Author Topic: PROFESSIONALISM: thoughts on hanging out with the cast after shows  (Read 9110 times)

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beningini

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What are your thoughts on the SM hanging out with actors at night after shows - we have really small casts (5 or 6), so it's like a family - but if I hang out with them does that negate my authority or position?
« Last Edit: Jun 09, 2009, 01:24 am by PSMKay »
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KMC

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Re: thoughts on hanging out with the cast after shows
« Reply #1 on: Jul 25, 2007, 06:06 pm »
I think as long as it's a clear social environment, i.e. at a bar or restaurant, and you keep a clear distinction between you as a stage manager and you as a friend then you'll be okay.  Don't talk about work when you're out, the line has to be as clear as night and day.

Having been a Stage & Production Manager with a department of 60 people onboard a ship it's literally impossible not to find yourself in a social situation as you're living and working with the same people 24/7.  I found this situation to be a good balance between work and play.  But remember, you are still their boss, so make sure you're not doing things to lose their respect. 

Others will be of the opinion that you should never hang out with your cast.  I find that to be nonsense personally  :)
Get action. Do things; be sane; don’t fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action. -T. Roosevelt

stagebear

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Re: thoughts on hanging out with the cast after shows
« Reply #2 on: Jul 25, 2007, 07:08 pm »
remember: a social drink with a cast is one thing, getting druink is another. know the line. also, if they're going too far, it's best to remove yourself from the situation.

i personally think it's fine to go out and be social with your cast, as long as you know your boundaries.

Mac Calder

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Re: thoughts on hanging out with the cast after shows
« Reply #3 on: Jul 25, 2007, 08:27 pm »
Rules to live your life by:

1. Never drink at work
2. When drinking, never talk about work.

If you are going out - then make sure that it is not seen to be 'favouring' part of the cast. IE: If there is a certain group that goes out after rehearsals/shows every day, and you ALWAYS join them, it may impene on your integrity.

I would suggest that instead of going out to drink, see if you can find an all night coffee shop (preferably not a 'starbucks' type place, but a propper coffee shop) - the all nighters are (in my experiance) often licensed. It puts everyone in an environment where they can have a few drinks but where getting drunk is clearly unacceptable. There is also less preassure on the non-drinkers to feel like they will HAVE to drink if they go out with you.

StageMgr2Stars

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Re: thoughts on hanging out with the cast after shows
« Reply #4 on: Jul 25, 2007, 08:34 pm »
I don't see anything wrong with it. Just remember that you have to work with them the next day.
-C-

BWEEVEED

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Re: thoughts on hanging out with the cast after shows
« Reply #5 on: Jul 25, 2007, 10:30 pm »
Agreed. Considering I'm in a high school situation it's quite a bit different but typically after rehearsals or a really difficult show/run through we'll try and meet somewhere be it a park, a restaurant, someone's house, etc. Just make sure you keep the line very super clear, like everyone else has said.  ;D
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ChaCha

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Re: thoughts on hanging out with the cast after shows
« Reply #6 on: Jul 26, 2007, 09:40 am »
my question is not is it OK to hang out with the cast but do you WANT to hang out with the cast? I've spent plenty of excellent social time with cast members but almost invariably someone at some point asks me work related questions (what time is my call tomorrow? is a classic) or wants to tell me things (Oh, i meant to tell you that when the director and I were talking in the break we agreed that my costume should should have an extra pocket and that I'll need a different notebook so it will fit in the pocket at the end of scene 2, etc) . It puts me off teh whole socialising with cast thing.
ChaCha

Jessie_K

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Re: thoughts on hanging out with the cast after shows
« Reply #7 on: Jul 26, 2007, 11:00 am »
I think it is just like any other work situation.  Going out occasionally is not bad.  On some occasions it is even a really good thing to decompress together.  Keep work talk to a minimum, keep lewdness to a minimum and everything is fine.

But I cannot imagine being on tour and NEVER sharing a meal or drinks with my cast.  Or developing friendships with certain cast members.  I have also never had a problem with cast members trying to use/ abuse the fact that I have hung out with them.  I make it very clear that work is work and fun is fun.

centaura

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Re: thoughts on hanging out with the cast after shows
« Reply #8 on: Jul 26, 2007, 11:52 am »
It depends on the cast.  I had a really bad cast on tour once, that divided itself in half, and if one half even thought I was going to sit near the other half, they screamed "Favoritism!".  I ended up going off on my own to eat, etc.  Other than that, I would typically join the casts for meals, but not for the drinking after meals.  That was on tour, when we were stuck with only each other for company. 

Its a hard line to deal with, and a lot depends on your personality.  If you enjoy getting drunk when you go out, then I'd say you should avoid going out with your cast.  If its just a small group, going out once in a while to be social should be okay, but I wouldn't go every single night, and I wouldn't stay to the end of the night.  It can make it hard later if for some reason you have to discipline one of them if they think you're just one of them.

-Centaura

Joshua S.

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Re: thoughts on hanging out with the cast after shows
« Reply #9 on: Jul 26, 2007, 12:39 pm »
Here's my thoughts....  The people I like to socialize with outside of work are theatre people.  The four people I currently live with are all staff members at the same theatre I work at.  If I don't socialize with my cast, crew, and co-workers, then frankly I would never socialize with anyone it seems.

I see nothing wrong with socializing with my cast.  Frankly I've even gotten pretty drunk with them before.  I know to keep my mouth shut about any sensitive information that they shouldn't know when I'm out with them, so I think it's fine.  I personally think it creates a stronger bond between us and they are more likely to cooperate with me in rehearsal.

KMC

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Re: thoughts on hanging out with the cast after shows
« Reply #10 on: Jul 26, 2007, 03:14 pm »
Here's my thoughts....  The people I like to socialize with outside of work are theatre people.  The four people I currently live with are all staff members at the same theatre I work at.  If I don't socialize with my cast, crew, and co-workers, then frankly I would never socialize with anyone it seems.

I see nothing wrong with socializing with my cast.  Frankly I've even gotten pretty drunk with them before.  I know to keep my mouth shut about any sensitive information that they shouldn't know when I'm out with them, so I think it's fine.  I personally think it creates a stronger bond between us and they are more likely to cooperate with me in rehearsal.

The college environment is completely different from a professional environment in this way.  In college it's usually acceptable to get crocked with your cast, and is often encouraged and at times almost expected.  It's different in the professional world.  I'd recommend not going overboard in front of your cast if you expect them to come to work the next day and take you seriously.
Get action. Do things; be sane; don’t fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action. -T. Roosevelt

McShell

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Re: thoughts on hanging out with the cast after shows
« Reply #11 on: Jul 26, 2007, 03:21 pm »
When I do seasons somewhere I usually end up hanging out with the staff mostly, because we see each other all the time and get to know each other, show after show, and sometimes actors come and sometimes not.  But, it's not a nightly thing. I don't drink to get drunk, ever, I might have a beer if someone's buying.  If someone gets drunk in front of me, it's not a topic of conversation the next day.  When we're at work, it's work.  I never really thought about it this much.

centaura

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Re: thoughts on hanging out with the cast after shows
« Reply #12 on: Jul 26, 2007, 04:56 pm »
Quote
I never really thought about it this much.

A lot depends on your situation, and the folks who you're working with.  The college example is a good one - the more time that person spends socializing with his casts, the higher his standing with them probably is, due to the nature of the college environment.      Once out into the professional world, there's a whole range of 'acceptable' behaviors, even within the same company.  I had tours where I could hang out with the cast on off days, and come back the next work day with a perfectly functioning working relationship.  Same company, different cast - I could get accused of showing favoritism just because I wanted a steak and went with the cast members who were going to the steak place, even if I ate with the vegetarians the day before.

Its definitely one of those topics where there isn't one right answer, or code of behavior, and the answers are going to run up and down the scale.  I personally like being in those situations where I feel free to socialize with the actors, but have had enough of the ones where I can't to have learned to deal with the loneliness.

-Centaura

MatthewShiner

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Re: thoughts on hanging out with the cast after shows
« Reply #13 on: Jul 26, 2007, 06:40 pm »
A lot depends on your management style . . . can you go out drinking and have fun with the cast, and then get same amount of respect the next day?

I found it very difficult early in my career to draw the line from the fun-loving, hanging out version of myself and the more management, at work version of myself.  So, I did not choose to hang out with the casts.  I have my family, my own friends, etc, etc.  And to be honest, after 60 hours of working in a week, the last thing I want to do is spend MORE time with people I have worked with.  I actually find it better to go home, hang out with my partner and the dogs and just relax.

I do make it effort to go out opening, closing or for special events, but no just the "hey, we are going to the bar." type of invites.

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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.

sourc3

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Re: thoughts on hanging out with the cast after shows
« Reply #14 on: Aug 02, 2007, 12:58 am »
I think it's totally cool to chill with the cast/crew. I too am in a college environment, but I find it quite easy to demand respect from the same people I went out drinking with last night when I am in a SM role above them. Definitely ok to do, as long as you don't start playing favorites with the actors/crew you hang out with on a regular basis.
-David

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