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Messages - Patlienemann

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I tend to type out my calling scripts with the cues built in and I use Word to create texts boxes on the side of the page of what cues I am warning and what cues are going and on the cue itself I usually put a little square around the letter or phrase or number (when music if not score).  I started doing this in college and found out that many touring SMs do it as well.  This way multiple people can call from one script.

I've kind of been in this situation before in university...

You raise some good points about said freshmen maybe needing to ASM first, but if the PM is confident then there is a reason he/she asked for you to give up the position.
Also, you are only a sophomore - there are two more years of SMing ahead of you.

However... that is a bit of a bad situation.  It's not entirely fair for you to be asked to move, and if you are asked then you do have the option of saying no and if they want to move you bad enough they will.  Ask the PM if maybe they can shadow you or ASM for you... or if you let them SM you could mentor them.  These are all great option, but education for all is always great :D

Best of luck!

Good morning!

So as a novice SM (on my way out of college, done a few gigs outside of school too) I have a question for the community.

When it comes to show time I LOVE to wear dress blacks - button up long sleeves, slacks, etc... not just your average polo.  When I wear button up shirts I do enjoy wearing a tie with them because it looks... nicer.  I have black long ties and black bow ties, but I also have dark colored ties as well (I.E. maroon/black, dark blue or green with black patterns, etc...).  I was curious what the general thoughts are on colored ties versus black ties.  Obviously I'm not going to go into a show wearing a bright yellow or white tie - especially if I am working backstage, but if I am hidden in a booth would you be alright if your PSM or ASM wore a tie that wasn't black?  I've also been in situations where I take the tie off before the show begins as I'm getting comfy in my seat - could this be an ok alternative?


We recently had another white dip related thread that may have some ideas:

Thank you - my search skills failed me earlier.

Won't shaving cream turn really runny after 20 minutes? I had real problems with it 'collapsing' fairly quickly.

Does the bowl break? No matter what you use, a liquid will always splatter - unless it's really thick, but then it will look fake. How about cake icing? You can play with the consistency until it works for you, colour it, etc.


The bowl doesn't break - it's a flexible plastic dollar store style bowl.
Ooo cake icing actually isn't a bad idea?
We thought about shaving cream but afraid it would collapse - thought the same about whip cream.
When it's in the bowl it isn't seen very easily so I was thinking I could just line the bowl with whatever it is - that will also prevent a splash effect - but I would need to play with it to figure out how much.

Any other thoughts?
Thanks you guys!


I could use some advice regarding food on stage.  I'm doing Oohrah! (Bekah Brustetter) and we are trying to stay true to the script which calls for one of the characters to drop a bowl of dip onstage.  He will be dropping it upstage so it is out of everyones way, but it is going to stay spilled until the end of the show - which is about 20 minutes under lights.  I need something that won't splatter or splash, stain, or cause the floor to be sticky.  We thought about sour cream but that was the best idea we had.  Does anyone else have ideas of what we could use?  It doesn't need to be edible, but represent a party dip of some sort and hopefully be cheap in price.  Thank you so very much!

Edited topic tag/title - Maribeth

College and Graduate Studies / Re: Tech Vocabulary for Students
« on: Nov 03, 2013, 02:05 pm »
The Back Stage Guide To Stage Management (Thomas A Kelly, Foreword by Peter Hall) is the book that my university uses for the basic SM class.  I think Thomas Kelly has a wonderful way of making things easy to grasp and applying them to theatre.  It explains a large amount of vocab, what different paperwork or sheets can be used for, how to organize, etc...

The amazon one can be found at

Stage Management: Other / Re: Paid Summer Opera Internships
« on: Nov 03, 2013, 01:59 pm »
I also know a good number of people who've worked multiple seasons at Des Moines Metro Opera and always seem to have a good time.  I'm not sure when they start hiring for their summer season.

I have a few friends who have/are doing Des Moines Metro Opera and they have just recently started talking about it - I believe their hiring starts soon, if not now.

I could be wrong :D

Articles from the Old Site / Re: Tips: Spike Tape on Demand
« on: Nov 03, 2013, 01:57 pm »
One of my fellow SM's at wayne state decided to make a spike stick last year.  It worked well for him usually, but he didn't use it often enough to warrent needing a stick when he could just have a roll here or there.

Would this be something that is more useful outside of college/university theatre?

School can be tough, it's something I'm dealing with right now.  I dropped out of college a number of years ago and I was given the chance to do it again.  People in the real world are going to be rude, immature, and down right a pain to work with.  Many people can be like that in school because (and I hate to say this, because I don't want to sound rude) they are still young.  They might not understand professionalism.  Or you might have just gotten the rotten apple.  Either way - stick with it.  As much as something might seem horrible and like you are just dragging your feet for a reward you might not see as worth it - it will be worth it.

I was told by my SM Mentor here at school "We don't do theatre in college for the degree, we do it for the experience and the network."  Which to some extent is true.  Right now you are getting the experience of working with a bad company, which means if you get stuck with one in the future, you will know how to handle yourself and how to handle the company.  You might get lucky and your first gig out of school is with the best company you've ever heard of.  Pain is only temporary, but we need to push through it to heal.

I understand that slump though.  When things are getting rough and it looks like the end result isn't even worth the coal in a stocking at Christmas.  If it helps, give yourself some visual motivators.  I like to print up pictures or posters and put them in weird spots, like on my rearview mirror.  When you see them, they make you smile.  They might make you let out a big sigh and then give you that inch of a push to get through the day.



Clean up your space
Do I look like your mother?
Please don't throw the props

Do I want to know?
Please tell me why that's broken
Don't you read reports?

If there is a sheet
We call it the sign in sheet
Why don't you sign it?

Someone brought donuts?
Now there are no more donuts?
That's ok, I'm good

Coffee Coffee please
Steady Diet of Starbucks
A liquid life force

Introductions / Re: Reinvigorated Stage Manager
« on: Oct 28, 2013, 09:10 pm »
Welcome fellow newcomer!

Introductions / Re: Greetings to all!
« on: Oct 28, 2013, 09:09 pm »
Thank you!

Introductions / Greetings to all!
« on: Oct 26, 2013, 06:40 pm »
Good Evening!

My name is Patrick and I am a student stage manager at Wayne State University (Detroit, MI).  I signed up for SM Network a little over a year ago and have been lurking in the shadows.  I decided to add yet another voice to the masses and so I am stepping out of the darkness!  I am 27, a veteran, and in my Junior year at WSU.  Currently I am working on a show called American Soldiers by Matt Morillo for a small intimate thrust stage theatre (Studio Theatre Downstairs at the Hilberry).  I have been in working behind the curtains of the stage since my years in high school (2000-2004... ugh I feel old).  I have designed sound, run both light and sound boards, built and designed sets, run crew, and for the last two years I have decided Stage Management is where I need to be.  I am open to questions if for some odd reason someone wants to ask :-)
I look forward to future discussions with everyone and I wish a broken leg upon each of you!


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