Author Topic: FORMS: Reports - Getting people to read them  (Read 12175 times)

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stagemonkey

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Re: Reports - Getting actors to read them (from Tools of the Trade)
« Reply #15 on: Dec 06, 2006, 04:51 pm »
You would think it would go without saying that if a note is given in the rehearsal report that would need more clarification the people would naturally call the SM to get more info. 

In college I always made a habit of wandering around to the various shops just to poke my head in usually just saying "i just want to see whats all going on."  In this sense its not like I was checking up on their progress but was just around to say hi.  Often it was a matter I had some extra time between classes to waste so i would wander the building.  The shop manager even mentioned one day thats why he liked when i stage managed the shows cause I'd wander through the shop just to look around which made it easy for him to grab me and ask any questions that he may have had.  Many days never mentioned anything about the show but in being around there was the random chit chat that helped build friendships with the various people.  My point is that if you can its nice to stop into the various area periodically throughout the rehearsal process as it just helps provide another avenue of communication.

Dee

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Re: Reports - Getting actors to read them (from Tools of the Trade)
« Reply #16 on: Nov 09, 2010, 04:12 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.

I do this as well! I also have two other methods:
1. I usaully put in the general notes that anyone who wears a red shirt (this changes ie secret phrase) to the next reheasal will get a surprise.  Then I buy something small like candybars and bring them to the next rehearsal.  Then when someone says "hey, howcome so and so got a snickers?" I ask if they read the rehearsal notes. 

2.  I always ask for a confirmation email that they have read the notes.  I save all of the confirmations.  That way if something ever happens, I have something to go back to.

For Designers I always text them separatly and ask them to read the notes because there is something for them. 

TarytheA

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After reading the replies to this thread (and judging by the title), it seems like many people send rehearsal reports to the actors as well as the production team - is this true?  I've never sent rehearsal reports to the actors, all the information is for the designers/shops since they were not at rehearsal.  I send the actors an email with the next day's call, and their line notes if applicable.  I've also never gotten rehearsal reports when I've been an actor myself.

What would the actors need to know from the report?  It seems to be common knowledge to everyone else so I must have missed something along the way...?
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nick_tochelli

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Re: Reports - Getting actors to read them (from Tools of the Trade)
« Reply #18 on: Nov 09, 2010, 05:32 pm »
1. I usaully put in the general notes that anyone who wears a red shirt (this changes ie secret phrase) to the next reheasal will get a surprise.   

I worked on a tour with two different lighting supervisors who both put "The Beer Note" somewhere in their light plot forwarded to every venue basically saying "if you read this note, I owe you a 6 pack." Of the 29 venues, only about 9 found it. It's actually pretty stunning that less than 1/3 of the venues read the paperwork thoroughly enough to find it. It's not something you need a magnifying glass to find, just need to be thorough enough to look over all the notes added to the plot.

Sorry to go off topic a touch. I just thought it fit in nicely.

After reading the replies to this thread (and judging by the title), it seems like many people send rehearsal reports to the actors as well as the production team - is this true?

I personally have never sent a cast member a rehearsal report, and I was thinking it seemed strange to me as well. The only thing that could be relatively pertinent to an actor in the rehearsal reports are schedules which, like you, I send in a separate email. For performances, I also send the cast the run time of the show (broken up by acts) because they generally know how long the show should run, and if it is getting longer or shorter they will feel it and this can confirm their suspicions. It's a passive way to let them know they are dragging or going way too fast.

But any other information included in the rehearsal/performance reports seem to be basically nothing they need to concern themselves with.

Balletdork

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copy & paste

Post Merge: Nov 09, 2010, 11:06 pm
Clarification: copy & paste your report into the body of the email- then all the information is in the body of the email & as an attachment.
« Last Edit: Nov 09, 2010, 11:06 pm by Balletdork »

bex

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Re: Reports - Getting actors to read them (from Tools of the Trade)
« Reply #20 on: Nov 09, 2010, 11:53 pm »


After reading the replies to this thread (and judging by the title), it seems like many people send rehearsal reports to the actors as well as the production team - is this true?

I basically send 2 emails every night:
- the rehearsal report, which goes to the design team &  production staff & includes any technical notes or questions from the rehearsal, as breaks, the next day's schedule, run times of scenes, etc.
-the daily call, which goes to the cast and includes the call times for the next day, reminders about change of rehearsal location, costume fittings, PR photos, blah blah blah. 

I see no need to combine the two- is that standard practice for some SMs? Did I miss something somewhere along the way?
You will have to sing for your supper & your mortgage, your dental coverage & your children's shoes, over & over again while people in desk jobs roll their eyes the minute you start to complain. So it's a good thing you like to sing.

nick_tochelli

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Re: Reports - Getting actors to read them (from Tools of the Trade)
« Reply #21 on: Nov 10, 2010, 02:44 am »
I see no need to combine the two- is that standard practice for some SMs? Did I miss something somewhere along the way?

I'm totally with you. I've never combined my nightly emails in this way. Does anyone do it this way? Send the cast the rehearsal reports? I'm actually really curious now. Or have we started to misinterpret what was stated?

PSMKay

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Going back to review the original question, it was about getting "people" to read the reports, not actors, and was more about embedding the report in an email instead of attaching them.  It was far more technical although we've taken it in a more psychological direction, which is pretty much OK.

I'd say that getting actors to read reports would be substantially trickier than getting the design teams & assorted tech gnomes to read them.  The latter groups are accustomed to getting updated by the SM team on a regular basis, whereas the cast would have no expectation and might actually have the same assumption that many of us here do - the reports are not meant for their eyes and anything left out for their review must have been revealed in error.

I've edited the subject line in the original post so it's more clear the OP was not focused on actors.  Thanks. -Rebbe
« Last Edit: Nov 10, 2010, 02:21 pm by Rebbe »

cschott

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I was in a situation at one point where I knew that the costume shop was not reading my reports.  I tried and tried and tried to figure out why and to get them to do so, with little luck.  I basically would go to them every day and go over the notes verbally in an attempt to get things done.  Then the company moved to a new building and in that shakeup lots of computers got reassigned, new ones were bought, old ones phased out etc.  The costume shop started reading their notes!  It turns out that the computer that they'd had was so slow that they just got frustrated trying to open the document each day.  Once they got a better machine they were perfectly happy to read the notes.

So what this has taught me is that it's not a bad idea to both attach and copy/paste or otherwise embed the notes.  I think if I had been doing the copy/paste thing and they could have read the notes in the email without having to open the attachment, they might have been more likely to read them.

babens

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It turns out that the computer that they'd had was so slow that they just got frustrated trying to open the document each day.  Once they got a better machine they were perfectly happy to read the notes.

However, it would have been nice if they had told you that that was the problem so you could have reached a solution a lot sooner.

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TarytheA

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Re: FORMS: Reports - Getting people to read them
« Reply #25 on: Nov 10, 2010, 11:25 pm »
Does anyone do it this way? Send the cast the rehearsal reports? I'm actually really curious now. Or have we started to misinterpret what was stated?
Going back to review the original question, it was about getting "people" to read the reports, not actors, and was more about embedding the report in an email instead of attaching them.

My confusion came when the discussion turned to putting messages in the report like "wear something red" to the next day's rehearsal to get a prize (posted by Dee), or how everyone at rehearsal the next day would be talking about the funny quote at the bottom (posted by thehayworth).  The people at rehearsals every day are not the designers or other members of the production team, but the cast...this led to me thinking that rehearsal reports got sent to actors every day.

I think I'm cleared up now, it seems that most SMs don't send rehearsal reports to actors which makes me feel better. :)
« Last Edit: Nov 12, 2010, 08:18 am by TarytheA »
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nmmolinar

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Re: Reports - Getting actors to read them (from Tools of the Trade)
« Reply #26 on: Nov 12, 2010, 01:52 am »
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.

I do the same thing. I'll type the original in Word or Google Docs then copy it all into the body of the email. It's pretty effective. A great tip my advisor gave me. Attached reports tend to be ignored...a lot.

Post Merge: Nov 12, 2010, 01:55 am
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.

I've started to do that. There's no section for them but if the director makes an usually specific note it goes in the report. The other day for an SFX: "Anti-climatic romantic music, with a hint of impending doom." You bet that was part of the Green Room conversation.
« Last Edit: Nov 12, 2010, 01:55 am by nmmolinar »
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BalletPSM

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Re: FORMS: Reports - Getting people to read them
« Reply #27 on: Nov 12, 2010, 10:45 am »
Isn't it interesting how when this post was started, 4 years ago in 2006, pretty much everyone attached their reports - across the board.  Now, in 2010 when someone picked it back up - it's copy and paste into the body of an email/google docs/etc.  I find it fascinating how the age of the iPhone, blackberry, and Droid has changed the way we send our rehearsal reports, in the same way email eliminated the hard copy of the report.

Do people generally find their reports are more consistently read now that it has become more standard just to put directly into the body of the email?  I know I do - and then the TD doesn't even have to go into his office in the morning, he can pull up the report directly on the iPhone, read the notes, delegate out, and get to work. 
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!

Dee

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Re: FORMS: Reports - Getting people to read them
« Reply #28 on: Nov 12, 2010, 01:05 pm »


My confusion came when the discussion turned to putting messages in the report like "wear something red" to the next day's rehearsal to get a prize (posted by Dee), or how everyone at rehearsal the next day would be talking about the funny quote at the bottom (posted by thehayworth).  The people at rehearsals every day are not the designers or other members of the production team, but the cast...this led to me thinking that rehearsal reports got sent to actors every day.

I think I'm cleared up now, it seems that most SMs don't send rehearsal reports to actors which makes me feel better. :)
[/quote]

I do send out rehearsal notes to both actors and designers separately.  The ones to my actors have general notes about what we did that night, what we are scheduled for next rehearsal, and  who is called for what times.  This is helpful for working with kids so the parents know what to prepare for. Also, usefull for reminding about annoucements that may have been made during rehearsals ie costume fittings, off book dates, photo calls etc.

Bwoodbury

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Re: FORMS: Reports - Getting people to read them
« Reply #29 on: Nov 13, 2010, 12:06 am »
I did want to point out a circumstance in which I did send my reports to actors. I went on a tour where they were responsible for a part of either load in or load out. We cc'ed them on reports so they'd get to know what they'd be working with once we tech-ed. They were way more familiar with the show than they would have been otherwise. However, I DID have to use the funny report tactic. Rather than use quotes or jokes, I usually reported a funny anecdote from the rehearsal or performance. I still hear how funny that tour thought my reports were... from other people.

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