Author Topic: First time SMing tech  (Read 158 times)

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First time SMing tech
« on: Oct 09, 2018, 09:21 pm »
I've been ASM before but this is my first SM gig so I have a bunch of questions about tech.

1. Can someone walk me through what my role is during a spacing rehearsal?
2. I know I need to do a safety walk of the theater what all should I make sure to point out?
3. Can someone walk me through running a cue to cue/wet tech

Any other advice would be greatly appriciated


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Re: First time SMing tech
« Reply #1 on: Oct 11, 2018, 11:47 am »
Mizi, those are a lot of really big questions, with very long and involved answers, as well as answers that will vary greatly from person to person.
My best suggestion for you is this: find an SM that you know personally and think does good work, and offer to take them out for coffee or a drink to pick their brain. A back and forth conversation is going to serve you FAR better than a couple of quickly jotted off notes on these forums.

That being said, I'll take a stab at question 2. Walk all the backstage paths and look out for anything that could endanger or injure someone moving at speed, in the dark, encumbered, partially blind, backwards, etc. Imagine you are going to let your (or your best friend's) three year old loose to play on the set.
There should be white or glow tape on the edges of all stairs and platforms. Lighting instruments should be well above head height and if that's impossible, the area around them needs to be blocked off, if possible, filled with warnings if not. Are there banisters on stairs, and railing on platforms wherever possible? Any pits need to have their edges blatantly taped, and preferable railed. Trip hazards (cables, scenery jacks, drop pipes) should be clearly marked, again in white or glow tape. All cables should be dressed well out of actor paths. Sharp edges should be padded. Railings anyone might stumble into at speed should be padded. Headstrike dangers should be padded and marked. Make sure there are enough backstage blues that everyone can see everywhere they need to be.  If you have performers whose vision will be impeded (mask, giant wig, etc) you may need to mark out travel paths on the floor.
Then, make sure the first aid kit is easy to access, that there are towels and rags stashed somewhere to clean up unexpected spills (or flooding! my mainstage floods AWFULLY in heavy rain!), and ditto for a broom and dustpan.
Basically, if you see ANYTHING behind or onstage that makes you think for a moment that it could cause danger or injury, and then think, "Nah, it will be fine," you're thinking wrong, and the issue needs to be addressed.
Jessica: "Of course I have a metric size 4 dinglehopper in my kit!  Who do you think I am?"


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