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Messages - 04sdwall

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The Hardline / Crediting in Programs
« on: Nov 29, 2007, 10:39 pm »
So I'm sure there is no real official policy on this. However, I was surprised to see a mid sized professional theatre (that must have at least had a equity guest artist contract because there was one equity actor) that didn't credit any technicians.  While there was a set designer, lighting designer, and costume designers- it seemed like it was too big of a project for a single person to put together.  Now the set was fairly elaborate with multiple moving pieces and fairly advanced lighting.  However there was no sound or light board operator listed or even a stage manager.  Just curious if anyone has run across this but it struck me as odd.  Also the designers didn't have bios in the program, which I have noticed is a growing trend in programs, to only have actors' bios included.  Any thoughts on this? 

Stage Management: Plays & Musicals / Re: The Pillowman
« on: Nov 29, 2007, 10:14 pm »
I just saw the Pillowman at Actor's Theatre of Charlotte and it was really good.  The set design was really cool because it was just a very drab interrogation room but the walls were removable (and the seems were so well hidden no one expected it) and it revealed these very cartoony rooms where the writers brother was performed in the SR wall and the then little jesus SL wall with a transparent floor where you could see Jesus buried.  It was a very amazing set and show.

I worked in a summer theatre that had this issue on the big fundraising night.  As a result we had to open up all of the house doors, it was a pavillion so that helped a lot.  The bigger issue for us was the air conditioning went out so the audience was very uncomfortable.  Unfortunately getting struck by lighting is not a rare occurance, so we were always prepared for it.  Before going head to head with the managing director, telling him/her that the show would not go on, I would access the situation see if there was anyway to get enough natural light inside of the space to make it safe for everyone.  Then pull all the mag lights you can find.  You would be surprised how much light they can put off, then try and finish the show.  As they say the show must go on...  Also make sure you take a couple minute break to inform the actors and make sure they are comfortable with running the rest of the show in present situations, and if there is any particularly tricky sequences like fight scenes make sure the actors feel like they can be safe under new conditions. 

Tools of the Trade / Re: SM Computer
« on: Aug 12, 2007, 02:04 am »
Mac Calder, I downloaded Audacity... now what?  It seems like it won't import very many of my music files.  I don't really know what I'm doing honestly, but it seems like a great program.  Is there a tutorial I should check out? 

Employment / Re: Touring Shows question
« on: Aug 12, 2007, 01:55 am »
I looked at American Theatre Arts for Youth website and they don't really mention who to send resumes to or who to contact about jobs.  Is there something I am missing?

Tools of the Trade / SM Computer
« on: Aug 11, 2007, 01:02 pm »
I am sure there is a topic of this, but I can't find it and I apologize if this question has been asked a million times. 
With more and more laptops being used by Stage Managers what software is a worthy investment.  Granted I am not a light or sound or set designer but it is a practical investment to invest in vector works, garage band, etc.  Is there slightly more affordable software for seeing floor plans and plots that would be more practicable or should I just decide to stick with Microsoft, Acrobat, and Media Player if I'm not willing to pay for the high quality stuff.  Is there a need for an SM to use a laptop during rehearsals/runs in the professional world or is it just a personal choice and convenience?  So many schools aren't incorporating computers into SM curriculum that new stage managers feel that they should just stick with the old binder.  Just curious what those far more experienced have to say on the matter (and no I do not need to know whether you think a mac or PC is better.  Just kidding... but really)  Thanks for the help.

Employment / Touring Shows question
« on: Aug 10, 2007, 01:15 am »
If a stage manager, with some professional experience, right out of college wanted to do some road work for awhile and tour, what companies should that sm send their resumes to and be likely to be hired?

Stage Management: Plays & Musicals / Re: Headset Etiquette
« on: Jun 29, 2007, 10:56 pm »
I'm not trying to backtrack but I think that while it is not a wise idea to listen in on actors mics when they are unsuspecting, it is often amusing with different casts that they don't realize that there is the potential for people to overhear their conversations while wearing a mic.  For example sometimes we have live mics running through monitors or doing different checks and mics slip through.  Usually its never for more than a few seconds but sometimes it happens and it often very wise to warn your cast about this possibility, especially right after entrances and exits.  If the crew has to play by the don't say something you don't want the cast to know over the headset, the cast is often wise to remember to do the same while in the dressing room with or without mics.  Just seems like the rule should go both ways.  Theatre is dramatic enough, no need to create more. 

Stage Management: Plays & Musicals / Re: Creating Paperwork
« on: Jun 28, 2007, 10:35 pm »
As a current ASM I very much appreciate when the SM will give me all of the information simply because I may not be able to gather the information on my own and an ASM is more likely to forget something.  As an SM I always make the paperwork for the ASM, in fact I swear my stage management class was 50% about paperwork and organization.  The best justification for SM making the paperwork is that often the ASM has other duties that interfere with being able to gather the information needed for the paperwork.  I have my head stuck in the script half the time trying to write down line notes and be on book.  I could never track all of the props at the same time.  However if I didn't have to do that I would make my own paperwork to ease the burden of the SM (we all know the job of never ending lists) it all has to do with what the theater's policies however I think ASMs only learn more by doing the paperwork themselves.  Maybe your theatre could adapt it into the ASM job description.  Granted the SM always has to ok the paperwork, ASMs often enjoy being trusted with the additional responsibilities.  However if you have to edit and ok the checklists, sometimes its easier just to give them the paperwork.  Just my two cents. 

College and Graduate Studies / Re: STAGE MAN. COLLEGE
« on: Jun 24, 2007, 10:16 pm »
I know UC Irvine has a very unique and excellent MFA stage management program for MFA don't know about BFA.  However what's less important than a great stage management program (stage management is as much about as the practical experience as the classroom setting) is making sure you will get the experience you need.  It may be the best theatre school in the country but if they don't let underclassmen stage manage until their senior year might as well go to a different school.  But thats just the small private liberal arts school in me talking.  Find a school that fits you and has a lot of opportunities for underclassmen, also try not to obtain too much college debt because a stage management career is not a career you want a 100,000 debt depending on. 
However that's just my opinion I'm sure there are more experienced people on this than me. 

Employment / Stage Managing in NY
« on: Jun 24, 2007, 02:07 am »
I have no idea the true makeup of SMNetwork and where most SMs work but a lot seem to work in regional theatres which I have always figured I would do.  However my question is, when do you decide to Stage manage in new york?  Are there more jobs with the Equity centered there?  Is it more competitive?  Is it harder to get the bigger theatres?  Is it a very elite club where you have to inherit positions like some of the backstage crews?  How do you know when it's wise to go to NY?  Just thinking a lot about the future and curious if others have input.  The future gig is something most stage managers think of I'm sure and just curious any feedback others have and see if others face similar dilemmas. 

I have always noticed that theatre has a lot of book worms in it including crew members reading books between cues.  Are there any good books that anyones read.  I read a pretty cool murder mystery book about a murder in a Broadway show.  The book wasn't that great but it was a really cool concept and gave an interesting perspective into the "underground of theatre"  I'm always looking for a good book to read.

The Green Room / Re: SMs in media?
« on: Jun 23, 2007, 01:39 pm »
I don't know if you have seen the movie Prairie Home Companion which has an odd amount of big names in it, for a small movie... but most of the movie is a live on stage radio show and there is a very prominent role of a stage manager and I actually know the stage manager of the real radio show (it was filmed on location in St. Paul MN at the Fitzgerald theatre) who got to give input to the movie star playing the stage manager.  Also a great play with a stage manager is Skin of Our Teeth where the "stage manager" interrupts the show because the actor isn't saying the right lines. 

Employment / Re: Theatre L'Homme Dieu
« on: Jun 21, 2007, 03:55 pm »
Hey Dani,
   I see you used to work in MN, did you do any other work in MN?  I was ASM at the History Theatre in St. Paul. 

Employment / Re: how long do you wait for a response?
« on: Jun 17, 2007, 03:35 am »
I also had an interesting experience with this.  I have no idea why this happened but I must have sent on a dull day but I went website hunting and would send cover letters and resumes to any email address of a producer I could find for internships and asm jobs.  I got back letters from producers (even large equity theatres that basically wished me luck but that I should try other smaller theaters) and I have no idea why they even took the time.  Then I did the same thing with another set of theaters but never heard back and was devastated.  However, it was a growing experience.  I even got a non-equity asm job at an equity theatre through unsolicited emails so if you are willing to face the lack of response sometimes you get lucky.  Considering all the young stage managers out there who don't really have a clue what they are doing when they are sending out their first resumes I don't play the hirers for not responding though it really does make your day when they respond and are more likely to send out resumes to them in the future.   

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