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Messages - JenniferEver

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Students and Novice Stage Managers / Re: Non-Union Pay Rate
« on: Jan 07, 2007, 03:38 pm »
I don't know about the Bay area specifically, but working in NY I've gotten offers for everything from unpaid (festivals, new companies), to $150 for the entire thing, to $375 a week. All on Showcases (which have different names in different places...where AEA mambers can work, but it's a non-eqity show)

I've been working on showcases in NYC and now I've encountered an issue.

The costume designer for this show keeps trying to run it like an equity contract. I've never done a contract show, just many showcases. The designer supplied the actors with t shirts, socks, etc. The actors are now asking about laundry. I have NO idea how to handle this because I've never been invlved in a situation in which we've provided undergarments or been expected to launder them. Everyone seems to think it's my responsibility. I don't really feel that it is. I have 2 PA's. but to let them in to get the laundry I'd have to take the hour trip to the theatre anyway.

Thoughts? Also, how often does this need to be done?

Employment / Re: When Nobody Wants You
« on: Dec 07, 2006, 10:20 am »
Just some *hugs* for you. It's not always an easy business at all.

I just have to second the thought about whether or not you're making a good impression on people when you do work with them? And what of the 14 years where you did not try to make contacts? Even if you don't actively try to make contacts, you will in this business. But you should actively try. What I mean is 14 years wasn't necessarily a waste if you were making a good impression. I've had a lot of people say how wonderful I was or this or that, and they honestly had NO idea of what my job was, what I did or how I did it. I know they liked me because of my demeanor and disposition.

Maybe you're giving off a negative vibe because you're not enjoying the moment, and you're always waiting for that resident job.

I live in NY, and I've gotten most of my jobs from word of mouth. From actors, directors, producers who knew me from before and call me. I've turned down as many jobs as I've taken. I don't think this makes me a better SM than anyone else at all. But I'm saying if you have a smile for everyone and you say hello, and you write everyone a nice card at the end, it can really make a difference in how you're remembered.

My first show was a showcase in a summer festival here in NY. I was right out of college and had NO idea what I was doing. But I pretended I did, always smiled, stayed calm, and I've gotten many job offers from that one show when I had NO idea what I was doing.

I'm not saying you ARE doing something wrong. I don't know what the scene is like in Minneapolis. It may be a lot more crowded than NY, especially if you're a 15 year SM and not getting interviews. Part of it is just the nature of the beast, but part of it may be the little extra you need to project. Let's face it, most producers and managers don't *really* know what we're doing on a daily basis. They only know if there's a problem. If there are no problems and you appear clam and happy, they assume it's going great. I started as an actor, and i think that has definitely heloed my SM career in that way. Break a leg.

College and Graduate Studies / Re: Equity Courses
« on: Dec 03, 2006, 09:50 am »
I learned exactly zero about equity when I was in college

I don't really remember my first tech even though it was not so long ago. It was probably a lot like every tech. Nerve wracking, but I just stay calm, accept that mistakes can, will and should happen during tech, and wait patiently for the awesome groove I know I will fall into after 2 clean techs.

The Hardline / AEA Deputy selection process
« on: Dec 03, 2006, 09:43 am »
I'm a non AEA SM, but I work on a lot of showcases. Oddly enough, every showcase I've ever done has already chosen their deputy before I came on to the project.

How do you typically run a deputy selection? Do all of the non AEA members have to leave the room? Do the non-equity actors also leave?

Who do they report their deputy selection to?

Students and Novice Stage Managers / Re: Blocking Charts?
« on: Sep 12, 2006, 08:16 pm »
I do both. I write the blocking in . e.gXDSL or X2Sa, where "Sa" might mean a character named Sarah. I have a one or two letter abbreviation for each character that i use in all blocking notation.

On my left blank page I draw a box to represent a bird's eye view of the stage and use a circle with the character abbreviation mentioned above in it, to represent each person's palce on stage with arrows indicating where they move. for complicated blocking I double circle the initial position, or I will make several boxes representing different stages in the blocking and put a line with an arrow, or a notation like a letter or a star to indicate where it belongs in the text on the right. it's pretty clear, and I can easily see where people are at what moment and know when and how they got there.

College and Graduate Studies / Re: College advice
« on: Aug 13, 2006, 10:23 am »
There's definitely not one and only one answer to this question. I'm sure everyone is going to answer it differently. My "day job" is in college prep, so I answer these questions day in and day out. I think you need to find a school environment that works for you and makes you happpy and allows you to explore things you want to explore. I can't tell you how many students go to a school because it's the "best" in this or the best in that, or someone reccommended it and they're just not happy there, so that's #1 in my book, finding an environment that makes you happy. Do you want to be at a big university with a lot of resources, but you have 100 people in your classes, or do you want the feel of a smaller college, where your professors really know who you are..there's everything in between, but these are the questions you need to ask.

I went the liberal arts route. I wasn't 100% sure what I wanted to do, and I wanted a well-rounded experience, so I went for a BA in Theatre from a Liberal Arts college. Actually, I didn't know I would be majoring in theatre until I actually got there. If you know you want to be an SM and you're 100% sure and you want a hands on and less hteoretical approach, then you may want to look into a BFA program. For me, I'm glad I went for the BA and not the BFA because I really learned a lot from the broad range of courses I was able to study in liberal arts topics. I also went to a school where I did get a LOT of hdnas on experiences even though I was a BA candidate, not a BFA candidate and I plan to go for the MFA, so all of that had an effect on the decision. I think that's a really big decision that is going to affect what schools you apply for. ALso watch for some things, in the larger theatre dept at my college for example, the BFA candidates were guaranteed performance/working time in their craft, but the BA candidates could go four years without ever acting in a show, or SMing a show, or directing a show, whatever their focus was. So you need to ask those questions.
I really don't know much about schools in the midwest, but I think you ay want to consider proximity to professional theatre. I live in NY and I went to school in NY, so going to broadway shows was always a part of my life and my curriculum. I think a good part of any study of theatre is to see shows being done. It doesn't have to be Broadway, but you might want to check out the local theatre scene near whatever school you choose. How far will you have to drive or take a train to see theatre? What is the quality like? I think that can be a factor too. It'll also be a factor in whether or not you can secure internships with established companies if you so choose.

Best of luck!

The Hardline / Re: What Colleges (Don't) Say About AEA?
« on: Jul 31, 2006, 04:31 pm »
I was in a smaller theatre prgram in a large university. My program barely mentioned equity, wheras I was told by people in the alrger program that equity rules were the first thing they learned in intor drama courses. I learned very little about the business I wish I had learned more. I have been reading the AEA website, but it's hard to understand how all of that applies to the real world

The Hardline / Re: AEA information
« on: Jul 31, 2006, 04:13 pm »
Thanks, I found that recap really helpful. I've read the info on the AEA site several times, but it's not always that clear.

Under what circumstances would you be hired into an equity contract? Does that mean if you're not AEA, you should still apply to AEA jobs?

Which is the more common route?

To the OP, I think you should really think about why you want to join AEA and when they best time to do it would be. You seem to have it as this great goal, and it may be such, but timing is everything when joining the union. Remember that for non-equity jobs you're competing mostly with non-equity SMs, so there are a lot of inexperienced people in that pool, recent grads, etc. it's easier to be a big fish in a small pond in non AEA shows. Once you join AEA, you're competing against newly inducted members like yourself who may or may not jave a lot of experience, and you're also competing for jobs with seasoned professionals. (this is assuming that new SMs are not in AEA, and people who have been SMing for a long time and ahve impressive resumes are...which is not always the case, but I think it's probably a way to look at it. feel free to correct). If you don't have a long resume, and maybe you don't, since you're saying you can't afford the $400 inital initiation fee, so I assume that means you're not wroking steadily at paying SM jobs (I'm not either), then joining AEA might not be the best bet for you at this time. You need to really think about it. Joining the union is DELIBERATELY difficult, and if you want someone to just "give you a card already!" then maybe you're not really doing it for the right reasons or fully thinking it through.

Thanks so much! I  feel much better!

My friend made it sound like I had to know how to do every tech thing there is and even though I have a very can do mentality, I feel like it's not my job. I did help with the set, I had the set designer show me exactly what needed to be done, but the actual doing of it was dcelegated, and I have been called on to run boards. easy! I feel a lot better now. :-)

As you can tell I'm an SM that came from the performance side, but I do have experience working light tech

Edited for spelling - KC_SM_0807

Students and Novice Stage Managers / Re: Turnaround time
« on: Jul 28, 2006, 05:43 pm »
I'm new but I think it depends greatly on the job. I've been interviewing and working the festivalsx in NYC and the turnaround time is FAST. For my first job I sent my resume, got a call that day met the director 2 days later, which happenned to be the night of the first read-through, so I basically started my job immediately. For festivals, there's a 4 week rehearsal period, typically, and they're often put togehter between other projects so it can be quick. I accepted a job at a show in the Fringe festival a month ago, and it just started, but in the past month I've seen SO many other opportunities posted, and I have frineds who are still interviewing for fringe. So it depends on how quickly someone has to get up and running.

I was talking to a friend who has done some work producing in NYC and he told me that it's a good thing I don't plan to be a career SM because  don't have the necessary technical skills. He said the SM should be able to do every technical job there is and that even if the show I just finished does go OB, I'll never be hired because I don't have the skills. Admittedly, I am not extremely technical, but I'm learning. I can run lights and sound..but I don't really know that much. I had to so minor rigging and set up and breakdown, but I found help for that. In general, I don't really want a job where I have to hang lights or put together a set because I have a bad back and I just can't do that kind of stuff. I'm just wondering what kind of skills you really need, and how to make up for what I lack. I'm working on festivals right now, and in both I have to run boards, but that's about it. I don't really know how to do rigging or focus lights, and I'm frankly not comfortable on a high ladder and I'm not a whiz with power tools.

but I have very good organizational skills, I have a can-do attitude, whatever the problem is, I find I way to fix it. Whatever I don't know how to do, I ask for help and/or I figure it out. I am very level headed and I love calling a show and dealing with day to day issues.

But am I in the wrong profession? How important is tech skill?

Students and Novice Stage Managers / Re: Auditions
« on: Jul 28, 2006, 02:48 pm »
What to do at auditions?

Ask the director/producer what they expect.

In my college, the SM would be responsible for getting everyone's paperowrk filled out, calling people into the room and keeping auditioners updated on what was going on time-wise and reporting to the director aboutwhether another actor came late, or had to leave by a certan time, etc. Basically just running around and organizing paperwork. In my company we had a set auditon form that we used for every show, but you might be expected to make one. You may also be expected to print and post the cast list and/or contact the actors.

Students and Novice Stage Managers / Re: Calling sound cues
« on: Jul 26, 2006, 01:25 pm »
Thanks for all the advice! After all of that, I ended up running sound!  ;D

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