Author Topic: What are you looking from your ME?  (Read 1932 times)

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RatTheBandit

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What are you looking from your ME?
« on: Oct 27, 2015, 01:15 pm »
I'm studying to become LD at my college and now that I'm starting to get positions as the ME, and eventually LD, in our shows I was wondering if there were any specific things that SM's want or hope for in their electrical staff? For example, would you like me to be talking on comm (obviously not during Stand By), offering to help with something that an ASM can't do during a run or focus solely on lights, when would you like me to do blackout check, do you want me to report when channel check is complete, when electrics is ready for house to open, etc...  I realize that some of this will vary SM to SM, but what have you liked and has worked well in your experience?

Michelle R. Wood

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Re: What are you looking from your ME?
« Reply #1 on: Oct 27, 2015, 06:59 pm »
I did mostly lighting work in college and only gradually came into SM from there, so I actually have ASMed and MEd for a show before (I don't recommend it: long story and crazy circumstances). However, I find in the theatres I work for as SM that I mostly only deal with the LD. Regardless, I appreciate any and all help I can get backstage, especially when I'm short-handed with crew. Now, if you're in certain places with union standards, that changes, but in the smaller regional theatre I work we often just have general "crew" backstage.

I think in the booth the most important thing I want to know is the general cuing of the show. Like, if for some reason we have failure on some special LX, what's a good cue to move to?
"Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration." -- Thomas Edison (Harper's Magazine, 1932)

SMMeade

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Re: What are you looking from your ME?
« Reply #2 on: Oct 27, 2015, 09:53 pm »
Coordinate with your SM when work should get done-- as in, make sure you aren't planning your blackout check during fight call, etc. I agree, mostly I talk to LDs, but in college I remember time mix-ups being the biggest thing the ME and I needed to deal with.

SMeustace

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Re: What are you looking from your ME?
« Reply #3 on: Jan 24, 2016, 08:22 am »
Usually I "meet" with the ME to discuss my requests for cuelights. He/she is typically the one who wires and sets them up for me. Maybe any special needed running lights also? Depends on who's duty it is.

Other than that, in my experiences I dont have much contact with the Master electrician unless i'm volunteering to help with light hang/focus/programming. As a SM most of my contact with electrics department is actually with the designer.
"On the first day the lord said....Light cue 1, GO! Then there was light".

megf

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Re: What are you looking from your ME?
« Reply #4 on: Jan 24, 2016, 08:47 am »
SMMeade hits the nail on the head. During hang, focus, etc. it's all about the ME working with the LD. Once the show is running, though, coordinating electrics activity with the SM is critical.

If as the ME you are also the board operator, it doesn't hurt to look at the show once in a while. Although plenty of SMs have an eye for weird-looking cues (e.g., "hey, one of the side lights is out") we also have lots of other moving parts to keep track of. If the ME can spot and repair an issue before SM catches it, that's great.

If as the ME you are the de facto sub for the board op, or for a spot op, it's great to shadow these tracks before crunch time. Become familiar with any special parts of the show. Knowing that XYZ song is fast and jumpy with a bunch of false exits, or cues 101-137 come so fast you won't hear cue numbers, will be helpful to you and to the SM and cast.

EustaceSM

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Re: What are you looking from your ME?
« Reply #5 on: Jul 03, 2016, 07:50 am »
If your board op/spot op and ME are not the same person, is the ME present at performances?

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