Author Topic: Teamwork: ASM choice conflict  (Read 3408 times)

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LCook

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Teamwork: ASM choice conflict
« on: Sep 17, 2006, 08:01 pm »
Okay, so here's my problem. There's a certain tech crew member at my school (let's call him Stu) and our quasi-technical director. Stu has approached me on multiple occasions about ASMing for me, and I have sort of skirted the issue and said "maybe." However, I was recently informed by our quasiTD that I "must" appoint Stu as one of my ASM for a production because Stu went over my head and talked to our TD. However, I have considered him in the past and decided against having him work with me because:

1. My crew has approached me with complaints about how power hungry and abusive he can be backstage. They have also flat out said that they will not listen to him if he is an ASM, or that they won't do crew. The people saying this are very competent, useful people to have backstage and I don't want to risk losing them.

2. He has a very hard time taking direction. Once the former SM and I asked him where he was going and he proceeded to scream at us and say for us to shove it in a certain area and that he won't listen to us.

3. He simply isn't as competent as other members of my crew. He is simply a junior and believe it's his "right" to be an ASM due to his age. Personally, I go for competence before age.

4. I have personal qualms with working with him given his personal views on the world, and his inability to put them aside during "work." He has sent me multiple sexist emails (despite the fact that I never gave him my email address, or at least not the one he's using) with instructions on how I am "supposed" to act like a 50s housewife. He has also declared to nearly the whole school (I go to a very small private school) that he hates gays and wouldn't work with them. I am a lesbian, and although he doesn't know yet, it's not uncommon for one of my cast members to arrive at rehearsal early and in small talk while we are doing our respective tasks ask "how's your girlfriend doing?"

5. I am also a little apprehensive that I don't have free choice of who my ASMs are given that every stage manager before me at my school has had the choice.   :-\

Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks guys!  ;D
« Last Edit: Feb 11, 2008, 12:51 pm by PSMKay »

fuzzy_7

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Re: ASM choice conflict
« Reply #1 on: Sep 17, 2006, 08:18 pm »
Wow! I would say talk with your TD and explain the issues you have with Stu (I understand if you don't want to bring your personal life into it). Since he went over your head, you're going to have to use the same route he did or you will have a bigger mess than you bargained for. Also, try to put him as a dresser or something not directly under your control that way he is still involved and you don't necessarily have to deal with him. If all of this fails, take it to the highest authority within the theatre department (probably your director).
Derek A. Fuzzell

LCook

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Re: ASM choice conflict
« Reply #2 on: Sep 17, 2006, 10:06 pm »
yeah, I'm going to talk to him tomorrow. our TD isn't really a TD in the traditional sense, a better term for him would be "tech god" cause he's on the same level as our director. He's an awesome guy, definitely one of my favorite teachers, but he's just not getting his way on this one.

our director suggested Stu once too, and I explained the situation to her and she completely understands, unfortunately she's on maternity leave for a few months and the guy doing it is fresh out of college and really has NO clue what he's doing. (this whole thing is for our talent show on steroids like thing)

I thought of getting Stu to be house manager, because he's good at dealing with patrons, just not being in charge of people, and our ushers wouldn't need much instruction from him.

Thank you for you're input it really helps.

lydiaelaine

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Re: ASM choice conflict
« Reply #3 on: Sep 17, 2006, 10:23 pm »
I had the same problem like, 2 weeks ago. I went and spoke with both my director and our TD and explained why I couldn't have a certain girl as my ASM. Many of my reason were the same as yours. And luckily for me, they did let me end up choosing my own ASM and he is fabulous. Best of luck!
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MatthewShiner

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Re: ASM choice conflict
« Reply #4 on: Sep 18, 2006, 12:16 am »
Intersting note:

In the world you don't always get a chance to pick you ASMs . . . it's often done by the production manager.

It might be an interesting experiment to work "Stu".
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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.

megf

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Re: ASM choice conflict
« Reply #5 on: Sep 18, 2006, 01:18 am »
I understand where you're coming from - I've worked as an intern on shows where the PSM wasn't given first choice of ASM, as an ASM where the SM had myself or no one, and as a SM on college shows where the choice was between one of two people I'd never met. It's a rough position to be put in, but can be fascinating as a learning process.

MatthewShiner has a good point; if you feel that you can make this a good learning experience for yourself (and, if possible, for Stu and others!) then I would encourage you to try agreeing to the assignment.

If, on the other hand, you feel that you would be putting yourself in danger - emotionally, socially, academically, or otherwise, or that you would be endangering friends/partners - then by all means, skip the TD and go to the Dean or campus mediators/counselors/Ombuds. If Stu's emails were threatening, then you should not be made to work with him, regardless of his requests. If you intend to go to the higher-ranking department folks, bringing this up is the probably most direct way to refuse to work with him (I'm not telling you that you should do this - but, should it come down to proof, then having copies of the emails would not hurt your case).  The other points you have listed, while strong in a social context, might not hold up as well in the Dean's office. I understand that this is personal information, and using it to affect changes in show assignments could be uncomfortable; please take it with a grain of salt and trust your instincts.

Best of luck, and keep the SMN posted on the outcome!

Meg

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Re: ASM choice conflict
« Reply #6 on: Sep 18, 2006, 09:33 am »
Very true.  I've actually been in this position twice this year.

 The first time I turned down the job, for a number of reasons, not just the choice of ASM, but that was one big part of the decision.

The second time is an upcoming show.  The choice of ASM is not open for discussion.  I'm not truly comfortable, but I'll forge ahead as if I am.




In the world you don't always get a chance to pick you ASMs . . . it's often done by the production manager.



"Be fair with others, but then keep after them until they're fair with you."
--Alan Alda

Balletdork

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Re: ASM choice conflict
« Reply #7 on: Sep 18, 2006, 09:43 am »
On the no choice issue- I know I never got to choose asst's in college, nor did any other SM major. The Universities I've worked for have held a similar position.

I suggest giving it a shot- after discussing your apprehension with your TD. If it ends up going badly you can only be in the right having voiced your concerns, but still being open to the assignments made by your Faculty.

(In my opinion) College students should have the support of the Faculty & Staff and should not be ultimately responsible for the assignments of their fellow students.

LCook

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Re: ASM choice conflict
« Reply #8 on: Sep 18, 2006, 07:14 pm »
thanks for all your input guys!!!!

I resolved the situation, whee!

For all of you who said about the not always getting to choose:

I completely understand that and I've worked in professional environments, so I'm aware of the choice option and I know its rather unique to my high school. That said, it is a part of my high school, so it does play a factor in my life. I wasn't trying to sound whiney, but its kind of a "perk" at my school that I don't want to be denied.

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