Author Topic: REHEARSALS: Giving line notes  (Read 6113 times)

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SMRoni16

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REHEARSALS: Giving line notes
« on: May 31, 2010, 06:29 pm »
For this show I have been asked to send out line notes via email after rehearsals.
Sometimes we do multiple runs of the show in one rehearsal.
If an actor called for a line/made a mistake during the first run through, but fixed it in the next one, should I send the note out in the line notes anyway?

Edited subject line-Rebbe
« Last Edit: Jun 01, 2010, 03:26 pm by Rebbe »

kiwitechgirl

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Re: REHEARSALS: Giving line notes
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2010, 09:13 pm »
When I'm doing line notes I don't send it out if it's a one-off - my general rule is that the actor needs to have done it twice before I'll tell them.  If it's a one-off then it could just as easily been a slip-up rather than having learnt it incorrectly.

MatthewShiner

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Re: REHEARSALS: Giving line notes
« Reply #2 on: Jun 01, 2010, 11:39 am »
I think it really depends on the type of text and the actor.

I think it's important to let them know every time the mess up a line (when they said the line wrong, they may thought it was right - when they said it right, they may have thought it was wrong.) 

Often, you will quickly learn how the actor learns lines and needs line notes - sometimes an actor will come up to me and say "I am not off book, but I am going to give it a try - don't bother taking line notes for me . . . ", and I honor that request - because sometime the line note is "learn all lines . . . "

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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.

VSM

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Re: REHEARSALS: Giving line notes
« Reply #3 on: Jun 01, 2010, 01:17 pm »
After hearing the incorrect line spoken twice, I then give the note.
I also send praises for a job well done.
Ordo ab chao

loebtmc

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Re: REHEARSALS: Giving line notes
« Reply #4 on: Jun 01, 2010, 02:22 pm »
Quote
sometime the line note is "learn all lines . . . "

(OT) I recently had an actor upset because I didn't give him line notes - which I couldn't because the line note was basically, "learn your lines" - which he already knew cuz he commented on it daily....


Rebbe

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Re: REHEARSALS: Giving line notes
« Reply #5 on: Jun 01, 2010, 03:22 pm »
Normally during a two-run day I would hand out line notes right after the first run, then hand out a second set after the second run.  I’ve never been asked to email line notes.  For me it would be an extra step that takes longer to process, since I take the notes by hand during the run and distribute the same pieces of paper.  I would talk to the director (or whoever asked you to do this by email) about just handing out paper line notes for the first run, so the actors have the option of looking at them before the next run, and then emailing notes for the second run only.  I think Matthew makes a good point about  adapting to the actors’ needs as far as what to make note of.  But if there aren’t any special requests, I generally note every mistake during normal rehearsals if I can write fast enough to do so, since I can’t always remember whether the actor has made the same mistake before.  I guess if I was forced to email line notes after the day’s end, yes, I would note a mistake made in the first run even if it was corrected in the second.   
"...allow me to explain about the theatre business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster."  (Philip Henslowe, Shakespeare In Love)

On_Headset

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Re: REHEARSALS: Giving line notes
« Reply #6 on: Jun 01, 2010, 03:54 pm »
I do notes after the first error, but don't add a second note for subsequent errors.

My logic is that line notes aren't about "you need to learn this line" so much as "you need to polish and work on this segment of the script before the next rehearsal". A proficient actor will work on their script outside of rehearsal regardless of anything else, and line notes are meant to indicate areas which need special attention. Even if it's a once-off oops, it's probably still a good idea to work on that bit of the text between rehearsals.

ericjames

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Re: REHEARSALS: Giving line notes
« Reply #7 on: Jun 05, 2010, 10:52 pm »
Assuming that I am able to keep up with pace of the actors... I usually try to do line notes for any missed line.  Even if it is the first time.  I know that actors sometimes have off days or a bad portion, but if we don't mention it to them, they may never realize that they had a problem with that section and subsequently, they re-memorize it incorrectly.      In cases where they are exceptionally bad, I have also been known to simply say "all of page 15", etc.

I should also say, that while, I have never emailed out line notes, I have heard of other companies that do that... 

good lucl

« Last Edit: Jun 10, 2010, 01:26 pm by ericjames »

MatthewShiner

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Re: REHEARSALS: Giving line notes
« Reply #8 on: Jun 06, 2010, 01:40 pm »
Really good reasons to give line notes whenever an actor messes up a line . . .

1) It starts the stage manager noting an actor relationship.
2) Even if you think it was one time mistake, the actor may be thinking that was the one time they said the line right.
3) If an actor, who previously got the line right, gets it wrong, by giving him the line note might remind him to give you a note . . . "Oh, yeah, I messed up the line because . . . "
a) I was totally in the wrong blocking, can you remind me of my blocking.
b) So-and-so gave me the wrong line, we changed that line.
c) The line is correct, the director said I could change.  (the playwright said I could change it . . . etc).
d) I went up because my prop wasn't where it was supposed to be . . .
e) I missed my cue because I realized I was wearing the wrong shoes.



80% of the time, I guess, a line note is simply about the actor not knowing the line, but if the actor drops a line, there might be a very good reason - and it might not be the actor's issue with the line.

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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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geoffsm

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Re: REHEARSALS: Giving line notes
« Reply #9 on: Jun 27, 2010, 06:45 pm »
When I'm doing line notes I don't send it out if it's a one-off - my general rule is that the actor needs to have done it twice before I'll tell them.  If it's a one-off then it could just as easily been a slip-up rather than having learnt it incorrectly.

I tend to lean that way, too.  If something is consistently incorrect, I go beyond line notes and give the correction verbally after the run, because I'm always afraid that the actor has/will learn(ed) it wrong.


SMeustace

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Re: REHEARSALS: Giving line notes
« Reply #10 on: Jan 06, 2014, 04:24 am »
Some shows, I notate the line error in my script and email the notes to the actors after rehearsal. Other shows, i transfer the line notes from my script to slips of paper to pass to the actors when the director is giving notes.

How do you go around doing line notes or what is your method? what about performances?
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RuthNY

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Re: REHEARSALS: Giving line notes
« Reply #11 on: Jan 06, 2014, 09:24 am »
I have a line-note form (discussed here many times.)  I use the same form in rehearsal and performances. Usually if an actor gets a line note from me during performances, it means s/he has made the same error two performances in a row. I don't give line notes during performances for one-off slip-ups, only for lines that have clearly been re-created somehow. The line note form will be on the actor's dressing table when they arrive to prep for the show.


Some shows, I notate the line error in my script and email the notes to the actors after rehearsal. Other shows, i transfer the line notes from my script to slips of paper to pass to the actors when the director is giving notes.

How do you go around doing line notes or what is your method? what about performances?
"Be fair with others, but then keep after them until they're fair with you."
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Maribeth

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Re: REHEARSALS: Giving line notes
« Reply #12 on: Jan 07, 2014, 08:51 pm »
I note lines in my script, and do line note forms during run-throughs. If actors consistently say something incorrectly in rehearsal, I will give a verbal note.

During performances my method is similar to Ruth's. I will do a couple of "refresher" notes during the run if things get off, but not usually for one-offs. If it's just one or two lines, I mention it when I check in with the actors after the show. If it's more than a few, I write them out and leave them on dressing tables.

bex

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Re: REHEARSALS: Giving line notes
« Reply #13 on: Jan 16, 2014, 01:29 am »
I frequently email line notes to actors, for a couple of reasons, the main one being that I type really really quickly, and writing by hand at even half of that speed makes the notes illegible. I also sometimes work in theaters where printing things, while not impossible, is inconvenient and requires me to be out of the room for at least 15 minutes- emailing is more convenient, and I will always make the option of a printed copy available- "here are your line notes, if you prefer a printed copy I can print one for you after rehearsal/by tomorrow/on dinner."  The last reason I like emailing line notes is that I started to notice folks with ruffled feathers when one actor gets half a sheet of paper's worth of notes and another actor gets 4 pages... Generally in a situation like that, the actor with dramatically more notes knows they're struggling more than the rest of the cast and doesn't need a sort of physical, visual reminder of it. The way I typically do my notes is by typing everything into one spreadsheet, then sorting by actor's name, and copy/pasting each actor's notes into an email that goes just to that actor.
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MatthewShiner

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Re: REHEARSALS: Giving line notes
« Reply #14 on: Jan 16, 2014, 09:20 am »
Quote
The last reason I like emailing line notes is that I started to notice folks with ruffled feathers when one actor gets half a sheet of paper's worth of notes and another actor gets 4 pages... Generally in a situation like that, the actor with dramatically more notes knows they're struggling more than the rest of the cast and doesn't need a sort of physical, visual reminder of it.

Funny, this is the exact reason I give out paper copies, to subtle remind the actor they are behind in learning their lines . . . if the entire cast is getting a half-page of notes, and you are getting two pages of notes, then you are behind the the curve and you need to catch up - it's subtle, possibly passive-aggressive, but gets the message out.
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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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