Author Topic: FORMS: First and Last Names  (Read 5373 times)

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Jessie_K

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FORMS: First and Last Names
« on: Jan 22, 2007, 11:31 pm »
I am wondering what do you do on your paperwork (rehearsal calls, sign in sheets, dressing room signs, etc).  Do you use the first and last names together or last name with Mr./ Ms. or just first names?

How have you found the cast reacting to or having an opinion to this?

I ask because I traditionally use both first and last names.  The SM on my current project (I am ASM) prefers Mr/Ms Last Name.

I am of the opinion that outside of opera and a few dance companies, everyone goes by first name without question, therefore using first name with last name on paperwork is less confusing for others to read.  

I found this to be particularly true on this production when I made dressing room signs and mirror station signs with Mr/Ms Last Name and came into the dressing room and the actors had written their first names on the signs.

When does respectful become stuffy or just plain annoying to performers?
« Last Edit: Jun 09, 2009, 12:05 am by PSMKay »

MarcieA

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Re: First and Last Names
« Reply #1 on: Jan 23, 2007, 12:03 am »
I always use just last names on calls sheets and the like, and if there are two I'll put the first initial. It's quick, precise and not too formal or informal in my opinion. Sign-ins I do full names.

Whenever I see a sheet that says Mr. Smith I just sort of think it's a little impersonal and a bit pretentious. That's not the kind of rehearsal room I run. (But that's only my opinion, and not meant to belittle others!!!)

For dressing rooms I always do Bob Smith in a very readable font, usually the same one that I've chosen as the show font on my paperwork. I'll put a simple border around it or for a smaller cast, even back it with a theme color (such as blues with a 'wavey' trim for a show about the ocean).

I've never had a complaint about the level of or lack of formality to my paperwork or dressing rooms, etc. I have been complimented a number of times on how concise and accessable my paperwork is.
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Mac Calder

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Re: First and Last Names
« Reply #2 on: Jan 23, 2007, 07:24 am »
Most of my minutes etc use character names, because that is how I tend to think of the actors.

For sign-in sheets, "LAST, First" is the way I usually write them - which I think stems from the fact that when I was at school, that is how our attendance forms were written out.

Dressing Room labels - "First Last - Charactor"

BeckyGG

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Re: First and Last Names
« Reply #3 on: Jan 23, 2007, 08:28 am »
I'm with MarcieA.  I do Mr/Ms Smith for all my calls, but do full name on sign-ins, dressing room signs and the like.  I also use full names on character/scene breakdowns, entrance/exit paperwork, etc.
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ljh007

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Re: First and Last Names
« Reply #4 on: Jan 23, 2007, 08:44 am »
I usually do Mr./Ms. Lastname, but sometimes I do first initial/last name (J. Smith) in reports. For dressing room signs, I use full names.
I work mostly in oprea, with friendly but formal companies.

ChaCha

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Re: First and Last Names
« Reply #5 on: Jan 23, 2007, 09:37 am »
i rarely do anything but first last on all paperwork. just seems to cover all bases that way! I also do first and last names on calls over any tannoy as I reckon it gives two chances to a performer to hear their name called and to start paying attention  to the rest of the call. the only time I use Mr/Ms etc for calls is when working with really big opera companies where they expect the formality as part of the tradition, or if its a superstar or conductor...
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smsam

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Re: First and Last Names
« Reply #6 on: Jan 23, 2007, 02:50 pm »
This is an interesting topic! And one dear to the hearts of many Stage Mangers in the UK... The Old School (Actors and SMs) seem to think that a sense of "theatre etiquette" is being lost whereas the new seem to think of the old fashioned traditions, of using Mr/ Mrs., are fuddy-duddy and pompous! I take a middle ground, leaning slightly more towards the old school if anything, mainly because of my training and the companies I've worked with...

Looking through old rehearsal notes I seem to have developed a sub-conscious system that is consistent throughout all the notes.
  • All Directors, MDs, Designer and Creatives I always refer to as Miss, Ms. or Mr. Last-Name (e.g. Mr. Smith). I also use this form for other "dignitaries" like the Artistic Director etc.
  • Stage Management & Technical Department personal (including Me & HoDs etc.) I refer to as First Initial & Last Name (e.g. J Smith).
  • And for the company I use Mr/ Miss/ Ms First Name & Last Name (e.g. Mr. John Smith). I would NEVER refer to a member of the cast on the a rehearsal or show report soley by their character name just as I wouldn't address them by this in the rehearsal room! I might if it was a costume note for example say "Mr. John Smith (playing the role of Romeo) ...". I was always taught however that it was REALLY rude to refer to actors solely by their character name and this has stuck forever. I also use this form for anyone else I might refer to on my reh. report...
As for actual backstage calls these always take the form of, if its to the whole company; Ladies and Gentlemen of the [SHOW NAME] Company... or if it's for individual actors just the Title & Last Name (e.g. Mr. Smith this is your call please. Mr. Smith your call. Thank You!). If I call the orchestra then its always "MDs Title & Last Name (Mr. Smith) and Ladies and Gentlemen of the Orchestra...".

On call sheets its the same as on Rehearsal Reports e.g. Mr. John Smith or Ms. Joanna Smith... And on the signing-in sheet I'm with Mac, I do "Last Name, First Name" (e.g. Smith, John). On the signing in sheet these would be in Alphabetical Order by Last Name under a header for each department eg. Direction, Design/ Creative, Stage Management, Technical Staff, The Company.

Finally as for Dressing Rooms I always use the Full Name and Title (including Middle Intial if its part of the actors professional name) e.g. Mr. John A Smith.

I'm also equally as anal with lists and calls where ladies must always come first followed by men (all in alphabetical order of course!) Working with some real "Musical Theatre Divas" I've learned the importance of the magical words "its all alphabetical!"

I quite like the formality of traditional theatre but there is a limit, I would never say in the Rehearsal Room "Mr. Smith" or "Ladies and Gentlemen of the Company" (like I would on paperwork or over a backstage call) ... it would be more like "john" and "guys!" !

I hate to say it but perhaps, again, this level of formality is a British thing...

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Lady

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Re: First and Last Names
« Reply #7 on: Jan 24, 2007, 02:48 pm »
In rehearsal calls, I go by character name for the sake of the understudies.  On sign in sheets, I was always taught to do first name last name.  Maybe it's because I learned my paperwork styles in college where nothing is ever formal  :)
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Balletdork

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Re: First and Last Names
« Reply #8 on: Jan 24, 2007, 03:00 pm »
On Basic Casting we do last name

Sign in sheets Last then First names

Running Sheets/ Spot Q Sheet's or anything used by crew character name or costume color

Reports first name last name

Biographies are in the program and on the website as First Name Last Name...

For a Ballet Company in the deep south.... We never refer to anyone as Miss Last name, or Mr. Last name...

Sometimes our academy teachers are Miss first name (which REALLY bugs me....)  :P

malewen

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Re: First and Last Names
« Reply #9 on: Jan 25, 2007, 01:00 am »
On the daily call sheet I use the first name only (10am Act I sc.2 with Tom, Mary, etc.).  On the sign in sheet and dressing room door labels I use first then last name.  On rehearsal and performance notes I use first names only.

stagemonkey

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Re: First and Last Names
« Reply #10 on: Jan 30, 2007, 11:00 pm »
I find I've done it differently depending on the show.  My last show the call sheets were all by character name as it was a large cast and when we set out the call sheet it was quicker just to read the breakdown of what characters were in the scene instead of cross referencing that back to the actors name.  The show before that my call sheets listed by actors first name (small cast of like 8 and and everyone was on a first name basis as friends before the production anyway).  For sign in sheets I always have it last, first and on dressing rooms its first last.  If im sending notes to costumes i usually list it as first last and character (often cause some actors have multiple characters).

I guess my point I play it on the scope of the production.  You can often get a sense of how formal the company works.  Personally I like being able to interact with everyone on a first name basis as the formalities tend to elevate certain people above others and we're all here to produce the same goal and should all be equally important. (ok i know thats the ideal world in my head but i try to follow it as best i can.)

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