Author Topic: PEOPLE: New Director  (Read 5477 times)

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MatthewShiner

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PEOPLE: New Director
« on: Jan 06, 2005, 08:25 pm »
I start off with the basics; how to communicate with them, how they want the room set up, their concept for the show, casting choices and/or disappointments, and then get down to nit picky stuff like when to call brakes, how they want to deal with schedule.  Usually by the time I have answers to thinks like that, I do get a pretty good idea of how they like to work.  I also end the dialogue by asking if there is anything else, and wait for them to start letting me know things about everything.

I also, on my own time, try to track down people who have worked with them before and learn things that way.
« Last Edit: Jun 08, 2009, 10:17 pm by PSMKay »
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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.

avkid

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New Director
« Reply #1 on: Jan 07, 2005, 08:08 pm »
be prepared to be talked down to for a while,unfortunately this happens sometimes!
Philip LaDue
Shore Production Group LLC
IATSE Local #21 Newark, NJ

casper

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New Director
« Reply #2 on: Feb 01, 2005, 10:37 am »
What do you do when a director won't give up the show.  We have gone through opening weekend.  I called a pickup rehearsal this Wednesday night for our Thursday night show.  The director is coming in to change blocking.  Is this normal?  He has not only been to every performance (which some directors do), but is still giving notes to me, tech and actors.  I have never experienced this.  It is hard to call a show with the director talking in your ear the whole time!

any comments??

VSM

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New Director
« Reply #3 on: Feb 01, 2005, 03:28 pm »
You are not alone.
I have experienced just exactly that a few times now.

The first was a World Premeire musical and the director was also the composer and co-playwright so we were in constant rehearsals and note sessions. He asked for my advice and opinion constantly though and that made the process a lot more fun.

The second was just recently and the director had such a specific image in his mind and was having such a good time coming back into the world of theatre directing that we had constant note sessions as well. Sometimes even during the actual running of the show! And when things would go wrong, as they invariabley do, having a director screaming at you while you are problem-solving and calling the show at the same time can be quite the experience !!!
Ordo ab chao

SM_Art

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« Reply #4 on: Feb 01, 2005, 05:26 pm »
I remember a show where the SM threw the director off the stage!  Literally, had him removed from the stage, because the director wouldn't let the SM do his job.  I don't recommend that... but I've been tempted!

Art

casper

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New Director
« Reply #5 on: Feb 01, 2005, 05:56 pm »
I have already asked him to sit in the house and not in the booth.  That was a necessity for me!!  It's getting to the actors as well bc they feel they can't settle into the role with him still changing things.  Oh well.....I don't know what else to do besides blow off steam in this forum!! thanks everyone!

loebtmc

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New Director
« Reply #6 on: Feb 03, 2005, 12:37 pm »
Getting a director out of the booth - now there's a trick!

I have had directors who have notes up to and including closing show, going backstage and telling the actors things before I could get back there (booth being way far from the backstage). I have had directors who go into the dressing rooms all the way to the 5 call and after a show had to forcibly remove one so the girls could get out of costume and change into their regular clothes. It's a touchy situation - on one show, the cast loved the director and loved having him there, in the mix, down to the wire and afterward, so getting him to leave the actors alone was delicate and difficult, and not always successful. On another, the director was a hyphenate - as in, writer-producer-actor-director and I had to find tasks to keep him away from the actors at intermission and post show while they changed.  

One theater brought the director back in to work w the u/s and replacements because they didn't understand that this was part of a SM's gig (incidentally, a part I love) - and had never had an SM who knew that or was capable. Fortunately, the director knew the drill and that I could do this, and he was gracious abt my presence and skills - we worked it out that I gave our replacement the blocking (she didn't know how to do her own....!!!) and he did 2 rehearsals with her, and I did the rest so there would be no question that when I gave her notes after shows,  they were valid.

Let's just say it can be a creative challenge....

lejenna

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New Director
« Reply #7 on: Feb 08, 2005, 02:24 am »
I've had experience with this both as a stage manager and as an actor.  As an actor I feel that the director is stepping on my toes and that they should have stepped into the role of an audience member when the show opened... But that was also because I wasn't really fond of that director.  As an SM I hate being under-utilized.  If you feel up to the challenge and feel that you're diplomatic skills are honed you can talk with your director.  I think an approach something along the lines of "I'm a professional, and I like to think of this situation / you the director as a professional also.  I was taught that when a show opens it is my responsibility as an SM to deliver your vision to the audience.  It makes me feel marginalized and unnecessary when you deliver notes to the cast, and I know that it makes them nervous about their performance.  I really value your input.  Would you write down any notes that you have after the perfomances and give them to me so that I can relay them to the cast when I deliver my notes to them?  That reinforces my position with the actors/performers and also makes me feel included in the team."  I think the key words are "gentle, firm, caring, professional"

Brandywine

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New Director
« Reply #8 on: Feb 15, 2005, 12:38 pm »
Getting a director out of the booth: the first time they come to the booth - I politely remind them that only booth crew, sm and td are allowed in booth. stating that it's for everyone's safety since there are many things with plugs which can be tripped over, bonked into etc. If the director or anyone needs me/has a question they can stand in the house and ask (For my usual theatre this is actually the closest spot to the booth) or ask over headset (As one is setup backstage and in the house during tech week).

I've only had one director come up to the booth a second time after my little talk. At which point, I went to the AD and told him that the director needed to be reminded of the theatre policies. After that "talking to" the director never set foot up there again. :-)

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