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Topics - Stuart Plymesser

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Tools of the Trade / Dressing Room Mirror Lights
« on: Nov 27, 2018, 11:06 am »
So having an actor that overheats and sweats easily has caused us to reopen a conversation about converting dressing room mirror incandescent lights to something else that would show off less heat and still keep color proper for makeup purposes.  Has anyone come up with or seen a viable alternative to regular incandescent lightbulbs? 


Tools of the Trade / Running sound cues in rehearsal
« on: Apr 05, 2012, 07:43 pm »
I am curious to get the experience of my fellow SMs on this subject.  Currently, I am in rehearsals for our production of The Brothers Size at Syracuse Stage.  As with most shows here, the resident sound engineer has given me a laptop for the rehearsal hall for running a session of QLab as I get cues from our sound designer.  As rehearsals have progressed, there have been many times where our director has responded to some cues with, “Could we loop those drum beats until __________?”  or, “What if that cue cross-faded more slowly into the next cue?”  All of this is being done with the idea of putting together a cue list and session that I hand over to the sound designer before tech for him to refine and make changes to as needed.  Throughout rehearsals, I am in close contact with the designer (who I have a good relationship from previous productions) and he is taking note of the things we are doing.  A similar thing happened to me with a production of The 39 Steps at a different theatre where I would make changes to the cues on SFX (but not the sound files) throughout rehearsal on a show that had well over 400 cues to run. 

Our former Artistic Director, Bob Moss, was a Broadway SM from a time before there were regular sound designers.  He has told me how a director would hand the SM an album and say, “For rehearsal tomorrow, could you take the first 5 minutes off of the first song for us to use?”  The SM would take it home and record it on their reel to reel and add it to the rehearsal tape – splicing it where it needed to go in the sequence for the show.  When the show got to the theatre, the SM would hand the master reel off to the sound technician so it could be used in the show.  I started thinking about how now that technology has made the modification of cues as easy as cutting and pasting or dragging and dropping, we seem to be coming around full circle.  We no longer have to wait for someone to hand us a new set of cues on a CD or MiniDisc.  All of this gives us a great jump on tech and certainly helps the director’s process.  The key for me is to making sure the sound designer is being kept in the loop and not feeling like their toes are being stepped on.

I’m curious to know how many stage managers have seen an increase in what they are expected to be able to do in rehearsal with sound cues – going past just the average “play the cue and fade it up or down.”  As someone who also teaches, I am seeing the need for my SM students to learn how to run QLab and SFX before they graduate - to be prepared to do more than just run a cue.  Thoughts?

Tools of the Trade / Glow-in-the-dark Glow tape
« on: Feb 20, 2010, 07:39 pm »
The TD at Syracuse Stage told me today about Shurtape's new glowing gaff tape.  Does anyone have any experience with it? 

Here is a review of it from

And here is where you can order it from Production Advantage:

We've already ordered a roll of it to check out.

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