Author Topic: Calling/teching your first show, your experiences.  (Read 8882 times)

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oso_te_great

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Calling/teching your first show, your experiences.
« on: Oct 30, 2006, 02:14 am »
I have just gone through my first tech, and it was better and worse than I thought it was going to be.  My director was impatient because it was my first time calling a show, and the first sequence is the most complicated in the whole show (Stage Door, we have less Lx's than Sq's and we have like 30 Sq's).  Besides that, he was helpful, and patient with me.  I also thought that I did a pretty good job calling everything, there were times when our TD had to take over to call some sequences (highschool theatre), but other than that, I thought I did a good job in keeping everyone happy, sane, and working hard.

What were your first experiences teching/calling a show?
Malcolm Foster
Seattle Academy Class of 2007
University of Montana Class of 2011

ReyYaySM

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Re: Calling/teching your first show, your experiences.
« Reply #1 on: Oct 30, 2006, 02:38 am »
During my first official tech in college as a stage manager on the Mainstage (I had ASMed and worked on student productions) I almost fainted on the first day of tech.  I was so busy running around making sure that everything was ready for tech that I totally forgot to eat or drink anything all day.  I sat down on the stage at the top of the tech to make the general company announcements and the room just started spinning.  The rest of the evening was totally in slow motion, and we didn't get as far as we hoped, some of it due to the fact I just wasn't on my game.  At the end of the production meeting, our head of tech design and the head of the lighting program told me to go home, sleep, and come back hydrated and well fed the next day.  It made a HUGE difference and that day was far more productive. 

I learned a valuable lesson that day.  Now, I snack during breaks throughout the rehearsal day, and I keep hydrated by keeping a water bottle with me at all times. 

It does get easier the more shows you do; I still learn something new on every production that I do. 

ChaCha

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Re: Calling/teching your first show, your experiences.
« Reply #2 on: Oct 30, 2006, 03:24 am »
You know what? I honestly can't remember my first tech rehearsal as a stage manager. I find this a bit sad. Should have kept a diary after all...
ChaCha

stagemonkey

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Re: Calling/teching your first show, your experiences.
« Reply #3 on: Oct 31, 2006, 11:46 pm »
I don't recall very well my first tech either.  I do remember though that no matter what show it is that everytime when we start tech the opening sequence of the show always gets off to a slow start and we get bogged down figuring it out longer than we should; however, once we get past that the pace picks up and things become smoother.  And I think everytime I tell myself on my next show I need to discuss the opening sequence before we begin tech but it always manages to sneak up on me. 

So oso dont feel bad that the first sequence slowed you down, I often find it is the hardest sequences to tech. 

BeckyGG

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Re: Calling/teching your first show, your experiences.
« Reply #4 on: Nov 01, 2006, 11:43 am »
My first tech is sort of a blur.  It was a while ago, but I was also incredibly nervous.  Getting started is always a slow endeavor it seems as people become familiar with how one another works and needs to tech.  Also, tops and bottoms of acts always have a good deal involved.

Hope that your performances are going well and congratulations!
CHAOS: Where Brilliant Dreams Are Born
Before the beginning of great brilliance, there must be Chaos
Before a brilliant person begins something great, they must look foolish to the crowd.

philimbesi

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Re: Calling/teching your first show, your experiences.
« Reply #5 on: Nov 01, 2006, 01:31 pm »
I barely remember mine.  I just remember sitting on stage afterwards going how the heck did I do that?  The second though through my mind was "Ok.. What's Next"

I usually go into tech week expecting the show to take a step back pace wise.  You're integrating the final aspects and it takes time to get into the swing.  My goal is usually to make the next rehearsal better.

Keep it up oso.. you'll be just fine.

ohsnap

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Re: Calling/teching your first show, your experiences.
« Reply #6 on: Nov 20, 2006, 12:54 am »
I just finished my first show ever as a stage manager (yay highschool theater!)

The night before the first tech I had the worst nightmare ever and I went to rehearsal crying... It was so pathetic I'm so ashamed... >.< But everyone was pretty good to me that day so I can't complain that much. But my first show, which was on wednesday, I think I felt like throwing up the entire day... It wasn't good at all... I think I had like a test in AP History that day too and I could barely consentrate...

shorty

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Re: Calling/teching your first show, your experiences.
« Reply #7 on: Nov 20, 2006, 11:42 pm »
i remember teching my first show (a straight drama). my advisor was sitting close by to help with any problems during tech and in case i had any questions.  the lighting designer and i had sat down a few days before hand to discuss where he wanted the eq's to happen. then the sound designer filled me in on sq during tech.  fortunately he was a prof i've been able to work with.  needlessly to say it all went smoothly and my advisor left after an hour cause everything was going smoothly.  now i'm looking forward to teching my first musical the week after thanksgiving (which is bound to be interesting since there are quite a few eq's, sq's, and projection cues.)
*o*
Sarah

swood09

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Re: Calling/teching your first show, your experiences.
« Reply #8 on: Nov 21, 2006, 02:35 pm »
I also just closed my first show. Everything went really well; the director knew it was my first time, and was patient all except for the end of act I. He kept making us do it again and again, telling me to do one thing, but wanting another. Finally, I just did what I thought he wanted, and everyone was happy. All of the people older than me told me that after working with this particular director, I can work with anyone... kind of a DIVA!

Mac Calder

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Re: Calling/teching your first show, your experiences.
« Reply #9 on: Nov 21, 2006, 02:54 pm »
My first tech, I was nervous as hell. I was, however, lucky, in that everyone was really understanding and that the Production Manager was an ex-SM herself (so she gave me a bit of a pep talk). The problem I found hardest to overcome, was that I had read a HEAP of stuff on stage management pre-tech, and they all built it up to be a week of blood-shed and tears, so I was scared out of my brain going into it. The bit of pep I was given that helped me most by the PM - "It's only a show, we want it to be as good as it can be, but if you stuff up, it's only a show. And if you are going to screw up, the best time to do it is Tech, because then you wont do the same thing with a full house"

palmbayjen

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Re: Calling/teching your first show, your experiences.
« Reply #10 on: Nov 23, 2006, 09:30 pm »
I JUST got through my first tech week as ASM/AD (Nov. 13-17), it was an interesting ride. Monday, the administration cancelled our Friday night show due to a playoff football game at the school, Wednesday (the day of our first performance), our sound decided to stop working and I had to run home with my SM and burn all new cds for the music during 5th period, Thursday at 10:30pm I got a call from one of our actresses (I was still at the school) on my cell phone saying that her grandfather was in a hospital in Tampa dying and that her and her family were going over there and she didn't know if she would be back in time for our in-school performance the next day so we had one of our other actresses quickly learn the part and spent all of Friday morning training her just in case. All day Friday one of our actors was throwing up in the bathroom due to a stomach virus that had been going around and our lead walked offstage in the middle of rehearsal and refused to come back until he was finished with lunch. Everyone was so on edge, it took me the entire lunch period to pull myself together.

Tuesday, our open dress rehearsal was............., let's just say sub-par. Wednesday I was so nervous, I felt like there were teridactyls in my stomach. I was really, really, really anxious and jumpy all day until my SM gave me a little pep talk, he also bought me M&Ms which helped too :).

Everything worked out well in the end, the performances went pretty much smoothly and our actress drove 3 hours back from Tampa to perform in the show (she deserves sooo much credit, her grandfather died at 12:30pm and she went on at 2:40pm). 

Right now we're getting our show "Scapino" ready for district competition and brainstorming for our spring musical "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat".

I serously do not know what I would have done if I didn't have such an outstanding director who is so patient and understanding.

JenniferEver

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Re: Calling/teching your first show, your experiences.
« Reply #11 on: Dec 03, 2006, 09:48 am »
I don't really remember my first tech even though it was not so long ago. It was probably a lot like every tech. Nerve wracking, but I just stay calm, accept that mistakes can, will and should happen during tech, and wait patiently for the awesome groove I know I will fall into after 2 clean techs.

KC_SM_0807

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Re: Calling/teching your first show, your experiences.
« Reply #12 on: Dec 14, 2006, 09:33 am »
I remember calling my first "real" show.  I Stage Managed in high school but it was a completely different caliber than university level - which in turn is a lot different than professional theatre. In high school, we never really called shows.  I SM'd every show at my high school and although I did a lot of work, I never really called a full show.  I was always responsible for other things during the show, and the light board/sound board operators just always had a script and pushed the buttons.  I wasn't really fond of this since I had the desire to call a show, but it's just how it went.  When I got to college it was very different.  My first University show was nerve-wracking.  It was my first SM job at my university, and so I had to go through the whole "Are you a worthy Stage Manager as a Freshman" thing.   It was "Jesus Hopped the A Train", which is a pretty heavy show.  I had to run sound as well, so that made me nervous.  Everything went really well.  I had a few problems but nothing was bad.  My director and TD were extremely helpful, and luckily were surprised that I handled the show well.  My first professional show was "Footloose", which was extremely different.  However, I obviously did well since I got a job with that theatre and am working there now as their PSM! I found it all very challenging, but I just kept working and doing the best I could do.  I learned so much from calling those two shows, and I thnk that it reflects in my work now.  I don't think I will ever forget my first experiences of actually calling shows!
"Perhaps, therefore, Stage Managers not only need to be calm and meticulous professionals who know their craft, but masochists who feel pride in rising above impossible odds."

isha

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Re: Calling/teching your first show, your experiences.
« Reply #13 on: Dec 26, 2006, 01:57 am »
I don't really remember mine either.....*sad*

*I remember was being completely in the dark, and somebody from the college telling me I was doing great.
*I remember the fight that was choreographed 30 minutes before opening scaring the death out of me..
*I remember the pianist telling me a funny story to calm down
*I remember making opening night cards

nope...no tech rehearsal memories. i think we stayed after super late fixing the sound tho...'cause I got to walk around the stage singing for an hour or two so they could test and fix everything.

I think your first show is always a plunge in the dark. No matter what you do to prepare, you aren't prepared. I know I wasn't. But it made me want to learn more...and that's why I'm still pursuing it. You would think after so much stress you would want to quit...but it's addicting, and I can't wait until college to continue on with SM-ing in a new area.
-isha
~isha

shatbox

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Re: Calling/teching your first show, your experiences.
« Reply #14 on: Dec 26, 2006, 06:11 pm »
Looking back, I did what I thought was enough to pull the show off. I didn't do as many forms as I do now (I don't like forms that much, but when devote time to think about the people you are giving them to- people appreciate that). When I say forms I guess what I really want to get at is  detailed Running sheets, props,  costume stuff; the things you can get away with in college when you know that your frat brother Tommy's got your back because you put him in charge of a crew. I didn't cover my own ass. I remember saying one or two comments that gave my opinion when it wasn't required. That would get me fired.

It's funny how a post can make you look back and see how far you've gone and how much you still have to go. Congrats to the first timers! Have fun by working hard. Best of luck. I look forward to seeing your names in Playbill.
Seek those with standards and meet them. Exceed them. Move forward. Set the standard.
iacosta@phillytheatreco.com

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