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Messages - XanderQCall

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Tools of the Trade / Re: Should an ASM have their kit?
« on: Oct 18, 2016, 10:07 am »
It never hurts to ask. You may even find that your kit is a complement to the SM's kit. I did one show where my 3-hole punch worked better than the one provided by the theatre so the SM used mine.

Introductions / Re: Hi From KC!
« on: Jul 20, 2016, 12:01 pm »
I am also an SM in Kansas City!! Welcome!!

The Hardline / Re: SM as Board Op -- What to Ask For
« on: Mar 25, 2016, 10:18 am »
Good Morning Stage  Managers!!
I know it's been awhile since I made this post but I have an update. One theatre gave me board ops for the show I am currently doing so that got sorted out and the second theatre, who just joined Equity this year, had NO idea that I wasn't allowed to run the boards without additional compensation so I found the rule and read it to them and we are going to discuss the amount. I gave them an option to use the SPT Dance Captain rates as a starting point. Thank you all so much for the advice!!

Tools of the Trade / Re: Purchasing Gaff and Spike Tape
« on: Mar 05, 2016, 03:35 pm »
I love Gaff tape, spike tape (so many different colors!), glow tape, marley tape. Tie line if you need it and even gel if you need to cover flashlights for backstage.

The Hardline / SM as Board Op -- What to Ask For
« on: Nov 17, 2015, 03:40 pm »
Greetings Everyone!!
I wanted to pick your brains about something. I have always had to op a board throughout most of my SM career, but now I am AEA, working at theatres that require the SM to run a board or 2. I  want to talk to my producers about getting additional compensation for running a board. My question is has anyone ever gotten additional compensation for board oping and how much was it? Did you charge per board you had to operate, etc? I am just trying to get an idea of what to ask for.

Side note: AEA has been treating me very well so far. Finding out I get a 1/6th bump up for tech week was a giddy moment and I am 1 week shy of being eligible for 6 months of health insurance. I am loving my union!!

Students and Novice Stage Managers / Re: Rehearsal Reports
« on: Oct 20, 2015, 04:13 pm »
In my experience, it's not just about the details in terms of notes to the designer but about having a relativlely detailed chronicling of what happened at the rehearsal. What was accomplished vs. what the goals were for that day? How were the actors that day? Was therae a particular scene or a beat that was giving them trouble, etc? One production I worked on, I found that these details really helped my director keep track of areas to focus on for the next rehearsal. Also, he was gone on a cruise for a week so these detailed really helped keep him apprised of the progress being made.

One thing I learned from a stage manager mentor, in terms of designer notes, particularly props and scenic notes, is that she would phrase the note from the perspective of the item itself (if that makes sense). Instead of saying "we want/need the table to be 2 ft. wider" she would word it "the table wants to be 2 ft. wider." Basically she was personifying the item in question. I find it helps so that your reports aren't too "We want/need this, We want/need that," etc.

The Hardline / Re: Doing Non-Equity Work While Being Equity
« on: Sep 13, 2015, 07:03 pm »
Thank you so much!! Believe me, going Equity was not a decision I took lightly and I did do the research and the math.  Oddly enough, the timing worked out perfectly. I joined while a local theatre was in transition, having lost their resident PSM and while another theatre bumped up to being an Equity house this season.There are also a couple of more opportunities for union work I am waiting to hear about. I won't lie, I expected this response but I just needed to hear it. Even with doing the research and knowing the risks, but at same time, knowing Equity is a union I wanted to be apart of, it didn't make the transition less jarring. The theatre community I live in is very tight knit and my issue is always wanting to be there for everyone. This particular theatre was where most of my non-Equity work came from and while yes, they're in transition to being a union house within the next year or so, it was hard having to leave them. I read your thread "Candidate for Life" and it really spoke to me because this particular theatre does do the nonconventional, cutting edge shows that don't often pop up in an Equity theatre's season. Ultimately I am not going to take work without an Equity contract attached. I just really needed to hear some outside opinions.  I have embraced the choice I made and if the theatre gods see fit, this theatre I love will still be around, doing the edgy shows, but with the added ability to hire an Equity SM.

The Hardline / Doing Non-Equity Work While Being Equity
« on: Sep 11, 2015, 01:38 pm »
Ok, everyone!! I do not know if this topic has ever been discussed and I know that it's considered a serious breach of Equity responsibilities but has anyone ever petitioned Equity to do a production without a signed Equity contract? If so, what were your experiences with this? I have just recently joined the union and I have been lucky to have gotten offered a couple of contracts for 2015 and 2016 and there is some additional Equity work that is up in the air but I was going to request permission to do a non-Equity show just to help fill out my season. Should I even bother, especially with me being so new? It's just that I live and work in a theatre community where most of the local theatres have resident Equity PSMs and a couple of the smaller theatre companies are in transition to being full-fledged SPT theatres. I would just appreciate some thoughts and advice. Much love.

Self-Promotion / At Home at the Zoo
« on: Sep 04, 2015, 12:35 pm »
About to jump into tech for my first Equity show. Nothing like kicking things off with an Albee!!

The Hardline / Re: Going Equity 'Young'
« on: Jul 22, 2015, 08:59 pm »
Hey Everyone!! I am happy to announce that I will soon be one of the 11% who join Equity age 31-40!! Yesterday I signed my first Equity contract for a local theatre. SPT Tier 8!! I am excited to begin this new journey in my career. Much love to all of the SMs on this forum for sharing their advice and their experiences!!

Stage Management: Plays & Musicals / Re: Stage Manager say no?
« on: Mar 22, 2015, 06:11 pm »
That's always a tricky thing. It always seems (in my experience, at least) that the word "No" is taboo when it comes to the director.  We want to be able to do what we can for the director but there are directors out there who see stage managers as yes men/women in terms of every single request that they make and we feel like we have to honor these requests because of their position. I would just explain the policy to the director and check in with the higher-ups about the flexibility of the policy. As far as the open flame, could it happen if certain conditions were met? I am working a show right now that has a lit candle on stage from when the house opens until the end of the first scene, so there is a crew member stationed off-stage with a fire-extinguisher. Could a certain type of liquid for fog/haze alleviate the theatre's concerns? If the policy cannot be amended in anyway, I guess the next step would be seeing how crucial the candle and the fog/haze  is to the story your director is trying to tell. Could the effect be achieved with lighting? Is he/she against an electric candle? I remember a previous thread with some great advice from Matthew Shiner: the stage manager is not being employed by the director, they're being employed by the producer, the theatre as a whole. Do what you can to find a compromise but at the end of the day, if it's the theatre's policy, then that's that.

Employment / Re: Tent Theatre - Springfield, MO
« on: Feb 23, 2015, 11:50 am »
Hey Ashlee!!
I went to school in Springfield and worked at Tent the summer before they went Equity. It was my first professional SM gig so it was scary at the beginning but the people I got to work with were amazing. First of all, the two musicals they are mounting, Leap of Faith, and Hairspray have an AMAZING musical director. REDACTED is great to work with, fun and focused on the task at hand. REDACTED, the choreographer is also very talented, sassy and will definitely push the cast with every single piece of movement. REDACTED, who is directing Hairspray was one of my mentors when I went to school and has a strong passion for a naturalistic directing style where she allows the actors to make their own choices and not necessarily pre-block everything they're going to do. Overall, I had a fun summer doing Tent. I hope this helps.

EDIT: Names removed. This board is visible and indexed by search engines. Please keep specific naming of names to either the Google-invisible Regional Boards (that's what they're for) or to PM. - PSMK

Employment / Re: Why didn't I get the job?
« on: Feb 23, 2015, 11:35 am »
I agree!! Solid gold list. Thank you Matthew!!

Employment / Staged Readings On Resume?
« on: Dec 11, 2014, 12:54 pm »
Just a quick question for the group: As far as my resume goes, I have listed all of the full productions I have stage managed but I was wondering about staged readings and putting those on your resume. Also, I stage managed a 24 hour festival for 2 years now, each festival culminating in the creation of 5 short plays. Is that something I should try and work in as well or just stick to the major work I have done? Thank you!

The Hardline / Tech + Actors in Costume
« on: Dec 03, 2014, 07:15 pm »
This has come up for me recently on a show and I just wanted to get some clarification to make sure I am correct on this.

Here is the scenario: It's after 1/2 hour, actors are in costume, and the director decides to do a stumble-thru of the show (which is only about an hour and five minutes long).  Actors were called at 11:00a so they are due a 10 minute break at 12:20 (or whatever time the actual run-thru of the show ends).

When we get back from break, the director wants to start at the top of the show, requiring actors to get back into their top of show costumes.

In this situation, actors were put on a fifteen minute break: five minutes to get back into TOS costume and then the actual ten minute break they were due. Is that breakdown accurate? Or would you have actors get out of costume and then put them on a break?  Does Equity define the act of an actor getting into and out of costume as work and therefore an actor cannot be put on break and have part of that break time be changing into and out of costume?

Now here is another scenario that came up: Different show. The last part of our tech rehearsal was spent doing a run-thru of the show. The director wanted to have time to touch base with the actors about the plan for the next day before the actors left the theatre. END OF DAY is 11:00pm. Actors were kept, IN COSTUME, until 11:00pm, and then released.

If the act of getting into and out of costume is considered to be work, does this mean that the actors end of day was actually once they were out of costume which was around 11:15? Should the run-thru have been stopped with enough time to have the actors get out of costume, take their break, while still leaving time for the director to talk with them prior to END OF DAY?

I was not the stage manager in either situation, it was just something I observed. Thoughts, comments, concerns. You all are such a wealth of knowledge I figured I would throw this out there. My apologies if this is already a thread but I couldn't find anything along these lines when I searched. Thank you!!

EDIT: Added line breaks for easier reading. --PSMK

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