Author Topic: Rehearsals: Giving line notes - a real novice question  (Read 16533 times)

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smtatertot13

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Re: Giving line notes - a real novice question
« Reply #15 on: Jul 17, 2006, 06:57 pm »
i, too, have found that actors really want to know what they said wrong. after the bajillionth time that someone said "but what did i say instead?" i finally added it to my line notes. from then, it became a habit. and every time i hand out that first set of line notes, i hear "oh wow. you wrote what we said? that's so helpful!" and it really does seem to help.

i've also created a shorthand to quickly notate most things in my book, so the only words i really write in are their "creative interpretations" (read: the words they completely make up) after rehearsal, i type them all up in Excel and email em out as attachments and/or provide hard copy, depending on the group & what helps them more.

i also really really really try to include the full correct line, no matter the length, which is especially helpful for the actors once they're past the point of carrying their scripts around with them. the negative side of this is that it takes more time to complete. i recently spent almost 11 hours doing one night's worth of line notes. (this however, is most certainly not the norm. the cast was having a particularly awful time with their lines at the beginning. ugh.)

overall, if the time is available for taking this extra step, it seems to work wonders, at least with the casts i've worked with.

Aerial

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Re: Giving line notes - a real novice question
« Reply #16 on: Jul 19, 2006, 02:57 pm »
I use a form that has common problems listed in the top of each box, and a line for the correct line, folllowed by a line for what was said.  I rarely use the what was said line, mostly because I'm usually working alone in rehearsal, on book as well, and I barely have time to take down the correct line.  I use a highlighter to point out the part of the line that had a problem.  During a run, I start a sheet for each actor, and mark down the page numbers where problems occur as we go, marking it in my shorthand in my book.  Then afterwards, I go back and fill in the lines.  I like to give actors their line notes before they leave on a given day, so that they have time to look them over before the next rehearsal.

Libby

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Re: Giving line notes - a real novice question
« Reply #17 on: Aug 03, 2006, 04:02 pm »
I have a standard form in excel that I use (and then each actor gets their own sheet in a document). The header has the actor name/character and date on it.
First column is PG
 second column is how the correct line should read
 the next columns (about 7?) are common problems (Paraphrase: (W)ord, (P)hrase, (L)ine; Dropped (W)ord, (P), (L).... ;Added (W)ord... Missed Cue (L)ate, (E)arly; Called Line; Check Script, Miss order of (W)ord, (P)hrase, (L)ine....

the reason I put the first letter in is so then in with each note I can just write the letter in the appropiate column....

If you want to see what this looks like (I've never had to explained what it looks like, so I know its confusing) please feel free to PM me and I will email it to you.

stagemonkey

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Re: Giving line notes - a real novice question
« Reply #18 on: Aug 03, 2006, 04:59 pm »
I always make sure the actor gets written line notes at the end of the rehearsal, if you wait they have no time to study what they messed up before the next rehearsal.  At times I have used forms and at others I haven't.  I also suggest asking the director how he perfers the actors to recieve line notes.  I had one director that asked that the only thing I give the actor is the page and the correct line, not telling them what exactly they messed up.  As he saw it this forces them to look at the script and reexamine the line itself, as often you might see you dropped a word scim over it once to see what the line in realize oh i forget to say babbledigook and the actor would move one and continue to mess it up.  Of course the actors knew from the start that all they would get was the line and not what they did wrong.  When I have them available I love giving the task of line notes to my assistant as I am usually focused on other aspects.

As for actors getting mad about recieving them I had one that I'd give notes to and he would always seem angry about it.  Eventually I was just like "hey dont get mad at me you have to realize that this is part of my job, don't get mad at me."  And after talking to him I learned he realized it was all part of my job and thats all i was doing and in reality he was mad at himself for screwing it up, after that he was a lot nicer and would say thanks when i handed him a sheet.  Granted that approach might not work with some actors but sometimes you have to remind actors that it is their job to remember the lines and it is your job as the SM to tell them when they are messing them up, you are only there to help them.

BalletPSM

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Re: Giving line notes - a real novice question
« Reply #19 on: Aug 05, 2006, 01:23 pm »
Quote
The advantage to the post-its (this is what I imagine - I haven't used them *yet*) is that performers can place them exactly where they apply in the script.

Correct..and also they stick to each other and the table so as I make piles during rehearsal they don't fly all over when I turn a page or if I have to jump up suddenly to move a difficult prop or if I'm sitting in a particularly drafty area.

this method can get expensive if your theatre doesn't give you a budget or you don't work in an office where they don't mind of you filch a few pads.  =)
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!

smejs

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Re: Giving line notes - a real novice question
« Reply #20 on: Aug 08, 2006, 12:00 pm »
I was doing a production of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead and the two leads were just getting pages of line notes and they were so frustrated (and this was with, oh, 20 to 25 line notes per page)...yet they actually were really improving.  So for morale, I started putting a foil star sticker at the bottom of the page of line notes for every time they'd corrected a line they'd previously missed (I didn't write which lines, but at least they could see they were improving).  Didn't take me that much more time and was rather fun.

Erin

SMeustace

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Re: Rehearsals: Giving line notes - a real novice question
« Reply #21 on: Jul 22, 2014, 01:04 pm »
Does anyone have a preferred method of giving line notes? I have three-

I like to note all the line notes in my prompt book in pencil. Only erasing after errors were fixed.

1) I type them up and email them to the cast at the end of the night.
2) write them on slips of paper to hand out to the cast afterwards. 
2) Give the notes verbally to the actors.

That way either way I have a record of line notes, so i know what lines they have trouble with and which lines they corrected over time.   
"On the first day the lord said....Light cue 1, GO! Then there was light".

leastlikely

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Re: Rehearsals: Giving line notes - a real novice question
« Reply #22 on: Jul 22, 2014, 02:03 pm »
My preference is to use a word doc or google doc version of the script. I take notes using a color-coding system in the document (and save a version for each day), and then after rehearsal I go through and put them into an excel workbook. Every actor has their own sheet in the workbook, and the form has the character name, page number, type of note, actual line, and what the error was. In the error line I will occasionally give the entire thing they said if it seems necessary, but in general I'll use it for things like "said you instead of thou" or "dropped (whatever line they dropped)" or "called line multiple times - please look over this section" or "your signing is unclear - touch base with the DASL" or "mispronounced magisterial - ask me if you need to hear it."

Edit to clarify: I then PDF each actor's sheet and email it to them directly, rather than send the whole document to the entire cast and expect them to wade through it to find their own stuff.
« Last Edit: Jul 28, 2014, 02:27 pm by leastlikely »

dallas10086

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Re: Rehearsals: Giving line notes - a real novice question
« Reply #23 on: Jul 25, 2014, 01:30 am »
I do short-hand in my script - circle what was wrong and put a letter over the circle notating if the word/phrase was dropped, switched, etc - then I transfer it to Excel. Then it's (hopefully) a matter of deleting each line as they improve.

SMeustace

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Re: Rehearsals: Giving line notes - a real novice question
« Reply #24 on: Jul 26, 2014, 07:19 pm »
Do you automatically give the job of doing line notes to an ASM? (if you have one or more)
"On the first day the lord said....Light cue 1, GO! Then there was light".

RuthNY

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Re: Rehearsals: Giving line notes - a real novice question
« Reply #25 on: Jul 27, 2014, 10:41 am »
No. It completely depends on the show, and the delegation of tasks within that production. I do line notes, much of the time, myself.

Do you automatically give the job of doing line notes to an ASM? (if you have one or more)
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Maribeth

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Re: Rehearsals: Giving line notes - a real novice question
« Reply #26 on: Jul 27, 2014, 12:15 pm »
Do you automatically give the job of doing line notes to an ASM? (if you have one or more)

No- like Ruth, for me it depends on the show. I keep track of line notes in my prompt script throughout the rehearsal process. Incorrect lines are circled and noted (WW for wrong word, DL for dropped line, etc). When an actor fixes the mistake, I put a check next to it. When they say it correctly the second time, I erase the note. I usually give line notes verbally in rehearsal, and then either myself or an ASM will handwrite them on line note forms when we do a runthrough. (I'm not fond of the little slips of paper).


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Re: Rehearsals: Giving line notes - a real novice question
« Reply #27 on: Jul 27, 2014, 12:36 pm »
I think it's important for whoever will be doing the majority of the calling to spend at least some time on line notes. Makes it easier to predict when real time flubs are likely to happen and plan accordingly.

SMeustace

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Re: Rehearsals: Giving line notes - a real novice question
« Reply #28 on: Jul 28, 2014, 06:44 am »
If you type up line notes then distribute them to the actors- do you email all the line notes on a single document to the cast, or do you email each actor individually with only their own notes?
"On the first day the lord said....Light cue 1, GO! Then there was light".

MatthewShiner

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Re: Rehearsals: Giving line notes - a real novice question
« Reply #29 on: Jul 28, 2014, 07:59 am »
You should get in the habit of breaking down notes to the individual actor - and including the actors involved in one specific line note if it effected multiple people.

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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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