Author Topic: PEOPLE: Handling outrageous requests OR "Not My Division!"  (Read 2053 times)

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Tempest

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I'd like to hear how other people handle those "you want what, now?" requests from performers. Things they seem to want you, specifically, to handle for them, but that are completely absurd.

I'm not talking about constant thermostat adjustments or special laundry soap for allergies.

I'm talking about things like a new performer at the theatre who doesn't like the comp policy and wants you, the Stage Manager, to find a workaround for them.

Or one who wants cases of bottled water in the green room, not because there is no potable water backstage, but because the green room drinking fountain, "doesn't have enough pressure to fill my water bottle quickly." (It does, I fill my bottle at it all the time)

Or the artist who is outraged the theatre did not buy a brand new $300 mic element for him, because he's germophobic. And wants to know what bathroom arrangements are being made for him because he doesn't want to use the same bathroom the cast of the other show is using.

Or who shows up at the theatre hours after everyone else has left and wants to know why there's no one there to let them in to take a shower.

I want to roll my eyes and say, "Suck it up, Buttercup! We're a fairly poor not-for profit, and these are the facilities we have!" What I do is listen to them rave and then calmly repeat, "I understand your concern, but this is what we have to use and this is the policy that relates to it." Lather, rinse, repeat a couple of times and eventually they get the message because I cannot just magic another bathroom or a never-used-before mic element out of thin air.

But that tactic is wearing a bit thin, especially on things like tickets, facilities, and sound that are "Not my circus, not my monkey." Anyone have another way of handling it?

Edited to add topic tag. - Maribeth
« Last Edit: Jun 02, 2014, 10:28 pm by Maribeth »
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MatthewShiner

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Re: Handling outrageous requests OR "Not My Division!"
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2014, 09:08 pm »
Most of these fall out of the scope of stage management, and you should forward their requests to the producers.

What is good about that, it shows that you are giving the weight to their demands, but also, kicking it up to the level of involvement that it involves.

Almost all the examples you give are money issues - so a producer needs to be involved.

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NomieRae

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Re: PEOPLE: Handling outrageous requests OR "Not My Division!"
« Reply #2 on: Jul 05, 2014, 02:50 pm »
Quote
What I do is listen to them rave and then calmly repeat, "I understand your concern, but this is what we have to use and this is the policy that relates to it." Lather, rinse, repeat a couple of times and eventually they get the message because I cannot just magic another bathroom or a never-used-before mic element out of thin air.

Yep. Lots of this. Also what Matthew said about passing things up the ladder, even though they won't fix it either, it shows that you value their concerns.
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dallas10086

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Re: PEOPLE: Handling outrageous requests OR "Not My Division!"
« Reply #3 on: Jul 25, 2014, 01:47 am »
To this day my favorite request is "Can we have in-ear monitors for the whole cast?" After laughing internally (I'm getting really good at it), I said, "Unfortunately, no." I tend to be a filter for a lot of the requests, and I'll pass them along to my AD only if myself and the director are stumped or it's outside of our 'jurisdiction.'
But the 8 in-ear monitors were a no-brainer.

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