Author Topic: Completely Lost. Please Send Help.  (Read 2007 times)

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Diana

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Completely Lost. Please Send Help.
« on: Mar 25, 2015, 06:41 pm »
   Okay well maybe I'm not completely lost. I do have several shows under my belt and I have received good reviews for the work I did on them. However, formal training was never something I had offered to me.  I've always been forced to "wing it" which never necessarily had bad results but also made me concerned that I won't be taken seriously in the future. I have my own version of blocking notation that is probably entirely wrong but I have never had anyone to ask otherwise. I don't know what are good questions to ask a director when looking for a gig. I barely even know how to find a gig. Everything I have picked up in SMing I taught myself and while I'm kind of proud of that, it also makes me worried about my future. If at all possible, I could really use someone to point me in the right direction.

iamchristuffin

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Re: Completely Lost. Please Send Help.
« Reply #1 on: Mar 25, 2015, 09:08 pm »
Others will be able to give better, longer answers, but I wanted to say that on the whole, there is no wrong way of doing something!

90% of what we do (other than the law, union contracts, etc.) is your opinion. While some methods are done by more than others, if it works for you and the show - great!

C

Maribeth

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Re: Completely Lost. Please Send Help.
« Reply #2 on: Mar 25, 2015, 10:05 pm »
Stage management is something that you don't necessarily need formal training for. While I think some kind of training (via school or internship/apprenticeship) can be incredibly helpful/beneficial, there are a lot of SMs that learn these skills on the job. 90% of what I've learned has been from working with other people.

From your profile, it looks like you're still in college, so are there opportunities at your school to shadow or work with other stage managers? Have you considered doing an internship?

Regarding blocking notation: I know that there are some "standard" systems, but most of the SMs that I have worked with have developed their own shorthand that works for them. As long as it's legible, it works. It's helpful to put a "key" in the front that explains your shorthand, so that someone else can decipher it if needed. (It happens).

Poke around the site a little. There are a LOT of helpful threads that might answer your questions. For instance, if you look in the Uploaded Forms section, there are preproduction forms that have info about questions to ask the director. If you do a search (in the upper right-hand corner of the page) for "questions director" some great threads will come up.

For info about getting gigs, check out the Employment board. There's info there about resumes, finding jobs, etc.

And, if you can't find a thread that answers your question, post a new thread! Welcome to the site- there are a lot of great stage managers with all kinds of experience on here, so chances are good that someone can answer your questions. Best,

Maribeth

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Diana

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Re: Completely Lost. Please Send Help.
« Reply #3 on: Mar 26, 2015, 04:23 pm »
Thank you both! I feel alot better about the notation thing now and have been lurking on different forums since I posted this. Maybe I'm not nearly as lost as I thought I was xD

leastlikely

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Re: Completely Lost. Please Send Help.
« Reply #4 on: Mar 27, 2015, 12:51 am »
I'm almost entirely self-taught. Books, and websites like smnet and tumblr, are super valuable resources, but most of what I know has come from on-the-job training. Am I the absolute best at what I do? Well, no, definitely not. Far from it. But I'm good enough for people to trust me. So I keep working, and with ongoing practice I continue to improve and to evolve my style.

Sometimes on-the-job training comes in the form of noticing someone else's method and adopting it and tailoring it to your needs. Sometimes it comes in the form of noticing someone else's method and vowing to never ever do it that way.

For stuff like blocking notation, there isn't really one single standard across the board. There are methods that are widely used, but not just one used by every SM ever. I think this is an instance that's more about you perfecting your own system. It's pretty rare that anybody other than stage management needs to be able to read blocking notation. If an actor doesn't remember their blocking, all you have to do is tell them. They don't need to see it on paper. So as long as it makes sense and is clear to you/your team, I think it's fine!

 

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