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Topics - BLee

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Hello All, I have a personal request for help in determining fair wages for an Assistant Stage Manager. The union information is easy to gather, but it is harder to find the starting and average wages for actual Assistant Stage Managers in theme parks and live entertainment. So I'm putting out a plea! If you have any copies of old contracts or hiring papers for a role that either was "Assistant Stage Manager" or very similar to that title in the Entertainment field I would very much appreciate the information.

Please private message me with any assistance. If you have a scanned copy or screen shot (with all personal information blacked out of course) that would be even better. All information is confidential, this is just a request for information.


Attending school at: University of California, Irvine
Instructor: Don Hill
Training level: Graduate
Project due date: June 2013

Background: My thesis intends to compile resources, such as an analysis of safe and sanitary guidelines in AEA and other entertainment unions, which would be useful to a young professional venturing into non-union stage management jobs. My thesis is intended to act as a guide to this audience. It will discuss the role of the stage manager in relation to safety in a theatrical environment and what tools a non-union stage manager has when attempting to maintain a safe workplace.

My initial question is what topics related to "safe and sanitary" would be most beneficial to a young professional working in non-union theatre?

I am looking for both the 20/20 long-term professional view of what would have been useful "way back when" as well as the fresh perspective from those stage managers just starting out regarding what you want to know more about.

Thank you.

The Green Room / "Nicholas Bracewell" Series of Novels
« on: May 18, 2012, 12:25 pm »
There is some series of detective novels featuring a British stage manager: now that would make scintillating television!

Do you know the name of this detective series?

Note: This thread was somewhat inelegantly forked from our concurrent discussion of "Smash." - PSMK

The Green Room / USITT 2012
« on: Feb 24, 2012, 03:06 am »
USITT 2012 Conference & Stage Expo
Long Beach, CA
March 28-31

I see the SMA has a table and they are currently offerring free passes to the Stage Expo at (Promo Code: USITT12).

So who plans on being there and what days? I will either be up that Friday or Saturday to check out the Stage Expo and would love to grab lunch or coffee with any members who plan to make the trip!

The Green Room / Show post-poned due to quitting actor
« on: Mar 25, 2010, 08:49 pm »

Did you read this NYTimes article? Megan Mullally quit the revival of "Lips Together, Teeth Apart" around two weeks before previews began because she felt her co-star, Patton Oswalt (a broadway newbie I believe), was not doing a good enough job. While I commend her for being discreet (initially) by voicing her concerns in private as opposed to telling Oswalt what she though, I think quitting the show is much worse press (especially since this is the second time she quit just prior to previews) than having lackluster reviews due to a co-stars weak performance.

I was happy to see a dignified and professional comment from the stage manager for the production. Although it does show just how careful we have to be when we speak to anyone outside of those present in rehearsals. Knowing as much intimate details as SMs tend to know, we could easily speak out inappropriately without initially knowing about it.

I'm curious what everyone else thought about this situation and to see if anyone else has had to deal with a similar situation (and did you end up delaying the production)? And do you think Mullally has done enough damage to her broadway reputation to leave her with more butter commercials and less offers for leading roles?

Employment / Remy Bumppo Theatre in Chicago
« on: Nov 12, 2009, 09:55 pm »
I have been called to have a phone interview with a company called Remy Bumppo in Chicago, IL. The reviews are great about the productions, but I don't know much about the inner workings of the company.

Has any worked for them before?

Is anyone involved with the mentor project or know anyone involved this year? Applications haven't gone up yet, but I was hoping to talk to someone about what the project is all about, how many people are accepted, when applications go up, etc.

USITT conference is being held in KC this year, which is fantastic since it is so incredibly close to where I live. I also plan to sign up for the volunteer program. I need to make sure I can do both, which I would imagine I could work out somehow. I sent my student application in today so hopefully I will be a student member in the next couple weeks.

Employment / U/RTA's for the non-Grad bound SM student...
« on: Sep 10, 2008, 10:50 am »
I was searching through the forums for old topics on U/RTA's but non really addressed the Resident side of the U/RTA's. I know mostly grad hopefuls focus on the U/RTA's, but my college recommends all tech students participate even if they intend to go straight into the job market. I would not be attending U/RTA until the month after my graduation (I graduate Dec '09 and would attend Jan/Feb '10).

Basically, does anyone know how many non-educational theatre companies actually attend U/RTA? Most people talk about the SM usually being in Chicago, so do any Chicago theatres attend (like Goodman, Steppenwolf, etc)? I just can't decide if this is worth my time (unless a grad school decides I'm so good that they want to pay 100% of my grad education).


Employment / Webpage Resume
« on: Jul 07, 2008, 10:38 pm »
For my internship I've started using the google programs extensively. I was playing around and figured out how to make my own website and have been making myself a webpage of my resume. On a secondary page I have been keeping updated lists of the tasks I complete on this internship including the programing and technology I am using.

I suppose my question is if this is a good idea. The page is private right now because I am not actively seeking employment at the moment, but I wonder if anyone has had success with a resume online and if there are any recommendations to make the sight more successful if I open in publicly in the future for employers.

Thank you!

Employment / Temporary Housing & Transportation
« on: Mar 20, 2008, 10:36 pm »
I'm currently researching internships for my time off school (7 weeks this summer) and I have found an internship that I have a good chance at getting (at least I like to think so). My problem is it is in California and I am in Missouri. I have to provide my own housing and reliable transportation. I have to get more specific details on if I have to have a car or can use public transportation, but that is a different topic.

I know many stage managers will travel where the work is. My question, for those who have experience in changing housing from city to city every couple months or so, is this: How do you go about finding a place to stay? What websites or other methods do you have for securing housing?

Alright, so this is a never ending debate amongst the stage managers I've talked to who have working professionally for years:

Should Equity represent SMs?

One half says they have improved benefits greatly for SMs and since the SM and Deputy work closely together it makes sense that they should deal with the same union. Also, on this side of the debate, is the relationship SMs should have with actors on an equality basis.

On the other side, many say that IATSE or another stage hand union should be the main representation. Even further, I've heard that some believe Stage Managers should have their own union (or branch of a technical union) that would represent all branches of Stage Management (SM, ASM, PA, etc). Some on this side have said SMs are overshadowed by the actors in Actor's Equity and are sometimes taken advantage of by the contracts used.

Personally, I'm still sorting things out and investigating the paperwork and information on Equity right now and are not informed enough to develop my own opinion yet, but I am curious what others think. If you don't like Equity and think another union represents SMs better please let me know so I can investigate them as well.

When I'm setting up my work station before rehearsal I'm wondering what everyone does to fit all the stuff we need in such small spaces. There are so many different style of spaces that it is hard to find a solution for space. For example, if you are in the theatre for rehearsals and are sitting in the audience, how do you set up your laptop, prompt book, paperwork, kit, and anything else I might have forgotten? I've seen sitting in the aisle, dragging in as big a table as will fit, or a specially fit work top built to sit over two rows of seats to provide ample workspace for stage manager, light, and sound board. How do you work it?

Or, even more basic, how do manage to have a laptop (for note taking, line or director notes, etc) and also follow along with the script/prompt book? Do you use an assistant (if available) or some kind of set up you have found works well?

Employment / Seeking Stage Management Fellowship
« on: Jan 25, 2008, 05:44 pm »
I am starting the early process of seeking theater companies that offer stage management fellowships or lucrative internships. My graduation is currently set for Dec '09, but I want to collect information early on opportunities.

Ideally I'd like to find an opportunity that offers points towards Equity, housing (or at least a nice enough stipend to afford some kind of housing and/or aid in seeking housing), and a potential opportunity to be hired on post-fellowship.

I understand I will most likely not get an ideal fellowship, but I have come across a few very good set-ups. Basically I am seeking anyone who ideas or tips for what will be a post-grad trying to break into stage management. I am extremely open to touring, regional theater, even overseas if the opportunity is good. Any recommendations?

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