Author Topic: REPORTS: Report/Notes Language  (Read 8204 times)

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Jonas_A

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Re: REPORTS: Report/Notes Language
« Reply #30 on: Jun 13, 2016, 10:23 am »
"Nothing to report." is what I use and what I (and my peers) were taught when we studied stage management at uni.

For us, it was about brevity - there's no need for anything more. Your show report is (reportedly) meant to be concise, factual and to-the-point. We were discouraged from making evaluative statements (eg. "The audience enjoyed the birds joke.") or for being wordy ("More batteries are required for mics." would be preferenced over "Would it be possible for someone in the audio department to purchase some new batteries for the radio mics? We're running low. Thanks!") or from doing anything that was basically any more than just reporting the absolute facts of the show.

I think the repeated use of it could just be one of those copy/paste things. The orchestra I work with makes all their backstage calls "Ladies and Gentlemen of the XX Symphony Orchestra, this is your ___ call. Your ___ call, thankyou," but over comms it's just "___ minute call, everyone." We do it because it's polite, it's traditional and because the small courtesies make everyone comfortable. The entire company places a premium on having a culture which is warm and collegiate, and so I imagine if we stopped doing it, people would be perturbed. I imagine the "No notes, thank you." emerged from a similar practice. That, and once you get into a rut with show reports, you use familiar phrases. 

Michelle R. Wood

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Re: REPORTS: Report/Notes Language
« Reply #31 on: Jun 13, 2016, 10:30 am »
Quote
We were discouraged from making evaluative statements (eg. "The audience enjoyed the birds joke.")

That statement brings up a point: do you put anything about the audience in your reports? I didn't originally, then served under some SMs who did and adopted the practice. I feel like it gives a good summary of how the show went, especially for directors who leave and are unable to attend shows. I'd be curious to know how many SMs do and don't report on the audience, and why.
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leastlikely

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Re: REPORTS: Report/Notes Language
« Reply #32 on: Jun 13, 2016, 11:37 am »
I do comment about the audience to give an overall feel for how the performance went, but I only make specific notes about audience responses when it's something out of the ordinary. In the past week I've made notes about a line that normally gets a laugh but instead got applause, or at a different performance when there was no applause in the post-show blackout (they waited until lights came up for curtain call), and there was also a time that a patron asked at the end of the show if she could eat what was left of a prop ice cream sundae. I ASMed a TYA show a couple months ago and there was a "game show" scene where the host asked for audience input, so the SM included some of those responses in her report every day. I'll include stuff that changes day to day, but it doesn't seem worthwhile to me to say "they laughed at jokes x, y, and z" because... that's kind of the point of jokes. To make the audience laugh.

KMC

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Re: REPORTS: Report/Notes Language
« Reply #33 on: Jun 14, 2016, 05:38 am »
So - for audience notes, I don't think Jonas' and Leastlikely's statements are mutually exclusive.  I agree it's best to abstain for evaluative statements, but saying "the audience laughed" is a factual statement.  Saying "the audience found the line funny" is evaluative and makes assumptions as to the thoughts and emotions of individual audience members.  It's a subtle difference, but an important one. 
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leastlikely

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Re: REPORTS: Report/Notes Language
« Reply #34 on: Jun 15, 2016, 10:41 am »
So - for audience notes, I don't think Jonas' and Leastlikely's statements are mutually exclusive.  I agree it's best to abstain for evaluative statements, but saying "the audience laughed" is a factual statement.  Saying "the audience found the line funny" is evaluative and makes assumptions as to the thoughts and emotions of individual audience members.  It's a subtle difference, but an important one.

Yes, understood and agreed. I'm just saying - I'll report if they reacted in a way that most audiences don't, but if everyone laughs at the same joke every day I don't bother.

Jonas_A

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Re: REPORTS: Report/Notes Language
« Reply #35 on: Jul 04, 2016, 10:38 am »
Quote
We were discouraged from making evaluative statements (eg. "The audience enjoyed the birds joke.")

That statement brings up a point: do you put anything about the audience in your reports? I didn't originally, then served under some SMs who did and adopted the practice. I feel like it gives a good summary of how the show went, especially for directors who leave and are unable to attend shows. I'd be curious to know how many SMs do and don't report on the audience, and why.

I've been asked to do it for several shows, and frankly, it drives me nuts. There's a joke between some friends and I that any show we see/SM/anything was "warmly received by the audience," because we find ourselves writing it most nights on show reports. Some directors beg for the feedback, but it can be extraordinarily hard to find something useful to say when you're dong 6-8 shows a week and 90% of the time the audience reacts in precisely the same way.

I'm with leastlikely on noting on things that audience have unexpected reactions to, but also feel compelled to make a comment when it all goes as expected - hence the "warmly received" comment. If I don't say anything (or worse, "nothing to report,") I often get asked "Was there even an audience? Were they dead? Were you asleep?"

 (Case in point: An audience member recently broke down in hysterical giggles during tense moment in a show I was calling. Noted because nobody expected it. After it happened twice in a week, the AD and cast sat down and realised that if you weren't entirely focused on the plot, that particular blocking seemed a lot more hilarious than it actually was, and chose to change it to avoid ruining a finely tuned tense moment.)

bex

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Re: REPORTS: Report/Notes Language
« Reply #36 on: Jul 04, 2016, 12:53 pm »
I usually include something about the audience in the report- something along the lines of "Very quiet house, but a huge applause at curtain call" or "Big laughs for the 'Single Ladies' joke- it looked like our average patron age was younger than usual." It doesn't take any extra effort on my part to note things like that, and I've never had anyone complain about the extra info.
I can see where it might just be repetitive and useless on a show that runs for years, but on the 3-6 week runs I'm typically working on, there's enough variance that it feels helpful.
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Maribeth

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Re: REPORTS: Report/Notes Language
« Reply #37 on: Jul 04, 2016, 01:59 pm »
I do note audience reaction in the report. It's helpful to those who aren't there to know how things went. If there's nothing interesting to note, then oh well. But I've found that directors and playwrights in particular really like to know how folks reacted. I also do a lot of TYA theatre and as leastlikely mentioned, there is often a lot more to report for those shows!

I've also found that if reports are at least a little interesting, people are more likely to read them. On a recent tour I noted how many total patrons had seen the show, and how many total miles we had traveled. I also snapped a pic of the house in each venue and attached it to the notes.

Plabebob

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Re: REPORTS: Report/Notes Language
« Reply #38 on: Sep 20, 2017, 11:31 am »
Quote
We were discouraged from making evaluative statements (eg. "The audience enjoyed the birds joke.")

That statement brings up a point: do you put anything about the audience in your reports? I didn't originally, then served under some SMs who did and adopted the practice. I feel like it gives a good summary of how the show went, especially for directors who leave and are unable to attend shows. I'd be curious to know how many SMs do and don't report on the audience, and why.

I have to fill in form show reports for panto every year & there's a section for 'audience reaction'. It drives me crazy, we have 2 shows a day for 6 weeks. Not only is the show the same every time, it's the same every *year*. It's identical every time, I really did know what they expect me to write!

teachsneech

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Re: REPORTS: Report/Notes Language
« Reply #39 on: Oct 05, 2017, 10:09 pm »
I have to fill in form show reports for panto every year & there's a section for 'audience reaction'. It drives me crazy, we have 2 shows a day for 6 weeks. Not only is the show the same every time, it's the same every *year*. It's identical every time, I really did know what they expect me to write!

Although it was not a long run tour, I had to do this for a kids show also. I found that putting in a quote I had heard from the audience was super worthwhile, easy and creative loved it. They are kids, there will always be one that reacts differently to what we expect, or says something hilarious. The tour manager (duties included FOH and Box Office for our tour) would often catch quotes upon them leaving the auditorium too.

AndyS

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Re: REPORTS: Report/Notes Language
« Reply #40 on: Feb 04, 2018, 04:41 am »
To me, I think the difference comes down to how it meshes with your demeanour generally - I'm a warm person, but low key and I tend to err on the side of seriousness, and so "No notes, Thank you!" or such would come off as insincere from me, whereas it would sound entirely sincere and friendly from someone whose normal demeanour was similarly bubbly.

Personally, I like to keep things simple. The point of "no notes" is to affirm that I haven't just forgotten to include their notes, they can be positively sure there's nothing to worry about, so in the body of the email I say:

"Hi all,

Notes today are for Wardrobe, Props, Paint, and Projections.

NO notes for Sets, LX, or Audio.

cheers,
-Andy"

...and then in the report itself I will have boxes titled "Sets" "LX" &c., with nothing further in them.

RuthNY

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Re: REPORTS: Report/Notes Language
« Reply #41 on: Feb 04, 2018, 10:32 am »
I simply use "Nothing to report," in each section where there is nothing to report.


To me, I think the difference comes down to how it meshes with your demeanour generally - I'm a warm person, but low key and I tend to err on the side of seriousness, and so "No notes, Thank you!" or such would come off as insincere from me, whereas it would sound entirely sincere and friendly from someone whose normal demeanour was similarly bubbly.

Personally, I like to keep things simple. The point of "no notes" is to affirm that I haven't just forgotten to include their notes, they can be positively sure there's nothing to worry about, so in the body of the email I say:

"Hi all,

Notes today are for Wardrobe, Props, Paint, and Projections.

NO notes for Sets, LX, or Audio.

cheers,
-Andy"

...and then in the report itself I will have boxes titled "Sets" "LX" &c., with nothing further in them.
"Be fair with others, but then keep after them until they're fair with you."
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