Author Topic: Half Hour Call  (Read 17514 times)

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RuthNY

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Half Hour Call
« on: Jan 19, 2009, 11:24 am »
Here's another "Hardline Hypothetical" for your discussion pleasure:

Under an AEA agreement, under what REHEARSAL circumstances, must you offer your actors a "half hour" call, prior to being called to the stage?

Use examples from life, proof from rule books, and advice given to you by your AEA Business Rep.

Discuss!

(VSM, aren't you happy that I live to populate your Forum?!)
"Be fair with others, but then keep after them until they're fair with you."
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javnine

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Re: Half Hour Call
« Reply #1 on: Jan 19, 2009, 05:29 pm »
In tech, I usually give actors about 15 minutes to get to the stage, unless I know that costumes will take longer.  If we're doing runs before 1st preview, I give them a half hour so they can get into the pattern.  My director and lighting designer asked about this on my last show since they were used to 1/2 hour at the top of tech to get into costume.  I couldn't find a rule in the guidelines, so I called my business rep.  The rep said half hour in rehearsal was a custom, up to the director, not a rule. 

LOA in New York was the contract I was under.

MatthewShiner

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Re: Half Hour Call
« Reply #2 on: Jan 19, 2009, 07:53 pm »
My understanding is half-hour is only for performances.

I give it for performances and all dress/tech runs.

We give "half-hour" for all tech periods, but it usually ends up being longer - I tend to work on big, big period shows, where getting 30 people into costume, wigs and make-up - where we don't get half-hour down until we get to previews.  (Also, we usually call non-equity actors before half-hour, which we don't start until we are in previews.)

I often actors when give a half-hour, stand around and then get dressed in 5 minutes.  So, if, during tech, I am starting with a two person scene, I will often get them into costume as quickly as possible and then start. 

But technically, tech rehearsals are just like any other rehearsal, and my understanding is you don't need to give a half-hour.




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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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EFMcMullen

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Re: Half Hour Call
« Reply #3 on: Jan 20, 2009, 10:04 am »
Like Matthew, my understanding is that it is only for performances, though I too also give it at the top of tech days and dress rehearsals.  It gives wardrobe and the actors a chance to touch base and get ready without everybody feeling I am breathing down their necks to "hurry up".  And meanwhile on-stage, I am generally teching the top of the show, that way once half hour is over, we can dive right in without the actors standing around waiting for tech.

After that, it all depends on the type of show.  A modern piece where it is two actors in jeans, I try to get them into costume as quickly as possible so we can get tech going. 

dee4156

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Re: Half Hour Call
« Reply #4 on: Jan 22, 2009, 05:36 pm »
Canadian equity stipulates a half hour needs to be given any time you require the actor to be in costume. Includes all dress rehearsals as well as photo calls.
"Life is tough, but it's tougher if you're stupid" ~John Wayne

prizm

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Re: Half Hour Call
« Reply #5 on: Apr 14, 2009, 03:10 pm »
I have always given 1/2 hour if the actors are getting into costume otherwise its just a normal rehearsal. This leads me to another question. I hope it dosen't diverge too much. Where is the rule that says the SM has to give calls (ie.1/2 hour, 15min, 10min, 5min places). I have always assumed this was just a courtesy, but i was told by a deputy when i missed the 10min call that I had to hold curtain. I of course said no cause I called 1/2 hour. I tried to find something in the book to support me but I couldn't even find a rule requiring an actor to be in the space 30mins prior to curtain. I found rules that reference 1/2 hour but that is it.

Rebbe

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Re: Half Hour Call
« Reply #6 on: Apr 14, 2009, 10:26 pm »
Where is the rule that says the SM has to give calls (ie.1/2 hour, 15min, 10min, 5min places). I have always assumed this was just a courtesy, but i was told by a deputy when i missed the 10min call that I had to hold curtain.
I don't think there are official rules about announcing the time.  Some SMs regularly skip 10 and only announce 15 & 5, and the time of the places call varies (I think there are posts about the places call elsewhere).  If the actor fell behind in their personal pre-show routine, because they normally do something at the ten minute call and didn't because it wasn't made, I could see it being reasonable/necessary to hold for them to get ready. 

I tried to find something in the book to support me but I couldn't even find a rule requiring an actor to be in the space 30mins prior to curtain. I found rules that reference 1/2 hour but that is it.
In the SPT book, I think what you're looking for is under Duties of the Actor, rule 21(B)(2) says the actor shall "appear at the theater no later than one half-hour prior to the performance."
"...allow me to explain about the theatre business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster."  (Philip Henslowe, Shakespeare In Love)

MatthewShiner

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Re: Half Hour Call
« Reply #7 on: Apr 14, 2009, 11:14 pm »
No, I don't believe there are calls to countdown to places.

But, if you normally do it, and then don't one night . . . the actor may be counting on the announcement to time their pre-show.

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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.

prizm

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Re: Half Hour Call
« Reply #8 on: Apr 16, 2009, 12:11 am »
this is all true. Thanks I hardly ever work SPT but I never thought to look in duties of the actor so it is most likely there for all contracts. I see your point on the 10 min call issue. the truth is I said I have to go check on the house and its like 3mins to 10 and wasnt able to get back till 8mins which is more my point. If I though he wasnt trying to push me and actually needed it I would have given it to him the show is only 80mins its not like I cant be flexible.

smejs

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Re: Half Hour Call
« Reply #9 on: Jan 05, 2010, 11:42 am »
Missed this thread earlier - was so surprised to realize this morning (looking through both SPT and LORT books, because of an issue we're having) that there's no official "half hour to get into costume" rule.  Hmmm.

As for calls, that's one thing I hate about stepping into take over another SM's show - whatever they had done for the calls.  Had one time that the person did something like every 5 minutes - with no god mic system - so just as I finished one set, I was back to walking around and giving a call.

loebtmc

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Re: Half Hour Call
« Reply #10 on: Jan 05, 2010, 01:19 pm »
I once had an actor who didn't listen to our calls but insisted on having a 10 (I really don't know anyone who calls 10, just 15, 5 and places) - meaning (for this house and show)asking us to do constant circles without having any breaks ourselves nor getting all our work done. We found a compromise but still, that actor's demand was annoying (didn't help that he was completely disrespectful to the process and had no idea about how professional theater worked.

The rules state half-hour, reinforced by standard breaks requiring 1-1/2 hr before half hour on performance nites (with a few well-spelled out exceptions) - I don't recall seeing anything in writing about calls but I don't know any SMs who aren't expected to do them. Interesting point tho - hmm -

FWIW I also always give a formal half-hour call for runs in costume - not basic techs, where we are just stopping for dinner and then picking up where we left off, but for the dress run/dress tech, since getting into costume/make-up is on the clock. If they need more time, and certainly for large cast shows I open up earlier, but the actual formal call stays the same.




hbelden

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Re: Half Hour Call
« Reply #11 on: Jan 05, 2010, 03:36 pm »
FWIW I also always give a formal half-hour call for runs in costume - not basic techs, where we are just stopping for dinner and then picking up where we left off, but for the dress run/dress tech, since getting into costume/make-up is on the clock. If they need more time, and certainly for large cast shows I open up earlier, but the actual formal call stays the same.

This.  I would consider it to be a part of the show-conditions full-dress run-through that most contracts require before the first paid public performance. Otherwise, I don't believe it's necessary.

Often, the half-hour call in tech is a handy way to coordinate crew set-up time and breaks with the actor prep so that all can start onstage at the same time.  But in a pressed-for-time situation, a two-person show, or a really difficult tech, I would do the harder work of pushing all to get onstage as soon as possible.
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MatthewShiner

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Re: Half Hour Call
« Reply #12 on: Jan 05, 2010, 04:01 pm »
I also love this puzzler.

Okay, it's tech.

Actors are called for a 12:00n Half-Hour Call, and then you start on stage at 12:30p to work (NOT RUN).  When is the first AEA break due?
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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.

Rebbe

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Re: Half Hour Call
« Reply #13 on: Jan 05, 2010, 06:43 pm »
I also love this puzzler.

Okay, it's tech.

Actors are called for a 12:00n Half-Hour Call, and then you start on stage at 12:30p to work (NOT RUN).  When is the first AEA break due?

AEA members would still need a break by 1:20pm, because the rules are about having breaks at regular intervals whenever the actors are called, it’s not dependent on what we are doing during the call.  Getting costumed is work, not a break, even though directors don’t always like to see it this way.  When I'm in this situation, I usually try to have a quick 5 minute break at 12:30, or even 12:25 if it’s the kind of show where really everyone is ready by then.  That way we can work onstage for 80 minutes straight.
"...allow me to explain about the theatre business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster."  (Philip Henslowe, Shakespeare In Love)

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MatthewShiner

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Re: Half Hour Call
« Reply #14 on: Jan 05, 2010, 09:05 pm »
Yep, that's the answer I think . . . but I am amazed by how people think the first break is not due until 1:50p. 

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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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