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Topics - Rebbe

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The Green Room / Goodshows
« on: Jun 12, 2012, 06:30 pm »
I was joking with friends recently that someone should invent "goodshows," where we could share what shows we have seen and what we thought of them, as with books on goodreads.  Does anyone know if such a thing already exists? 

I find myself having a low tolerance for non-theater people who arrive late, leave early, or take sick time when they aren’t really sick.  Basically, I expect a stage-manager-like work ethic from people who aren’t stage managers, and have jobs with sick time, overtime, benefits, people who can cover for them, the ability to telecommute, all those frills.  This attitude serves me well, even in non-theater work, because employers appreciate my diligence and extra effort.  On the other hand, friends and family can feel put off when I question why they don’t go to the doctor if they’re sick enough to take the day off of work.   

I guess I’m just wondering if others can relate to this, and what works for you in terms of moderating your expectations.

The threads below cover many of the major questions and issues surrounding prompt books.   Please check these out before you start a new topic.

What's in a prompt book?,674.0.html
Creating a Calling Script,967.0.html
Your Prompt Book - Left or Right?,767.0.html
Gratuitous Paperwork,3874.0.html
Question from a newbie! (Merging Libretto and Score),3048.0.html
SMing Musicals (calling from score),2428.0.html
Easy Question (Cut and Paste Prompt Scripts),1071.0.html
Also see TOTN [FAQ] Electronic Prompt Copies,712.0.html

The Hardline / AEA Accident Report Vs. Workers Comp Forms
« on: Apr 08, 2010, 11:08 am »
Is it appropriate to submit an AEA Accident Report preventatively?  As in a situation where an actor gets a minor injury and doesn’t want /need medical attention, but wants the incident to be “on file” with in case there are unforeseen complications from this down the road?  I seem to remember the workers comp forms being time sensitive, and if that’s the case, I don’t think just having the AEA form on file would help the actor get their treatment covered. 

Stage Management: Other / Cheat Sheet of Dance Terms for SMs
« on: Dec 28, 2009, 05:03 pm »
What are some dance moves/terms that SMs should know?   Any books or websites you would recommend as a reference for dance terms?

I recently worked on my first dance shows, and was able to call and follow the show based on what I heard, or my own description of specific moves, but I was thinking it might be useful in the future to know the difference between a jete and sahshay…and probably how to spell  them, too!   

The Green Room / Video of an SM at Work from "In The Wings"
« on: Dec 07, 2009, 07:05 pm »
If you're still trying to explain your job to your family when you're home for the holidays, this may help.  It's a short video showing an SM at work, and explaining her role in a production.

The Hardline / SPT Rules on Post-Opening Rehearsals
« on: Feb 05, 2009, 10:53 am »
I was recently looking at the SPT rules on rehearsals after the first week of public performance, and was a little surprised.  Rule 44-I-2 says the rehearsal can be no more than 1 hour, and must be held in the hour before half-hour; let's say it's an 8pm show, with 7:30 1/2 Hour, so rehearsal 6:30-7:30pm.  But Rule 44-I-2-e says no more than 5 hours can elapse between the start of rehearsal and curtain down, which could indicate more time is available; 5-7pm Rehearsal, 7:30 1/2 Hour, 8-10pm Performance.  It seems to me that these rules are incosistent with each other, and make it pretty tough to have a brush-up rehearsal of a 2 hour play.  Am I missing something here?  If you've scheduled a post-opening rehearsal of a longer play in SPT, what rules have you referenced to explain it to actors?


The Hardline / Distribution Actor Notes
« on: Mar 31, 2008, 06:57 pm »
I’ve read in the SPT and LORT books that individual actor notes (after opening) may not be posted openly on the callboard.  How do we define “individual actor notes?”  Would it be ok for a director to email a set of notes to the entire cast, with a scene by scene listing of notes, some pertaining to more than one actor, but some that apply only to one actor?  I tend to think this would go against the spirit of the rule, and that the director should break out their notes by person  and give them only to the actor they apply to, but maybe there is a loophole here.   Thoughts?       

Uploaded Forms / Run Sheets
« on: Jan 24, 2007, 11:36 am »
Attached is an excel document with examples of 6 different run sheets (click the tabs to see them all).

I adjust the run sheet format to suit the needs of each show, and reflect what makes sense to the backstage crew.  On some shows, a specific person is assigned to SL or SR, so names are only included if they're doing something away from their usual post.  I try to include as much detail as possible, so that someone could take over based on the run sheet with minimal additional instruction.  I had a good laugh looking back at these run sheets…how many jobs have you  ”move Cupid’s wings” each night? 

The Hardline / Breaks During Run-Throughs
« on: Dec 12, 2006, 09:52 pm »
I’m in rehearsals for a three-actor, intermission-less show, which is currently running close to an hour and fifty minutes.  The director thinks we should be able to run through the entire show without stopping for the usual 10 minute break after 80 minutes of work.  I agree with him that it’s darned inconvenient to stop in the middle of, say, a Design Run, but I can’t find anything in the rule book (SPT contract) that says that it’s OK to blow through the breaks. 

How would you handle this situation? Is there a rule which would grant an exception to the regularly scheduled breaks under these circumstances?  Is this a situation where you would just run the show straight through, unless an actor specifically objected to doing so, regardless of what the rule book says (now that I think about it, we do just that for Dress Rehearsals that are not open to the public all the time)?

Uploaded Forms / Script Changes
« on: Dec 07, 2006, 11:24 pm »
My ASM and I (yay Cheryl) came up with this excel document for tracking script changes.  We called it the Cut List, but it’s for changes and additions as well as cuts. 

The BLANK tab is a form we’d print out, blank, and have next to us in rehearsal to make handwritten notes about changes as they occurred.  We’d later type up the changes on the computer (cut list tab), and email it out and/or distribute hard copies.

Several people told us they’d never seen script changes tracked in quite this way, so I’d love to see how other SMs are format their “cut lists.”

The Hardline / SM "Present" at Rehearsals
« on: Oct 27, 2006, 01:24 pm »
The thread about Dialect Rehearsals brought this to mind…there is a rule in the SPT book (54-J-1) saying the Equity SM or ASM shall be “present” at all rehearsals.  I’ve always read that as meaning (when I don’t have an Equity ASM) that I must be in the same room as the actors while the are rehearsing, and should only leave when we all take a break. 

Am I interpreting this too narrowly?  Could being “present” mean I’m down the hall in the copy room during rehearsal? 

(Whether an SM should be out of the room during rehearsal is another question all together…I tend to think no, but being able to make said copies occasionally could come in handy!).

The Hardline / Fight Captain Selection
« on: Sep 18, 2006, 08:50 pm »
What protocol do you follow in choosing a fight captain? 

In beefing up on the SPT rules for my next production, I notice they are a bit vague.  They don’t seem to specify when or exactly how the Fight Captain should be choosen.  It just “shall be assigned from among the company.”

What role should the SM play in assigning a Fight Captain?  Should actors, other than the person selected as Captain, have input into the decision?  How early in rehearsals should a Fight Captain be in place?   

I’ve SM’ed several productions with stage combat before, and in those cases either an actor was cast partly because the director had them in mind as a qualified Fight Captain, or it was a small enough cast that the director asked the person not/least involved in the fight, with the most stage combat experience, to serve as Captain.   In the latter cases, we didn’t assign a Fight Captain until we were ready to begin fighting in rehearsals.  I haven't had any problems with past shows, but I'm curious what other SMs are doing.

SMNetwork Archives / Thoughts on Tablet/Stylus Computers?
« on: Aug 07, 2006, 02:31 pm »
I’m looking at investing in a laptop, and the Tablet PC has caught my eye.  It seems like it might be great for blocking and other quick note taking.  Is anyone out there using tablet/stylus technology successfully for SM stuff?   What are some pros and cons to consider? 

The Hardline / What Colleges (Don't) Say About AEA?
« on: Jul 31, 2006, 08:52 am »
“Hey, how do you join Equity, anyway?”

I got this question over the weekend from a May 06’ college graduate.  A theater major from a good sized university with a thriving theater department.  I get asked this pretty often by crew, assistants, even actors, and we certainly see it posted here regularly. 

It got me wondering (not for the first time):  why aren’t undergraduates being taught the basics of how to join a union, and the pros/cons of doing so?  I know I left college with only the vaguest notions of what Equity was and how to join it, but at the time I never dreamed I’d grow up to be an AEA SM, so I wasn’t looking for that info, either.  I’m not suggesting colleges should be cheerleaders for Equity, but it seems like the to-join/not-to-join question is one that many stage managers and actors will face at some point in their careers. 

Are my experiences, as an undergrad myself and later encountering other hapless grads, the exception or the norm?  If any of you went to schools that attempted to explain union membership, how helpful and correct did you find that information?       

I recognize that how to join and should I join are separate questions, and would hope that after getting a theater degree, you’re ready to look at the should.

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