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Topics - iamchristuffin

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Stage Management: Other / Stage Sessions with a PSM and ASMs
« on: Aug 14, 2015, 11:27 am »
Hi all,

So here's a question I've been curious about. I've worked on operas with the SM on book before, but how do you all run stage sessions? Do you, as PSM, get away from the desk whenever you stop so that you can control what happens on stage, where to pick up from, etc? Does your ASM do that? And if you have multiple ASMs, do they take a session each, does 1st ASM always run it?

In my experience, each ASM has taken a session each - if it's not split up beforehand, it gets a little confusing who the correct person to talk to is.



Employment / Working in USA
« on: Jul 14, 2015, 01:53 pm »
Hello one and all,

I've been thinking more and more about trying to do a few contracts in the US, to spice things up a bit. However, I'm a British citizen.....

- How much of a barrier would my non-citizen status be?
- Would many companies be up for hiring someone from the UK?
- Could being a UK Equity member be a hindrance or a help in these situations?

I know this is a very broad question, but I'd love some thoughts from you guys before I look at applying for contracts...



Employment / Application Rejection, Replying Email
« on: Feb 04, 2015, 10:16 am »
Hi all,

The title probably doesn't make a huge amount of sense, but I wasn't sure what to put instead!

I've applied for a summer ASM gig, at a company that is definitely seen as a step up from my current contracts (though in a lower position).

I heard back yesterday that I hadn't got an interview - not wholly unsurprising, but a little disappointing. However, I'm not sure what I'm missing, compared to others I know who have had the job in the past.

Now, here's my question - should I ask why I haven't gone any further? And if so, how should I word it?

My current draft email reads;

"Dear (James)*,

Thank you for your email. Is there anything you could suggest I do to improve my application next time, or was there anything in particular I am missing?

Many thanks,


*Name changed to protect the innocent!

I just don't know if this will annoy them, as it's their prerogative who they invite for interview. But I don't know how else to find out what I need to do to progress (short of asking others to do some digging for me).

Any advice?


The Hardline / Choosing your team?
« on: Sep 09, 2014, 08:56 am »
Hi all,

I'm CSM'ing an opera next year, and I'm having issues choosing my team.

The problem comes because the company did two shows in rep with each other last year, and so I had two DSM's (Showcaller/Rehearsal SM), one on each show. Let's call them Sarah and Emily for easy reference. Now they've reverted to just one, and so I can only ask one of them back!

They're both great friends of mine, both fantastic at their job, and very easy to work with.

Emily is perhaps slightly better in her role, while Sarah is more relaxed about the 'quirkiness' of the venue and the company. Emily is very confident at controlling a room, while Sarah is easier for new colleagues to establish a rapport with. Neither of them particularly enjoys propping, so offering one of them an ASM position is out.

Any thoughts on how to choose?! And, any tips on how to break it to the unsuccessful one?



PS. Mods- wasn't sure on the best board to post this on, this or Employment- so I'm sorry if I got the wrong one!

Stage Management: Other / AGMA Rates
« on: Aug 20, 2014, 09:33 pm »
Hi all,

Does anyone have a copy of the current AGMA Stage Management Rates card? Trying to compare to Equity UK, but I can't find anything online that doesn't require a password.

If you'd rather not make it public, happy to send an email address out.



Students and Novice Stage Managers / Rehearsal Room 101
« on: Jun 27, 2014, 07:21 pm »
My current gig has quite a lot of students and visitors in the rehearsal room. We've just finished week 2, and I've had maybe 10 people watching - not including those with an active production role. Some of them haven't been in a rehearsal room before, and my director and I have been chatting about giving them a brief introduction into the ways of the room. Basic stuff, but things that people (including myself, probably, a few years ago) might not think of.

My list so far includes stuff for new/aspiring SMs, visitors, and new/inexperienced company members:

1- Quiet shoes! Rubber soles are the bomb, and walk on the balls of your feet!
2- NEVER walk in between the director/conductor and the cast while a scene is in motion.
3- Don't talk loudly - it just encourages others to do the same.
4- Don't set a precedent by agreeing to any unreasonable requests - it will become the norm, and you won't be able to do your job properly.
5- It is far to early in the process to alienate anyone - don't be rude or upset someone!
6- Be nice to the creatives! If you're making a tea or coffee, offer one to them too! But, as with 4, make sure it doesn't become an expectation.
7- And, last but not least - electronics on silent!

It's most definitely not a complete list, so what are your tips/rules?


Tools of the Trade / Prop Money
« on: May 22, 2014, 07:10 pm »
Hi all,

Any suggestions of good paper to print money on? The show I'm on at the moment has a huge amount (it's set in a casino), and standard A4 isn't very realistic!


P.S. - If you're on the same groups and forums as I am, I'm sorry that you're going to see this question quite a few times!

P.P.S. - Is this the right sub to post this in?!

Stage Management: Other / Teaching Score Reading
« on: Nov 22, 2013, 11:14 am »
Hi all,

I've been asked to teach a couple of people to follow a score, and I'm a little unsure what music to use? Does anyone have any recommendations for unlicensed scores (that I can get from IMSLP or similar) that would be a good starting point?

I have quite a lot of the more difficult stuff, but it's really simple stuff I'm struggling with. I used to use some from musicals, but I stupidly threw it away!



Employment / PAY: Daily Rate
« on: Aug 02, 2013, 09:26 am »
Hi everyone,

I'm doing a job that runs for 4 weeks and 4 days. We've discussed the weekly rate, but I'm not sure what to divide it by to find out the daily rate, and how much I'll earn from the 4 days -5, 6 or 7?

What do you think?



Employment / Resumes - jobs in a few months
« on: Mar 19, 2013, 12:28 pm »
Hi all,

I'm applying for a job starting in August this year, but do you think I should include work that will happen between now and (assuming I get it) when I start the job?

If so, should I list that in a separate 'Upcoming Projects' section, or just list them as though they are completed?

Interested to get a couple of opinions on this....


Stage Management: Other / Dance First Aid
« on: Jan 11, 2013, 12:04 pm »
Hi everyone!

I've been asked to spec a first aid kit for a dance show (all male). I've already said the list below:

Ice packs
Deep heat
Blister plasters
Compression bandages
Triangular bandages
Plasters/Band-Aids (plus hypoallergenic if necessary)

Can anyone think of other things to add in?


I've got to find a fire extinguisher that can be refilled easily with whipped cream (or something similar). I'm looking into refilling a real extinguisher, or maybe using a soda siphon and painting it.

Does anyone have any other ideas? Naturally, the cheaper the better!



Stage Management: Other / My first ballet gig!
« on: Oct 16, 2011, 05:06 am »
Hi everyone,

I've been offered my first bit of ballet work - ASM for a well-known company's Nutcracker. I've seen the show before, I know the score well - What else should I do to prepare?


Students and Novice Stage Managers / Job Titles: USA Vs UK
« on: Aug 30, 2010, 02:56 pm »
Hi everyone,

I was having a wander through the forums, and I suddenly realised that I have no idea about the different roles over the pond. So I was hoping some very kind people would be able to explain what the different roles of PSM, SM and ASM in the USA entail?

Thanks!  :)


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