Author Topic: Prompt books: What to do with them after closing?  (Read 12281 times)

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youngthespian

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Prompt books: What to do with them after closing?
« on: Mar 13, 2006, 04:46 pm »
Hey, I was wondering what people do with prompt books on shows that have closed? Especially in college, if you finish one show and then do another, does anyone reuse the same binder etc? What do people do? Right now, it is just laying on my floor. thanks!
« Last Edit: Feb 11, 2008, 12:53 pm by PSMKay »

ReyYaySM

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prompt books
« Reply #1 on: Mar 13, 2006, 05:31 pm »
I have all of my prompt books from college because my university did not have an archive system/place to store them.  I had them spiral bound at Kinko's so that I could keep reusing the binder.  They're on a shelf of my bookcase (collecting dust, really, but I occasionally have found a need to reference them).  

Now that I'm working professionally, my prompt books go to the Producer at the end of the show.  The theatre I work at now has a system of binding, so I'm able to just give them my book and keep my binder (a good binder is expensive these days, but can last you for several shows).  I keep an electronic copy of all paperwork (reports, schedules, etc) and make a copy of my script before handing it to the Producer.

Mac Calder

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prompt books
« Reply #2 on: Mar 13, 2006, 06:18 pm »
By law, the prompt book belongs to the company. In many shows, it is in the contract signed when leasing the rights to the show, that the COMPANY may keep ONE copy of the script, in the form of a prompt copy. Most companies will not let the prompt copy go, and will insist on keeping it.

Before I turn my prompt copy back over to the company, I shred all private documents (including medical forms), and if the company provides a photocopier, I will copy the entire thing. If not, I bind them using legal ribbon and keep my folder for another day (A decent sized four ring binder is extreamly hard to find and certainly not cheap)

Aerial

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« Reply #3 on: Mar 13, 2006, 11:32 pm »
I archive my shows in large (like the 11"x15" ones) manila envelopes.  That is the standard system that the mainstage at the theatre I work for uses.  Blocking script, & calling script go into the envelope(s), along with a CD of all the show's paperwork, and hard copies of ground plans, renderings, etc.  The outside of the envelope is clearly labelled with the show's title, season, director, stage manager, and the contents of the envelope.  I keep my binders and reuse them on subsequent shows.

MatthewShiner

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« Reply #4 on: Mar 14, 2006, 12:12 am »
In the regional theater, they belong to the theater.

I don't have a prompt book of my own over the past 5 years.
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Anything posted here as in my own personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer - whomever they be at a given moment in time.

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prompt books
« Reply #5 on: Mar 14, 2006, 12:17 am »
I'm with Matt.  I never keep anything anymore.  When the show closes I pack the book and all documents up for the theatre's archives. Sure, I have electronic versions of all my plots and paperwork in my computer, but I don't keep hard copies or blocking/calling scripts.

No room in the NYC studio apartment anyway, even if I wanted to keep books after closing night!
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smejs

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« Reply #6 on: Mar 14, 2006, 02:04 pm »
If the theatre paid for the binder and tabs, etc, they get everything.  If I paid for it, I pack it in a manilla envelope with post-it flags for dividers and re-use the binder and tabs for the next time.  I do have one recurring show I do that I'm not the PSM, but 2nd in line...I have all of those binders still, and occasionally refer to old ones, but am looking for a chunk of free time when I can weed through those and recycle most of the paper.  Most of what I need is on computer or backup discs anyway.

Erin

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« Reply #7 on: Mar 14, 2006, 02:07 pm »
Oh, and I also have a binder I call the "Big Book of Stage Management Info" that has sample SM paperwork of all kinds over the years.  I usually have it in my office for interns to look over for ideas of how to create their own paperwork and the various ways different shows' paperwork can look.  I also have one small 1/2 inch binder that I have of my "best" paperwork that I can pull out for an interview if needed...but haven't really used that since I turned union other than taking when talking to college students for a master class.  Did work well when I was younger at interviews though.

Erin

ESM_John

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Re: prompt books
« Reply #8 on: Jun 18, 2006, 09:58 pm »
I have a shelf in my room devoted to prompt books...i plan to do like a lot of people have said and take pieces from each and make a Portfolio out of it.

BalletPSM

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Re: prompt books
« Reply #9 on: Jul 04, 2006, 12:35 pm »
Since community theatres don't give a hoot what you do with your book, I keep all of mine from those shows, and I've kept all of mine from the shows I did in college.  I've got three big blue rubbermaid bins full of them stored in my basement (to be fair, they're not all prompt books.  Some of them are dramaturgy projects and other binders of school work).

At the ballet, they belong to the company, and stay in the binder. (except for med forms and anything with a social security # on it; those get shredded).  All documents stay on the computer and a backup CD is made of all the paperwork.  This way when we remount a ballet (as we're doing several of next season) it is easy for me (or whoever might be the PSM or SM) to just pull out the binder and everything we need.

In the event of a lawsuit -- it could be important that you have all that documentation.  We had a group of lawyers last season who wanted copies of the entire prompt book (from a ballet we did 5 years ago!).   
Stage managing is getting to do everything your mom told you not to do - read in the dark, sit too close to the TV, and play with the light switches!

ljh007

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Re: prompt books
« Reply #10 on: Jul 05, 2006, 11:18 am »
Mine usually become the property of the theatre - it's part of my contract with them.
I do have some around the house, peppered throughout the bookshelves. They are useful for the occasional document format or old contact info.

KC_SM_0807

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Re: prompt books
« Reply #11 on: Jul 25, 2006, 10:58 pm »
I'm very weird about my prompt books.  I have separate binders/tabs for every show that I've done....and keep them all together. I don't reuse anything, because I like for everything to be intact.  However, I am at a point in my life where I am about to jump into either Grad School or the professional world, so I keep all of my stuff neat and readily available for interviews and that sort of thing.  Obviously, when I start working in the professional world I will have to hand over my books at the end of the run, but for now, I keep them all safe and ready for anything!
"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."

Gina

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Re: prompt books
« Reply #12 on: Jul 26, 2006, 01:10 am »
I have two prompt books from college, one from a musical which I called from the score, and one from a straight play. I've kept them more as a momento than anything else.

I would like to introduce one more facet to this topic. As I am also returning my prompt books to my company (I do about 7 shows a year there), how important is it that I make copies of them? How often do you need a prompt book in an interview? How much does it matter if it is an older example of your work if it is still an accurate depiction of your style? I do have a portfolio of different sorts of paperwork, etc. I'm in the process of updating it. At meat-markety SETC interviews, I brought both and after seeing my portfolio, I was rarely asked for my prompt script. How different is it in the "real world"?


Thanks for any insight,
Gina

kjdiehl

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Re: prompt books
« Reply #13 on: Jul 31, 2006, 11:03 pm »
There's quite a thorough discussion on portfolios here:

http://smnetwork.org/forum/index.php?topic=664.msg3750#msg3750


Mac, what's that legal ribbon or whatever you called it? How's it work?


« Last Edit: Jul 31, 2006, 11:07 pm by kjdiehl »
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TechGal

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Re: prompt books
« Reply #14 on: Aug 08, 2006, 11:58 am »
Mac, what's that legal ribbon or whatever you called it? How's it work?

My guess is that he's referring to what we in the US would call spiral bound.  It is just a guess though.


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