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Messages - jmc

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Students and Novice Stage Managers / Re: Dry Ice on stage
« on: Sep 23, 2008, 01:58 am »
A good clue is to check with the venue Duty tech or Management on the procedure of isolating a detector zone, on stage &/or other areas that errant smoke may set off an alarm. Such as air return AC ducts & roof void detectors or the like, which the venue people should be able to advise on.
If you receive a rather blank look from them, a quick inspection of the main Fire alarm panel [FIP], as it will have the isolation instructions on the inside of the FIP door. Also there should be a fire Zone Map of the building, located adjacent to the Panel, which will correspond to the numbered zones on the FIP switch & indicator board.
As Mattciulla correctly posted the sprinkler system is activated by direct heat & not smoke. However if the venue is not fitted with a fire curtain [Iron], they may have a Deluge system behind the Pro arch. Which is normally needs to be activated by separate detectors, which can be either smoke, heat or both types - Which can be a trap for new players!
{The first fire heat detector was an actual block of butter, holding apart two plates. When it was hot enough to melt the block of butter, the plates closed together & activated the Iron [fire curtain] - these days they are either a manual operation or a fused link acting in much the same way as the butter.}
With smoke there is three types generally used in venues, these are Photoelectric, Ionisation or VESDA [very Early Smoke Detection Apparatus]. The later is an air sampling system, which is noticeable through out a venue, by runs of conduit, with 5mm holes visible along the pipes length.
Also to protect your own & the companies R Send as well. Ensure that the use of smoke, during the performance, is stated on yours & the Venue show specs.
Then it is down to the house to go thru the procedure, isolate the Zone, the Direct brigade Alarm [DBA] & notify the local Fire Service of the time period zones will be isolated for.
While this shifts the onus from the SM, it is always a good to add this to your 'idiot checks' list prior to the show. By ensuring it has been done, rather than panicking 2 seconds before the smoke cue. Which is always exciting when the realisation registers with you or you hear the alarm bells. The loading dock door flies open & all the soft hangings are sucked up by large roof exhaust fans, into the fly loft.

Students and Novice Stage Managers / Re: Dry Ice on stage
« on: Sep 22, 2008, 10:54 am »
With the coal fire effect, just knock up an old light flicker effect, using a fluro starter in series, with the conducting circuit to a number of incandescent lamps {globes (bubbles)}. To be more effective place a starter in both the Active & neutral feeds, this gives a more random effect. Also you can use a dimmer Chanel to adjust the fire glow as required. The fire place will determine the size of the bubbles needed & add odd pieces of colour gel for the effect.
 {However get a licensed &/or qualified electrician to make & produce it}   
Also as suggested a smoke/haser machine is what you need, which is controllable. Where as explained previously, dry ice is not smoke & will find the lowest level. Just like smoke it has a mind of it's own & needs to be controlled, also besides the costs & protective handling that is needed. Also adequate storage in large food or drink insulated container or 'Esk' is required for the dry ice. 

Tools of the Trade / Re: paper mache
« on: Sep 11, 2008, 08:31 pm »
I prefer to use unbleached calico [muslin in your currency] rather than any type of foam.
In fact I avoid using any form of Styrofoam, to the point of chucking out in the rubbish bin/skip. Being a Petrochemical product, it is  a fire hazard & it will perpetuate it's own flame.
I know it is widely used for building insulation & a lot of other things.
However think about it &/or do a a quick fire test, using a lighter on a small piece, as it is up to you & your own risk assessment;-

I always use the fingerless sailing gloves, which are cheap & handle hemp lines great, also they leave the fingers free for Smokeo!

'Nappy San' {Diaper - detergent / in your currency}

I have been involved with something similar, a few times.
I was the SM & my offsider a Deputy SM, in each case we also had ASM's. This was in Ameatre & work very well!
Being a pohm [British] myself, I know they use the DSM to call the actual show there.
We don't use the DSM position as such here locally, in fact rarely. Unlike the Pohm's the SM calls the show here.
So this may offer a way of a way of categorising, rather than using the terms 'Primary & Secondary. To me this would not  deminish any standing of the other SM, with cast & crew. As it would be much simpler for them to grasp the idea, that when you are not there, the DSM steps into your shoes [well puts your hat on- at least!].
When working the show together, as suggested, you need to have lines of demarcation. Which I guarantee will blur from time to time, but  the DSM,ASM's & everyone Have always accepted the change of hats seamlessly.
This has always worked for me, but I have found you must have these in place. So the DSM doesn't feel like a stale bottle of milk, when you front up & has a defined function.[/size][/size][/size]

You can accomplish most Musicals, using a bit of innovative design & staging.
As for lack of a fly loft, it is relatively easy to produce an Oilio (Oilieo) backdrop [a.k.a 'Tumbler'] or Scrim/cloth travellers.
Also Periaktio [Medici] revolving flats &/or Wings can be knocked up, from flats;- ;-
Along with Revolves [turntables], trucks & other mechanical methods of changing scenes.
All can be made from materials available off the shelf or cheaply picked up from  Salvage Yards [reclamation], for a song.
'Man Of La Mancha', 'Irma La Douce', Sweeney Todd & a heap more!

Tools of the Trade / Re: Source "Blood Knife"?
« on: Apr 30, 2008, 07:51 pm »
You could duff up any prop knife using this method;-

Might be easier than using blood filled bulbs or blood packs!

Obviously they bait for mice & not put out traps for them. Train a Cat & use mouse traps, as poisoning they only go away to die & pong!
Also ensure the security alarm is isolated to areas, that the cat can  wander around in at night, without causing an alarm.
It would come under your Environmental H&S Act &/or risk assessment surely!

Must be on your side of the rabbit proof fence Mac?
Here beyond the black stump!
The only ones I have heard object to being labelled as 'techies', are the odd 'noize boyze. There again if they had an electrical licence they would be an actual 'sparkie', who don't really care what they are called, so long as it's not late for Smokeo!
Or the occasional Big 'd' tourist, usualy because they believe they are not just a lowly 'Tradie'
On the other hand Mechanists love it, rather than being known as 'Mechies' & Chipies don't care one way or another.
Chookas mate! ;D

Tools of the Trade / Re: "Mylar" tape removal?
« on: Mar 12, 2008, 12:40 am »
Try 'orange Oil' most sparkies use to remove residual sticky gunk, left on cables, lanterns & equipment.
it comes in various forms, but the aerosol packs is the easiest to use.
All good electrical wholesalers & suppliers have it, if you can't find it at your local supermarket.
It is has a great fragrence, it is made from the rid of the organge. It also repels little pests, especialy termites, as it has Limonene in it naturaly.
When techies use electrical, duct & even gaffer tape on cables & lamps, rather than cable ties or 'thwakers'. They leave residual adhesive on the outer casing of the cables & always seem to forget to whipe it off.
It works on 'Tarquette' & dance mats, takes just a quick spray or wipe over to remove the left overs gunk.

Stage Management: Other / Re: New to Opera questions
« on: Mar 08, 2008, 02:45 am »
As you would know Cha Cha, here in the this State.
As far as Opera goes, we are but a pimple on the backside of it in Oz!
Unlike Melbourne & Sydney, which is over 5000KM's down the road.
The WA Opera Company started off in about 1967 & after some what of a shaky period up untill about the 1980's. After the government gave a heap of gold to the company & still do. They stabilised when becaming ensconced with the WA Ballet Company at Her Majesties theatre/Perth.
{In 1952, West Australian Ballet was established by Madame Kira Bousloff - which was the  first ballet company in Australia. [She was the Prima with the 'Ballet Russe' in 1938 - choosing to retire to Perth]}
However th
ere is more fringe opera performed by Ameatre, as it is not a full time job as such here.
Years ago the bulk of it's members would pay to be on stage & pad out the chorus.
G&S is still primarily made up of the Opera Company members & other ameatre singers.
Unlike the Ballet Company which pays all it's 'twirlies' & black ducks.


Stage Management: Other / Re: New to Opera questions
« on: Mar 01, 2008, 04:49 am »
This is not only with opera, as neatly described by John. It also can be indicative of other aspects of this game.
Not so much with balet or where formal training is a prerequiste. But with the other 'twirlies' & 'luvvies'.
As a wee bloke [nothing has changed in that regard!] back stage. I use to believe during balet performances. When the little darlings tended to crowd out behind the Leg Drops. That they were genuinely interested in what the older 'riners were performing. Having grown up some what - I now understand it may have been only in the secret hope that the principals might make a 'blue' [gaff] & they would move up in the pecking order. I'm not sure that's the case with all balet normally, but it is with the budding twirlies & luvvies. 

Tools of the Trade / Re: Business Cards
« on: Feb 20, 2008, 10:32 pm »
I agree Erin & to the piont of not bothering with these genericly designed free cards, which are printed on a cheap GSM card, that are not much heavier than paper.
I seem to have collected a lot of these lately & unless I write down the details straight away, they end up in the rubbish nin. Unlike better quality cards that I will  for future reference.
These days it easier to print out your own, as suggested. Or even have them produced by a Printer, which is about the same cost as a restaurant dinner, buying booze for a party or getting the odd latest toy gadget.
"Quality is remembered, long afyer the price is forgotten!".

There is a great training video by John Clease, which I use quite often to get the message across to the odd director, now & then.
'Meetings bloody meetings' [John Cleese training video & Cd];-
It seems to always work & hits the mark, beside being a good laugh!

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