Author Topic: Prompt Script Etiquette  (Read 9332 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

chrrl

  • New to Town
  • **
  • Posts: 32
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA
Prompt Script Etiquette
« on: Oct 17, 2010, 06:20 pm »
I am working on a new musical that is about to close at the end of next week.  The plan is for the musical to be remounted off-Broadway sometime next year with everything from this show (sans staff) going with it.

My prompt script is functional for me to call and maintain the show, but it is a little bit of a mess.  Changes were made up to opening night and the last few days of it we stopped getting an updated script (blocking also changed and I haven't had the means to be able to update it).  It has also been an absolutely insane process, so I feel as long as my cues are written neatly and clearly and the show can be called consistently from it I'm okay.

According to Equity rules, the prompt script is the property of the theatre, cool, but it also states that "No Stage Manager or ASM will be required to prepare any additional production script or book for publication or archival purposes or for use in any other production of the play or musical, (and) In the event the the Theatre does request a SM or ASM to prepare an additional script or alter the script for any of the above purposes, the SM or ASM may agree provided that he is paid no less than $350 for each such preparation.

My question is, should I take the time this week to update and clean up my prompt script for travel as a good Stage Manager, or am I screwing myself and other Stage Managers by doing this without additional pay? 

MatthewShiner

  • Forum Moderators
  • *****
  • Posts: 2477
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, SMA
  • Current Gig: PSM THE LION KING NORTH AMERICAN TOUR; Assc Director and Production Supervisor HUNCHBACK International
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Prompt Script Etiquette
« Reply #1 on: Oct 17, 2010, 07:25 pm »
Yes, if the producer was asking for you to prepare the script, you should be paid.

On the flip side, your paperwork should always be in such a way that someone else should be able to pick up and take over the show . . . in case you are hit by the proverbial bus. 

But, here's the thing - paid for it or not, they are going to be picking up your script and show paperwork, and it has your name on it.  How are you going to want to be viewed?

I always want a show's calling script and paperwork to be pristine; that's how I prefer things. So, that if anyone was to open the script in the future, they would be able to put the show up.





- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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.

Likes:


loebtmc

  • Forum Moderators
  • *****
  • Posts: 1574
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, SAG, AFTRA, SMA
  • Current Gig: Caroling, caroling now we go — and looking for my next gig!
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Prompt Script Etiquette
« Reply #2 on: Oct 17, 2010, 11:14 pm »
I personally concur with Matthew, mostly because so much of my career has been taking over shows in various stages of readiness and performance.

But I also know long-established SMs who feel that, if the producers want a cleaned-up script for passing along to others, they need to pay. Otherwise, they do indeed hand off the messy scribbles that these SMs have worked from.


hbelden

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 412
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Prompt Script Etiquette
« Reply #3 on: Oct 20, 2010, 11:35 pm »
Agreed with Matthew in sense of showing your work in its best light.  However, if this is an AEA show, don't you have subsidiary rights attached to the work, just like the actors?  Why aren't *you* going with the show to Off-Broadway?

Sorry if this is obvious to all the NYC stage managers.
--
Heath Belden

"I'm not good, I'm not nice, I'm just right." - Sondheim
--

MatthewShiner

  • Forum Moderators
  • *****
  • Posts: 2477
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, SMA
  • Current Gig: PSM THE LION KING NORTH AMERICAN TOUR; Assc Director and Production Supervisor HUNCHBACK International
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Prompt Script Etiquette
« Reply #4 on: Oct 20, 2010, 11:59 pm »
Rights going from Regional to Broadway/Off-Broadway/Commerical are always a bit odd . . . but unless it's the same producer or the producer is lined up while the LORT production is still running . . . pretty much the concept of subsidiary rights get shuttled off the table.  I believe typical rule is six months . . . and then after that, all bets are off.   (Unless you have negotiated something into your first contract.)

We are not quite like designers where we get right of first refusal.  If a show is transfer among LORT theaters, then there are specific rules that protect us.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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.

chrrl

  • New to Town
  • **
  • Posts: 32
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA
Re: Prompt Script Etiquette
« Reply #5 on: Oct 22, 2010, 05:14 pm »
I have the right of first refusal with the show - meaning they have to offer me the position or else pay me three weeks salary at the going rate of the next production (The commercial producer has long been attached to the show and actually directed it as well -- whole other set of problems!)  In this case, it's probably cheaper for him to hire a local SM in New York (and he always chooses the cheaper option).  I also have a full-time job at this regional company and probably would not accept the offer if it were made.

NomieRae

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 246
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, SMA, Adelphi University
Re: Prompt Script Etiquette
« Reply #6 on: Oct 23, 2010, 07:46 pm »
Agreed with other comments that books should always be pristine--sometimes it may not be easy but its important (i've also come in on a lot of shows late in the game and having clear paperwork saves a lot of headaches)
--Naomi
"First, I honor life, and with it my life in theatre." -- Jacques Burdick

BayAreaSM

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 410
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • Bay Area SM
  • Affiliations: AEA
  • Current Gig: VP, Operations in AV Events
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Prompt Script Etiquette
« Reply #7 on: Apr 04, 2011, 11:09 pm »
We   are not quite like designers where we get right of first refusal.  If a   show is transfer among LORT theaters, then there are specific rules   that protect us.

Matthew - sorry to revive this, but you say there are specific rules for a transfer of a show among LORT theaters. I worked on a show listed as a Co-Pro between two Bay Area theaters (I lived about 25 miles from each theater). After our performance closed (my run), the entire cast went to the second theater, but I did not. I had been warned that the other theater had their own SM (but that was AFTER I signed my contract), and that she would come observe me calling the show during my run.

From my theater the PM, LD, and ME all requested a copy of my calling script - and of course, the new SM wanted a copy as well. Since I knew I would at least be giving my script to the new SM, I made an electronic calling script (my first) so it was easy to read, very pristine, etc. Then the other 3 people asked for my script, so I emailed it to them. I don't feel there was anything to protect me in this situation (course I was unaware that I had any), and I never got paid anything additional for the 4 people I sent my script to.

Did I get screwed? Or is this just the normal way these Co-Pro shows go?

MatthewShiner

  • Forum Moderators
  • *****
  • Posts: 2477
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, SMA
  • Current Gig: PSM THE LION KING NORTH AMERICAN TOUR; Assc Director and Production Supervisor HUNCHBACK International
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Prompt Script Etiquette
« Reply #8 on: Apr 05, 2011, 07:33 am »


The LORT rule about preparing an additional script is as follows:

(J) Production Script.
(1) It is agreed that it is the duty of the Stage Manager to assemble and maintain the
production script for the actual technical and artistic operation of the production and
that the production script remains the property of the Theatre.
(2) No Stage Manager or Assistant Stage Manager will be required to prepare any
additional production script or book for publication or archival purposes or for use in
any other production of the play or musical.
(3) In the event the Theatre does request a Stage Manager or Assistant Stage
Manager to prepare an additional script or alter the script for any of the above
purposes, the Stage Manager or Assistant Stage Manager may agree provided that he
is paid no less than $350.00 for each such preparation.


Now, the question is, if you just have a clean enough copy of the script that doesn't require additional work should there be payment.

I would talk to the business rep and discuss the specifics of this, especially as co-productions are going to be on the rise.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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.

hbelden

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 412
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Prompt Script Etiquette
« Reply #9 on: Apr 05, 2011, 11:36 am »
BayAreaSM, was the co-production a world premiere?  Rights of first refusal are attached to the first production of new material, aren't they?

That's separate from your prompt-book question, though.  I agree with Matthew, call the AEA rep and discuss.  Or maybe VSM here on the boards would have some insight.
--
Heath Belden

"I'm not good, I'm not nice, I'm just right." - Sondheim
--

loebtmc

  • Forum Moderators
  • *****
  • Posts: 1574
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, SAG, AFTRA, SMA
  • Current Gig: Caroling, caroling now we go — and looking for my next gig!
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Prompt Script Etiquette
« Reply #10 on: Apr 05, 2011, 12:38 pm »
Interestingly, this is a discussion we've had (at AEA and on this board) - and I know several SMs who keep their book the way they keep it ie NOT clean and easy to transfer as protection, because of the rule giving them payment for cleaning it up for someone else to read, not counting the rights of refusal issue if it's a new work. Great points, Heath!

MatthewShiner

  • Forum Moderators
  • *****
  • Posts: 2477
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, SMA
  • Current Gig: PSM THE LION KING NORTH AMERICAN TOUR; Assc Director and Production Supervisor HUNCHBACK International
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Prompt Script Etiquette
« Reply #11 on: Apr 05, 2011, 12:40 pm »
Yeah . . . I have thought about keeping my script in code or dirty, but at the end of the day, my pride battles that.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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.

EFMcMullen

  • SM Expert
  • ****
  • Posts: 126
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Prompt Script Etiquette
« Reply #12 on: Apr 05, 2011, 01:51 pm »
(Play devil's advocate) But if it is a Co-Pro the following applies, yes:

(d) If the Stage Manager or Assistant Stage Manager has to prepare a script for the subsequent Theatre(s), that Stage Manager or Assistant Stage Manager shall receive no less than Three Hundred Fifty Dollars ($350.00). This shall not apply to photocopying.

But again, it goes back to your reputation... And unfortunately I know I put in the extra effort to keep up my reputation...

Scott

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 252
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Prompt Script Etiquette
« Reply #13 on: Apr 05, 2011, 05:59 pm »
But again, it goes back to your reputation... And unfortunately I know I put in the extra effort to keep up my reputation...

(to play devil's advocate) I would think my reputation would depend on how amazingly well I can call a show.  If someone else (who is not a member of my team) cannot call/maintain a show as well as I can using my system of notating my book (as sloppy or incomprehensible as it may look to them), that is not my problem. 8)

VSM

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 696
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • http://www.vernonwillet.com
  • Affiliations: AEA, SMA
  • Current Gig: PSM - Laguna Playhouse
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Prompt Script Etiquette
« Reply #14 on: Apr 07, 2011, 05:21 am »
My calling script is the same as the script created during tech. I don't want to turn a page and see something "clean" or unfamiliar in the middle of a show.

This original, pencil version of my calling script belongs to the producer.

Any other cleaned up version is an additional endeavor and deserves to be paid for at the contract's aforementioned price.
Ordo ab chao

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
3 Replies
5339 Views
Last post Apr 28, 2006, 05:23 pm
by MatthewShiner
7 Replies
5051 Views
Last post Sep 05, 2013, 09:10 pm
by loebtmc
3 Replies
4159 Views
Last post Jan 21, 2014, 12:22 am
by MatthewShiner