Author Topic: Submit your story about tech use for inclusion in Stern's Stage Management  (Read 3066 times)

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PSMKay

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Today I received the following email from Lawrence Stern, co-author of "Stage Management." He's preparing the 11th edition. He has previously used quotes from SMNetwork members and has made the following request, with a deadline of August 14, 2015:

Quote
Dear Kay,
 
Would you please post for me a request for anecdotes on SMNetwork.org?
 
In compiling the 11th edition of Stage Management, I'm in need of anecdotes concerning newest uses of digital technology.
 
What programs (like Excel to make sign-in sheets), websites (like SMNetwork to exchange information), social media (like Facebook to post cast/crew information), and Apps (like Remind.com to send out rehearsal reminders) are you using?
 
I'd particularly like anecdotes about how you started using one Program, Website, Social Media or App and switched to another, and the reason why.
 
Love, Health and Peace,
 
Lawrence

If you have stories to share, please include them below. Please note that if your story is included in the book, the publisher will contact you with a release form. In most cases your real name will be used with your quote, although you may request that your name be withheld if your story is particularly incriminating.

EDIT: Added submission deadline. - PSMK
EDIT: Added sticky for response period. -KMC307
« Last Edit: Jul 14, 2015, 09:54 am by KMC »

KMC

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Hi Folks,

Giving this post a bump.  This is a great opportunity to be published in the go-to book for teaching Stage Management.
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

loebtmc

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Gosh it would be nice if the publisher still (as used to happen) sent you a copy of the book if your story was included......

PSMKay

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The paperback version of the 10th edition lists at $92. I think $92 in exchange for a few paragraphs is a bit much, don't you?

loebtmc

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wow, I had no idea!

megf

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- In a weird twist of fate (and mildly paranoid local news headlines) I video-conferenced a director into rehearsals... from three blocks away. He was very ill, and deeply concerned about passing stuff to the cast. (We had no understudies.) We staged all of Act II of an intricate drama via Skype, and the terrific Associate Director cleaned and ran the show. Altogether, we had four "Skype days." It was interesting for all of us - staff, creatives, cast. None of us had ever done significant video communications work before, and we felt very awkward at first. By the time our director was cleared to return, we'd adjusted to the talking head being our guiding force... and then we readjusted, quickly, to his being physically in the room. Reflecting on this years later is fun, given the saturated media climate we live in now. This was before the new Media and Media Lite language was developed, and I feel very fortunate to have worked in such a forward-thinking institution, with such a tech-friendly cast. Although I have not had the same situation come up again - whew! - I'm about to begin an academic program that will make ample use of video conferences, and remain grateful for this early, unplanned foray into video-based work.

- I work mostly in musicals. In the little subset of musical theater society I travel, it's common practice to set up private Facebook groups for each show/cast. It's possible I'm in the minority here, but I absolutely do not use social media to convey official company information to the cast. I worked on a team that attempted a Google calendar for actors, and it was not a success. The "come here to check what's happening" solution did not hold up against a single, huge, daily schedule for that company, and a single, huge, daily report. I would love to work on a team that successfully implements a web-based communications policy that is NOT bunches of daily emails to hand-picked groups. At the same time, until a critical mass of working professionals of all ages and backgrounds are fluent in the necessary software, I am doubtful this kind of solution will succeed outside of academic/big and long-term institutional settings.

- By far the best tech feature I have started using, and will continue to use enthusiastically, is group texting. It's private, it's free for me (and most of the people I work with), and it reaches people even if they are unable to make a phone call (e.g., underground on a subway.) As an Apple user, I can text people from my computer even when I am underground, in a basement rehearsal space. It's fantastic. So much better than making 28 phone calls to announce an emergency scheduling change! Also, when I'm backstage mid-performance, texting has been a huge help. Everything from sending a photo of damaged scenery to the shop for troubleshooting, to privately informing another SM of a safety issue, to silently announcing a surprise birthday party at Intermission... even as a backup for headsets, when cues and info aren't time sensitive enough to warrant an actual phone call.
« Last Edit: Jul 23, 2015, 07:13 pm by megf »

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KMC

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Great anecdotes, Meg!  Looking forward to seeing what others have to say.
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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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

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