Author Topic: [FAQ] What goes inside a SM Kit?  (Read 61519 times)

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Melugin

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[FAQ] What goes inside a SM Kit?
« on: Feb 10, 2006, 01:55 am »
Hi everyone! I am just a new SM on this site, as well as the third year in High School--and i want to ask people a question: what do you put inside your SM kit?  :)
« Last Edit: Sep 29, 2007, 10:42 pm by Mac Calder »
If All the World's a Stage, i want to operate the Trap Door!

Mac Calder

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What goes inside a SM Kit?
« Reply #1 on: Feb 10, 2006, 02:34 am »
*POINTS AT SEARCH BUTTON* - There are a number of threads on them. However I could run a small office for 6 months based on the contents of my kit (stationary alone) as well as running a small field hospital, and fix the clothes of a small nation. I think my kit is a bit unique because I am not SOLELY an SM, but I have long surpassed the stage where a bag can contain it all.

Melugin

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What goes inside a SM Kit?
« Reply #2 on: Feb 10, 2006, 02:46 am »
so, do you have a list? i need specific ideas!!!  :D  :)  :o  8O  :P  :wink:  :roll:
If All the World's a Stage, i want to operate the Trap Door!

Mac Calder

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What goes inside a SM Kit?
« Reply #3 on: Feb 10, 2006, 03:16 am »
Why? A kit is a very personal 'thing'. It shows your experiances, your nature etc etc etc. I know it sounds weird, but it is the truth.

You know all those cruddy B-Grade martial arts movies and books where they have a really simple quest to complete before they can become masters - building your SM kit is one such task.

Whilst we can recomend items till the cows come home, will you know what you can use it for? If I said gaffer tape, you would think of all the typical uses for gaffer tape, like cable management, but it can do so much more.

Now, a lot of SM's have other training or experiance before they need their own kit - and their kit reflects this training. In no SM course I have seen do they tell you the contents of a kit, instead they tend to encourage that you think about a possible scenario, and what items you would need in your kit to combat it.

One thing I HATE about SM books etc is that often they go on and on about the kit. So much that every wannabe SM and his dog wants to make one, just to say they have a kit. A box of goodies is not a kit. A KIT is built through time and experiance and thought. It is an extension of the being that allows rapid problem solving when used properly. A box of stuff is useless.

An SM kit is not too difficult.

When I constructed my kit, I broke it down to some basic groups.

Stationary/General Sundries. Costume/Cloth. Tools. Electical. Health and well being. etc etc etc

Then I wrote down a list of objects that may be needed to do 'patch up' jobs.

Now young grasshopper, go out and create a kit.

That said, carissa dollar had a good list, but her site seems to have dissapeared

MatthewShiner

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Confessions of a Kitless Stage Manager
« Reply #4 on: Feb 10, 2006, 12:11 pm »
Hi, my name is Matthew.  

(Hello Matthew)

I am a stage manager who doesn't use a kit.  

(GASP FROM THE GROUP AROUND THE ROOM)

Yes.  I have a kit.  I have a very large kit on wheels. I had it from the time I used to do a lot of freelance, but since becoming a resident SM, with an office, an office supply closet, an entire room for storage of extra supplies, and a work filled first aid cabinet.

The Stage Management Kit is a very personal thing, and has a lot to do with how much you feel responsible for.  (Some SM's travel with a full toolkit, I don't do tools.  Not that I feel it is below me, I just don't trust my handicraft work.)

Basically, you should have enough supplies to do the job you need to do - and that is all basically the over riding rule to live by.



There is my deep dark secret.
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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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smejs

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What goes inside a SM Kit?
« Reply #5 on: Feb 10, 2006, 02:43 pm »
Matthew, your answer TOTALLY cracks me up.  And yet seems to be coming true regarding myself.

And I agree with the other comments I've seen so far...first off, do a search within this website, we've discussed this MANY times.  And second, it truly is what you think you need.

I now travel around a lot and like Matthew have many things provided for me.  I know of certain harder-to-find office supplies that it's usually easier for me to get myself than try to explain to a runner, so I bring those.  I have a "run-belt" that was created for me by a prop guy in Milwaukee that I wear with my Leatherman, flashlights, pocket of sharpies, scissors, etc...and then my personal things, like a rubber chicken lollipop-holder than I bet you not many other people think is an essential thing to have.  And then my plethora of light-up toys and Christmas toys (I'm usually on tour during Christmas).  And most everything else is provided by the theatre.

Back in college, though, I was QUEEN of the stage management kit...well, a running competition between me and my fellow stage management roommate.  Between the two of us we had 3 large kits, and when working together as ASMs would cart them around on a foldable set of wheels and got very good at lifting them together into the trunk of my car.  

Make your own decisions.  Make them wisely as well as spur-of-the moment.  And then constantly change your mind over the next 5, 10, 30 years of your career!  And definitely think MacGuyver(sp?)-like in your thinking....what few strange items could I use that can always fix THAT?

Erin

isha

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What goes inside a SM Kit?
« Reply #6 on: Feb 11, 2006, 02:03 pm »
I'm also a highschool SM...yeah!!!But one thing you should know about this site and highschool theatre is that all the advice you get you really have to fit to highschool theatre, just because it's so different.

but as for a kit...I would say the most important thing (for highschool) is colored bandaids....you wouldn't believe how many of my actors cut themselves on things that shouldn't be able to cut them, and then they "can't function"...but whip out a bright pink bandaid and they stop complaining(especially if it's bright pink...) and the world is able to go back to normal...

another big thing I use it extra pencils..I finally made 2 stashes of pencils..one for my use (or the directors..) and a bundle of cheap actors pencils, since they never get back to me.

I also use a lot of masking tape, safety pins, a pencil sharpener,  permeneant markers (I have a collection of mini sharpies that I use constantly), a label maker (it's actually the director's but he lets me use it), my swiss army knife (but I don't have that at the school *wink wink*), and a large collection of sticky notes and the flag sticky notes.....oh, and I have my yellow note pad that I rely on for everything...it stays in a plastic page cover in my binder so I have it at all times, in fact I'm almost through my first yellow pad...I'm going to need another one soon.

but really, just have whatever will help you do your job the best...^that helps me...but it's going to depend on what your job is in your highschool ( my director tends to let me have a lot of freedom in defining my job. He trusts me enough to know that whatever I do will help make his job better and easier....) Some highschools the job is totally defined for you and you have people who know what they are doing. (this isn't the case at my highschool, but it might be at yours.) Work with what you got.

hope that helps...
-isha
~isha

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smejs

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About searching...and kits...
« Reply #7 on: Feb 11, 2006, 02:28 pm »
Quote
*POINTS AT SEARCH BUTTON* - There are a number of threads on them.


Okay, I admit, I had this same knee-jerk reaction...this is a question we're asked a LOT, as well as others on grad schools, etc...why don't people do their research, etc, etc...but then I tried to do a search myself, and I couldn't find those posts!  I put in the word "kit" thinking that would be very basic.

Do we only have search features for the last 6 months or a year or something?  I couldn't find any way to adjust any parameters...seems a waste if we can't access those old posts.  Not that this site isn't helpful, but it would be nice to keep those helpful answers around.  Maybe I'm just being silly with my computer abilities right now....

Erin

Mac Calder

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What goes inside a SM Kit?
« Reply #8 on: Feb 11, 2006, 05:23 pm »
Quote from: "isha"

but as for a kit...I would say the most important thing (for highschool) is colored bandaids....you wouldn't believe how many of my actors cut themselves on things that shouldn't be able to cut them, and then they "can't function"...but whip out a bright pink bandaid and they stop complaining(especially if it's bright pink...) and the world is able to go back to normal...


LOL... Over here I always and out bright flourescent blue bandaids - for one reason alone. Bandaids have a tendancy to fall off. And a lot of places I have worked have been extreamly up-tight about this, hence blue bandaids so that they are quickly seen and quickly removed. And since you never know where you will be working.... I fork out the extra $2 to go flourescent blue.

Quote

I also use a lot of masking tape


NOOOoooooo...... Masking tape is EVIL! Especially the cheap kind. So many people use it for marking up cases and desks etc. WHITE ELECTRICAL TAPE + PERM. MARKER. Others use it for marking sets - SPIKE TAPE PEOPLE. I can see no other use for masking tape - except for set painting (when you need to mask whilst painting... and then you are better off using the expensive stuff.

isha

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What goes inside a SM Kit?
« Reply #9 on: Feb 11, 2006, 08:04 pm »
Iknow..it's a pain to take up.....but when I have no money..and when I have to order any other sort of tape (we live in po dunk town..we don't even have an official "building store".)...... I use masking tape...

I make the kids that are late peel up making tape anyways, so I never actually have to deal with it...it's the tardy punishment...
~isha

Aerial

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What goes inside a SM Kit?
« Reply #10 on: Feb 12, 2006, 03:53 pm »
I used to carry an extremely extensive kit, full of all sorts of tools, office supplies, first aid, etc.  This was extraordinarily useful in college, and I used to be the one that the stage management professor picked to show off my kit to the Intro to Stage Managment class.  Now, however, I carry a lot less of the 'bulk' that I had before.  I have a lot of peculiar fix-it type things, and things not common to your average office supply closet or tool closet or first aid kit.  But as for the common things, I'm glad to finally be in a position where I can expect the theatre I work for to provide the basic supplies out of their budget.    Now, I only tap my own supplies if its something that the theatre does not have in stock.

dramachic5191

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What goes inside a SM Kit?
« Reply #11 on: Feb 15, 2006, 09:47 am »
When I stage manage, I carry two kits.

One of them is a mini-toolbox (12" x 4" x 4") that I picked up at Dollar Tree for $1.  It's actually more of a glorified pencil/paperclip/post-it organizer than a kit, but it's useful.  I keep it on my SM table to have easy access to my office supplies.  

My other one is a large toolbox that is stocked with all sorts of random, useful stuff.  I keep it somewhere near me in the rehearsal hall.  During performances, where I keep it depends on whether I'm calling from the booth or backstage, what the theatre provides backstage in terms of supplies, and whether or not my ASMs have their own kits.

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linka

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What goes inside a SM Kit?
« Reply #12 on: Feb 15, 2006, 08:07 pm »
After having everything disappear into the company's scene shop and/or road box a few years ago, I now just carry a pencil box, which I load with post-its, pencil sharpener, spike tape, and post-its....  I use a lot of arrows. However, a friend of mine who works at the same company drags around a three-tiered kit that is filled with everything including a roll of toilet paper and hair dryer. Most places I work though are either a "we'll make do" or "come prepared" sort of company.

Melugin

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What goes inside a SM Kit?
« Reply #13 on: Mar 08, 2006, 03:27 am »
hey! thanks for all of the suggestions guys!

-Melugin 8)
If All the World's a Stage, i want to operate the Trap Door!

samthestagemanager

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stage manager kit
« Reply #14 on: Mar 27, 2006, 12:44 am »
everyone keep different things in their kit- each show is different.
some things I keep include band aids, spike tape, scotch tape, saftey pins, hair ties, tape measure, gum and a nail file.. those are just a few things

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