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Topics - mkristinect

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The Green Room / Moving to fight off burnout
« on: Jun 08, 2017, 06:06 pm »
Hi folks,

I considered a couple different forums for this topic but, since it covers so much ground, decided that this would be the most likely candidate.  Please forgive a bit of a ramble as I simultaneously get some things off my chest and ask for some multi-faceted advice.

For the past 2-1/2 years I have worked pretty much non-stop (27 projects in the last 24 months alone).  The past 6-8 months have been dominated by very challenging shows for one reason or another, and the last two have been the actual productions from hell.  Due to my own poor decision-making I am now facing severe burnout.  It's an identity crisis, really.  This is the only thing I want to do with my life, but I also hate it intensely.

SO, my original plan was to go overseas to work (not in theatre) for an extended period.  If I don't speak the language, I'll be less likely to get gigs, right?  Now that is looking unlikely and probably for the best since, in my present psychological state, a move halfway across the globe feels unbearable. Plan B was to go on a significantly shorter international excursion but, if I'm not working, I can't really afford to do that.  Staying Stateside without a job prospect would present similar challenges.

Plan C, which was hatched last night, is to take a long road trip and look for regional work at the end of it.  Maybe a mini-vacation and a change of scene would help?  So here are my questions if any of you have thoughts on one or more of them:

1) Can anyone speak to their experience as a transient freelancer?  Staying in town for a single show or season?  Is this possible for a non-union SM?  I haven't ruled out AEA, but Seattle is my home base and there aren't a ton of Equity contracts here.
2) I am considering Minneapolis (because it's a hoppin' theatre town with, I believe, a similar vibe to Seattle), DC (because it seems to be a well-kept industry secret), or Miami (because I have contacts there, not so much because I want to go to Florida).  Really what I want is a smaller pond than NY or Chicago that is robust enough to support its artists.  Does anyone have experience in those markets, particularly job prospects for someone looking to officially break out of fringe work?
3) How have you clawed your way back from a period of burnout?  It's pretty devastating to me right now...not to mention frightening.  I allowed myself to become so consumed by my work that it feels like if I lose it...I'll lose my identity. 

Thanks for letting me go on.  Not sure if my desperation came across, but this is causing a great deal of heartache and I appreciate your advice and/or commiseration.


The Green Room / Thanks SMNetwork!
« on: Mar 01, 2017, 08:01 pm »
I have been haunting the forums for several years and posting only rarely, but I just wanted to stop by and thank all of you fine folks for the advice and support, however unwitting.  I've been feeling super overwhelmed and inadequate in my work lately...professional growing pains, I think...and it is comforting to know that this incredible resource exists.

Cheers all around,

Hey all,

Sorry if this has been addressed already.  I prowled through the forum and didn't find anything as dumbed down as I need.  :)  I'm wondering about stage events like public readings, one-man shows, vaudeville, that sort of thing.  The sort of small, mostly low-tech events where you would not be involved in any sort of rehearsal process and have few, if any, technical or design elements to facilitate.

What is your role during this type of production?

Stage Management: Plays & Musicals / RUNNING: Deck Cues
« on: May 28, 2015, 06:27 pm »
Mod note: This post was made in response to the Deck Cues thread over in Uploaded Forms. We wanted to give it its own spotlight since there are some questions that merit more substantial discussion. - PSMK

Matthew, I love the format of your run book.  I may borrow....  :) 

Do you all find it valuable to track every actor entrance/exit that way?  And if so do you track every prop entrance/exit the same way?  I am in the middle of my first musical and, fair to say, most complex show to date.  The cast size is middling (small for a musical, large for a play) but there are lots of props, lots of cues, lots of coming and going and I have a backstage crew of one (not counting actors).  I just wonder if it would be more of a help or a hinderance to clutter the chart too much.

Edited to add topic tag- Maribeth

Students and Novice Stage Managers / Talk to me about tech...
« on: Sep 24, 2014, 02:42 am »
Specifically technical knowledge necessary for an SM.  I am self-taught, with good people and management skills, but zero technical knowledge.  Luckily I've been able to skate by in the few shows I have so far managed because they were grassroots companies with few design needs and/or companies with really, really good designers.  Once I ran lights for a production of Romeo and Juliet.  It consisted of a single spot with no sight and no stand so I had to point it manually and nearly caught my shirt on fire.  Another time I ran sound for Woman in Black.  It consisted of a laptop running WMP.  Super high tech.

Anyway, I'm mostly wondering if you lovely folks can point in the direction of some good resources (paper or web-based) that might help me overcome my handicap.  Thanks in advance!

Hey compadres.  Please don't ask what that subject line is about.  It's midnight and despite being in the theatre industry, I'm really a morning person...with insomnia.  Anyway, I write what I feel. 

A piece of personal trivia by way of introduction:  My first SM gig was in college.  The woman who called me was in charge of the opera program (I was a vocal performance major) and had seen fit to appoint herself director, musical director, conductor, and stage manager of a large production of Mozart's Magic Flute.  Come tech week, she apparently decided it was all too much (really, though??!) and asked if I would step in to SM.  In my naivete, I agreed.  It was a nightmare.  Cast of 40 singers (not actors...a very different breed), large auditorium in which I had never worked, and 0 experience.  And I looooved it.  Favorite moments include a singer walking off set because someone had got glue on her pair of scissors, Monostatos losing half his costume, and Sarastro going on stage with the words to his aria pasted to his staff on post-its.  Good times.

Despite the auspicious beginning, or because of it, or resulting in it, I have no formal training in this area.  Actually little formal training in theatre at all.  I've worked extensively as an actor (easier to be self-taught), recently made my directorial debut (not my forte), and really enjoy the dozen or so shows I've SM'd over the years.  I currently work with a small fringe company in Seattle as a founding member and jack of all trades.

I discovered this site only today and it has already proven chock full of invaluable information.  I'm looking forward to taking further advantage of that resource as part of the community.


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