Author Topic: [FAQ] What goes inside a SM Kit?  (Read 90537 times)

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Scott

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Re: What goes inside a SM Kit?
« Reply #45 on: Mar 26, 2007, 02:00 pm »
I think it's the SMs responsibility to check on the location of the First Aid kit when the initial site survey is done (assuming that your're not in the theater in question for just a quick in/out engagement...)

Good idea to have a few band-aids with you in any case -- not only for first aid use, but for footwear issues (especially if there is dancing involved.)

kjdiehl

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Re: What goes inside a SM Kit?
« Reply #46 on: Mar 26, 2007, 02:52 pm »
Yes, it's the SM's responsibility to check on this, the same way it's the SM's responsibility to make sure the set is there before the show. That doesn't make it the SM's job to actually do all this- esp not from their personal funds.  (It should be noted that it's often the SM's job to stock and maintain the first aid kits for a show, from the show's funds. This is fine with me. I'm arguing against our providing it from our personal funds.)
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Scott

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Re: What goes inside a SM Kit?
« Reply #47 on: Mar 26, 2007, 05:43 pm »
That doesn't make it the SM's job to actually do all this- esp not from their personal funds.  (It should be noted that it's often the SM's job to stock and maintain the first aid kits for a show, from the show's funds. This is fine with me. I'm arguing against our providing it from our personal funds.)

I agree -- but I also think theaters/producers should install phone lines and not depend on us paying for cell phone use :)

KMC

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Re: What goes inside a SM Kit?
« Reply #48 on: Mar 26, 2007, 06:02 pm »
That doesn't make it the SM's job to actually do all this- esp not from their personal funds.  (It should be noted that it's often the SM's job to stock and maintain the first aid kits for a show, from the show's funds. This is fine with me. I'm arguing against our providing it from our personal funds.)

I agree -- but I also think theaters/producers should install phone lines and not depend on us paying for cell phone use :)

If the theatre doesn't want to provide you a cell phone you should be able to expense any phone calls made for the show.  At the very least you can write it off your taxes.
Get action. Do things; be sane; don’t fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action. -T. Roosevelt

KMC

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Re: What goes inside a SM Kit?
« Reply #49 on: Mar 26, 2007, 06:05 pm »
Does anyone else carry the Stage Manager's prop?

Maybe I'm ignorant, but what do you mean?

A bottle of Whiskey.  For after rehearsal when it's just you and the director and he/she starts bitching about how it's just "not working", or maybe about a certain actor, designer, etc...  You bust out the stage manager's prop.
Get action. Do things; be sane; don’t fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action. -T. Roosevelt

IRRELIGION

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Re: What goes inside a SM Kit?
« Reply #50 on: Apr 07, 2007, 10:53 pm »
I keep 7 different types of tape, a simple first aid kit, my laptop, various scripts (I carry ALL of my current scripts, because I'm paranoid about showing up at rehearsal with the wrong script), highlighters, pencils IN BULK that you NEVER want to see again because actors will always steal them, a lighter, tie-lines, safety pins and big kilt pins, and the occasional props - I got a laugh at my last rehearsal  for producing two fake cigarettes out of my "bag of wonder" as soon as the director mentioned that we should come up with some rehearsal cigarettes ASAP. I carry shoe glue, crazy glue, glue sticks, 3 notebooks (you know, those new Zwipes notebooks are amazing for keeping a running to do list!), elastic bands, hair elastics, bobby pins, handcuffs (I picked these up on a show somewhere and they have made themselves into a permanent part of my kit.. they arent really neccessary though), a tiny battery operated light and spare batteries, sticky velcro, sticky notes, nail clippers, nail polish remover, and depending on circumstances, walky-talkies, headsets, and batteries for those too. Hairspray is good for removing coffee stains on clothes, or carry a Tide-to-go pen. Quick heat packs, Tylenol, Allergy medicine, wet naps, hand sanitiser, hand lotion, baby wipes.. the list goes on forever. Get tiny travel sized tooth pastes and mouth washes, if you really feel ambitious. It comes down to how much you move your kit around, and how much you love your actors more than the safety of your back.
On my person I keep a multitool, a flashlight (with a blue gel in it), safety pins, bobby pins, elastics, and I keep those little sharpies and some spike tape clipped on my belt.

Theres lots more too, it's show specific. Sometimes I find a disposable camera will do you wonders too, but with phone cams, who needs 'em. Just think "if _blank_ goes wrong, I will need _blank_ to fix it." Try and have a quick fix for everything, but combine as many fixes into one as you can.

Hope I can help.

stagemngrjb

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Re: What goes inside a SM Kit?
« Reply #51 on: Jul 13, 2007, 02:24 pm »
My kit is quite extensive and it all lives nicely inside a large rolling duffle bag with lots of exterior pockets. I carry everything from tools to first-aid to office supplies in the thing. I am currently building my own cue light control box to carry with me. Where I live most of our performance types are classified as semi-professional, so I deal with poorly organized and poorly equiped theatre. I also live in the black hole of theatre. There is not a theatrical supply store of any kind with in 300 miles of here. If I don't take it with me, I won't have it. I have also found that I save loads of time and headache this way because I know exactly what is in my kit and exactly how I use it. I don't have to depend on other people to provide me with insufficient tools or unkown methods.

The expense was large to build the initial kit; however, I offset this by charging my client for whatever materials I use. I have not had a single one argue with me about this. They usually get out cheaper by paying me for expended materials only as opposed to paying for a full set of supplies. They also get better performance out of me because I'm using my own and known equipment. The client that actually uses the last of a particular supply pays for the replacement. Spike Tape is a fine example. Lone Star Ballet may use 3/4 of a roll of three of my six colors and complete rolls of another two. They pay for the two replacements. TPHF may use up what's left of those small rolls and pay for those, but they may also use 3/4 of a roll of the stuff that LSB baught. It all evens out in the end for me, and saves my client money.

I would also be remiss if I didn't mention the 'impress' factor to a well built kit. I have wowed (and thus secured futher employment) many clients and future clients with my ability to produce a solution to many problems without a time and money cosuming search for materials or requests to the producer or production manager for supplies.

I too also travel with my laptop and a relatively compact Printer, Scanner, Copier. I know what my hardware and software are capable of and I keep them maintained to ensure their reliability. That comfort alone (knowing that they will work when I need them) is worth the hassle of taking them with me. Uncertainty is not something I can afford in an already stressfull line of work.

As everyone else has stated, and correctly, this is a personal issue that must be learned on ones own. If it works for you, KEEP IT.

Mac Calder

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Re: What goes inside a SM Kit?
« Reply #52 on: Jul 14, 2007, 05:27 am »
Charging for replacement kit - for me that is simple - I contract myself to companies (So a company (me) is contracted to Stage Manage a production, instead of a company employing a stage manager. The only difference really is the lack of union 'stuff' and Tax) - so one of the items I quote/invoice for is "Consumables" - usually a flat fee of AU$50 unless there is something I have to buy specifically.

Anyway - make sure you clarify 'kit replacement' proceedure prior to signing onto a job.

McShell

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Re: What goes inside a SM Kit?
« Reply #53 on: Jul 14, 2007, 05:46 am »
This may sound strange, but I don't know, we'll see...

It's been years, YEARS, since I've had to really buy anything other than a maglite or leatherman, usually I just go into a theatre that has the stuff, even SM and first aid kits in each rehearsal hall, SM offices with computers onsite, nicely stocked supplies closets, and easy ways of restocking or putting in for any additional things I need...

That said, I'm about to go into really, my first situation where that's not the case, so I'm raiding my old school stuff, but I really don't think it's going to be enough.  After all these years, I actually have to think about this now, and get some kind of a kit together.

Wish me luck, I'm pretty much starting from scratch.

Midnight Blue

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Re: What goes inside a SM Kit?
« Reply #54 on: Sep 19, 2007, 11:04 pm »
I've located Carissa Dollar's website, mentioned earlier in this thread:

http://www.mts.net/~skirzyk/SMscoffee.htm#Introduction

 Her list of suggested kit contents is under the heading "The Comfort Zone." And while you are there, read the rest of the pages as well. Great overview of SM duties, nightmares, joys, etc.


lilmonki in black

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Re: [FAQ] What goes inside a SM Kit?
« Reply #55 on: Nov 02, 2007, 11:51 am »
I love my kit.  I love being able to whip out the soldering iron when someone breaks their glasses.  And the breath mints because the lead actress has a problem kissing her guy cuz he smokes.

My kit lives in a great three-tiered rolling toolbox that I 'borrowed' from my dad years ago.  My favorite part is the extension cord reel attached to the side of it.  It's probably the most used part of my kit.  And the reason everybody wants one just like mine.

It's also the kit that is torn apart for the SM class every semester.  I need to restock, as it's getting a little embarrassing.  Thankfully, starting last year, the department pays for refills, and allows stage managers to pull from the supply closet.  As it should be.

I've got the usual... first aid, meds, office supplies, cough drops and breath mints (no gum... I find most directors don't like them chewing during rehearsals...), sewing things, tool things, a set of walkie talkies, lots of batteries, sometimes a discman with portable speakers... the random card decks, a soldering iron.  (I really don't know why that ended up in there, but it comes in handy every once in a while.)
We have done so much for so long with so little, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.

We the willing led by the unknowing are doing the impossible for the ungrateful.

SamuelJHex

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Re: [FAQ] What goes inside a SM Kit?
« Reply #56 on: Nov 04, 2007, 03:36 pm »
ummmm. Why do you neeed a kit, i dont understand!!! Can't you just carry pens and books - what else is neeeded really, that a theatre isnt going to have


loves yall looong time!!!


peace out!

--mod note: removed colour... fixed grammer and punctuation.
« Last Edit: Nov 04, 2007, 04:09 pm by Mac Calder »
~SamuelJHextall~

Mac Calder

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Re: [FAQ] What goes inside a SM Kit?
« Reply #57 on: Nov 04, 2007, 04:17 pm »
Samuel:

Why do you need a kit? Well when you enter a venue - say I hire out the local theatre - I hire the rooms, I pay for a technician on duty, and that is about it (sometimes I pay for a few extra venue crew, but IME that is a rareity, unless the company is short on crew).

Venue hire only includes the room and certain equiptment, depending on the contract of hire.

Sometimes the TOD will loan you some tools, or help you out if you need something that they have lying arround, but in most cases, they are not obliged to. Hence the kit.

Same deal with rehearsal rooms. Often companies hire a rehearsal room at a venue. Chances are you will be given an empty room. Nothing else.

The kit is the SM's desk/office/toolkit/other all in one.

Rhynn

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Re: [FAQ] What goes inside a SM Kit?
« Reply #58 on: Nov 11, 2007, 10:58 pm »
I know this sounds amazing, and I used to be a big believer in "the kit," but I only use a few things regularly anymore. 

We keep a regularly stocked first aid kit in the theatre and rehearsal hall at all times.
I keep needles, thread and safety pins for wardrobe malfunctions--anything bigger goes home with me for repair that night on the machine.
Pencils, pencils, pencils--sharpened, of course
Erasers, erasers, erasers
Highlighters (cheap ones for actors, nice ones for me)
Paper clips
Sticky notes
Black Sharpy Marker (one with two sizes of tips--one on either end)
Kleenex--we usually keep a box backstage, but I keep a purse pack in my kit
Cough drops--(oh, wait, those are considered medicine)--so I'll change that to menthol-flavored hard candy
Feminine products
Pain relivers (for me, of course, never for the students)
Architect's rule

Our tool chest is backstage, so we always have tools and tapes available.
Likewise our props storage is backstage and we improvise rehearsal costumes.
-----
I'm flattered, but the answer is still no.

SamuelJHex

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Re: [FAQ] What goes inside a SM Kit?
« Reply #59 on: Nov 12, 2007, 03:10 pm »
Oh, ok I understand now. Well I start my course in September, I'm sure they will explain alll

thnk you


--mod note: edited for clarity.
« Last Edit: Nov 12, 2007, 06:58 pm by Mac Calder »
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