Author Topic: COMMUNICATION: Meeting Minutes [part venting]  (Read 7248 times)

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Laura

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COMMUNICATION: Meeting Minutes [part venting]
« on: Feb 20, 2008, 04:51 pm »
How does everyone feel about meeting minutes?

I was never big on them except for "important" meetings like full team production meetings, etc. Now, I am working with other stage managers who are almost extreme about taking minutes at every meeting that a stage manager attends. Although the theatre as a whole does not particularly care if we distribute minutes.

I just finished a meeting with lights and the director for a musical (Cabaret). I took some general notes, but two other stage managers just informed me that I should have taken detailed notes because lights affects everything. Although I agree with the statement, I do not see how the director talking about the feelings of a moment are going to affect other departments, especially when this is information that the director went over with everyone at the preliminary design meetings. Today's meeting was more about focusing on lighting needs.

This is turning into a rant... sorry. It's all still a little fresh on my mind (I'm actually writing this in the SM office).

So the conversation starter: How intense are you about meeting minutes?
« Last Edit: Jun 09, 2009, 01:54 am by PSMKay »

Thomas A. Kelly

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Re: Meeting Minutes [part venting]
« Reply #1 on: Feb 20, 2008, 05:04 pm »
Minutes should be kept when management asks for them.

Otherwise, keep accurate notes in your book to refer back on if there is a dispute.

Also, the tech notes on daily reports can be used to diseminate anything that is going to "affect everyone".

The worst thing a stage manager can do is start quoting and sending out minutes of creative discussions that will lead participants to stop having the stage manager present or holding back in their discussions.

Common sense is a good guide, and if management doesn't ask, don't print and diseminate anytthing.

Just my opinion

RuthNY

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Re: Meeting Minutes
« Reply #2 on: Feb 20, 2008, 08:18 pm »
For artistic/creative meetings?  If, indeed, I even attend them, I take notes only on what I need to remember to do my own job, or on something I've been specifically asked to communicate to others.  Mostly, I'm there to listen and play "catch-up," as usually the director and designers have been on the project a lot earlier than my pre-production week. (I'm not interested in what shade of "Blue" is being used.  Invite me to the meeting that discusses at what point I say "Blue...GO.")

For Production Meetings during the rehearsal process, I generally add any pertinent information to the Rehearsal Notes for that day. I do not generate or distribute comprehensive minutes unless instructed to.

snip...

So the conversation starter: How intense are you about meeting minutes?
« Last Edit: Feb 20, 2008, 08:27 pm by RuthNY »
"Be fair with others, but then keep after them until they're fair with you."
--Alan Alda

smejs

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Re: Meeting Minutes [part venting]
« Reply #3 on: Feb 20, 2008, 09:07 pm »
I agree on the design meeting stuff...if it was me, lighting, and director (and again, yes, often doesn't include SM), I'd keep track of some general stuff for my own notes, and if there was something of note, to put it in the rehearsal report for that day.

As for production meeting notes, I've found it really depends on the company (especially whether they have a status quo of always having them), as well as how many people really do show up at the meeting.  If you plan a production meeting that's supposed to involve everyone, and only a third are able to actually come, then minutes are more crucial to keep everyone in the loop.  Sometimes though in this case the production manager would disseminate them too.

But I wouldn't have done them for a lighting meeting (unless told ahead of time that was status quo).

Erin

jmc

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Re: Meeting Minutes [part venting]
« Reply #4 on: Feb 20, 2008, 09:49 pm »
There is a great training video by John Clease, which I use quite often to get the message across to the odd director, now & then.
'Meetings bloody meetings' [John Cleese training video & Cd];-
http://www.rctm.com/Products/celebritiesgurus/johncleese/5618.htm
It seems to always work & hits the mark, beside being a good laugh!
Tio Tio Chookas
{May you always play to a full house}
'Hear the light & see the sound'

smejs

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Re: Meeting Minutes [part venting]
« Reply #5 on: Feb 20, 2008, 09:58 pm »
Reminds me of the Unmotivational Posters: http://despair.com/meetings.html

Meetings:  None of us is as dumb as all of us.

Laura

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Re: Meeting Minutes [part venting]
« Reply #6 on: Feb 21, 2008, 04:33 am »
Thank you Thank you...

this is not only good advice, but a great cure for my bad mood.

I absolutely love the media links!!!

nmno

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Re: Meeting Minutes [part venting]
« Reply #7 on: Feb 21, 2008, 12:42 pm »
I distribute minutes for our weekly production meetings, unless the production manager does them, then I just take notes for myself.  I do like to have them as a record when something doesn't get done, or done properly; I can say, "look at the production meeting minutes from Jan 10, props, item #5 - we decided that the table should be round.  Take this square thing away!"  Being able to reference production meeting minutes was also a helpful resource when I did a remount, to help fill in some minutia-type blanks.

As for smaller meetings, I will add pertinent information to my daily rehearsal reports but not distribute minutes per se.  I do try to keep detailed notes for myself and in case anyone were to ask "I missed the prop meeting; what was discussed?"  but they're just handwritten in my notebook...  again, they are notes and not minutes which I think there is a big distinction.

as for the director talking about the "feelings of a moment", I would probably take the note for myself more than anyone else.  It would be helpful to have that in the back of mind my when we come to stage that scene and also later when giving notes to actors in the performance.  But the note would be more something small to trigger my memory of the conversation.  Perhaps just a post-it in my script with the word "Dreamlike" or whatever.
« Last Edit: Feb 21, 2008, 06:57 pm by nmno »

thehayworth

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Re: Meeting Minutes [part venting]
« Reply #8 on: Feb 21, 2008, 01:22 pm »
I only email or distribute reports when I MUST. 

Bombarding people with email makes them reluctant to read email.



And I only send out mtg minutes because they detail who agreed to do what and when with their names in ALL CAPS so they can't miss it.
"This time for sure."

Sarah

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Re: Meeting Minutes [part venting]
« Reply #9 on: Feb 21, 2008, 06:15 pm »
Quote
Meetings:  None of us is as dumb as all of us.

Excellent.

JPL

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Re: Meeting Minutes [part venting]
« Reply #10 on: Feb 22, 2008, 12:23 am »
>>Meetings:  None of us is as dumb as all of us.

Meetings are a way of wasting far more time as a group than you could possibly do individually.

KMC

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Re: Meeting Minutes [part venting]
« Reply #11 on: Feb 22, 2008, 01:37 am »
>>Meetings:  None of us is as dumb as all of us.

Meetings are a way of wasting far more time as a group than you could possibly do individually.

This is where the SM comes in - have an agenda and keep the meeting moving forward.  If you let people go off on tangents yes it will be a waste of time.
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

Thomas A. Kelly

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Re: Meeting Minutes [part venting]
« Reply #12 on: Feb 22, 2008, 11:32 am »
You are all aware of course that a camel is a race horse as designed and defined in a production meeting.

Tom

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