Poll

Do you report the identity of your deputy to theatre management?

Yes, I do.
Yes, I do. But I never really gave it a thought before.
No, I don't. But I never really gave it a thought before.
No, I withhold the name of the deputy from management.

Author Topic: Equity Deputy's identity  (Read 3538 times)

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nmno

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Equity Deputy's identity
« on: Jul 31, 2006, 02:58 pm »
I vaguely recall there being a topic about this but can't seem to find it, but it came up the other day, so I post again... now new and improved with a POLL!

Should we reveal the name of the deputy to management?  I personally have stopped doing it after it came up with an actor; he felt more protected doing his duties in anonymity.  It also in someways helped me because I could go to management with "My deputy has brought up a concern..." without feeling like I was putting him/her in a vulnerable position AND not always making it sound like I'M the one coming with the issues. 

But at the same time, most SM's tend to put it in the report with the other Equity vote issues.  "We voted for the occassional 6 hour day, for the 1 hour lunch and Bob Smith is our deputy."
Am I making more out of it than needs to be?
Does anyone know if AEA has an opinion on this?

Obviously, there are some instances where it will need to come out to resolve a serious situation.  But until then, should management know who the deputy is?

DAE

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Re: Equity Deputy's identity
« Reply #1 on: Jul 31, 2006, 04:41 pm »
That's very interesting, because I was thinking about posting this topic before.

I have had this same discussion many times. The theatre where I interned (LORT B) no one knew except the equity company, and I have always done it that way. When I reached a theatre where the director said he always knew, I called equity NY and was told by the agents of that particular theatre that management and directors have no business knowing who the deputy is since the deputy is never to confront managment and is to call the union if that stage manager cannot deal with a problem.

I have however spoken with many different stage managers about this and got various answers. I can make good cases for both arguments, and I believe if a situation ever became serious enough it would be almost impossible to keep the identity secret. It seems to vary from theatre to theatre...

I would love to hear what others do.


loebtmc

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Re: Equity Deputy's identity
« Reply #2 on: Jul 31, 2006, 06:07 pm »
As far as I am concerned, the deputy is none of management's business. There are times where it's obvious (a guest artist contract w one actor and an SM, or folks chat about it openly in rehearsal or backstage) but I agree, for the deputy to do their job without repercussions from management, they should be able to remain anonymous. That said, I know touring companies where the deputies had regular meetings w management to request things, so obviously they weren't unknown in those circumstances, but the cast needs to feel safe taking things to the deputy, and the deputy needs to feel safe calling things in to the AEA office or discussing things w the SM, without management feeling threatened every time they see that actor talking quietly with someone.

RuthNY

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Re: Equity Deputy's identity
« Reply #3 on: Aug 01, 2006, 05:24 pm »
I'm with Loebtmc.  If I am asked by a Producer/Artistic Director for the name of the Deputy I reply that the Deputy prefers to remain anonymous.  I have surprised quite a few managers with that answer, as they are used to knowing. (In fact, I've been labeled "trouble" several times for protecting this information.)

But, sadly, they usually seem to find out anyway later from someone with looser lips than I.

Ruth



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nmno

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Re: Equity Deputy's identity
« Reply #4 on: Aug 01, 2006, 07:58 pm »
Yeah, it's interesting...  99% of the other stage managers I've worked with put it in the report...

kjdiehl

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Re: Equity Deputy's identity
« Reply #5 on: Aug 01, 2006, 11:16 pm »
I've always put it in the report. I've always thought the idea of keeping it secret was a holdover from the bad old days when the union and producers were at major odds. In fact, I feel certain there's some rulebooks where it's specifically described how the deputy and management are meant to work together to resolve certain disputes. Frankly, I rarely trust anything someone at the Equity office tells me. Often, they're outright wrong, or their answer at least makes no sense. I've worked on some of those tours where the Deputy has regular meetings with management in order to deal with things. It works well. It seems silly to me to keep things in secret. How can that possibly be an efficient way to get things done? And I've never bought the whole "it's for their protection" argument. I've worked at some lousy theatres, but I've never felt like even those theatres would have the cajones to go toe to toe with Equity by actually treating an actor badly for having reported something. The union is there to protect us, and i think everyone seems to know this.
-Kris Diehl, AEA SM

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standing in the shadows with a clipboard in hand..."

loebtmc

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Re: Equity Deputy's identity
« Reply #6 on: Aug 01, 2006, 11:22 pm »
see, and I have had the other experience - not always, but enough to keep me from volunteering this info. It depends on the theater, the producers, the management team etc - but I would rather err on the side of protecting the deputy and then find out, to my delight, that the folks at this theater are professionals and don't take it personally when the deputy does their job, instead of the reverse.


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