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Messages - Paul

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Thanks Mac for that advice.

I emailed our HoD Director to request a meeting with the directorial staff along with the LD and the D.A technician to talk try and talk through this on Saturday (yesterday) and so we had a meeting today which unfortunately consisted of them being patronising particularly towards the LD but also to myself. As a result, we tried option 4 and called them out on it in this meeting but they didn't take it on board and so the latter half of today was another "Q2Q" - mainly a run through occasionally stopping to fix actor issues despite me repeatedly requesting if we could hold for tech to catch up. Again, the usual derogatory comments were present so at the end of the run through, the LD and I approached the directorial staff after the cast had been dismissed and followed point 2. We told them that "As it currently appears, you are not happy with the work and effort we are providing to this production and so, regrettably, we have come to the decision that we will have to go our separate ways and so we will no longer be involved in the production in any capacity.". They were again dismissive but unfortunately they did not wish to talk about it and try to come to a compromise or agreement - presumably because of the meeting held earlier in the day. That decision was not one that we wanted to make but it had to be made.

When the LD got home today, he sent me a text asking if I had checked my emails so I did and there was an email from the directorial staff informing me and the LD that we are no longer welcome to work on any productions that the department will be putting on as a result of our disrespect and conduct towards the directorial staff today. Neither of us have replied to this email as there is nothing we can do about this is there? Can this occur in the "real word"?

Again, thanks Mac for that advice, I showed the D.A technician and the LD what you wrote and we all agree that the relationship had gotten to the point where it would be counterproductive for either myself or the LD to stay attached to the production and so we made the decision to walk away.

Hi all,
I know this is going to read like I'm ranting/venting but bear with me please.

I'm working on a production of Sweeney Todd which opens next week at my college and so this week I've been in tech rehearsals. My directors (yes I have 3) are also Dramatic Arts teachers (One is the head of department) just to give you some background.

The week before our tech rehearsals, me, the LD (who is also a student and also one of my friends) and the D.A technician, spent 3 hours rigging and talking about how we wanted this week to go. Two of the directors were supposed to show up with the props and scenic dressing but they never showed up so we went home after we were all done.

Me and the LD came in early Monday morning to see what needed doing in terms of rig checks and last minute focusing and other miscellaneous jobs - the D.A technician had been there for about an hour when we showed up setting things up so there wasn't that much left to do.

Our tech was supposed to start at 9am so the cast were there but the directors showed up about 20 minutes late and the first thing they said was "Where's the window?" to the D.A technician - completely ignoring me and the LD. We have a hanging window to show Johanna's bedroom in the Judge's house.

So that was the start to the day and it just got progressively worse from there - the LD had followed the brief given to him by the directors a few week back which was "Dark dirty grimy gritty nasty London - no white light" so the vast majority of the lighting was made to look sepia but of course they wanted white light and only white light.

They also made some very rude comments about the whole tech aspect of the show as well as the technicians and now my LD is thinking about dropping out of the show entirely because he doesn't feel like he's being appreciated and honestly, so am I. The D.A technician also feels the same way and feels sorry for us for how we're being treated by the other staff on the show. And therein lies the problem.

I'm a student so I don't feel I can say anything to the directors (who are staff members) without me being seen as being disrespectful but I also want to say something to stick up for the techs in this show. But the D.A technician also can't say anything she feels without it being considered disrespectful either because they're her bosses so it's like a catch-22.

My LD is really talented when it comes to lighting and I don't think it's right that anyone, regardless of their level of experience or calibre of show, should be treated that way or treat someone that way but especially since we're both students at the college. The LD just feels like there's no point in him being involved because of this.

What can I do to help my LD feel better about this? Should we both walk away from this show? Is there any point in trying to talk to the directors/staff members on the show about this? Or should we just both make it clear the reasons we're leaving?

I realise that this sounds like a rant and I didn't mean for it to, I just have never come across a director or directors who are just as rude as these staff members are and it's just frustrating me because not only is the LD my friend but also he is very talented and I don't want him to walk away but I don't want him (or the D.A technician) to be treated like they are but I can't do anything about it. 

Thank you for all your advice and I'll try to keep you updated as to what happens.

Students and Novice Stage Managers / Re: Writing a new script
« on: Oct 20, 2018, 08:09 am »
Hi all!

Thank you for your advice with writing a new script. I have finished writing it, 60 pages later.

With regards to putting in the same page numbers, using the page break function helps if the text finishes in the script and not in my written one. But how do you go the other way - so in the copy I wrote, the first page of the script I was given runs on one page but in the one I wrote, that same page continues over two pages. How do you stop it doing this? So that it matches up exactly. Is it a case of playing with the formatting and seeing what works best? But then I don't want to end up with a script that has a variety of fonts and font sizes.

Thank you again for your help and for your help in this as well!

Students and Novice Stage Managers / Writing a new script
« on: Oct 08, 2018, 06:23 am »
Hi everyone, it's me again!

I've been given a script for Sweeney Todd (my college production) however the script is set out landscape with two script pages on one page of A4 and it's double-sided. It's really bugging me as there is no way I can write down any blocking or notes or anything in the margins which are non-existent.

I've started typing up the script in MS Word but this means the page numbers I'm going to have are different to the ones of the script. What would you do in this situation? Would you use Word or is there a different program that you'd use to format the script in a way that means you can write in it?

Thank you in advance! 

Thank you everyone for your advice.

I had a chat with my director about this and I threw out the ideas that you guys gave and so what we've come up with is something similar to a chess board or grid. For example, a blocking note might read: Todd A4 --> A2.

It's gonna be great fun as I'm pretty sure the director and I will just end up playing battleships or something similar!   :D

What we're also going to do is mark up the stage like a grid so that the actors know where they need to move to.

Basically, it's going to be similar to the stage of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime" where they divided the stage up into a grid and so the SM/DSM took blocking using grid references.

Students and Novice Stage Managers / Traverse Stage Blocking
« on: Sep 25, 2018, 05:43 am »
Hi everyone,

My college are staging a production of Sweeny Todd and the director has decided she would like to perform it on a traverse stage.

I am slightly confused as to how blocking notes would work in this situation. Would the typical proscenium arch stage blocking work but on a slightly squished scale or is there another way to take blocking?

Cheers for any advice!

Introductions / Greetings from Great Britain
« on: Apr 10, 2018, 11:13 am »
Hi there! I'm Paul and I'm currently in my last year of secondary school about to head to college (I don't know the American equivalent, sorry). I've been either stage managing or designing lights since I was around 12 years old at school and it's definitely something I wish to keep up. I'd also like to get to know the differences between British Stage Management and American Stage Management. So yeah, that's me!

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