Author Topic: Blocking...  (Read 3503 times)

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BroadwayBaby81

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Blocking...
« on: Mar 05, 2008, 11:22 pm »
Hi everyone!  I'm a newbie here and a total newbie as ASM for a musical at a regional theatre.  I got into this role because I really wanted to learn more about stage management and to get involved with my passion for theatre.  I gone through production meetings, auditions, and callbacks in one piece.  But I'm a little nervous about the blocking process during rehearsals.  I know basic stage layouts and directions, but whether or not I can block entire scenes efficiently...that remains to be seen.  My PSM is leaving me to due all the blocking for the first week of rehearsals, since she's going to be on a trip.  Now it's great that she has so much faith in me, but if any of you guys can give me some pointers... I would greatly appreciate it!  I thought this was going to be a nice ease in internship into stage management, but it's turning into sink or swim!

Thanks guys!  :)

zayit shachor

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Re: Blocking...
« Reply #1 on: Mar 06, 2008, 03:23 am »
You might find Didaskalos's blocking notation cheat sheet helpful (http://smnetwork.org/forum/index.php/topic,1884.0.html).

Basic blocking is pretty easy, once you get the hang of following the script and watching the actors at the same time.  The notation is up to you, as long as you can understand what you've written later.  Some SMs like to draw pictures; I prefer to write it out in words unless there are a ton of people onstage.  Whichever works for you is great!

I feel like it's easier to show a blocking script than to try to explain it, so I've attached a page from my Angels in America script.  You can see that the numbers on the script side correspond to the actors' movements.  I like to use odd numbers so that I can go back later and add in more blocking if I need to without having to change all the numbers.  Figure out a system of abbreviations that will work for you so that you can write quickly and legibly.

Blocking for musicals can be a little trickier because of choreography.  As the SM, you aren't responsible for writing down the specific choreography steps - instead, I usually just draw little pictures of where everyone is onstage, especially entrances and exits.

Finally, the best advice I can give you is to not worry if you miss something!  The scenes will undoubtedly be rehearsed multiple times, and it's easy to fill in the gaps the second time around.

Good luck!

BroadwayBaby81

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Re: Blocking...
« Reply #2 on: Mar 07, 2008, 01:58 am »
Thanks so much!  I think I'm just freaking out if the director goes into a power blocking session (since he wrote the show and has mounted it 2 times prior) and I can't keep up.  Just need to tell myself to breathe...relax...and focus.  LOL!  :)

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