Author Topic: INTERNATIONAL: Hispanic Theatre and Stage Managers  (Read 6766 times)

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ivonne516

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INTERNATIONAL: Hispanic Theatre and Stage Managers
« on: May 22, 2006, 04:03 pm »
I am hispanic, fully bi-lingual, and I had worked for companies that do both English and Spanish speaking plays, (and of course, companies that only do English speaking material).  My question to anybody who reads this, how many of you out there are also Spanish Speaking stage managers working in Spanish  and English speaking productions?  My other question, to everybody in general is, How many of you are aware that Equity does not have say in Spanish Speaking productions? Or in any other languague that is not English?
« Last Edit: Jun 08, 2009, 11:40 pm by PSMKay »
Ivonne

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« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2006, 04:09 pm »
yeah, it's a little quirk in the contract.

at a theatre I worked at the did blood wedding, and for two weekends, they did the show in Spanish, but it had to be a different contract.
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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.

ljh007

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« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2006, 04:31 pm »
I am hispanic and a semi-fluent (used to be fully fluent, alas!) speaker. I have worked a latino concert event (non-union SMs, IATSE crew) where all the acts speak Spanish only. They do not seek to hire bilingual SMs, so my fluency was a big bonus. It's funny to see the English-only SMs work with the acts to get the concert onstage. It works, but it's like a sitcom. Everyone has lots of fun. I love working that concert, and it's the highlight of my year when I can take it.

KC_SM_0807

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« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2006, 05:40 pm »
I am a Spanish and Theatre major in college right now...so I am looking forward to working in Spanish theatre.  I will also be studying abroad in Spain and hope to maybe get into something for the year that I'm there.  I think it's an excellent tool to have.. and that is interesting about AEA.
"Perhaps, therefore, Stage Managers not only need to be calm and meticulous professionals who know their craft, but masochists who feel pride in rising above impossible odds."

TechGal

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« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2006, 09:36 pm »
Quote from: "KC_SM_0807"
I am a Spanish and Theatre major in college right now...so I am looking forward to working in Spanish theatre.  I will also be studying abroad in Spain and hope to maybe get into something for the year that I'm there.  I think it's an excellent tool to have.. and that is interesting about AEA.


That's so neat!  When I start college in the fall, I will be studying arts administration with an emphasis in theater. (wanted to mix in a little business in with the theater classes)  Anyway, the school that I'm going to go to has a really great student exchange program.  Because I had 3+ years of spanish in high school, I too would like to go to Spain and possibly get involved with theater there.  I would be really interested to hear how your experience goes.  What part of the country/school are you planning to go to over there?

smejs

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« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2006, 09:58 pm »
I'm an Equity person, but currently working in the opera world, doing tours to schools.  We do have one bilingual (Spanish/English) opera, and there is a little concern that I'm not bilingual...that had been the only show previously to have a stage manager (I'm in a newly created position), and they wonder how crucial me not being bilingual will be to that show.

I guess we'll see!

The bilingual show is quite awesome, I will say, and to great reviews.

Erin

djemily

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« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2006, 03:04 pm »
This is a little off topic but I also am a Spanish major (with Theatre minor) and have ONE class left before my Spanish degree is finished. I have thought about working in another country in theatre, but I'm personally more partial to Mexico. What parts of Spain are you guys going to?

Mac Calder

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« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2006, 08:21 pm »
Quote from: "smejs"
We do have one bilingual (Spanish/English) opera, and there is a little concern that I'm not bilingual...that had been the only show previously to have a stage manager (I'm in a newly created position), and they wonder how crucial me not being bilingual will be to that show.


Provided you can learn the sounds and blocking involved in the cues, you should be fine. I did a show written entirely in a made up language (if you ever get the chance to do a show like that, try it) - whilst I spent half the time trying not to roll arround on the ground laughing during rehearsals as the writer kept on lecturing them on the correct inflections on the words, I began to listen to the major sounds in phrases and words that I needed to cue. You may not notice, but our tone of voice and volume changes based on what we are saying, what precedes the words etc - these sorts of things are just as important as the words, so you can use those sorts of alternate things to cue from.

smejs

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« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2006, 01:27 am »
Quote
Provided you can learn the sounds and blocking involved in the cues, you should be fine.


Actually, I think they're most concerned with the Q&A sections they do with students afterwards and things like that.  I did go observe the show once to get to know it, and was asked something in Spanish by an audience member.  I had to admit that I was "the one who didn't know Spanish."

Erin

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« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2006, 09:26 am »
Quote from: "djemily"
I have thought about working in another country in theatre, but I'm personally more partial to Mexico. What parts of Spain are you guys going to?


I don't know yet.  :)  I'm still exploring the options.  What kind of theater community does Mexico have?  I was thinking that in Spain, I might be able to get involved with opera.  I'm still about three years from being able to go anywhere though.

Quote
I had to admit that I was "the one who didn't know Spanish."


That must have been hard.  The nice thing about Spanish is that, for the most part, it is an extremely phonetic language.  The words look like what they sound like.  This should make it easier to follow when you're on book.  Afraid I can't help you with Q/A section though.

djemily

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« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2006, 01:16 pm »
I really have no idea what the theatre community is like in Mexico. Where I studied last summer (San Luis Potosi, the city) there was a huge old theatre, but I was under the impression that it was just for touring shows. I saw the Carmina Burana when I was in Mexico, so I think there is an opera scene (opera scene?) there also. I will tell you that I've been to Madrid and Barcelona (and a few other cities in Spain) and they were my favorite cities. I didn't want to come home :)

I wouldn't even know where to start to look into working in Spain or Mexico, which is maybe why I haven't looked at those places yet.

KC_SM_0807

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« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2006, 05:13 pm »
Quote from: "djemily"
This is a little off topic but I also am a Spanish major (with Theatre minor) and have ONE class left before my Spanish degree is finished. I have thought about working in another country in theatre, but I'm personally more partial to Mexico. What parts of Spain are you guys going to?


I plan on going to Madrid... since it is the capital maybe there will be some good opportunities there.  I'd love to get my feet wet in Spanish Theatre over there so I can't wait.
"Perhaps, therefore, Stage Managers not only need to be calm and meticulous professionals who know their craft, but masochists who feel pride in rising above impossible odds."

ljh007

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« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2006, 11:08 am »
I have heard from several international opera PSMs that things work quite differently in Europe, especially in Italy and Spain. The casual Mediterranean lifestyle affects all areas of life, and tech rehearsals are not exempt. The stern "be-on-time-or-perish" SM philosophy will be lost on most crew, musicians, performers - pretty much everyone. They will arrive nearly on time and they will do a great job. But there's not a Spanish translation for "hustle." I've heard over and over again that you will start tech week in your own private panic because nothing seems to be getting done and no one seems terribly concerned about that. But these people live and breathe art, and it's almost magical how a gorgeous show will pull together seemingly by accident at the final hour. Advice I received from one SM - "give into their lifestyle, accept that you will live with less organization and timeliness than you are used to, just enjoy your art and the opportunity to create it." Sounds like great advice that applies on any continent.

Jessie_K

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« Reply #13 on: Jun 12, 2006, 02:39 pm »
Having worked quite a bit in Italy on various tours, I must agree that the lifestyle/ work ethic is completely different.  Two hour meals breaks,  loose starts times, etc.  But I have found the Italians to come up with some wonderfully creative solutions in times of need.

If you need more structure, try Germany or the Netherlands.

Keep an eye out in Spain, France and Italy.  They take unions VERY seriously and like to strike.  (and I don't mean load-out)

As for stage managing bilingually, reading Spanish should not be that difficult, it is phonetic.  If are from any remotely urban area of the US, you probably hear it being spoken every day anyway.

Having stage managed in foreign languages, my advice is to be honest about what you understand (ask for them to repeat slower or explain using different words if necessary) and be willing to laugh at your own mistakes.

A great resource is the book "Theatre Words"  It helps even those who are bilingual but don't experience with theatre vocabulary in their second language.  http://www.theatrewords.com/orderpage.html

SMJorge

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Re: Hispanic Theatre and Stage Managers
« Reply #14 on: Aug 18, 2006, 04:22 pm »
I would like to echo Jessie's comments about the Theatre Words Dictionary. I am a fluent spanish speaker, but don't know theatre spanish and I was working with a Flamenca company in July. It was a huge help and a great investment!

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