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Re: LX 56 was late- PSM Error
« Reply #8 on: Oct 03, 2007, 01:47 am »
I note them mainly so I can remember to figure out why I missed them...

philimbesi

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Re: LX 56 was late- PSM Error
« Reply #9 on: Oct 03, 2007, 09:25 am »
Fair's fair... if they mess up it's noted... if I mess up it's noted. 

BalletPSM

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Re: LX 56 was late- PSM Error
« Reply #10 on: Oct 03, 2007, 10:57 am »
I've only recently started doing this, because inevitably the night I screw something up is the night when the designer or director shows up, so I've just started doing it.

Here was something I put in a recent report:
"Light Q 125 was late; the stage manager was distracted by the fact that she didn’t call a projection Q – somehow when re-doing some of the Qs in the prompt book she had left the projection up Q out of her new post-it note.  Thankfully both projection and light Q were not ones that left any actors or darkness or that needed to be up for the monologue to make sense.  Everything in the prompt book has been fixed now to avoid this problem in the future."


A little too much information?  Probably, but it gives me some satisfaction in explaining everything like that so directors/designers can't flip out *quite* as much!
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!

Stuart Plymesser

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Re: LX 56 was late- PSM Error
« Reply #11 on: Oct 03, 2007, 02:42 pm »
A couple of seasons ago, our former Artistic Director stopped me and told me that he had stepped into the show currently running (which he had directed) the night before and had seen a couple of cues mis-called.  He asked me to talk to the SM calling the show and find out why the error had not been mentioned in the performance report.  The AD then wondered to me just what else had gone wrong over the run that had not been mentioned in the reports...
I think the performance report should be an accurate account of what went on with that show.  If you would mention a late entrance, or line problems, or a snag in a scene shift, I would think you would mention an error by a board op or the SM.  Fair is fair, after all.
Not long ago, I had a problem with a board op constantly being late on taking cues off of my GO.  She was spoken to by me and later by myself and production management.  The end result was that she was dismissed.  My reports were used as a record of her performance and cited in the discussions that were held.  I suspect it would have been harder to have her removed had it not been for the paper trail of the performance reports.
I think it is important for the crew to know that you will hold yourself responsible for your own mistakes and know that you set just as high a bar for the call of the show as you do for any other element. 
Stuart Plymesser
Production Stage Manager, Syracuse Stage
Adjunct Faculty, Syracuse University - Stage Management Program

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