Author Topic: PROPS: Props Question.... (costume or prop?)  (Read 13614 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Keviken03

  • Tourist
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
PROPS: Props Question.... (costume or prop?)
« on: Dec 29, 2007, 11:23 pm »
Let me tell you my situation.....

I had a note in my rehearsal report for props saying we needed a bag for a character that he carries and a purse that another character needs to put coins (props) in.  

I got a response saying that it was the costume designers job to get the purse and bag?

Was he right?  Or are the purse and bag a prop?

Thank you all SO much.  You've been helpful in my journey!!
« Last Edit: Jun 09, 2009, 01:35 am by PSMKay »

ReyYaySM

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 360
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA
  • Current Gig: Freelance
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Props Question....
« Reply #1 on: Dec 30, 2007, 12:35 am »
In my experience, I have found that purses and bags lie in that lovely grey area between props and costumes (along with parasols, umbrellas, fans, and other similar "accessories").  More often than not purses and bags will come from costumes because they are worn and are part of the look of the whole costume, but that isn't always the case.  You will just need to establish with your designers/production staff who is ultimately responsible for the items. 

jspeaker

  • SM Expert
  • ****
  • Posts: 113
    • View Profile
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Props Question....
« Reply #2 on: Dec 30, 2007, 03:25 am »
Yeah, that is a common production meeting item...

"okay, the backpack/purse/fan/wallet/shawl etc... who wants it??"
Jess W. Speaker, III
Equity Stage Manager
DC Area AEA Liaison
(301) 335-1498
 
http://q5go.blogspot.com/

RuthNY

  • BTDT Editors
  • *****
  • Posts: 506
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA Eastern Region Stage Manager Councilor, Chair of the National Stock Committee
  • Current Gig: SWEENEY TODD
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Props Question....
« Reply #3 on: Dec 30, 2007, 09:19 am »
This is what production meetings are for.

If the props department and the costume department can't solve it between themselves or don't already have a regular tradition of who supplies  "costume props," ask at the meeting, in public, who will supply them, then let one department take responsibility voluntarily, or let your production manager assign responsibility.

Then you know who to give the notes to.  It is not your decision.


In my experience, I have found that purses and bags lie in that lovely grey area between props and costumes (along with parasols, umbrellas, fans, and other similar "accessories").  More often than not purses and bags will come from costumes because they are worn and are part of the look of the whole costume, but that isn't always the case.  You will just need to establish with your designers/production staff who is ultimately responsible for the items. 
"Be fair with others, but then keep after them until they're fair with you."
--Alan Alda

J

  • SM Expert
  • ****
  • Posts: 103
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, SMA
Re: Props Question....
« Reply #4 on: Dec 30, 2007, 06:23 pm »
Also many times it can be a joint effort between the two departments, where props is pulling the item and costumes is making sure it matches, costumes is pulling the item and props is re-covering it, *insert many more combinations*

the.readiness.is.all

  • Tourist
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Re: Props Question....
« Reply #5 on: Dec 30, 2007, 08:08 pm »
I think it really depends on the theatre organisation, but at my high school, props covers luggage while costumes covers purses, handbags, etc.

chops

  • Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 65
  • Gender: Male
  • My tie got caught in an arbor today
    • View Profile
Re: Props Question....
« Reply #6 on: Dec 31, 2007, 01:11 am »
Grey area it is.  I would give it to the department who has the most time to do it.  I recently got into an argument over a snare drum.  I had my head of props claiming that a drum, being played during a musical number to keep the beat, was a prop.  My sound guy argued that it was his jurisdiction and my carpenter said that only carpenters should move instruments.  It was a fun twenty minutes.
Peace,

Chops

nmno

  • Guest
Re: Props Question....
« Reply #7 on: Dec 31, 2007, 01:45 am »
Grey area it is.  I would give it to the department who has the most time to do it.  I recently got into an argument over a snare drum.  I had my head of props claiming that a drum, being played during a musical number to keep the beat, was a prop.  My sound guy argued that it was his jurisdiction and my carpenter said that only carpenters should move instruments.  It was a fun twenty minutes.

Who has the most time, who has the extra budget - both good things to consider, but again, not YOUR job as SM to assign.  The production heads, the designers and the Production Manager should figure out who will be responsible - you are just in charge of properly distributing the information.

I do find it amusing that each department was arguing that the drum should be their department - my experience has these things going where everyone argues it should be any department BUT theirs...

RuthNY

  • BTDT Editors
  • *****
  • Posts: 506
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA Eastern Region Stage Manager Councilor, Chair of the National Stock Committee
  • Current Gig: SWEENEY TODD
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Props Question....
« Reply #8 on: Dec 31, 2007, 11:06 am »
The fun twenty minutes sounds like a union stagehand situation to me.  If it was not a union crew, someone could have shortened that discussion by about 18 minutes.

I find it interesting that tech. departments argue over jurisdiction, trying to get another department to take on the project/ work.  In the LORT theatre I spend most of my time working in, the Artistic Director would simply not tolerate that kind of argument. Everyone has too much work on their plates...that's a given!  I give the "grey area" notes to both departments and ask them to "co-ordinate" with each other.  They work it out between themselves.  I've heard them discuss "grey area" items and come to a decision.  I've never heard one department (all IATSE departments, mind you) refuse to take the project try to put it on another.  Heads would roll, mark my words...


I do find it amusing that each department was arguing that the drum should be their department - my experience has these things going where everyone argues it should be any department BUT theirs...
Grey area it is.  I would give it to the department who has the most time to do it.  I recently got into an argument over a snare drum.  I had my head of props claiming that a drum, being played during a musical number to keep the beat, was a prop.  My sound guy argued that it was his jurisdiction and my carpenter said that only carpenters should move instruments.  It was a fun twenty minutes.

"Be fair with others, but then keep after them until they're fair with you."
--Alan Alda

J

  • SM Expert
  • ****
  • Posts: 103
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, SMA
Re: Props Question....
« Reply #9 on: Dec 31, 2007, 11:26 am »
I concur, RuthNY!

It should, and is in much of my experience, the standard for both depts to look at the items in question, and decide who, for the better-ment, of the production, should take on the responsibility.  Where does the item make sense to come from?  Who needs to do work on it to make it look right?

nmno

  • Guest
Re: Props Question....
« Reply #10 on: Dec 31, 2007, 01:07 pm »
I give the "grey area" notes to both departments and ask them to "co-ordinate" with each other.  They work it out between themselves. 
Yes, but I still want to know who is ultimately responsible for it...  only because I've been burnt in the past, give the note about an item, telling props and costumes to coordinate and then they didn't, both assuming the other was taking care of it and deciding they didn't really need to offer any input from their department.  I as SM should know who is handling the item and to what degree and then continue to cross-reference the notes regarding said item to both departments.  But again, not my decision WHO, just that I should know.

chops

  • Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 65
  • Gender: Male
  • My tie got caught in an arbor today
    • View Profile
Re: Props Question....
« Reply #11 on: Dec 31, 2007, 03:52 pm »
I would argue that the bags go to props.  There are props being put inside of the bags and they are being used as props on stage.  If they are simply accessories and are only there for aesthetic reasons I would give them to wardrobe. 

And yes I do work in a union house.  The official word on the drum is that it is a prop.  However the mic and cabling connected to it is audio.  And the carpenter has to supervise and page the curtain so moving a snare drum is a 3 person job.  I was thinking about putting a light on it so I would need an electrician and maybe putting a shoe on one of the legs so wardrobe would have to be involved also.  Then it would take five people to move a snare drum.  The fact that I can pick it up with one hand is somehow irrelevant. ???
Peace,

Chops

J

  • SM Expert
  • ****
  • Posts: 103
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, SMA
Re: Props Question....
« Reply #12 on: Dec 31, 2007, 04:04 pm »
I would argue that the bags go to props.  There are props being put inside of the bags and they are being used as props on stage.  If they are simply accessories and are only there for aesthetic reasons I would give them to wardrobe. 

Again, I would reference what many posters have mentioned above, that it's not our JOB or PLACE as SM to determine where the items go to. Each theatre will have their protocol for things like this, and even within that, it's the place of the props dept. and the costume dept. to determine this with the help of the production manager if necessary. But, we as stage managers shouldn't make these assignments on our own.

I do agree, however, that most theatres use the same logic that you mentioned, chops.  If the item is being used as a prop (a bag, or a purse that's set onstage and thrown, or a shoe that lives onstage in the corner) it will probably go to props. If it's being worn at all, it will probably end up with costumes.

I think it's too bad when the unions get so upset about moving a drum across the stage and everyone thinks it's their job. The unions exist to protect us as artists, and in my opinion, spending 20 min arguing over something like that is petty and unnecessary. Someone just move the drum! Everyone else, enjoy the 10 seconds that it takes for them to move it and have a sip of coffee!

RuthNY

  • BTDT Editors
  • *****
  • Posts: 506
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA Eastern Region Stage Manager Councilor, Chair of the National Stock Committee
  • Current Gig: SWEENEY TODD
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Props Question....
« Reply #13 on: Dec 31, 2007, 04:56 pm »
Yes, you should know which department is ultimately responsible.  If, as you say below, both of the two departments were "assuming the other was taking care of it..." then there is a lack of professionalism in those departments.  Where was the theatre's leadership in all this?


Yes, but I still want to know who is ultimately responsible for it...  only because I've been burnt in the past, give the note about an item, telling props and costumes to coordinate and then they didn't, both assuming the other was taking care of it and deciding they didn't really need to offer any input from their department.
"Be fair with others, but then keep after them until they're fair with you."
--Alan Alda

MatthewShiner

  • Forum Moderators
  • *****
  • Posts: 2477
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, SMA
  • Current Gig: PSM THE LION KING NORTH AMERICAN TOUR; Assc Director and Production Supervisor HUNCHBACK International
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Props Question....
« Reply #14 on: Jan 01, 2008, 01:13 am »
Every theatre is going to divide things up differently - and it is ultimately the production manager's job to decide who will take care of things.  Production meetings are huge for this.

My typical pattern is EVERYTHING ends up on the prop list.
Props goes . . . that's costumes, that's scenic.
I follow up with costumes and/or scenic - and if the agree - then I document that.
If there is a conversation that needs to happen, then there's a production meeting agenda item.

Every theatre is different.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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.

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
14 Replies
14311 Views
Last post Oct 28, 2014, 05:07 pm
by leastlikely
8 Replies
3601 Views
Last post May 03, 2010, 03:10 pm
by theatreannie
4 Replies
2730 Views
Last post Jan 30, 2013, 11:02 am
by KMC