Author Topic: First meeting with the Director- agenda?  (Read 3449 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

StageManagerV

  • New to Town
  • **
  • Posts: 13
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA
  • Current Gig: ZACH Theatre, Staff PSM
  • Experience: Professional
First meeting with the Director- agenda?
« on: Apr 27, 2007, 09:25 pm »
Hello all my fellow stage managers and manageresses,

I'm an experienced PA and ASM off-Broadway, but am starting my first Equity SM job at a small theater in Cape Cod. Through my experience as a PA I'm familiar with everything that happens once rehearsals start, but it's the prep work that I'm struggling with.

For example, I'm meeting with my director for the first time on Tuesday. We start rehearsals on Wednesday, but due to his schedule and the fact that he's coming in from out of town we won't be able to talk before this meeting. We've already exchanged emails regarding the calendar, and his agenda for the first day.

That being said, I'm still not sure what questions I should be asking at this first meeting, and I really don't want to start out looking inexperienced. I know what they say, "there are no stupid questions", but in this case it's less about me looking stupid than it is about him feeling like I'm not going to have my shit together, you know? I want him to feel reassured in my abilities, not hesitant.

So, here's what I've got on the agenda so far:
-Specific rehearsal props he'd like to see that are not in the script
- Policy on visitors to the rehearsal hall
- how he'd like me to signal him in regards to breaks
- safety issues within the text- ex. one of the actors hangs upside down for 20 minutes. how are we going to do that?
- fight rehearsals- we have a fight choreographer coming from NYC to work with us, and I just want to put that on his radar
- setup of rehearsal hall ex. direction of chairs, would he like a music stand, etc

What else? anything anyone can think of? I mean, as general as possible, or as specific as necessary. I'm sure that I'll think of things as we're talking, but I'd rather be prepared, you know?

Thank you so much in advance to any and all who respond, and talk to you soon!
~V
"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women in it merely players."
As You Like It, II.iv.137, Wm. Shakespeare

Tempest

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 374
  • Gender: Female
  • Learn to love chaos, then tame it.
    • View Profile
  • Current Gig: The Center For Puppetry Arts
  • Experience: Professional
Re: First meeting with the Director- agenda?
« Reply #1 on: Apr 30, 2007, 12:49 pm »
I've always found that a good question is, "What do you expect/need/want from your stage manager that might not be quite standard?"
I've had director ask me to lead warmups, make a contact website for the cast, expect me to be sitting in a particular place during rehearsals, do my paperwork in a particular manner, etc. none of which I considered over the top, but also none of which I would have done on my own, either.
Jessica: "Of course I have a metric size 4 dinglehopper in my kit!  Who do you think I am?"

nmno

  • Guest
Re: First meeting with the Director- agenda?
« Reply #2 on: Apr 30, 2007, 03:01 pm »
When does he plan to begin staging (which means, when do you need to have all rehearsal props, costumes organized)?
Does he like 5 or 10 minute breaks?
Does he prefer 1h or 1 1/2 hour lunch (I've had actors ask before they vote, using that as a guide if they are on the fence)?
Does he expect to use the 6 hour rehearsal day (if that is an option for you)? (And then make sure he is clear on all the rules regarding using a 6 hour day!)
Reading stage directions during 1st read? 
General thoughts on scene shifts? feature them or hide them? a vista or in blackout, etc? 

There will undoubtedly be something you forget to ask so don't sweat it.  I think the most important thing is to establish an open line of communication - "If there is anything I'm doing or not doing, please let me know"

Balletdork

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 210
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA
  • Current Gig: PSM, The Human Race Theatre Company
  • Experience: Professional
Re: First meeting with the Director- agenda?
« Reply #3 on: Apr 30, 2007, 05:20 pm »
I think the most important thing is to establish an open line of communication - "If there is anything I'm doing or not doing, please let me know"


I concur! Open & Direct communication seems to be a failing for many of us on this site. We must strive to be open and upfront from the get go!

Mac Calder

  • Forum Moderators
  • *****
  • Posts: 967
  • Gender: Male
  • Plan for the future, live for the now
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: Live Performance Australia / Media Arts and Entertainment Alliance
  • Current Gig: Technical Director
  • Experience: Former SM
Re: First meeting with the Director- agenda?
« Reply #4 on: Apr 30, 2007, 09:43 pm »
I like to start out by asking what his/her vision for the show is. I think you learn a lot about the director based on what they are visualising before the show starts. Ie: Will the director be one who thinks outside the box, or will they be imitating real life in their staging. It also gives you a bit of a heads up as to whether the director is going to be asking for anything challenging, and shows that you are interested not only in just doing your job, but in how the show looks, feels and runs too (stops you from being put into the strictly administrative role that a lot of people put SM's in in their mind).

Then down the the nitty gritties, as mentioned by others in this thread.

« Last Edit: Apr 30, 2007, 09:46 pm by Mac Calder »

ORTaurean

  • Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 57
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: First meeting with the Director- agenda?
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2007, 02:23 pm »
I also like to ask how rehearsals should progress or be ran.  Does the director like to start with a firm tone from you, stating that it **-O'Clock, time to begin with Act I scene 1.  Or does the director like to ease in after a bit of discussion - a natural progression?

I  like to clarify my role and how it should be presented to the cast from the director's perspective.  That way we look like we're working as a team, even if, heaven forbid, we're not.
Acting is standing up naked and turning around very slowly.
-Rosiland Russell

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
2 Replies
2866 Views
Last post Apr 10, 2007, 11:26 pm
by Aerial
7 Replies
3756 Views
Last post Dec 29, 2013, 01:06 pm
by MatthewShiner
3 Replies
3709 Views
Last post Dec 15, 2014, 10:40 pm
by Richie

riotous