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Messages - salbano

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I know every situation is different, so I can't say what I would do in that situation.

But for me, my number one priority for stage managing is the safety and comfort of the actors.

For me, I at least at minimal would keep updated and thorough notes of conversations with the cast members (possibly confidentially) and made sure they felt comfortable talking to me about any time they felt physical pain or discomfort - (eg; today two cast members reported unwanted roughness during tonight's performance and another reported it happening twice.)

Also, I would CC everyone regarding changes for the fight choreography. Like in my notes that I send after every performance, "Hey, the fight choreography is different than what was taught by <insert name>. I may have recorded things incorrectly, so if they could come back in and reteach everyone, including me, I would really appreciate it because I don't want anybody getting hurt."

But this entire thing seems like such a disaster.

Stage Management: Plays & Musicals / Re: STAGING: Realistic CPR
« on: Jul 19, 2015, 10:32 pm »
All good points.

It's a three quarter thrust stage, so not a lot of wiggle room with hiding stuff. And the stage would literally just be the three performers and upstage subway chairs.

I do think that am "emergency" signal is a definite must. It could be staged so that the patient's upstage arm could grab onto the person performing the CPR if there is too much pressure or something. But, from the play, if the patient had to break for some reason, the show definitely allows for the improvisation for him to "come too" for a second. The CPR giver would then know to "lighten" up the pressure. Good things to think about ahead of time.

And I'm sure we will discover more things when this actually start, but this is all really awesome. Thanks!

Stage Management: Plays & Musicals / Re: STAGING: Realistic CPR
« on: Jul 17, 2015, 08:22 pm »
I am wondering if the person having the CPR performed on him could have some sort of shield over their chest, and perhaps be on something soft under them . . .

That's what I'm thinking too - specifically the chest shield part.

I'm an EMT, and this makes me nervous. Where are you hoping the patient actor will be? Realistically, CPR is done on a hard surface, like a backboard or floor. But Matthew is right, to make this work without hurting anyone, the patient will need to be on something that has some bounce to it with a protective plate across the chest so that they aren't actually decompressing his chest, just pressing him into the floor.
I'm also a little nervy about the actors "giving" CPR for 15 straight minutes. CPR is fairly exhausting when done correctly and if they're doing it consistently every night for a run, there's a possibility of hurting their wrists if they're not trained on proper technique. They should definitely talk to the instructor during their class about their specific needs.

The idea is that this happens in a subway car that has been shut down. So it will be a flat surface. Not sure about hard or soft, but it could be winter and so the patient could be on top of a very heavy/padded/thick coat.

And I'm very cognizant and worried about giving CPR part too. It can be very tiring. I haven't practiced it yet, but there might be a way to "fake" the compressing to make it seem like you're putting weight on it.

But yea, the rehearsals don't start in a couple months (if at all), but I see this as a very huge potential problem that needs a lot of planning and knowledge to do right.

Stage Management: Plays & Musicals / STAGING: Realistic CPR
« on: Jul 17, 2015, 03:35 pm »

So has anyone had experience doing CPR on stage? I'm probably going to be working a show, and there are three actors - one of which is "passed" out for a good fifteen minutes when the other two will be performing constant CPR on him.

But it's tricky. Because for it to look realistic, you have really have to look like you're using force when compressing and look like you're blowing into the mouth and the receiver has to extend their chest. It's actually pretty physically demanding and potentially dangerous.

I, obviously, want to do this as safely as possibly, but I can't seem to find out how. I know the performers will take CPR training, but there's got to be more to it than that, right? (And, none of my fight choreographer people have any experience with this either.)

Thanks! Any hints or tips would be appreciated.

The Green Room / Easiest Group of People to Work With?
« on: Nov 08, 2014, 07:39 pm »
So a couple of weeks ago I house/stage managed a poetry venue. It had a lot of good poets. Poets that have achieved more in their careers than most actors I've ever worked with.

The poets and I just got along so well. No egos. I was stressing out because things went too smoothly.

I would have never guessed or expected that.

Have you had any surprises?

The Green Room / Re: Was I out of Line?
« on: Apr 26, 2014, 10:19 pm »
Thanks, y'all!

And I agree, I think it was a little out of line. The situation is just complicated because I've worked with all of these actors before and this actor in particular is a friend of mine. And so that's where things got a little tricky in my head. (And the comment was said defensively as a light board operator and not as a mad stage manager - though I know now that I probably should not have said it that way to begin with.)

But you live and learn. =)

The Green Room / Was I out of Line?
« on: Apr 22, 2014, 12:32 am »
So right now I'm stage managing a completely improvised play for my college. [I'm an alumn that graduate last year.] (It's like a long form improv show, but it has a set, lights, a musician, and all of that. Basically, if you didn't know it was an improv show and walked in ten minutes late, you'd think it was a play.)

Anyway, I'm also operating lights for the show. So in addition to being a stage manager, I'm the light board operator.

Now, we're still in rehearsals, and tonight we did a run of the show. It was decent. Whatever.

After the run, the director wanted to work on some stuff with the actors. And we did stuff. And it was fine.

Then this happens. Stage is dark. I put light USL. Actor starts walking USL, then decides to go USR. I then fade out USL and put light USR. Then actor decides to go back USL, so I switched again. (Fine, that happens. It's improv. That happens.) Then the director makes a comment about this to the actor. Then the actor says, "I was just pacing waiting for the music, I was still going to stay USL. I didn't need the USR lights."

I respond, immediately and slightly sarcastically, "Well, if you didn't keep on missing your lights during the run, I wouldn't have thought you missed this one."

The director says out loud to me, "Remember he's a student."

And that's the situation that I'm talking about. Nothing too big. Nothing awful, but the director saying that to me made me feel really crappy for a lot of reasons.

Because even if I said my comment more sarcastically than what I remembered, I still think it was a valid criticism. I wasn't making up that he missed lights during the run. And I do have a sarcastic personality, that's kind of my thing.

I don't know. I just needed to vent. Thanks!


Would anyone be kind enough to PM me?

Thanks a billion.

Be very thorough and prepared. I just worked with a director, and there were a lot of things that I had anticipated he would do/know that I shouldn't have because other directors did stuff another way.

Also, I have found that different directors view stage managers very differently. I've had a director that asked me about a lot of his choices, "Oh, do you think this is good? Should the light change come before or after this word?" Another director I couldn't say anything; barely even confirmation on a cue!

The Green Room / Director in Booth!
« on: Jul 30, 2013, 04:44 pm »

So yesterday, I was calling a show. And the director asked to be in the booth. I didn't want him to be in there because it made me nervous, but I didn't want to cause trouble or anything and just let him stand behind me.

I then called a cue late (in his opinion, but not what I have written down), and he told me that it was late. I then told him that I can't have him stay in the booth and say anything because it's making me really apprehensive and nervous. He said, "Okay, Steven," in a very patronizing voice. Paused a couple seconds then gave me a good talking to about how I need to make everything tighter. (Not understanding that "tighter" is different than the cues I have written down. And that his definition of tighter changes every single time.)

So... I just wanted to vent.

Do I have to allow the director in the booth? Part of me wanted to say, "Look. I'm going to have to ask you to leave. You may give me notes on the cues after the performance is over, but I can't have you say anything during the performance and making me not pay attention to the show and be more self-conscience than I normally am." But I don't know if I have the authority to say that.


Introductions / Hello!!! Northern Jersey/NYC Stage Manager
« on: Jul 14, 2013, 12:05 am »

I figured I would post here. I've been meaning to (and even told by a moderator too!), but... I don't know what's been keeping me from doing it.

Well, anyway, I just teched a show today. And it was absolutely awful. Well, not awful because we got everything done! We did. And that's awesome. But I just need to vent at what I did badly and what's going in my mind. Okay? (It was five hours in a space we never saw before!)

I'm just out of college, and still trying to see how everything flows and goes together, and tech is always a huge ordeal. This was my first post-graduate tech, and... it didn't go too smoothly. I was unprepared with a lot, but I also was working with a new director (obviously!), and as I'm new at this, I didn't really discuss how we were going to do tech beforehand. He started taking the reigns, and I feel like he did that because he thought I couldn't. And I didn't take them back because I didn't want an upset director (which ruins tech!). It was a chicken and egg thing.

So I was upset about that.

Also, I was in the booth making both the sound and light cues. Creating the light cues and fixing the sound levels. So on top of all of the added pressure of trying to get through tech, I had to make the light and sound cues and write them all in my book.

Additionally, I was constantly getting yelled at because the transition guide for the crew that I wrote wasn't really good. I wanted to tell him there were a lot of reasons why; I didn't know how many people I had in crew, who in my crew could physically move what, from my experiences it is easier to give crew papers and have them write physically what they need do instead of giving them a sheet that is wrong and have to rewrite on it. A lot of other reasons too. I just thing it was an almost unfeasible task that was kept getting focused on, and while I do take the blame for not writing a good one, I just... I don't know.


But it still was a great experience. I learned a lot. A LOT.

And the show is going to be great.

But I just needed to vent.

HI, y'all!


Good first impressions, right?

Tools of the Trade / Simple Ground Plan Design Program
« on: Jul 05, 2013, 11:53 pm »

So I'm creating a document so that the crew can no where what set pieces (chairs, tables, etc) to take on and off between the scene changes.

It's really something that is simple, and I have it all hand drawn! But I can't find a program that allows me to do it on the computer. Microsoft Paint would be perfect, but it doesn't allow me to rotate the square at degrees other than 90! So I can't have a slightly angled table.

However, Photoshop is just way too convoluted, and also isn't letting me draw squares either!

I'm just so lost because there has to be something that can do this fairly simple thing.

Any help? Thanks!

The Hardline / Working With Equity Actors for the First time
« on: Jun 04, 2013, 12:56 am »

This is my first post here, and I'm hoping this is in the correct spot.

So, I'm working with my first group of Equity actors in an NYC festival this upcoming month. (Well, I worked with two last year... but... I'll explain.)

Anyway, I really want to do everything perfectly. That being said, I'm rereading the Equity manual, and I think I have everything covered. Last year when I did it, I gave them their breaks and everything went well, but I think maybe the producer did some stuff with the actors that I maybe should have done, and I don't want to make that same assumption.

So... is there certain things that I should do? Like a checklist?

Because basically the only thing I can think of doing is differently than college are the mandatory breaks... But is there anything other than that that I should be aware of?

Thanks! (And I hope this made sense.)

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