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Messages - goldbrian19040

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Tools of the Trade / Re: Samsung Tablet for Prompt/Cues
« on: Sep 05, 2022, 04:16 pm »
I bought a Samsung Tablet and after six weeks returned it. I found that I didn't need it as much as I thought. I use an Excel spreadsheet for cues and prompts. Column 1 is the script page number. Col 2 is the character name, Col 3 is the text, col 4 is the Cue/prompt. Once we get everything finalized script-wise, I remove the Page column and add a column for notes, etc. During initial rehearsals, I will have a blocking column instead of the cue column. You can duplicate a sheet and label a tab for each rehearsal day and change blocking, script at will. That way if the director says what did they do yesterday? You can tab over and find it relatively easily. You can do all that on a tablet, but I wanted it for the pen feature on the "Notes" app. It wasn't as helpful as I thought. A relatively new laptop will get you there for less money.

Introductions / New SM in an older body!
« on: Sep 05, 2022, 03:40 pm »
I happened upon SM Network and couldn't be happier. I got a master's in theater, graduating in 2009. I immediately did everything but proper stage management. I have been a project manager, a production manager, and an event planner. This past July through a series of divine (I think) interventions I was hired on my first AEA contract at an RPT 4 theater outside Philadelphia. I had a steep learning curve when it came to AEA protocols. I somehow have managed to make it to tech week relatively unscathed--learning as I go. The overlay of AEA over the job has rattled my cage a bit. So far though I am very impressed with the level of professionalism amongst the designers and actors.
My favorite story regarding being a stage manager involves my thesis project in school. A very high-profile director was coming from China to direct our students. He didn't speak English but would have a translator. It turns out that the translator didn't know theater terms. She was a woman, and therefore subservient to the male director in their culture. So when he asked for the entire front-of-house lighting to be taken down (um, no) and I asked her to tell him that we couldn't do that. Her face flushed and she ran out of the room. Three months before they were to arrive I sent a short five-question list about how the director wanted to handle auditions and first rehearsals. (Does he want to start with a table reading?) stuff like that. Two days before opening night I was driving them back to their hotel. She pulled out my questions and asked me about them. What I learned is that the Chinese system of theater doesn't have a stage manager. They have captains of each department but not a person who functions in the same way as the stage manager in Western theater. Since I was at every function they attended in and out of the theater, they thought I was some kind of a liaison. I realized early on that their translator was adept in social situations but unaware of the many nuances of theater terminology. Being a good stage manager, I got a friend to be MY translator. He was fluent in Mandarin, and a theater person so he knew theater. He alone saved the show.
That is my wildest (and first) SM experience!
I look forward to contributing to the community!

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