Author Topic: PEOPLE: how do you get their attention?  (Read 8580 times)

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Brandywine

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PEOPLE: how do you get their attention?
« on: Jan 12, 2005, 06:21 pm »
I'm looking for an efficient way when at rehearsals to get everyones attention (actors really... the whole herding cats thing).  In the past I just walk around to them if outside or if inside just say loudly (But not yell) that it's time to start, or break is over. (I've never had a problem projecting so I was easily heard)

However, with working in a professional theatre in the future: I'm thinking that's not really the best practice. I've heard one sm uses a bell - but some actors complained that "they're not in elementary school".

What do you guys do? What have you found works best or worst?

THANK YOU!!
« Last Edit: Jun 08, 2009, 10:25 pm by PSMKay »

benthehack

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how do you get their attention?
« Reply #1 on: Jan 12, 2005, 08:38 pm »
If everyone has taken a break in the same area, I find it is effective to walk around to all of the 'groups' and tell them the break is over. As soon as one group starts to walk in, it seems the rest will follow. Announcing the exact time to come back into rehearsal before you go to break is also helpful because it places the responsibility back on the actors. Personally, I would never use a bell :?

loebtmc

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how do you get their attention?
« Reply #2 on: Jan 12, 2005, 11:03 pm »
Knock wood, I've never had trouble w that - depending on how big the cast and theater (and how much I am trying to catch up on during the break) either I or my assistant walk around to announce that we are at 1 or 2 minutes and then (1 or  2 minutes later) that we're back. As in "and we're back". This gives folks that moment to close things up and/or hit the loo, and for me to gather the director or choreo or whomever and get them back inside the theater, and then everyone is back, quiet and ready in time to start. Maybe it's just luck, but I've done this for years now and, well, so far, it has worked nicely.

Didaskalos

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how do you get their attention?
« Reply #3 on: Jan 13, 2005, 11:13 pm »
I always have my SM let them know how many minutes their break is, run the stopwatch, and give a one-minute call.  If traveling to several areas is required, the SM and ASM usually divide and conquer.

I agree with Benthehack that giving them a definite start time is also useful if there is a clock posted conspicuously that is designated the official rehearsal clock.
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loebtmc

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how do you get their attention?
« Reply #4 on: Jan 14, 2005, 12:23 pm »
oh yeah of course - I always announce it as a 5 or a 10 and say "it is now x  x o'clock and we are back at y" - but there are rarely clocks around in so many theaters, and I don't  trust anyone's watch but my own.

But it's easy for actors and director to get distracted and eat that whole time gabbing or eating or whatever - and they lose track of time so easily -

hbelden

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chime
« Reply #5 on: Jan 18, 2005, 12:34 pm »
I have a really pleasant chime that I bought from a new-agey store in Oregon; it's called "moderation" or something like that.  It's just one pleasant note that lasts for about half a minute.  I only use it when the ratio of Actors to Stage manager is more than twenty to one; I strike the chime, then announce that the break is over.  I agree, you don't want to let actors know when you're treating them like school children, but I haven't seen anything but smiles when this chime rings out!
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avkid

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how do you get their attention?
« Reply #6 on: Jan 18, 2005, 10:32 pm »
bullhorn! seriously try to set some sort of PA system(it saves walking)
Philip LaDue
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Brandywine

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how do you get their attention?
« Reply #7 on: Jan 22, 2005, 01:25 pm »
Awesome!!! Thank you so much for the feedback. I'll keep my eye out for a nice chime, but otherwise - it's good to know that the walking around method is still a common practice. :-) thanks everyone!

casper

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how do you get their attention?
« Reply #8 on: Jan 24, 2005, 10:59 am »
i have a kazoo.  it makes it fun and gets their attention.

Brandywine

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how do you get their attention?
« Reply #9 on: Feb 25, 2005, 10:21 am »
Yes indeed it would be in a professional setting... sadly the college years were long ago.

After seeing a closer view of the performers/actors/singers (whichever they prefer) in a professional theatre - I get the sense that rounding them up isn't as big a pain as with community theatres. Woohoo!

Thanks all for the insight and input. Very valuable stuff!! :-)

isha

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« Reply #10 on: Mar 22, 2005, 02:27 pm »
mmm..I had the same problem with my actors in the show I just finished...Rasing my voice didn't really work at all. The only thing that worked for me was to get one of the groups going, then herd the rest onstage...so yeah, I guess that would be divide and conquer wouldn't it?
~isha

VSM

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Attention, please!
« Reply #11 on: Mar 23, 2005, 11:39 am »
A clear "Okay, we're back" is my first attempt. Then very quietly I find someone who is paying attention and ask silently for their help. Within a very short amount of time, everyone senses something "is up" and then they realize that we are waiting for them!

Works every time!
Ordo ab chao

isha

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how do you get their attention?
« Reply #12 on: Apr 03, 2005, 03:02 pm »
do actors get more mature about being on time and focusing as they get older? In highschool its a pain to get anything accomplished, you kinda have to almost give up on starting on time and having short breaks..

does it get any better in the professional world? like with the getting everybodies attention? Or is it about the same level of responsibility?
~isha

smejs

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how do you get their attention?
« Reply #13 on: Apr 03, 2005, 03:07 pm »
Quote
do actors get more mature about being on time and focusing as they get older?


In my experience, yes and no......at least you do have the option/threat of reporting them to their union if it gets really out of hand...

Erin

isha

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« Reply #14 on: Apr 03, 2005, 03:21 pm »
Quote from: "smejs"
Quote
do actors get more mature about being on time and focusing as they get older?


In my experience, yes and no......at least you do have the option/threat of reporting them to their union if it gets really out of hand...

Erin


hehehhehe...I guess thats true..
Highschool its just soo bad because they know they can get away with it. My director doesn't really enforce it either. So I had to start out really mean to maintain enough scare factor.....

at points it felt like acting, trying to get mad at people when I was supposed to...I didn't WANT to be mean at them, but my director either asked me to go be mean to them, or it was the only thing they responded to. Some of the actors I could just tell them the problem and they would stop...but there where 3 that being mean was the only thing that worked...
~isha

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