Author Topic: Another Fitting Question  (Read 6479 times)

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MarcieA

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Another Fitting Question
« on: Jan 31, 2007, 05:58 pm »
What do you normally do when you are an evening rehearsal (we always rehearse 6-11PM) but the designer wants to do a 10AM or afternoon fitting?

The only thing I can find is about the maximum hours for fittings and that they must me consecutive to or during the rehearsal.

Normally I approach the actor privately and explain that this is when the designer has asked for the fitting, it will give them the maximum amount of time afterwards to work on the costume, etc and would they be amenable to that?

I've only had it be an issue one, and that was because of the actor's day job, but technically it is a violation.
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hbelden

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Re: Another Fitting Question
« Reply #1 on: Feb 01, 2007, 05:41 pm »
If it's a violation of the actors' contract, you just can't do it.  I've had to explain to costume designers in the past that fittings have to be consecutive to rehearsal.  One said, "but this is how we always did it before" to which I replied, "That was on a different contract.  On this contract, it's not allowed.  You can't do the fitting separate from calling the actor in to rehearsal."  Now, with non-union actors, they don't have the protection, and the designer's needs would take precedence (except in cases of day job conflicts, of course).

Sorry, but this is a real hassle for most actors, I think, so I'm a real stickler about it. 

Do you rehearse during the day on weekends?  would a weekend fitting work out?

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MarcieA

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Re: Another Fitting Question
« Reply #2 on: Feb 01, 2007, 06:01 pm »

Do you rehearse during the day on weekends?  would a weekend fitting work out?


We start at 6 Mon-Thursday, with Friday off. Sat-Sun is 10AM/11AM-6/7PM.

The problem happens when we have an out of town designer who is not around on the weekend. I've only have it happen with one show, and the actor agreed to it because it was for a photo shoot that day, plus he was and out of towner and housed next door to the shop so he just stopped in on his way to the gym. That was at his suggestion (after I had told the designer no, so it worked out).

I actually don't have the "this is how we did it" problem, but rather a number of our actors also work administratively, so they will sneak into a 2PM fitting.
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MatthewShiner

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Re: Another Fitting Question
« Reply #3 on: Feb 02, 2007, 12:27 am »
What contract are you on?

For example, if you are a LORT contract . . . and you reahrse from 6:00p - 11:00p, that's a 5 hour day.

So you have three hours left.

Then you day would be 1:00p - 4:00p, 2 hour meal break, then 6:00p - 11:00p.

So, technically that 1:00p - 4:00p would be in rehearsal hours, and you could schedule a fitting during then.  You can do fittings during the "rehearsal" hours, or up to an hour before there . . . thus it is consective with rehearsal hours, not their specific call.  (For example, if you had an actor who was called for 10:00p to 11:00p, you fitting does not need to be the hour before.)

That is my reading of the rule.  So based on that, you could do a fitting from 12:00n - 4:00p (if this was a LORT contract) and still be with in the rule.  The 12 hour span of day would preclude anything before 11:00a.

That's my reading (based on LORT) - anyone else see it differently?

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hbelden

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Re: Another Fitting Question
« Reply #4 on: Feb 02, 2007, 11:12 am »
Sounds right to me, Matthew, with one question - if the actors have voted on a one-hour meal break, wouldn't that mean you'd have to use one hour, not two, in your calculations?

And you'd have to do a special doublecheck that you weren't putting the actor on overtime for the week, as he or she would have three more hours than everyone else...

I had one AEA rep tell me that I couldn't call an actor for a fitting on a day that he or she wouldn't also be called to rehearsal.  That is, I couldn't send Lady Bracknell to a fitting on a day that the director only wanted to work Act II.  I haven't seen other SMs pay attention to that, though, so I think I must have miscommunicated with the rep on that occasion.
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MarcieA

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Re: Another Fitting Question
« Reply #5 on: Feb 02, 2007, 12:16 pm »
We're on an SPT 6, so our hours are only 6-11PM with no leeway because of the rest of the week's schedule.
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Scott (formerly Digga)

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Re: Another Fitting Question
« Reply #6 on: Feb 02, 2007, 02:59 pm »
Sounds right to me, Matthew, with one question - if the actors have voted on a one-hour meal break, wouldn't that mean you'd have to use one hour, not two, in your calculations?
The 1 hour meal break is not a definite.  It just gives the theatre permission to use it if they'd like that option.

Rebbe

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Re: Another Fitting Question
« Reply #7 on: Feb 03, 2007, 12:31 am »
I work mainly in SPT, and if I was in your situation, I’d politely tell the designer that a 10am fitting just is not possible given AEA rules.  I would probably also get the Production Manager in the loop, to see if they can help with scheduling the designer to be in town at more useful times.  The designers I’ve worked in SPT settings have always expected to work around our rehearsal schedule; is it possible the deisgner in your case also knows this, and just figured that asking you to bend the rules for them was worth a shot?         

Quote
a number of our actors also work administratively, so they will sneak into a 2PM fitting.
If an actor initiates something like this, I don’t know that I’d oppose it, even though it’s not by the book.  But I do not think it’s appropriate for the designer, or an SM,  to ask that of the actors.  It puts the actors in a bad position; they may worry that they can’t say no because it will hurt their relationship with the designer (and they’ll therefore end up with a costume they’re unhappy with).   To me there is also a big difference between a 10am fitting and 2pm fitting when the rehearsal isn’t until 6pm.  2pm you could possibly justify if you released the actor at 9pm (2 hour fitting consecutive to 5 hour rehearsal call  as per SPT Rule 44-L (even if in reality they get a 1/2 Hour fitting, then a break until 6pm when real rehearsal starts). 

Matthew is onto something with having fittings during rehearsal hours.  You can do this even within your 5 hour block.   For example, if John Doe isn’t in the first scene, call him at 6pm anyway, but have him do a fitting from 6-6:30, then join the rehearsal when you move on to scene 2.  Or plan to let the actors out for 15/30 minute fittings at various points during the regular rehearsal hours when they won’t be needed in the scene.  Just make sure the director knows the actors who’ve had fittings still need to be released at 11pm (they can’t keep anyone later to make up time they were out of the room). 

I’ve even done this with a two person play where both actors were onstage the entire show; each character had a long speeches or detailed moment that the director could happily work on with just one person for half an hour while the other actor was out of the room. 
« Last Edit: Feb 03, 2007, 12:37 am by Rebbe »
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MarcieA

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Re: Another Fitting Question
« Reply #8 on: Feb 03, 2007, 01:32 am »

Matthew is onto something with having fittings during rehearsal hours.  You can do this even within your 5 hour block.   For example, if John Doe isn't in the first scene, call him at 6pm anyway, but have him do a fitting from 6-6:30, then join the rehearsal when you move on to scene 2.  Or plan to let the actors out for 15/30 minute fittings at various points during the regular rehearsal hours when they won't be needed in the scene.  Just make sure the director knows the actors who've had fittings still need to be released at 11pm (they can't keep anyone later to make up time they were out of the room). 


We've done this with local designers and it works well. The issue is that we have designers coming from Florida or California and they're only there Wednesday-Friday and want daytime fittings so that they can fit and immediately shop with that fitting in mind. I've always said no,except for the photo shoot fitting, though I do have those actors who have volunteered it. When it needs to be outside of scheduled rehearsal time I try to do a 4-5PM fitting so that it is tacked right on to rehearsal with that hour break, giving the actor the option of a 4:45-5:45PM fitting if they'd rather not take the hour break.

I don't understand really why it can be the other way around, fit in the evening and shop during the day, but I've encountered this request from every designer who is not local. No one ever fights it once I explain it, so I was just curious if there was a loophole to the rule that I didn't know about.
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loebtmc

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Re: Another Fitting Question
« Reply #9 on: Feb 03, 2007, 01:48 am »
depending on your contract and tier, you can have a broken day as long as there is a specific time lag between the calls - I will try to look that rule up, I know we used it on what I think was an SPT contract I worked a few years ago (I know it was one of the smaller contracts - spt or hat, or some such) - they similarly had the photo calls and costume fittings hours and hours before the rehearsal due to the mixed cast (all their non-AEA had to rehearse at nite after work), but we had a legal break of something like 4-6 hrs of rest between, allowing the company to do it 

sorry, it's not at the top of my brain, I will look it up - it does exist in some contracts I just gotta find it

MatthewShiner

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Re: Another Fitting Question
« Reply #10 on: Feb 04, 2007, 10:44 am »
Sounds right to me, Matthew, with one question - if the actors have voted on a one-hour meal break, wouldn't that mean you'd have to use one hour, not two, in your calculations?

No.  Remember, when the cast votes for a one-hour meal break, they are voting for the option of an one-hour meal break, you do not have to limit it to one hour.  (There are often times when I need 90 minutes to do costume fittings.)  You can also do a two hour meal break as well.  The one hour is just an option to reduce it that way.

I believe you can call an actor on a day they are no rehearsing (LORT) - I hope so, I do do it all the time.
« Last Edit: Feb 04, 2007, 05:51 pm by MatthewShiner »
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Scott (formerly Digga)

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Re: Another Fitting Question
« Reply #11 on: Feb 04, 2007, 05:18 pm »
I believe you can call an actor on a day they are no rehearsing (LORT) - I hope so, I do do it all the time.
You should be able to.  The actors are paid to be there every day and it shouldn't matter what you use that day for.  Just because they aren't scheduled to rehearse their scenes that day doesn't mean they really get a day off.  Like you - I do it all the time as well so I'm really hoping I'm right.

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Re: Another Fitting Question
« Reply #12 on: Feb 04, 2007, 07:32 pm »
I believe you can call an actor on a day they are no rehearsing (LORT) - I hope so, I do do it all the time.
You should be able to.  The actors are paid to be there every day and it shouldn't matter what you use that day for.  Just because they aren't scheduled to rehearse their scenes that day doesn't mean they really get a day off.  Like you - I do it all the time as well so I'm really hoping I'm right.
Supposing the rule is that you can't call them for a fitting on a day they won't be used in rehearsal, what's to stop you from calling them for a "note session" that, ooops, we just don't get around to, etc...  We're required to give them 12 hour notice of their span of day, not necessarily what they will be doing with the span of day (unless it involves photos).
I try to be nice and avoid bringing someone in just for a half hour fitting, but if that's the way it has to be, that's it...  They're being paid.

loebtmc

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Re: Another Fitting Question
« Reply #13 on: Feb 04, 2007, 07:48 pm »
You CAN call actors on a day they aren't rehearsing during the work week for costume fittings and the like - there are span-of-day minimums on each contract (esp on the smaller ones) that need to be observed

What you CAN'T do is officially call the actor in for a fitting on their day off without them being paid (and - I think - permission) - and I have seen that one abused a lot - just overheard two actors at an audition talking abt driving a hefty distance into their theater for a required, scheduled fitting on their Monday off - and they had no idea they shd be asked, let alone paid.


malewen

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Re: Another Fitting Question
« Reply #14 on: Feb 05, 2007, 12:08 am »
Under most Equity contracts you are able to call the actors for anything you want during rehearsal hours (including fittings), all you need to do is not exceed the maximum span of day for that actor, not exceed the maximum hours of work in an individual day and give them proper advance notice of the call.  The actors are being paid to be available for rehearsal six days a week (under most contracts), so do what you need to do.  You can't call them on their day off without an additional payment (this excludes things like the costume call prior to the start of the rehearsal period that is sometimes allowed).  And yes, a work day with no rehearsal call is not a day off.   I once had the artistic director of a major regional theatre tell me that he wanted all the actors called and at the theatre for every hour of scheduled rehearsal in case he changed his mind about what he wanted to rehearse!  We didn't actually do this but we could have under the rules (there would have been a cast riot if we had tried...).  Having said this, I do try not to make people come to the theatre just for a short fitting and no work at rehearsal, but sometimes you have no choice (an out-of-town designer or whatever).  And Matthew Shiner is absolutely right about the vote for a one hour meal break being an option at the theatre's discretion (although you might not be able to do a two hour meal break under some contracts).

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