Author Topic: FORMS: Reports - Getting people to read them  (Read 12011 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

swood09

  • New to Town
  • **
  • Posts: 11
    • View Profile
FORMS: Reports - Getting people to read them
« on: Nov 21, 2006, 03:51 pm »
I have a problem with getting people to READ the rehearsal reports that I attach in emails. Does anyone know how to EMBED the reports in emails so that it is already in the body of the email? Preferably how to do it in Apple's Mail program.

Edited subject line-Rebbe
« Last Edit: Nov 10, 2010, 02:15 pm by Rebbe »

MatthewShiner

  • Forum Moderators
  • *****
  • Posts: 2477
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, SMA
  • Current Gig: PSM THE LION KING NORTH AMERICAN TOUR; Assc Director and Production Supervisor HUNCHBACK International
  • Experience: Professional
Hmmm.

I just hit select all, and the pasted it in the body of the e-mail.

Seemed to work find in apple's mail program, read it both in Mail, entourage and my web email server.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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.

Jessie_K

  • Superstar!
  • *****
  • Posts: 528
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • International Stage Manager of Mystery
  • Affiliations: AEA, AGMA, SMA (on leave)
  • Current Gig: Queen of the Night
  • Experience: Professional
I pretty much always just type my report in the body of the email.  I only write the categories that I need and can address things directly to people by name.  It is a bit more casual, but I happen to think encourages people to actually read the reports.

ReyYaySM

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 360
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA
  • Current Gig: Freelance
  • Experience: Professional
Speaking as the person who actually created the word document for the TX State SM report you are trying to copy into the body of an email (it was John's form, I just made the document and was the first SM in the department to type and email out reports; it was all handwritten hard copies before that point) it copied and pasted easily for me, but I've got a PC and was using Outlook. 

I liked that report form, but I've got a new one that I use now that is much simpler, and would probably be much easier for you to send via email in the body of a message.  PM me with your email address and I'll send you copies of the performance and rehearsal reports that I use now. 

And for the record, it was just as hard to get people to read the report when I was there too; some things never change!!

xluthienx

  • Tourist
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
I send out all of my reports in an attachment which seems to work fine for me.

However, I did have some problems with people not reading them. The way I fixed this problem was by requesting something from one of the people in question in one of my reports.  Then when I had not received it by the next production meeting i just called them out for it.  I haven't had a problem since.

Mac Calder

  • Forum Moderators
  • *****
  • Posts: 966
  • Gender: Male
  • Plan for the future, live for the now
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: Live Performance Australia / Media Arts and Entertainment Alliance
  • Current Gig: Technical Director
  • Experience: Former SM
I suppose it all depends on your companies attitude - however I doubt that there is an issue with the way the content is delivered.

I know a lot of people who no matter what you did, even if you stuck the damn rehearsal report to their forehead, they would not read it. That is "the thing". Calling someone out on "action items" is usually a reasonable way to get your point across. If they fail to get the hint, try a comment like "I spend my time creating these reports for a reason, to help keep you in the loop and tell you of any developments that occurred which may involve you. I do not make them just because I like sending emails. If you have trouble opening the reports, let me know and we can arrange an alternate method, but they ARE essential reading" (you may want to rephrase so that it is not so condescending, and hopefully to lay the guilt on a bit) and if all else fails, stop sending them to them, and then call them up after every rehearsal and read it out to them. Then call every second day to "check on the progress of XYZ". Two things will happen - they will get annoyed with the fact that you are keeping close tabs on them (to which you can reply with "I apologise, but these items need to be dealt with. I would normally have just sent you a copy of the rehearsal report, but time has shown that you do not read them") and two - the items that you needed done, will get done.

I know many people will probably dislike my method - however I am loyal to the show above almost everything (except safety of my cast and crew), and my attitude is that I will do what it takes to make sure that the show runs smoothly for everyone involved, and if it means stepping on a few toes to do so, then so be it. (My current motto is a stage managers job is not to be loved by all, but rather to be the one people know they can turn to when an issue arises and have it dealt with swiftly and efficiently. Being loved by all is a bonus.). Damaged egos can be repaired, however failure to communicated can result in wasted time, wasted money and injury. None of which can be replaced.

Moderation Note:
Depending on how this topic evolves, I may move this from "Tools of the Trade" to one of the more people oriented boards, like Stage Management: Plays and Musicals, or split the topic into two - the more "tool-ish" related part and the "getting the great unwashed to read rehearsal reports" part. It is a tricky one. I have not decided yet. I will sit on it for a while and see what happens, but forewarned is forearmed.
« Last Edit: Dec 03, 2006, 07:19 am by Mac Calder »

ReyYaySM

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 360
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA
  • Current Gig: Freelance
  • Experience: Professional
However, I did have some problems with people not reading them. The way I fixed this problem was by requesting something from one of the people in question in one of my reports.  Then when I had not received it by the next production meeting i just called them out for it.  I haven't had a problem since.

The problem I foresee with this method in an educational setting like the one swood09 is in is that the people he would be calling out are most likely faculty based on my previous experience at that particular university.  It's a tricky line to cross, because they hold your future SM assignments, grades, and recommendations in their hands.  Once they decide that you create too much trouble, they practically blacklist you within the program.  It's unfortunate, but I've seen it happen.

My ASM and I took a proactive approach to following up on notes in the rehearsal/performance reports by making rounds to the shops in the afternoon before rehearsal.  We would take a notepad and a copy of the previous nights report with us and check-in on progress/to make sure they understood all of the notes.  They thought it showed we cared a great deal about the show (which we did, of course), but most of the time we were really just checking up on them. 

When possible, I still do the same thing now.  I make myself available in the various departments before rehearsal starts so that they can ask me questions/give me updates on progress.  And I just love seeing my show being built and to go in to the shop and see new pieces coming to life!!

Jessie_K

  • Superstar!
  • *****
  • Posts: 528
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • International Stage Manager of Mystery
  • Affiliations: AEA, AGMA, SMA (on leave)
  • Current Gig: Queen of the Night
  • Experience: Professional
I also am a big fan of the follow-up.  Either in person or via phone or email.  It's all about tact.  I will often do a walk through/ check-in with each department a few times a week.

It is a careful line to tread.

I generally keep copies of ALL communication in my book to use as reference.  But only as a last resort would I "call a person out" on not reading the reports.  If something is a priority, I make it my priority to follow up on it either personally or through the production manager.

To respond to Mac's statement about being loved by all.  I don't need to be loved by all, but I do want an atmosphere of mutual respect.  If the staff doesn't feel trusted it can really screw you come tech time.

We as stage managers must carefully find the gray area between micro-management and a hands-off approach.  We must remember that sometimes the staff can miss a note or skip a report.

I certainly have been in situations where I have had to take a firmer hand with people and demand to see proof that my notes were being addressed but usually with some gentle reminders you can encourage people to be more on task without pissing them off.

cuelight

  • New to Town
  • **
  • Posts: 33
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: SMA (UK)
Usually the day after I'll casually mention to the head of the particular department (eg, lighting), "Oh, there was something in my report for you yesterday regarding lighting for scene 6. Did you get the report?". It's an easy way to follow something up without sounding patronizing. If they haven't read the report it's a chance to briefly outline the situation and then end it with, "well there's more details on the report. It's probably best for you to read that and just come back to me with any questions".

I usually embed the report into the body of the e-mail and then attach it as well. The attachment may or may not (depending on the company) be a bit more formal than what I write in the e-mail and will be what I have in the 'book' to reference as well.

thehayworth

  • Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 82
  • Gender: Male
  • Uh oh.
    • View Profile
    • Propaganda Pipeline
  • Current Gig: Santaland Diaries
  • Experience: Professional
I type up RRs in Word and then Copy/Paste into Email body.  If the formatting sticks (bold, underline), so be it.  If not, the information is arranged in such a way as to still be easily discernable.

Recently, I discovered items that Word was auto-formatting such as turning quotation marks into "smart quotation marks" and turning hyphens into dashes were coming out as gobbledygook when people opened my emails.

I disabled this feature and have not had a problem since.  Well, aside from people not reading their email.  Why do people do theatre and get paid very little money if they are going to be slackers about it?  I don't understand.
"This time for sure."

Scott

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 252
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Reports - Getting actors to read them (from Tools of the Trade)
« Reply #10 on: Dec 04, 2006, 01:55 pm »
Well, aside from people not reading their email.  Why do people do theatre and get paid very little money if they are going to be slackers about it?  I don't understand.

Perhaps because some (many?) people who go into theatre have gone into a field where by the far the most important work is done in the real-time of the rehearsal room and the theatre and are far less interested in the virtual world or anything that smacks of boring civilian business overtones -- or at least see an obsession with the recent computer tools (which have been in general use for about 10 years, representing something like less than .04% of theatrical history) as a distraction from the real work...

After all, we still consider official call times the last time given by the stage manager at the previous end of  day, don't we...?

Just something to ponder on a day off.... :)


thehayworth

  • Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 82
  • Gender: Male
  • Uh oh.
    • View Profile
    • Propaganda Pipeline
  • Current Gig: Santaland Diaries
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Reports - Getting actors to read them (from Tools of the Trade)
« Reply #11 on: Dec 04, 2006, 02:29 pm »
Quote
or at least see an obsession with the recent computer tools (which have been in general use for about 10 years, representing something like less than .04% of theatrical history) as a distraction from the real work...

I've had people not read printed RRs placed in their boxes either.  Probably in ancient Greek theatre the people building the deus-ex-machina didn't read their papyrus rehearsal reports either.

It goes well beyond them not wanting to use a computer.  I can buy that.  It's just doing the bare minimum so often and not giving what is asked for.  but perhaps that is off topic?
"This time for sure."

Scott

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 252
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Reports - Getting actors to read them (from Tools of the Trade)
« Reply #12 on: Dec 04, 2006, 03:29 pm »
It's just doing the bare minimum so often and not giving what is asked for.  but perhaps that is off topic?

No, it 's your topic -- thanks for the clarification -- I see what you're saying.

smsam

  • Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 56
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Experience: College/Graduate
Re: Reports - Getting actors to read them (from Tools of the Trade)
« Reply #13 on: Dec 06, 2006, 07:51 am »
Ditto all the problems of people not reading rehearsal reports (or show reports).

Follow-up is always good I think, if possible in person or on the telephone. Often in my notes for things that would just take to long to explain (for example sourcing two real double decker buses - that was a real note!) I'd just put something like "1. Direction have asked that we look into the hiring of two real double decker busses. Please contact Mr.... for more details" - substituting Mr.... for either my or my ASMs name! Usually I'll get a call by the end of the next days rehearsal but if not I'd ring the department concerned myself.

I also have had problems with people reading Show Reports. On one show night after night I was getting LX OP errors, he'd either just GO on his own accord or not hear me or GO to early on snap cues because he thought he was right - even though I was calling the shows clean!! I kept show reporting him and emailing it off to the Chief LX everynight! I assumed that eventually the Chief LX would see the amount of errors he was making and either have a word (I already had) or move him to Onstage LX and get someone else to board op. After two weeks when nothings been done I approached the Chief LX about it myself. Turns out he hadn't even been reading them, he said "well whats the point...it's all going fine isn't it!!" I was irate and told him that I hadn't made the reports each night after a busy show for my own sake and perhaps he should have a look over them. He did and the next night ... a new LX Op! Lovely!

Sam x
Sam x

thehayworth

  • Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 82
  • Gender: Male
  • Uh oh.
    • View Profile
    • Propaganda Pipeline
  • Current Gig: Santaland Diaries
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Reports - Getting actors to read them (from Tools of the Trade)
« Reply #14 on: Dec 06, 2006, 12:25 pm »
I also include humourus quotes from the rehearsal in a special section of the report to encourage people to read the reports.  This seems to help a lot.  People are discussing them the next day at rehearsal.
"This time for sure."

Likes:


Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
19 Replies
8042 Views
Last post Oct 09, 2006, 05:55 am
by Mac Calder
34 Replies
12748 Views
Last post May 20, 2007, 12:53 pm
by n.dpalma
10 Replies
4505 Views
Last post Jun 17, 2007, 04:08 pm
by KMC