Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - SMeustace

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 8
Usually I "meet" with the ME to discuss my requests for cuelights. He/she is typically the one who wires and sets them up for me. Maybe any special needed running lights also? Depends on who's duty it is.

Other than that, in my experiences I dont have much contact with the Master electrician unless i'm volunteering to help with light hang/focus/programming. As a SM most of my contact with electrics department is actually with the designer.

Uploaded Forms / Re: Entrances and Exits Tracking
« on: Jan 19, 2016, 06:09 am »
I am curious to what "props dropped" and "props received" are referring to. I cant seem to put my finger on it.  Does props dropped refer to props they exit with and does props received are props they acquired from that scene?

Students and Novice Stage Managers / Is it a norm?
« on: Aug 24, 2015, 04:28 am »
While I was a production assistant for a theater it was my job with the ASM to prep food, do presets, intermission shift and post-show clean up. During the entire tech rehearsal period and the two week run, the SM may have came down from the booth once to act as a sub house manager and came backstage at least once during intermission. All calls were given on backstage paging. The entrance to the booth was located in a hallway that's off limits to the patrons/public so technically part of the backstage area. 

As a SM I like to check-in on my ASM and departments/crews during intermission sort of like a progress report and try to check-in with the cast. I might even assist with moving props and set pieces when I notice the ASMs struggling and If i can help.

I'm not sure whether it is because of our difference in our styles or if i'm micro-mangaging a bit too much?

Is it a "norm" that SMs barely leave the booth during intermission except if some big trouble or issues comes up?

Background info: The SM wasn't the show's original SM as this show was remounted for the summer. Its original opening was early spring.

I am mostly asking because I will be SM'ing Almost Maine for my university in a few months and will be working with an ASM who has only ASM'd a small-scale play part of a student director showcase. She was my ASM for the show we worked on together. Almost Maine will be her 2nd time ASM'ing but has lots of experience as a stagehand/shift crew. I discovered that she relied heavy on memory but when she became very stressed when there was a lot to do and things going on- she started to forget a lot of things like presets and shifts.

I am thinking of delegating prop & tech tracking (scene shifts and backstage duties) and record entrances and exits to my ASM while i prepare costume change plots and record interior blocking. This can help us split work load between the two of us. The transitions would probably most likely be done by the actors. Having her record shifts she'll be on top of them so she can help remind cast to what their shift jobs are and maybe prepare cheat sheets as she will be the one running the deck for tech/perfs.

For the "ASMs not recording blocking"- I believe It may be easier for SM teams to breakdown blocking that SM records principles and small # of chorus while the rest of the chorus is split between the ASMs.  I never been part of a SM team that the SM delegated recording blocking to an ASM as MatthewShiner has described.

I appreciate and love hearing any and all input.

Apart from cue sheets and plots from the lighting designer and sound designer are there things I should start getting into the habit of discussing with them before the 1st rehearsal? Should I meet with them about lighting, sound notes from the script and ask/see what changes to expect or would that be seen as overstepping?
I usually meet with scenic & costume designers about pieces, changes and whats needed for each scene. And acquire any tangible information such as piece lists and groundplans. But with the other designers I am a bit lost..

In the past I wrote rehearsal cues in my script, during rehearsals I called out what sounds were going to happen and even playback sound effects from a CD but for those shows I was in charge of sound.

When It comes to lighting, I only get cues once the designer writes/programs them during tech.

Stage Management: Plays & Musicals / Re: Sondheim on Sondheim
« on: Aug 20, 2015, 07:25 am »
If you can get your hands on both copies that would be a good start. Majority of the time you will only need the music score depending on if your designers will have cues off the music. Working from librettos is just as fine for making notes as it not as thick as the score and less "condensed". If you have the copy of the score for yourself for just in cases cues will be off music- you'll be a step ahead.

Both. The master stays in the prompt book, but in many cases it can be as long as the script itself, or longer. Individual tracks get printed for deck crew to carry with them. During tech the tracks have plenty of space for notes. Once open, the tracks are collected back, the notes transferred to the master, and all individual tracks reprinted in ultra compact, cheat sheet versions.

Individual? individual as in each person has their list of only their assigned jobs or is it separated by department/crew; shift, wardrobe, deck lx, props etc.

I know this post is over 2 years old and I couldn't find a similar topic on the boards.

As an ASM are you ever expected/requested to record the blocking. When I SM, i feel that 2 or 3 people recording blocking may not be necessary. I prefer my ASMs to track props/costumes and other tracks than record blocking as I don't understand why have three versions of blocking exist (which may differ between them). I like to work under the "kill 2 birds with one stone". I feel as though if their attention is on doing something I'm already doing then they'll miss the things that would affect them while they're on the deck. (Maybe also missing vital paperwork notes? etc..) I feel distributing tasks is better than all of us doing the same thing and not making much of a dent on the to-do list.

That way while I'm recording blocking the ASMs can note props and be more mobile presetting/moving pieces in rehearsal as needed.

For shows with larger casts, I do ask the ASMs to assist me in recording blocking and we divide the cast among us and each of us are responsible for the blocking of those we are assigned. I then ask to borrow their blocking notes to put them in my script outside rehearsals.

Do you record blocking anyway even if you aren't asked as a personal preference (i dont mean just recording entrances/exits)

As an ASM what do you prefer to work off for tech & performances? Do you have your script with deck/prop moves, cues, costume changes etc. written in your script or run sheets? What do you have backstage once the curtain goes up?

If you were teaching one or two people to ASM who will run the deck while you call the show, would you encourage them to work one way rather than the other? Why? Do you have them mark their scripts in a certain way during the rehearsal period?

Edited to add topic tag- Maribeth

Thank you very much.

My last question is do you typically make separate run sheets for different departments/crews OR have it all as one document sorta like a "master runsheet". (lets say you do have wardrobe crew, shift/props crew)


Thank you. It was very helpful

At the beginning of each production I obtain groundplans and preliminary piece lists from my scenic and costume designers. If i have any questions or concerns regarding transitions, Q's, costume changes I discuss them (preferably in person) with the designers.

I am unsure what I information I should have as a SM from my other designers for my prompt book. Should I request lighting and sound plots? Instrument schedules? Preliminary plots or requirements? Discuss equipment that's planned to be on deck and/or stored backstage with them. I usually find my electrics and sound tabs to be quite thin. 

What paperwork/information should I start requesting and asking from my designers?
What usual information do you ask from your designers during prep week or during early part of rehearsal/build process?

I understand that every theater/production/company/designer differs from another, but I would really appreciate a guide or something I could work from as a basis. Thank you.

[Student stage manager @ university]

Edited to add topic tag - Maribeth

Stage Management: Plays & Musicals / RUNNING: Wardrobe Runsheet
« on: Jun 05, 2015, 08:27 am »
Is the SM (or ASM) responsible for making the wardrobe runsheet or Quick change plot for the run for the crew/dressers? If so how much input do you have regarding to where and when changes need to take place? Do you coordinate this with the wardrobe master or costumer or do they handle all of it (Q sheets,plots, etc.)?

Edited to add topic tag- Maribeth

What responsibilities or duties does a Production Manager typically or normally do once the show opens? Are they always present for each show?

Are they in charge of schedules, calling tardy crew, etc.

Edited to add title tag. - Maribeth

If the theater has a no policy in regards to open flame (candles) and fog/haze can the Stage Manager say no if the director requests for it during rehearsal? Or should the stage manager add the note in the rehearsal report regardless?

The director is a student director and its part of a directing showcase.

Mostly asking if its alright as the stage manager to say no or give an alternative to the director if the SM knows the policies such as this.

Edited to add topic tag and clarify title. - Maribeth

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 8