Author Topic: Rehearsals: Be quiet!  (Read 11108 times)

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Caroline Naveen

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Re: Rehearsals: Be quiet!
« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2013, 09:13 pm »
how do you help people be silent during rehearsals instead of talking and not focusing? (i'm dealing with high school seniors here. :roll: ) I have started to duck tape a sucker into their mouth, but when they're dancing, that's totally dangerous, and this also doesn't work on the people who have speaking roles. Does anybody have any suggestions? :?  8O  :?:

Oh my word I really don't like it when that happens. I was SMing a show at our regional theatre's education program and no one would stay quiet during the show! We had very little masking outside of dressing room doors and some places with just a curtain between them and the stage and we had talking in the wings! I didn't know what to do it seemed like I was always saying quiet please to where I said it so much it started to lose it's value and to make it worse half of the cast was older than me high school seniors and they would not shut it! I reported some people to the PSM and the director talked to them that helped for one show day....we managed to make it through the run but I felt like a fail because I was always telling people to be quiet and I wanted to be friends with the cast because they were my age but at the same time I had a job to do. I finally just decided to let some stuff slide and we made it through the run. Did you ever figure out how to enforce silence because if there's a trick to it I'd sure like to know.....it's so hard trying to figure stuff out with the cast when they are older than you......

planetmike

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Re: Rehearsals: Be quiet!
« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2013, 05:08 pm »
I reviewed a show once where I had to mention in the review itself that I could hear the cast whispering/talking backstage, and that it was distracting to the audience. I wish I could have seen the show again later to see if it made any difference at all.

Risa Comical

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Re: Rehearsals: Be quiet!
« Reply #17 on: May 09, 2013, 02:33 am »
I would just like to add, that no matter what route you go (keeping calm, exploding, whatever) nip it in the bud ASAP. In my last show I was ASM, then promoted to SM right before our first tech rehearsal, and was uncomfortable with my sudden authority, which meant once I finally started shushing people, it was totally ineffective. I actually ended up losing my cool and telling an actor to shut up, and ended up getting called out on it from said actor during rehearsal notes that evening. It was embarrassing. Which lowered my credibility even more with the cast. So I ended up saying "shhhh" in between almost every cue during the 3 week run.
It all started with a single question... " Hey, do you wanna stage manage JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT!?" Best decision in my life so far...

Lauren

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Re: Rehearsals: Be quiet!
« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2013, 12:14 am »
I am personally a huge fan of preceding the announcement of "Quiet, Please!" with something. I say "Ladies and Gentlemen" a lot- it's respectful, and if they don't hear that, then they're at least paying attention by the time you get to the word "Quiet". Some people think that's too formal for them and find their own way they address their cast. Pretty much anything works.

In high school I was really good at the pointed look and the shushing. It may have helped that everyone knew me as a really quiet person until I started SMing, so they knew I meant business if they made me raise my voice. I do think every SM needs a good pointed look. Not a glare, necessarily, just a look that makes people notice they're being looked at... (:
"The truth is rarely pure, and never simple" -Oscar Wilde

Nwb001

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Re: Rehearsals: Be quiet!
« Reply #19 on: Jun 11, 2013, 01:40 pm »
I am currently having this problem with the cast I am working with. This particular show has a cast ranging from 15t o 30 with the majority being under 18. I have repeated "Quiet please" and "Stay focused" too many times to count in rehearsals and my solution is I now ask people to leave rehearsal and come back when they are ready to work. Seems to be a good enough threat to make the rehearsals go smoother,

VSM

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Re: Rehearsals: Be quiet!
« Reply #20 on: Jun 26, 2013, 04:06 am »
It's nice to be friends but in the end, you are the boss.
I start with "Ladies & Gentlemen."
I then move on to "Hey Guys!"
Finally it is "I must have QUIET in the house."
The gradual move to directive is usually accepted as they realize the journey taken...
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SMeustace

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Re: Rehearsals: Be quiet!
« Reply #21 on: Aug 26, 2013, 06:08 pm »
've always found that the old "Quiet, please. The faster we get through what we need to, the faster we can get through the scenes". In the past, I've had actors who weren't needed at the moment for the scene that we we're working on, wait outside. I or an ASM would get the ones who were needed, a few minutes before they had to enter the scene. I had them wait outside in the lobby, or set up the greenroom for them as a "hang out".

We have audio/video monitors in the greenroom and dressing rooms, so I would turn them on (when I could) so actors could see and hear the rehearsal in progress.

This worked very well, especially for full cast rehearsals. For shows where this was difficult, we made a rule that you would have to stay after to help clean up and put away furniture and props if you were told to be "hush" 3 times in a same rehearsal.

Post Merge: Aug 27, 2013, 05:54 pm
If one or a few cast members get out of hand, speak with them one on one before the next rehearsal. Calmly explain to them that what they are doing are both distracting and rude to others who are in the scenes, and to respect your cast mates regardless on how you think/feel about them. The whole "act professionally" and "act your age" speeches always come in handy.

If it comes to this, i, in a polite manner, tell them to "pull themselves together, take a few minutes to relax and settle down, and join us in three-five minutes.

Even if you're working with your peers, you need to get what needs to be done. I found that separating "professional" and "personal" helps. My cast/crew know that once rehearsal starts, I'm in "stage manger mode". This doesn't mean you can't have fun with your cast/crew, or that you have to be a 'robot'. This means you need to know when and where to set the line.

You can always socialize with your cast/crew after rehearsal, but during rehearsal you should set your own fair boundaries.
« Last Edit: Aug 27, 2013, 05:54 pm by SMeustace »
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MoLeaSM

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Re: Rehearsals: Be quiet!
« Reply #22 on: Oct 05, 2013, 10:26 am »
Working with college actors, they're just about as bad as high school actors. Within one rehearsal, I probably give a minimum of 10 "QUIET/FOCUS, PLEASE" calls that will silence them for a few minutes. I've just accepted that the actors are a little ADD and get distracted every time they're asked to move. When it gets really bad, I do give a patented "death glare" (so named by the actors) and tell them to "Stop. Talking. Now. Thank you."
It does help adding the "thank you" to the end of everything I ask them to do. It reads as a "thank you in advance for listening to what I'm asking you to do" and subliminally says I expect it to happen, no questions asked. It seems to work--I haven't threatened anyone with duct tape yet.

SMBen

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Re: Rehearsals: Be quiet!
« Reply #23 on: Oct 07, 2013, 02:48 pm »
Don't be afraid to say: let's quiet down! One of the hardest (and best) parts of our job is to take control. When the director needs quiet, it is your job to make it happen. Even if they give you attitude, remember: you're the stage manager. You practically run the whole freaking show.
Good Luck!

KMC

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Re: Rehearsals: Be quiet!
« Reply #24 on: Oct 07, 2013, 03:56 pm »
Don't be afraid to say: let's quiet down! One of the hardest (and best) parts of our job is to take control. When the director needs quiet, it is your job to make it happen. Even if they give you attitude, remember: you're the stage manager. You practically run the whole freaking show.
Good Luck!

Use caution when going in guns blazing.  While it can be necessary sometimes; using ego, a hunger for control, and a sledgehammer as your primary tools will quickly wear thin with anyone and will not earn you much respect.   
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

MatthewShiner

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Re: Rehearsals: Be quiet!
« Reply #25 on: Oct 08, 2013, 12:35 am »
Quote
Use caution when going in guns blazing.  While it can be necessary sometimes; using ego, a hunger for control, and a sledgehammer as your primary tools will quickly wear thin with anyone and will not earn you much respect.   

Especially as a younger stage manager, you can't just use the authority like that  all the time - it leads to problems down the line.  Better to use all the tools in your management skill set to get the behavior you want.

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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.

Kelasaurus

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Re: Rehearsals: Be quiet!
« Reply #26 on: Oct 17, 2013, 06:19 pm »
My usual tactic is a firm "GUYS!..." (Wait for the chatter to stop) "Thank you!" accompanied by raising my arm in the air.

I am completely onboard with kicking people out of the room. If you're not needed in this scene, you can hang out as long as you're quiet and respectful. If someone causes a ruckus, I ask them to leave the room and I will come get them when we need them.
« Last Edit: Oct 17, 2013, 06:22 pm by Kelasaurus »
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Jonas_A

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Re: Rehearsals: Be quiet!
« Reply #27 on: Nov 13, 2013, 12:48 am »
I'm a bit with Mac here (and ljh007): The student SM's at my uni have uniformly found that with teenagers (and some college/uni students), that you have to establish a culture of quiet - and establish it early. Put up signs, get directors to mention it, pounce on anyone talking... you get the picture. But you have to start early.

If you can train them (can take several months), get them into the habit of raising their hand and shutting their mouths the second you/director/MD/etc. raises their hand. Although it can be a bit of a battle to start with, it's remarkably effective and is actually pretty respectful. You just have to establish an expectation that when the speaker raises their hand, everyone else will do likewise and mouths close. You don't have to wait for them to be quiet; just start talking as soon as you raise your hand. I do this with my Scouts (11-18), and find they prefer it to "QUIET, PLEASE. THANK YOU EVERYONE. PLEASE BE QUIET. [etc.]" You also have a nice recourse when they continue talking because, having raised their hand and then continued to talk (it will happen.) you can take them aside later and say "Hey, you know how it works here. When you put up your hand, you also need to stop talking." They rarely try to shift the blame because they know they can't say they didn't notice what was going on - otherwise their hand wouldn't have gone up. (And it will. I think it's instinct.)

Also, removing people from the room is never a bad move. Depending on how much they're frustrating you, you can actually make it an act of benevolence "We've got 10 minutes till we need you again, you're welcome to go outside."

As always, you're more effective on this one if you're not a snarly, shouty SM *all the time*. If you can be quiet and pleasant 99% of the time, the 1% of the time when you start to yell makes a huge impact. People very quickly get desensitised to shouting (and resent it), but, as Patrick Rothfuss put it; "all wise men fear the anger of a gentle man."

kim7possible

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Re: Rehearsals: Be quiet!
« Reply #28 on: Dec 20, 2013, 07:18 am »
I've found that Play-dough works on actors of any age. It seems kind of strange, but give a group Chatty Kathy's a couple things of play-dough and suddenly they're silent.

KaBooM

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Re: Rehearsals: Be quiet!
« Reply #29 on: May 15, 2014, 02:47 pm »
My college has this problem occasionally, with students from outside the major frequently being cast and not quite knowing the rules. Usually, it's just a matter of them learning, or one or two vets being reminded. I find a simple "Can I have quite on the sides please!" usually gets the job done.
In a minute there is time for decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

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