Poll

Does any know the blocking notations for Yale Shorthand?

DO you know the Yale method of Blocking
1 (3.1%)
What is the Yale method of shorthand notation?
31 (96.9%)

Total Members Voted: 30

Author Topic: PROMPT BOOK: YAle Short Hand  (Read 10261 times)

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Show Control

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PROMPT BOOK: YAle Short Hand
« on: Mar 25, 2007, 01:48 am »
Hello Everyone,

This is Will I am a SM in Sunny San Diego Cali. This will be my first post how ever this site has provided me with vast amount's of information. It is great to have a place we SM's can come to gether to help each other out. Ok enough yaky yak I am about to start a new show on Tuesday ad the directors uses the Yale form of shorthand. I have heard of this method however I can not find any information on it via the web. Does any one know of a site or have a doc with the symbols? It would be greatly appreciated.....thanks
« Last Edit: Jun 09, 2009, 01:14 am by PSMKay »

Mac Calder

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Re: YAle Short Hand
« Reply #1 on: Mar 25, 2007, 02:50 am »
I was under the impression that the two main forms of shorthand were the Gregg and Teeline (with Pitmans for the "old schoolers").

That said, it is doubtfull that a director would give you notes in shorthand. Shorthand is a dieing skill - even journalists tend to shy away from it due to the ease of access to personal tape recorders.

Show Control

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Re: YAle Short Hand
« Reply #2 on: Mar 25, 2007, 04:57 am »
Maybe shorthand is the worng term....the director says its a type of SM blocking notes called Yale Style???

Mac Calder

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Re: YAle Short Hand
« Reply #3 on: Mar 25, 2007, 09:33 am »
Never heard of any specific blocking notation.

Most common seems to just be using abreviations, a bit like so:

W1 -> DSL T1

(Woman 1, crosses to Down Stage Left of Table 1 - W1 and T1 are defined elsewhere (table in the floor plan and the woman in  the cast list))

also often writen as

W1 X DSL T1

hbelden

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Re: YAle Short Hand
« Reply #4 on: Mar 25, 2007, 11:30 am »
Every SM I have ever met has created or modified their own blocking.  When I need to understand someone else's (for instance, when I'm taking over a show), I have them read aloud a page or two of their blocking to me while I follow the notation.  That's all I need, since blocking is the same no matter what notation you use.  Make a key for yourself, like the legend on a map: a page that reads "x" means cross, "this symbol" means sit down, "this symbol" means chair, etc.  Don't feel that you "should" know what the Yale method is (since you didn't go to Yale), just ask your director for five minutes to read a couple of pages to you.

Has anyone else uploaded .pdf's of blocking examples?  Does anyone else do blocking keys regularly?
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kjdiehl

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Re: YAle Short Hand
« Reply #5 on: Mar 25, 2007, 01:30 pm »
Damn Yaleys. >:(  No offense to any of ya out there, (by best bud is a TD&P grad from there,) but they do tend to have a reputation for thinking that the "Yale Way" of doing things is so vastly superior and unique to everything else out there. Blocking Notation is Blocking Notation and every individual stage manager does it differently and THEIR own way- not the directors. If this director actually felt it necessary to point out to you that his method of blocking notation was specifically Yale's, then you might be in for a bit of ego trouble on this show. It seems outrageous to me even to imagine that every stage manager from Yale takes blocking the exact same way anyway. Any SM worth their salt knows there's no "right" way to do things and modifies their methods from show to show, especially blocking notation. Calling it the Yale Way of Blocking Notation sounds as silly to me as the Yale Way of Holding a Pencil.

And the director damn sure better not be expecting you to change how you take blocking to suit him. There is very little occasion for a director to need to reference an SM's blocking; the blocking is there first and foremost for the stage manager, so it should be taken in the method that best suits YOU.
-Kris Diehl, AEA SM

"Somewhere in the city there's a stage manager waiting,
standing in the shadows with a clipboard in hand..."

KMC

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Re: YAle Short Hand
« Reply #6 on: Mar 25, 2007, 02:30 pm »
Any SM worth their salt knows there's no "right" way to do things and modifies their methods from show to show, especially blocking notation.

Couldn't agree with you more KJ.  At the end of the day your job is to communicate effectively and ensure all parties have the information they need.  If the "format" you choose does that and people can understand it, then great.  And as you said, there's no "correct" way to take blocking.  All of us are thieves, we steal things we like from each other to make our own methods better.  And that's the best way to improve your own performance.
« Last Edit: Mar 25, 2007, 03:28 pm by kmc307 »
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smsam

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Re: YAle Short Hand
« Reply #7 on: Mar 25, 2007, 03:47 pm »
I made a VERY simple blocking notation key for one of my new assistants a while ago, here it is!

Sam x
Sam x

LiLz

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Re: YAle Short Hand
« Reply #8 on: Mar 25, 2007, 11:18 pm »
Hi. 

If you'll go to this link and page down you'll find what you're looking for:
http://www.perfectionlearning.com/bdp/bdp.binder.pdf
It will help you a ton while taking blocking notes.  I incorporated it into my regular notetaking shorthand and use it all the time.

Lilz

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Re: YAle Short Hand
« Reply #9 on: Mar 25, 2007, 11:48 pm »
Quote
Does anyone else do blocking keys regularly?

I do -- to me it's part of the H-BAB.  (hit by a bus)  At the beginning of the process, I make a code of the blocking symbols I use, and how characters/actors are referred to in my notation. 

At the end of tech before we go into previews/performances, i make a key for my post-it note Qs (yellow=light cues, blue=actor cues, etc.).

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!

jspeaker

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Re: YAle Short Hand
« Reply #10 on: Mar 26, 2007, 12:18 am »

Quote
Does anyone else do blocking keys regularly?

I usually take one of my minis and label it with the abbreviations I will use for the set (I typically number/letter entrances, door, wagons, whatever) and then fill in the rest with my typical symbols and abbreviations.

In my calling book I use letters as well as colors so my call book shouldn't need a key.

(I love H-BAB...  I have always referred to it as "The Bus Theory" with my students")
Jess W. Speaker, III
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MileHighSM

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Re: YAle Short Hand
« Reply #11 on: Mar 26, 2007, 11:18 am »
Yeah, those freakin' Yale-ies!  I too have a friend that went through their certificate program, and Yale folks definitely have a "my way or the highway" attitude about a lot of things.  I agree with what everyone's said.  Blocking method, like several other SM things, is very personal.  You have to develop what works best for you.  For example, I know a lot of people use minis.  Those don't do me a lick of good.  I write every thing out in my own little language, and it suits me just fine.  You'll find what works best for you.

hbelden

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Re: YAle Short Hand
« Reply #12 on: Mar 26, 2007, 11:52 am »
Let's not get into a Yale-bashing thread, huh?  After all, there's no reason to think that Show Control's director actually was referring to a Yale-standard blocking system.  With the lack of any other information, I would assume that the director saw a Broadway-experience-based application of blocking that happened to be used at Yale. 

I personally would love it if one of my grad-school directors took one of my prompt books or blocking keys and handed it to someone as the "UCSD blocking method", but my classmates would be laughing pretty hard about that...

UCSD feds vs. Yale mafia - woohoo! ;)
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Re: YAle Short Hand
« Reply #13 on: Mar 26, 2007, 01:17 pm »
Thanks for the link - in fact, a lot of those are shorthand I use (some w variations, for example my kneel and rise are reverses of the Kneel sign) - and I was gifted/stole some great shorthand from Annie at the Pasadena Playhouse. I love signs that take one stroke....


ljh007

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Re: YAle Short Hand
« Reply #14 on: Mar 26, 2007, 01:48 pm »
For the record, I always have a blocking key in my book - my nod to HBAB.
But I've always made up my own shorthand, even though my notations seem pretty close to what I've seen others do.

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