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Topics - Jonas_A

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Tools of the Trade / Software: Diese
« on: Feb 17, 2021, 06:07 pm »
I've been chatting with some colleagues who are exploring a move from ArtsVision ( to Diese ( - does anyone have any experience with the latter? We're both large professional orchestras with complex planning and production processes, so keen to hear from anyone who has used them in a similar scenario.

Does anyone have a way to silently extinguish burning cigarettes when they're placed in a glass/crystal ashtray? I'm currently SMing a play where several characters put down lit cigarettes into clear glass ashtrays, but we need the cigarettes to self-extinguish so they don't present a fire hazard (also because otherwise our tiny theatre will stink of herbal cigarettes).

There needs to be no sizzle or noise, and sand is not appropriate because of the glass ashtrays. I've heard that water-based lubricant works - does anyone else have suggestions that won't make a noise?

We're definitely using herbal cigarettes: director is hellbent on them, company is quite ok with it and in the 80-seat theatre, any other substitute will be noticeable apart from e-cigarettes, which they don't want to use, particularly because the cast smokes almost a dozen between them in a single show and cigarettes get begged, stolen and procured from every pocket and location possible. The more I think about it, the more I want to advise using e-cigarettes.

Thanks in advance! - Jonas

Tools of the Trade / SM Kit *for students*
« on: Feb 26, 2013, 05:26 am »
Hi all,

So, I'm starting my BFA next week and I'm beginning to assemble my first real kit past a bucketload of sharpies and tape, and I'm wondering:

What should go in a student SM's kit?

I've seen some spectacular kits - extra large, extra small, designed for dance, prepared for plays, etc. But almost all of them are being used by people far older than me, with a lot more experience, working on much bigger projects. I'm not looking to make this kind of a kit; I'm looking for something that helps me get what I need to do done, without it weighing more than me or costing a small fortune. To make this a bit more specific;

If you had to pick the top 10-20 things that are in your kit that you wish you'd had starting out, what would they be?

Before anyone comments; I've done some extensive searching around the forum, and I've found lots and lots of lists, and I am getting some great ideas... I just feel that if I keep throwing everything that seems vaguely useful into my kit, before long I'll be carting a small trailer to shows.

Looking forward to hearing thoughts on this! :)

Just wondering if anyone's used PBX/VoIP for stage comms in some form - I'm SM'ing in school theatre and we've finally decided that cheap UHF radios won't cut it any more. The money's not there for  proper a comms system, so we're looking at other options.

All we need is a system for the SM (who we keep on the deck to keep the staging crew in line) to occasionally talk to our self-managing desk op. Yes, poor practise, I know, but it's how they've been doing it for years and changing it will be more trouble than it's worth for this show.

While I'm at it, has anyone used Windows Media Encoder/something else to make a video relay for their show? Again, no money for a proper relay and because the show is only on for a fortnight, making a streaming video feed and having people access it in dressing rooms from the school server seems like a workable idea, but if anyone's done it I'd love to hear your experiences with it.

- Jonas

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