Author Topic: CALLING: Calling a group of stoodby cues  (Read 4733 times)

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Richard_Kirby

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CALLING: Calling a group of stoodby cues
« on: Feb 06, 2016, 04:33 pm »
(Mods please feel free to move this post if it is the wrong place or add punctuation or other necessary items. I am new.)
Greetings everyone,

I am stage managing my secondary schools' production of Fame in June and my lighting designer - who is also my board op - has sent me his preliminary cue list with a bunch of notes that explains when cues are to be stood by and told to "go". For the opening number he has requested that LX 0.5 to 35 be stoodby at the same time. There is only one sound cue during this sequence. These are the 2 ways that I have heard of or been told to do: (I would have said " Standby LX 0.5 thru LX 35” beforehand)
1. LX go
2. LX 0.5 go

How have you called a group of stoodby cues from the same department?

Edited to add topic tag- Maribeth

« Last Edit: Feb 09, 2016, 01:23 am by Maribeth »

Maribeth

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Re: Calling a group of stoodby cues
« Reply #1 on: Feb 06, 2016, 07:36 pm »
If there's time, I prefer to say the cue number. If there's any confusion about what cue you are supposed to be in, saying the cue number can help eliminate that. If there's not time to say the number, then I'll say, "Lights GO".

Also, most stage managers generally set their own standbys, based on what works for them. If you find that your preference for standbys is different than the designer/board ops, you can adjust them as needed. If there is a large gap in the cues, I will generally have 2nd standby for the cues after the gap.

BenTheStageMan

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Re: CALLING: Calling a group of stoodby cues
« Reply #2 on: Feb 06, 2016, 09:21 pm »
Seconding what Maribeth said, I prefer to use numbers when possible, but frequently (and especially in musicals) there just isn't time.
To me a stand-by is a 30-second warning.  If there's less than 30 seconds between cues, they get stood-by together, like a chain.
Like Maribeth said, if there's a break it's helpful to break the number into chunks of standbys.

Other departments involved in the sequence do affect it too.  I crewed a show once where we got a rail standby about 2 minutes out from the end of a song because of all the light cues and I found I had to focus very hard to keep my mind (or my body, once) from wandering away from the rail and miss the cue.  Also, having board oped, it can be hard to be in standby for a long sequence of light cues listening for the one sound cue, for minutes on end.

But good on the designer for being so prepared that s/he has cues already!  They are perhaps trying too hard to be helpful with the recommending standby's, but I think it's easier to filter out too much information that to not get enough from a designer.
"Show people are doomed!  Doomed to a life of booze...and pills...and heavy meals late at night!" -Judy, "Ruthless!"

PSMKay

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Re: CALLING: Calling a group of stoodby cues
« Reply #3 on: Feb 07, 2016, 01:45 am »
I'd be a little leery of any calling sequence issued in January for a show that mounts in June, as things will change based on rehearsals, staging, etc. But calling standbys in batches is pretty simple, just batch them by department and number. You can batch an entire sequence this way:

"Standby for the transition to the lunchroom, that's LX 126 through 150, Sound double A through AT, Spot 1 to pickup Carmen in stage left vom, soft iris, blue, Rail on lines 3, 8 and 10 by cue lights in order."

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Richard_Kirby

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Re: CALLING: Calling a group of stoodby cues
« Reply #4 on: Feb 07, 2016, 03:37 am »
Greetings everyone,

My LD has given the cues early as by Easter he will be going to Australia for a few weeks and he didn't want me to be chasing him for his cues due to the Director saying that the show will be frozen after Easter.

I have had a look over the cues - and I did before I posted yesterday - and unfortunately there is not enough time for me to say the cue number with about 19 cues happening in the space of three minutes. What would you advise I do here? I am going thinking that I just say "LX go". Is that right?

Also thanks for your advice on the previous question I had. I am new to stage management; I have called some cues before but only in the Tech and that was last year so I am open to any advice that you pros can give me on calling techniques, person problems or anything else that crops up.

Beatr79

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Re: CALLING: Calling a group of stoodby cues
« Reply #5 on: Feb 07, 2016, 08:27 am »
In fast sequences, I have resorted to "Lights GO" or simply "GO...GO...GO."

When I have had to say multiple GOs in a row like that, I will mention it in the standby, so the op is prepared for the fast sequence.  Something along the lines of, "and warning a multiple G-Os in a row." (As a rule, many SMs never say the word "Go" except for cue execution.  So during this warning, I actually spell it out.)

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MatthewShiner

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Re: CALLING: Calling a group of stoodby cues
« Reply #6 on: Feb 07, 2016, 01:20 pm »
and if the sequence is really tight, you might want to either have sound take their own GO or put them on a cue light.

That way you could do

Standby LX 15 thru 35, all on the "G" word
Sound 7 on your own (or on the cue light)

And that way you can just say go.

On my current show, we have one number where we say Standby 600 Series, and then just say go every two beats.

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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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KMC

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Re: CALLING: Calling a group of stoodby cues
« Reply #7 on: Feb 07, 2016, 11:07 pm »
You may suggest to the LD that some cues be linked together in the console, where possible, so that you're not trying to call 30 cues in 60 seconds or something ridiculous.  If there is truly that much happening artistically in such a tight span, the LD should be able to automate some of it in the console. 
Get action. Do things; be sane; don’t fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action. -T. Roosevelt

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smejs

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Re: CALLING: Calling a group of stoodby cues
« Reply #8 on: Feb 09, 2016, 12:47 am »
You could also have something like "Sound is with the third light cue" in your standby. Also, after a tricky sequence, both for my own sake and the board op, I might add a final "we should now be in LQ 35." (Sorry, I tried to type LX, but as it's not a term I use, I just couldn't!)

Maggie K

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Re: CALLING: Calling a group of stoodby cues
« Reply #9 on: Feb 09, 2016, 01:34 pm »
I think what it all really comes down to is communication.  Tell them what you're going to say or do in the standby and everything should be fine.

My current show I have lights, sound, and projections.  There are a few times where I tell them that I will call an "all g-o" which means all 3 happen at the same time.  I also have a sequence where there are about 10 light cues and then a projection cue.  So in the standby I say "Standby lights 1-10 and tab cue 4, reminder that tab 4 is toward the end of the sequence." 
I like the ephemeral thing about theatre, every performance is like a ghost - it's there and then it's gone. -Maggie Smith

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