Download Author Category: Line Notes (for going "off book")  (Read 51063 times)

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Oct 13, 2007, 08:06 pm
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Idea for long plays, use two or three binders and divide by act.  That way more than one person can get notes at a time, even.

Excellent, most excellent. I may try that on my next show, since I will be, yet again, flying without an ASM. I really like the fact that the onus of responsibility is on the actors to get their notes. I can forsee the inevitable scenario of an actor refusing to do this, but, on the other hand, it may engage far more actors than it turns off simply because it requires proactivity on their part, to be more responsible for the words of the person they will inhabit for the next X number of weeks.

Harold Line Notes.xls
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1153 downloads

Oct 14, 2007, 01:02 am
This is my line notes form, in excel.

I type it up after rehearsal or put an assistant in charge of it and type it in page order and then sort by actor. I email it out, tabs for each actor and also print them a copy as well and bring it to them the next day.

I've used it for a while and it does me just fine. The version I've attached is the printing version (from Harold and Maude), before I make the tabs. I put the date and act at the top of each slip once I've cut them up.

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Oct 14, 2007, 02:28 am
I think I dont really have a line note form I like because I hate line notes so very much!!

Luckily I have always had assistants who LOVE THEM!

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Oct 14, 2007, 12:17 pm
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Luckily I have always had assistants who LOVE THEM!

LOL! I'm jealous!! What do you do if you don't have an ASM/PA?

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Feb 12, 2008, 02:34 pm
Thank you all for sharing this! I've been looking for a format for line notes. 

This fall, I stage managed at a university, which featured one equity performer. I usually do community theater work, so my exposure is slightly limited in terms of forms like these.  This performer mentioned having a stage manager who had some slips or a book of some sort that he/she would write line notes on, rip off and give to the performer.  I'd never done that but it was a great idea.

Thanks for sharing this information!

Line Notes Handout-comp.xls
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Feb 13, 2008, 03:10 pm
Just thought I'd throw my current line notes form out there.  I'm currently working Shakespeare which is why I have a space for the line number (the blank marked "line" is for an actual quotation).  I (or my ASM) may or may not fill in all the blanks, depends on the pace of the dialogue.  More often than not, we will go back and fill the specifics in after the scene has stopped.  I have "please take the time to review these notes" on the bottom , because this is college theater and the last show I worked on (as an ASM) , I had a problem with actors leaving their line notes in the mainspace after rehearsal, so they obviously weren't even looking at them after I spent the entire rehearsal writing them out.  Needless to say it was a bit frustrating.  The sheet is in Excel format.

Line Notes.xls
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855 downloads

Mar 04, 2008, 01:52 am
I loath line notes in a big way, so anything I can do to automate them I'm all for.

This is my newest attempt at a line note form.  It's a little labor intensive at the beginning to enter the script, but after that, the list automatically populates all of the information based on a line number. Even keeps track of how many times that line has been missed.

Entering the script actually didn't take me that long because it was sent to me as a .pdf file and I could copy and paste all of the text into a word file where I formated it as:
     [character] [tab] [line]
Then copied it into the excel file.

I have numbered every line in my paper script for reference.

I haven't used this yet (it's for an upcoming show).  My plan is to select the date, print it as a pdf and email it to each actor.  Saves on paper too!  Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome.

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Mar 04, 2008, 07:17 pm
I loath line notes in a big way, so anything I can do to automate them I'm all for.

This is my newest attempt at a line note form.  It's a little labor intensive at the beginning to enter the script, but after that, the list automatically populates all of the information based on a line number. Even keeps track of how many times that line has been missed.

Entering the script actually didn't take me that long because it was sent to me as a .pdf file and I could copy and paste all of the text into a word file where I formated it as:
     [character] [tab] [line]
Then copied it into the excel file.

I have numbered every line in my paper script for reference.

I haven't used this yet (it's for an upcoming show).  My plan is to select the date, print it as a pdf and email it to each actor.  Saves on paper too!  Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome.

Sounds like a lot more work and less effective than making pencil circles in your book and reviwing with the actors at an appropriate time.

Line Notes.xls
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834 downloads

Mar 12, 2008, 09:34 am
While stage management is my passion, I am a teacher of theatre at a high school--which means I direct the plays and train my stage managers.  As the director, I have the opportunity to make my stage managers' jobs a little easier by putting the burden on the actor to look up their errors in the script.

Attached is my line notes form in Excel.  There is one sheet per character.  The SMs type the line notes directly into the computer during the rehearsal and then copy and paste the notes into emails at the end of the rehearsal.  The actors are required to review these notes before their next rehearsal.  All actors have to number their lines before the first rehearsal to aid with blocking and a subtext assignment, so using the line numbers is not a problem.  As a director, I would rather the actor actually open the script and review the entire line than have my stage managers waste valuable time copying down words out of the script.

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Nov 09, 2009, 12:23 pm
Wow i've never actually had to hand the actors each their notes. What we do, and it sounds rather primitive after reading all this, is send out the Actor's Notes with the Rehearsal Report each night.

It's really a simple word table that has

Initials Name  Scene/Page #  Note

This would be posted on the call board as well. The actors would have to sign their initials for each note next rehearsal. that way we can make sure all of them have read their notes and they see their line notes as well. It's fresh in their mind before they start the rehearsal.

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Nov 11, 2009, 09:38 am


[/quote]

Sounds like a lot more work and less effective than making pencil circles in your book and reviwing with the actors at an appropriate time.
[/quote]

This is my method, too: pencil circles and review w/ actors after the director has given notes.

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Feb 13, 2010, 02:33 pm
We just started doing this after I saw the post.  The actors LOVE it!  I have found that the dry erase markers bleed onto the opposite page, but if you put a sheet of paper between each page protector, it seems to correct the problem.  This also allows me to put the pages back to back to save page protectors.  Nice idea!

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Feb 13, 2010, 08:08 pm
I don't use paperwork because I'd have a lot of papers to shuffle through! Instead, I've taken to using post-it notes. 1 per scene per actor. Makes it easy for them to stick into their scripts. Also, they're small, so when they get fewer post-its they get really excited. :)

Line Notes.pdf
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219 downloads

Nov 14, 2012, 02:11 pm
Multi-page format (1 page for each actor), good for small shows up to about 4 people (in my opinion)

This is a format I developed after working with a couple different ones from this thread. I like it because it gives me a large space to write out the error and correct line because when I start to scribble the line note down to keep up with the show my handwriting tends to get a little bit large....

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Nov 05, 2014, 08:28 pm
  So you can see from the attachment that I use excel.  The sample that I sent is from a show that had very short scenes (often no more than a page or two).  In shows with longer scene there is also group for page numbers. 
  I then turn on the auto filter for row 1.  You can find it in the data toolbar under filter menu.  This creates pull down menus on each of my row 1 headings.  Now I think this only works the best in the new version of office (so if you have an older version I don’t know if this file will even open).  What you can then do is click on these pull down menus and you see for example, under actor, all the actors in the show that have notes.  By selecting a name it filters out the other names and you can then print out a sheet for that actor. 
   I don’t always enter these notes directly into the computer (sometimes I do).  Most of the time its just posits until I put them into the computer.  I also don’t pull the post it out until the line is correct!  This reminds me that ive gave the note before.  I started to rename the worksheets within the workbook by date.  Another thing you could do is have one sheet and a date group. 
   There are so many things you can use this for, and by all means I don’t know that this is always the best format or way to go.  In fact I enjoy seeing everyone else’s form and it is always fun to try new forms!  Anyway enjoy.  In case you can't tell, I love microsoft office!


I do it this way aswell and email them out so that they can get them quickly and work on them before the next rehearsal, which for me is generally within 12 hours. I love the simplicity of this and that they can still easily understand.

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