Author Topic: Questions to start a relationship with new general management  (Read 5002 times)

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One of the the things about working freelance is working with new producers / theaters / management teams - especially general managers.

Something I have very quickly learns - general managers tend to be suspicious of stage manages, especially stage managers who call AEA or question their way of doing things.

I am begging to put together for myself a checklist for a meeting with the representative of General Management, and wondering whta other stage managers like to discuss.

My questions are . . .

to whom do I get overtime approved from?  what things do you pay overtime for?  can I get  a bank of overtime pre-approved for things like costume fittings since I will scheduling outside of office hours?

how do you handle press/marketing events?  do you include in the work day or week hours?  do you pay overtime for them?  who will be communicating these with the actors and creative team?

if an AEA issue arrives, that is not confidential in nature and would require me to go the business rep directly, to whom should I contact within the organization?  (What I find is even the simplest of rules that I think can only have one reading, often have more then one reading . . . nice to know who in the organizations the “AEA” expert.)

Who will be responsible for all AEA-required postings - photo calls, recordings, closing notice etc?

And give them an opened ended question like what do they expect from their stage managers?  Good, bad, indifferent issues form the past?

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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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Re: Questions to start a relationship with new general management
« Reply #1 on: Oct 14, 2011, 11:40 pm »
Additional things I always wish I ask upfront --

Under the umbrella of 'approval' - what is the chain of command for personal day requests, vacation time requests, and MRE?

I find in some instances the general manager is also wearing the company manager hat so I ask questions of that nature if that is appropriate, for example birthdays, show anniversaries, announcements, etc.

Petty cash protocol, reports or logs they may prefer in their office. (I've worked where PM is in charge of petty cash, but often on off-bway shows the GM team deals with it directly)

I usually ask what their schedule will be like during rehearsals/tech/performances, as in when are their office hours, if they prefer calls to email, and what is usually their schedule during performances. May come off really nosy, but it's nice to know how and when they are available especially if they are the micro-managing type. It really helps cement a protocol and schedule during performances if there is a designated time that they stop by the booth or green room so we can check in with each other and say hello.

Some things may not be applicable in your situation but these are just a few that I always mean to ask --
"First, I honor life, and with it my life in theatre." -- Jacques Burdick