Author Topic: POLICIES: SM Listings on Press Releases  (Read 2355 times)

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MatthewShiner

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POLICIES: SM Listings on Press Releases
« on: Nov 05, 2011, 10:53 pm »
So, this is really just my vanity at play here.

As I continue to work on more high profile projects, I always cringe when a press release goes out with the full cast, the entire production staff, but leaves me out.  (So basically all the AEA actors are listed, just not me . . . or the entire artistic staff is mentioned, but not me . . . )

Part of me knows that I need to discuss this at contract negotiations, or be resolved it after the contract is issued . . .

Is this something I just need to get over?  Does anyone have any good ideas on how to press this point?

Edit to subject line-Rebbe
« Last Edit: Nov 18, 2011, 06:47 pm by Rebbe »
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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.

BeccaTheSM

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Re: PRESS RELEASES
« Reply #1 on: Nov 05, 2011, 11:53 pm »
I know we are working on different levels of production, but one thing I've noticed since joining Equity, which might have a correlation to your question.

I have found that producers/higher-ups/etc have some strange disconnect between the words "Equity" and "Stage Manager." They don't take into consideration the fact that an AEA SM isn't just there to make sure the rules are obeyed for the actors -- we have rights, too, and they are outlined in the same document. So when they send out press releases without your name, you have the right to make a bit of a stink about it. If you have the right to have your name on the title page in the program, you have the right to be in the press release.
Art, in itself, is an attempt to bring order out of chaos. - Stephen Sondheim

RuthNY

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Re: PRESS RELEASES
« Reply #2 on: Nov 06, 2011, 12:19 am »
I have often noticed that the press release that goes out, is sometimes not published in its entirety.  Are you sure the releases are going out without your name, or could it be that they are being edited at the other end?

So, this is really just my vanity at play here.

As I continue to work on more high profile projects, I always cringe when a press release goes out with the full cast, the entire production staff, but leaves me out.  (So basically all the AEA actors are listed, just not me . . . or the entire artistic staff is mentioned, but not me . . . )

Part of me knows that I need to discuss this at contract negotiations, or be resolved it after the contract is issued . . .

Is this something I just need to get over?  Does anyone have any good ideas on how to press this point?

Post Merge: Nov 06, 2011, 12:22 am
I don't know offhand of any AEA rulebook requiring the AEA SM to be included in press releases. Therefore, one certainly could make a stink if one wanted to rock that particular boat, but I don't see how one has the "right" to do so...

I know we are working on different levels of production, but one thing I've noticed since joining Equity, which might have a correlation to your question.

I have found that producers/higher-ups/etc have some strange disconnect between the words "Equity" and "Stage Manager." They don't take into consideration the fact that an AEA SM isn't just there to make sure the rules are obeyed for the actors -- we have rights, too, and they are outlined in the same document. So when they send out press releases without your name, you have the right to make a bit of a stink about it. If you have the right to have your name on the title page in the program, you have the right to be in the press release.
« Last Edit: Nov 06, 2011, 12:22 am by RuthNY »
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BeccaTheSM

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Re: PRESS RELEASES
« Reply #3 on: Nov 06, 2011, 01:00 am »
Okay, maybe I overused the word "right." I think you have the option to make a stink about it.

Also, RuthNY makes a great point that it may not be related to the staff specific to your production. Of course, if that is the case, it raises a larger issue -- why would the press find it not worthwhile to include the Stage Manager?  (How many characters can that take up, really?)
Art, in itself, is an attempt to bring order out of chaos. - Stephen Sondheim

nick_tochelli

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Re: PRESS RELEASES
« Reply #4 on: Nov 06, 2011, 01:31 am »
I've also always found it aggravating to exclude Stage Managers in press releases. My current production excluded me from press releases, but they did remember to put my name on the board with the AEA cast  (because there's a rule that says they had to :p)

Strictly speaking business, I'd bring it up in the initial contract negotiations. It's you getting your name out there just like all the actors and designers get the chance to. If they say no, what did it really hurt? You already have the job, and if you bring it up as "this is a good way for me to help sell myself in the future" I don't think many companies would begrudge you.

I understand why they do it. SM's don't sell tickets. Marquee actors, designers and directors do. So why would the lil' ol' stage manager need to be in our press release? But the other edge of this sword means it's really nice when you see a press release/kick ass NY Times review and your name is listed as the stage manager.

As for ways to broach the subject beyond negotiations in the beginning....I really have no idea. I've never actually took a stand to be included in publicity. I always took the "go with the flow" mentality.
« Last Edit: Nov 06, 2011, 01:33 am by nick_tochelli »

MatthewShiner

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Re: PRESS RELEASES
« Reply #5 on: Nov 06, 2011, 08:05 am »
Ruth - I do know it's up to the publisher to include the SM or not - regardless of what's in the press release.  In DC, we made it the rule to include the SM in the press release.  In DC, not paper would publish it - but on Playbill.com and in NYT, they would.  And often at the "Blah Blah Blah" casts their new production of "This or That" article.

I think it is going to be something to include in my next contract discussion.  Something along the lines that if any press release included the full cast and members of the design team, that my name and title be included. 

I do know a SM who is more agressive, that he be included on ANY printed material in which the design team is included - posters, handbills, etc . .  .I am not quite that VAIN. 

I have spoken to my current production manager - they are a cast team - and we are going to touch base. 
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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.

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planetmike

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Re: PRESS RELEASES
« Reply #6 on: Nov 06, 2011, 11:08 pm »
I have no idea how the politics of this type thing work in the real world at the equity level. But of all the community theater shows I've worked, my all-time favorite one is coincidentally the one where I was mentioned on the nice full-color over-sized poster. I'd work for that director or producer again; and probably for the theater as well.

NomieRae

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Re: PRESS RELEASES
« Reply #7 on: Nov 07, 2011, 01:48 pm »
I've definitely gone back and forth with producers with including my name on press releases - sometimes I am successful and sometimes it falls to the wayside. My higher profile gigs were much more understanding and willing to oblige than the others.

Conversely - I've been a part of some projects where I've been GLAD they didn't list me anywhere as I was less than thrilled with how the project turned out and didn't want to be associated with it.

--Naomi
"First, I honor life, and with it my life in theatre." -- Jacques Burdick

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