Author Topic: PEOPLE: training assistant  (Read 4250 times)

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groovygert

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PEOPLE: training assistant
« on: Oct 05, 2005, 01:23 am »
i recently started a show in which i was given an assistant to help train in stage management. any suggections? a lot of how i'm working with her is left down to me.
« Last Edit: Jun 08, 2009, 10:49 pm by PSMKay »

Tashi

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training assistant
« Reply #1 on: Oct 06, 2005, 11:18 am »
How much does she already know?

A couple shows ago I did something very similar only the girl was doing her internship with me. Because we rehearsed away from the main building she did a lot of photocopies, errand running to get something from the props store, that kind of thing. It just freed up my time to actually watch the rehearsals instead of running around like a headless chicken while trying to write blocking for a complicated scene.
-- Tash

groovygert

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« Reply #2 on: Oct 07, 2005, 01:38 am »
she has not experience in such..... which doesn't seem to matter much anyways b/c as of today she asked the director that she not be included as asm. and to keep a constant cycle of an asm in training, i'm seeking a new one.

isha

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« Reply #3 on: Oct 07, 2005, 01:43 am »
tashi's method will work if the point of having her is to free YOU up, but if you're actually training her for actually Stage management that wouldn't be the best way to do it. Try delegating some actual responsibilities, or have her shadow everything you do. It might get annoying, but if she's observant and a good learner that will help her learn more than doing your busy work would.  I know because I do a lot of SM gopher jobs (at the college in my town), and I learn the most when the SM lets me shadow what she/he is doing.  When the SM has the time she/he explains what and why they are doing certain things certain ways, and we usually have a time when I can ask questions etc. ...but that might be my learning style, and shadowing doesn't always work for everybody...you could always ask her how she learns best, and try to cater to that. visual, audio, "big-picture", detail-based etc.
~isha

jenk

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« Reply #4 on: Oct 07, 2005, 08:48 pm »
When I'm training a new ASM, I like to assign a specific area to her/him for rehearsals, so they feel like they have some ownership without getting overwhelmed. I usually assign costumes, props, or shift choreography, and explain or give a checklist for whatever area I've assigned. I check in with the ASM at every break to see how they're getting along, and if they're bored, I step up my expectations in terms of paperwork or perfection, and if they're overwhelmed, help them to prioritize and organize. By the time we get to tech, the ASM feels like they at least know all of something, which can mean a lot when you're new to the job. A day or two before tech, I sit down with the ASM and go through the entire show from preset to post-show scene by scene and make sure we both know exactly what needs to be done, and which of us is doing what. Then it's a matter of constantly communicating with the ASM during tech, letting him/her know exactly what you expect and where you expect them to be when, and that they can call you at any point if they are unsure. One thing that is extremely important when training a new ASM is that you must present to the cast and crew a united front, that you and the ASM are a team, and that the ASM has your complete trust and confidence. The new ASM will not necessarily be able yet to command respect from the cast, and will appreciate and (hopefully) live up to your vote. If anything goes wrong, DO NOT reprimand the ASM in front of cast and crew. Deal with them diplomatically and privately, as you are a team. They will appreciate this as well, and will repect you the more for it.
Good luck!

groovygert

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« Reply #5 on: Nov 15, 2005, 01:18 am »
now if i could only train my asm to balance personal relations within the cast/crew with getting the show to go on... ack! i've done it before, its part of making theater sucha  huge part of your life...

Mac Calder

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training assistant
« Reply #6 on: Nov 15, 2005, 03:46 am »
PERSONALLY - An ASM is not a person in training. Sure, an ASM may WANT to become a SM, but they should not be treated as an SM in training. That is an INTERN.

An ASM - TYPICALLY - is a back stage hand, in charge of props, finds working props, attends to the photocopying if you dont have time and may often be required to complete part (or all) of the backstage pre-show checklist.

If I have an ASM who comes to me as "In Training", I complain (LOUDLY) to management.

In a full length, moderatly sized, show, an ASM who needs their hand held, even part of the time, is a waste of space. I dont mind an intern, hell I love having an intern (not only are they great gophers, they are also genuinly interested in what you teach them, and they catch things you may miss... I love interns), but if the show requires an ASM, an intern will NOT replace them. An intern you have to spend time going back over everything they do independantly until you are sure you are right - the same with anyone in training. ASM's however, you should be able to give them a list of working props required by next week and in a week later find a box on your desk, or you should be able to hand them a backstage checklist and find it completed every night to perfection. That is an ASM. An ASSITANT, NOT a STUDENT.

Some places may not call them intern SM's (I do though), but they should most definately NOT be called an ASM.

groovygert

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« Reply #7 on: Nov 15, 2005, 04:15 am »
my current asm is listed as to be in training... she is suppossed to be doubling as backstage hand as well as sm in training... the concept of learning and training seemed to cause a snag with her... (among other things)

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