Author Topic: The Big "Thank You Notes" Thread!  (Read 28908 times)

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erin

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Re: thank you notes
« Reply #15 on: Jul 03, 2006, 03:16 am »
I also have to add that, yes, writing all those thank you notes during tech can be exhausting. 

That's why i wait until closing weekend for those involved in day-to-day running of the show :)

Then you can thank people for the entire process, rather than just rehearsals.

Another $.02

BalletPSM

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Re: thank you notes
« Reply #16 on: Jul 03, 2006, 01:04 pm »
For shows I work on (not so much at the ballet since its the same company and crew every time, for the most part) I always do thank you notes for all cast, designers, director, my ASMs and crew.  On opening night I take the day off work to just do it.

I don't think thank you notes from the SM are ever really expected.  It's a nice gesture and if you have the time and funds and wherewithal to do it, more power to you. 

But if you just plain don't feel like it, then don't.  If somone is going to hire based on whether or not you wrote thank you notes...well...maybe you don't want to work for them again?  If you did your job and the show is running like it should, then that in itself could be considered thank you enough to the company and the show.
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!

Gina

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Re: thank you notes
« Reply #17 on: Jul 15, 2006, 04:10 pm »
When I first started out, I would write thank yous to all the staff, cast, and crew for each show, usually for the closing weekend. More and more though, when I do summer stock work and I'm stage managing three shows...thats almost 150 people by the end of the summer. I prefer to do somethign more general. I've done a breakfast spread for a matinee or brought in food for between shows on a two show day. It lets the cast and crew know that I appreciate their work and it puts everyone in a great mood. Now I'm working with a children's theatre company and I've done seven shows in a little under a year. There just isn't any time. I work with the same twelve people all year. I make sure they know I appreciate them and ocasionally I'll send off a case of beer to a party or I'd bring in some snacks for tech to keep in the green room. I kind of feel that it would be silly to write my actors a thank you note every month. They know how I feel about them. We are more familiar than larger cast I've worked with and we just keep the respect going.


That's my opinion on it anyways,
Gina

stagemonkey

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Re: thank you notes
« Reply #18 on: Aug 01, 2006, 01:04 pm »
My opinion is it depends on the show and my mood towards the others involved.  In college I did several dance shows and I found the dancers to be great to work and i wanted to get something for some of them i considered friends.  Well ultimately i didnt think it would feel right if i got something for like 20% of the cast so since i couldnt afford flowers I made up a little card on my computer that was simply a red rose and inside said:

"I couldn’t afford a real rose for everyone on opening night, but this one will last a lot longer.

It’s been a pleasure working with you.

            Merde,
         
         
            Your Stage Manager"

Then on opening night as a way to relax I sat down turned on some music and just wrote each persons name on each card and signed each one personally. I had space to add in extra notes to certain people but it was a simple way to let them all know i enjoyed working with them. And at the cast party so many were all like "awww that was so sweet of you, thank you." which made me feel special. 

When I ASMed one of my first shows during tech the SM got a little stressed so at some point during rehearsal he was always like I'll go buy a bottle of vodka and have a bloody mary and then relax. The next day I would ask him how the drink was and he always said he never got out to get the vodka.  So opening night came still nothing so i collected a couple buck from everyone on the crew and at the cast party I gave him a really nice bottle of vodka and simply said "since you could never get it yourself we got out one." 

One dance show I gave each of the 4 choreographers a bottle of wine, and the next show with them I had 4-5 bottles of some alcohol given back to me.  I SMed a community theatre show and my thanks to the cast was just something I wrote up myself that just reflected on how the whole process progressed written in a form that kinda parralled our process to events in the show, printed them out and hung a few in the green room for all to read.  As an SM for my last show I came in the first day of tech when they just moved in the space and helped them get a lot done and I got a card that I found hysterical of a guy standing under a falling donkey and inside it was just "Thanks for saving our asses," (plus after the shows people often bought me beers at teh bar.

So really there is no set rule of what to do its really all a personal preference.  I like doing it caue I like to let others know they are appreciated for what they do (very important to do for the crews cause they are often under appreciated and they do the work anyway.)  I also know I appreciate when someone hands me a small gift to say thank you, so I like to be able to let others feel that appreciation, and every show warrants something different.

SMeustace

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The Big "Thank You Notes" Thread!
« Reply #19 on: Jun 17, 2012, 02:54 pm »
Does anyone else give thankyou/appreciation cards and little gifts to their crew, and director? If so, what very cheap gifts are a good idea. I used to give out small cheap interesting gizmos.
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MatthewShiner

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Re: Gifts and thankyou cards
« Reply #20 on: Jun 17, 2012, 04:35 pm »
I do opening nights (printed at vista print) - post cards basically in envelopes.

Show logo key rings, show logo guitar picks, show logo travel mugs or mugs, hand crafted soap - have all been some gifts in the past.  As I move up, the gifts seem to go up.

This opening night there is wine bottles with the show logo custom printed on them.
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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.

Mac Calder

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Re: Gifts and thankyou cards
« Reply #21 on: Jun 17, 2012, 06:23 pm »
I try and relate it to the show. When I did Cats in 06, I got a bulk lot of small stuffed cats and had some small metal name tags engraved with "Cats 2006", "If found please return to:" and the address of the theatre. Another show I did one of the props ended up a bit of a mascot - it was a garden gnome that got called George. After the run I took George on a trip around the city and got photos of him at a number of landmarks and sent the entire group postcards every week for the next 2 months with the travels of George. I think I gave everyone a keyring of a duck too (the OTHER beloved prop from the show). I used to make my own rhubarb champagne and cider, so I used to bring bottles of that in for opening and closing nights. Basically make it fun and quirky, but try not to over think it and worry too much.

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Re: Gifts and thankyou cards
« Reply #22 on: Jun 17, 2012, 08:39 pm »
I once got a batch of little lapel buttons with silly phrases on them for a show with a cast of 15. I chose buttons that suited each character and laid them all out on the counter in the Green room for people to pick up as they came in. (Part of the fun was watching them read each others' buttons.)

missliz

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Re: Gifts and thankyou cards
« Reply #23 on: Jun 18, 2012, 02:14 am »
I try to suit them to the show (like axe-shaped frosted cookies for Lizzie Borden, or mini bottles of champagne and an orange The Real Thing). But if not, I find alcohol a good alternative. :) And a card if I have enough to say to staff etc.
I personally would like to bring a tortoise onto the stage, turn it into a racehorse, then into a hat, a song, a dragon and a fountain of water. One can dare anything in the theatre and it is the place where one dares the least. -Ionesco

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Re: Gifts and thankyou cards
« Reply #24 on: Jun 18, 2012, 01:18 pm »
I always - ALWAYS - do a small (cheap) gift for my designers, director, crew and producer. Acknowledgment and thanks are always appropriate, especially to those who aren't always celebrated publicly and/or at all. And while I used to always do something for my actors, I've noticed that opening nite is no longer something they seem to do, so that is no longer automatic. But I have been enjoying making little mini-cards that tie to the show as a memory, printing them out 6 or 8 to a page w the title, company and date, and putting one at each person's spot for opening nite.

Maggie K

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Re: Gifts and thankyou cards
« Reply #25 on: Jun 18, 2012, 10:28 pm »
If I can think of something small and clever I will give out gifts.  However, sometimes when I can't think of anything I will bake something (paying attention to food allergies/dietary restrictions) and bring it in.  Always a big hit.
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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Re: Gifts and thankyou cards
« Reply #26 on: Jun 19, 2012, 09:53 am »
For my first show, The Bat, we had a smallish cast and crew. Roughly 15 people. I bought 2 dozen roses, wrote everyone a note on a ripped piece of paper, and tied it to the rose with tie line. (There was a scene where a rock is thrown in with a note tied to it.) I thought roses were better than rocks, hahah.

I asked my boss/TD/production manager/mentor what his thoughts on gifts were a couple months ago. He said that he hated them and thought it was the SM sucking up to the cast and that it was unnecessary. I was taken aback by this, as I think it is a sweet gesture of thanks. Has anyone else encountered opinions like that?
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maximillionx

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Re: Gifts and thankyou cards
« Reply #27 on: Jun 19, 2012, 01:10 pm »
Since I find little trinkets get thrown in a box and never opened in my house, I tend to do something charitable for the cast and crew, like donating to a non-profit or charity that has something to do with a show in their name.  For my closer relationships on crew/staff, I'll buy a bottle of wine or make them something edible to show appreciation.

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dallas10086

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Re: Gifts and thankyou cards
« Reply #28 on: Jun 19, 2012, 04:32 pm »
I tend to do more for my crew/tech depts than I do for my cast. I always bake something for the scene shop, run crew and costume crew. If it's a particularly memorable cast, I'll do an odd thank you card (like a note written on the back of these http://www.knockknockstuff.com/catalog/categories/books-other-words/flashcards/new-and-improved-slang-flashcards/) or show appropriate trinket. Because I have such a tight rotation of casts, sometimes gifts/notes just don't happen.

LCSM

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Re: Gifts and thankyou cards
« Reply #29 on: Jun 20, 2012, 09:27 am »
Opening night cookies. I just wander through my usual pre-show stuff with the tin in my hand.

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