Author Topic: Directors: independent show/problems with director  (Read 3448 times)

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Directors: independent show/problems with director
« on: Apr 16, 2006, 02:46 am »
I'm SMing for an independent show for some friends of mine. It's really only for technicals and calling the show. However, this is also during the week of finals (for college) and I have 3 huge papers due that week. (I am working on the papers ahead of time) Technicals start the day my other show closes and I will have rehearsal/paper tech when strike is finished. Here is my problem... I still don't have the script. I'm supposed to be watching rehearsals starting later this week I haven't even read the dang thing yet. I have talked to the director and producer several times this week and the director (who is an egotistical actor) promised he would e-mail it to me *tomorrow* which the second time was friday. The director and I are supposed to meet and go through the script and talk about possible cues and things like that on Monday which would have given me a few days with the script. I guess what I'm asking is what should I do? Because it is independent no one is getting paid, and I'm really doing this as a favor, so I don't feel like I have the authority to throw a fit about this. But, I am taking time out of my crazy busy schedule to help out, so I feel like I should be at least able to have a request or two. Any ideas?

Thank you guys!!!

« Last Edit: Feb 11, 2008, 12:30 pm by PSMKay »

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independent show/problems with director
« Reply #1 on: Apr 16, 2006, 04:24 am »
A position I have found myself in occasionally and always awkward.

I suppose the first thing is do you really want to do the show and would you object to using a bit of guilt? If not, just say screw it. Just be gentle about it. Tell them that you are really busy, and if they cannot get their A into G then you are afraid you cannot do the job without jepodising your future (and you are not willing to do that).

Basically, guilt is the perfect tool, after all you are doing them a favour.

That said, you should be perfectly able to do the job with only a short ammount of time with the script - just use post-it notes and jot down notes on pages that need them instead of doing a more complete pre-show extraction.


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independent show/problems with director
« Reply #2 on: Apr 16, 2006, 03:48 pm »
I would actually advise avoiding a paper tech in this situation.  My bet is that the "director" will fill your script with five hundred pipe-dream cues during a paper tech meeting that will last forever.  Then they'll all change anyway when the limitations of the dimmer rack and sound system, and the clock running out on tech time, force you to five or six cues total.  Your time is better spent in reading the script four or five times to get familiar with what they're trying to do, and being ready to throw it all out the window and start from scratch when tech starts.  Like mc said, quick and dirty notes, no prep work.

Since they're adding you just for tech and perfs, they obviously don't need creative input for you.  Be real clear about your boundaries.  Give the time that you can give, and make sure that the time you are there you're making the show the best it can possibly be.  Don't let yourself be corralled into being a production manager as well as a stage manager, just concentrate on making the show you have work as well as it can.
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independent show/problems with director
« Reply #3 on: Apr 16, 2006, 10:12 pm »
Since you are doing this as a favor, I would go talk to the Director and just let him know what your situation is.  Be courteous, but upfront.. and explain your lack of time and how you do have school as well.  I agree that a paper tech may be a waste of time.  I would just explain the situation and then just say that you need the script and you need the information to do the show.  If you aren't given the information, then obviously you can't do your job..and since I'm sure they want a good show, they should then give you what you need, like the script.. those are kinda important huh?!  Talking out your situation will also show that you're serious and you'll do what you need to get the job done, but you also don't have time to just wait around.
"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."


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independent show/problems with director
« Reply #4 on: Apr 17, 2006, 01:50 pm »
In your position with a show running, finals coming up & papers due-
I would set firm boundries for my participation in the project.
They need you to get the show up. They need to respect you and provide the tools you need (like a script!).  Oftentimes, actors/directors & producers do not understand or appreciate how completely a SM must understand a show to do their job (and the amount of time needed to do that). Explain the situation; be firm and be professional in your requests.
If they cannot honor your requests- regretfully withdraw from the project.


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