Author Topic: PROGRAMS: ASMs left out  (Read 2353 times)

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bex

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PROGRAMS: ASMs left out
« on: Sep 22, 2013, 10:28 am »
I read the program for my current show for the first time yesterday, after 2 weeks of performances, and realized that I am not in it. This is the 2nd show in a row (two different theaters) that I have ASMed and not been listed in the program at all. The first time it happened, I noticed it during the invited dress and the company was very apologetic & had put up a placard in the lobby by the next day. On the current show, since I JUST looked at the program, I have emailed the powers that be and am curious to see what their response is since we're 2 weeks through a 3 week run... (I'm not AEA, so no contract violation.)

This would be easily preventable by sending a copy of the entire program to stage management to proof instead of just the bio pages, but I can't recall that ever actually happening. All we get is the bios and I just have to assume that whoever in the marketing department is in charge of the programs a- knows that an ASM exists at all and b- knows my name, which apparently is a bad assumption to make.

I talked to another ASM in the area who said she has been left out of the program for the last 3 shows she's worked on. Is this a growing trend? How am I supposed to prevent this from happening again if the theaters don't send the whole program to the SM for proofing? I feel like as a non-AEA independent contractor ASM, I am low enough on the totem pole that a request to proof the staff page of the program wouldn't go over very well, but I don't know any other way to make sure that I don't get left out again.
You will have to sing for your supper & your mortgage, your dental coverage & your children's shoes, over & over again while people in desk jobs roll their eyes the minute you start to complain. So it's a good thing you like to sing.

MatthewShiner

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Re: PROGRAMS: ASMs left out
« Reply #1 on: Sep 22, 2013, 01:43 pm »
Does the company normally put non-aea ASMs in the program?

I always do this fight with press releases . . . and loose at the AEA level - some companies have odd rules.

You can always ask the PSM to request a print out of the full program, and then look over it.

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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.

bex

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Re: PROGRAMS: ASMs left out
« Reply #2 on: Sep 22, 2013, 03:23 pm »
Matthew: I did another show with them and was listed on the staff page along with the board ops & carps, etc. With this company, I am the only ASM, they don't use AEA ASMs or have PAs or interns.

I just got an email from the higher ups. Apparently they made an administrative decision to only include full-time staff in that section of the program, which means the ASM just doesn't get listed at all.

Matthew's response has me curious now- is it common for the ASM to not be listed at all? Have I just been lucky in the past with the companies I've worked for?
You will have to sing for your supper & your mortgage, your dental coverage & your children's shoes, over & over again while people in desk jobs roll their eyes the minute you start to complain. So it's a good thing you like to sing.

BayAreaSM

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Re: PROGRAMS: ASMs left out
« Reply #3 on: Sep 22, 2013, 04:34 pm »
Any company that I have worked for has always listed the ASM and PA, regarding of the ASM being union or not. The PSM and ASM used to get title page credit at one company I worked for, but management decided to bump them back to the admin page recently. At least they were listed and not removed completely.

I do think it is important for those that physically work on a show to receive credit, somewhere in the program - even if it is with the staff on the 2nd to last page. As long as names/job titles are known before the program goes to print, there isn't any reason not to credit the people working on the show.

A question: do they have Assistant Directors on their shows? If so, are they listed in the program?

MatthewShiner

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Re: PROGRAMS: ASMs left out
« Reply #4 on: Sep 22, 2013, 06:09 pm »
Sometimes a program just can't list everyone who works on the show.  And if they did, it would add pages.

I have worked with companies where we were allowed X amount of pages to be inserted into a playbill style program.  Anything more then that cost extra, so, some people didn't make the cut. 

If it wasn't for my union status, I would not expect to be listed in programs.  (For example, for one-offs and fundraisers, I would be floor if I was include in anything printed). 

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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.

Bwoodbury

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Re: PROGRAMS: ASMs left out
« Reply #5 on: Sep 24, 2013, 11:34 pm »
I agree that anyone that has physically worked on the show should get credit. The ASM credit in a program- AEA or no- is an important marketing material. No one has ever been less than apologetic about leaving me out and I have also always had a relationship with either the PM or SM where I could ask about it in advance. It's easy for an SM to ask that question because it's no skin off their back if the answer is no.

hbelden

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Re: PROGRAMS: ASMs left out
« Reply #6 on: Sep 26, 2013, 07:40 pm »
The only way to make sure that you get something- anything from program credit to weekly pay - is to negotiate it in your contract.  If the theatre doesn't have to give you something for your work, you can't make them.  AEA requires that its members be given credit in materials presented to the audience.  Non-union, it's basically up to them. 

Philosophically, I agree that all of the people who contributed to a performance should be credited.  I've worked at several places, on the small side, that didn't credit run-crew, board ops, or ASMs.  Don't assume anything is an industry standard, or even if it is, that your particular theatre is aware of that standard.

If you forget to negotiate something important to you before you sign the contract, you can always ask politely if the theatre will give it to you anyway.  If it's just an oversight, they'll likely comply - if they have time to do so.  But if they say no - maybe the print deadlines are just too early - you just need to chalk it up to a learning experience and do the job that you're paid for.

Proactively, one thing stage managers could do to help everyone get recognized in the program is to include the publications department when the show's contact list is distributed.
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