Author Topic: PEOPLE: Scary Directors  (Read 6244 times)

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prizm

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PEOPLE: Scary Directors
« on: Aug 11, 2005, 06:26 am »
Well I am curently working on my MFAand am serving as a PA (ASM to anyone but the Union) for a large Regional Theatre. I am having a blast and working harder than ever in my life. But that is not my question. I have just been giving my assingments for next season and one of them could hypothetically be working as ASM.. oh i mean PA for a show directed by Anne Bogart. Now I have studied her work in several classes and while it seems like its going to be a great oppertunity, her concepts on managment and tech scare me. I dont know if I could ever live up to those kind of standards. Does anyone know how she is for real ?
« Last Edit: Jun 08, 2009, 10:31 pm by PSMKay »

ORTaurean

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« Reply #1 on: Aug 11, 2005, 05:04 pm »
I od not know "How she is" but wou;dn't her name look great on your new, fresh resume?
Acting is standing up naked and turning around very slowly.
-Rosiland Russell

prizm

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« Reply #2 on: Aug 11, 2005, 05:16 pm »
well that is what I am guessing, I just over analyze situations. I was just wondering if anyone here had worked with her and could give me some idea if it really is as demanding as it sounds in all the books I read

Mac Calder

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Scary Directors
« Reply #3 on: Aug 11, 2005, 10:54 pm »
You will find out when you talk to her. If you have read her stuff, you know what she expects - so try and one up it. If you try, and put a lot of effort into your work, one can almost guarantee she cannot complain.

If she is not as strict as you have assumed, then great, you will have impressed her. If she is, then you will meet her standards.

ASM's are a tricky breed. Their roles are not as well defined as an SM's. Finding a good ASM is really difficult. I have never done it, and I never want to do it. I like being an SM.

nmno

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Scary Directors
« Reply #4 on: Aug 12, 2005, 12:45 pm »
I have worked with Anne on a SITI Co show as a non-Eq ASM and found it to be a fabulous experience.  (she and her company came to my theatre to create a new piece). I never studied Viewpoints in college and only knew the definition of Suzuki method so I didn't really have any expectations going into it.  It was really interesting to watch her manage the actors in rehearsal - a very different style...
She was very nice, very approachable - she knew that people would be interested in watching rehearsals, or at least the first 15 min where the company did their viewpoints and suzuki training, and opened the doors to pretty much anyone interested as long as they were quiet, respectful (a no-brainer).  Tech seemed like tech - there were a million LQs but that was more the LD...
Again, this was all with her SITI Co so perhaps she was more relaxed in that situation but I didn't have any problem.  Just work hard as I'm sure you would for any director :)
And yes, it will be a great resume point.  I know it helped get me a pretty big gig elsewhere.

prizm

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Scary Directors
« Reply #5 on: Aug 12, 2005, 12:50 pm »
thanks, she is bringing her SITI Co so im a lot more hopeful! I am glad to hear she is on the understanding side.

hbelden

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approach with confidence
« Reply #6 on: Aug 12, 2005, 01:35 pm »
I've not had the privilege of working with Anne Bogart, but I did see her at a master class, and I've worked with other people who have branched out from the SITI company.  They're all idealists in the best sense of the world.

I have worked with several directors that I had been warned about beforehand; the producer who hired me said "He's a real bear" or I hear from a friend that "she's impossible to work with."

In all these cases, my personal experience with these directors was that they expected excellence; they got their reputation by impatience with mediocrity.  When I did my job to the best of my ability, and responded to their requests in a timely manner, we got along famously.  I also made an effort to cover the director's back with the other areas; if the director wasn't happy with props, I'd spend extra time the next day building my relationship with the propsmaster and articulating in an actionable and respectful way the notes that needed to be done; notes that some directors lack the tact to communicate.  When I saw a problem on the horizon, I'd try to give a heads-up to the department it concerned so that they didn't feel broadsided by a director blow-up.  When the director started second-guessing a design choice that would have meant a huge re-design at the eleventh hour, I was part of a group that re-affirmed the original design choice, because it was frickin' awesome, not because changing it would have meant a lot of work.

I worked hard at understanding what the director wanted, even when their way of working was alien to me.  I went through the thought process of an asst. director - even though I never did anything that an AD would do, it helped me to foresee what problems would arise.  My motto is always "Give them what they need AS WELL AS what they ask for."

I was scared, sure - but I never let it show.  Directors and actors maybe aren't prevented from bringing their emotional baggage to rehearsal, but the SM has to be even-tempered, especially if they're being attacked or are under pressure.

I prepared as much as I could.  For one of these shows, I even took my prompt book home and practiced a tough cueing sequence BEFORE we went into tech.  I've never done that before, or since.  But it saved my bacon during that tech...

So, to sum up, Scary Directors - respond with preparation, relationship-building, confidence, and above all, calmness.
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Heath Belden

"I'm not good, I'm not nice, I'm just right." - Sondheim
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VSM

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Who?
« Reply #7 on: Aug 13, 2005, 01:26 pm »
Hey Gang ~

I am unfamiliar with Ann Bogart and her SITI Company.
Would someone fill me in?

Thanks,
Ordo ab chao

nmno

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« Reply #8 on: Aug 17, 2005, 03:03 pm »
Again, I never studied Viewpoints or Suzuki in college and these definitions come mostly from observation...  You can also check out the SITI website at www.siti.org

Suzuki is a method created by Tadashi Suzuki.  It consists of very physical excerises that basically are meant to throw your body off center so that you strengthen your core and are better able to use your body as an instrument in your acting.

Viewpoints was created by Anne Bogart and derives from modern dance.  It consists of exercises that make you focus on working as an ensemble, creating pictures with levels and body positions.  It was a very interesting exercise to watch - it looked very choreographed but was physically improvised (they'd use text from the show).  Not really sure how to describe it.

SITI (Saratoga International Theatre Institute) was created but Bogart with the advisement of Tadashi Suzuki.  They teach classes in Suzuki and viewpoints and their company creates theatre pieces which tour around the country.

There are books on both subjects out there.

kjdiehl

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« Reply #9 on: Aug 17, 2005, 11:29 pm »
I've met Anne and her SM, Elizabeth, and am great friends and colleagues with several SITI Co members. As nmno said, they are all awesome, kind, genius, wonderful people. Yeah, they expect excellence and have no patience for incompetence, but as long as you work hard and kick ass, you'll have a great time.

Which project are you doing, where, when? I keep pretty close tabs on SITI Co and I'll be interested to hear how it goes.
-Kris Diehl, AEA SM

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standing in the shadows with a clipboard in hand..."

smejs

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Scary Directors
« Reply #10 on: Aug 18, 2005, 09:19 am »
I've never worked with Anne, but did see an awesome production of Hay Fever that she directed in Louisville.  And no, I never thought I'd put "awesome" in the same sentence as Hay Fever!  My friend and I didn't leave during the intermissions as we were fascinated that every single part/hand movement of the shift was choreographed to music (and executed by acting interns).

If she's still working with the set designer that I think she used to, though, I'll give you one caveat....every show I did with him (Anne was not involved), he neglected to think about how the actors get from the dressing room to the stage...we had to add masking flats both times!

Erin

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Explanation
« Reply #11 on: Aug 18, 2005, 12:44 pm »
Thanks so much for the info - sounds fascinating!
Ordo ab chao

prizm

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Scary Directors
« Reply #12 on: Aug 18, 2005, 05:01 pm »
Well the show with Anne isnt confimed, budget/ board stage, so I will let you know when it is for sure.

lsu_kat

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Re: Scary Directors
« Reply #13 on: Oct 04, 2005, 02:47 am »
Quote from: "prizm"
Well I am curently working on my MFAand am serving as a PA (ASM to anyone but the Union) for a large Regional Theatre. I am having a blast and working harder than ever in my life. But that is not my question. I have just been giving my assingments for next season and one of them could hypothetically be working as ASM.. oh i mean PA for a show directed by Anne Bogart. Now I have studied her work in several classes and while it seems like its going to be a great oppertunity, her concepts on managment and tech scare me. I dont know if I could ever live up to those kind of standards. Does anyone know how she is for real ?


I haven't worked with her, but I have worked with SITI before.  They are very interesting, to say the least.  Actually, one of the members of the company teaches at my school, so they came and did a show last year.  I wasn't able to work on it.  But my friend filled me in on ALL of it.  They have a very different view of the process.

BalletPSM

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« Reply #14 on: Oct 08, 2005, 04:45 pm »
You have the opportunity to work with Anne Bogart?  DO IT.  I do not know her and have never worked with her but I have read her books and we studied her techniques in college -- she sounds fascinating and truly creative.
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!

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