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Messages - smejs

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Stage Management: Other / Re: Company Name Change
« on: Jan 29, 2021, 06:25 pm »
I usually list the name that the company was when I worked there, and if room "(now New Name)." If it's a place that I find particularly releveant to the job I'm applying for, it's something to mention in the cover letter. It also depends on whether they were known better as the newer or older name. I worked at the Tennessee Repertory Theatre when it was under Equity's LORT agreement, it's now the Nashville Rep and SPT with one LOA to LORT per year (lower tier contract now). I like to point out the higher one, in my case.

Introductions / Re: Dance (and theatre) SM
« on: Mar 06, 2020, 11:23 pm »

The Hardline / Re: AEA "guidelines"
« on: Mar 05, 2020, 03:33 pm »
Well then you get into that fun world where one person needs to follow the rules, but the others could break/bend them. I did a My Fair Lady where the only Equity were myself as SM and the Henry Higgins. When we held dance rehearsals, I became the only Equity person in the room. I did bend slightly, going beyond our 10pm cut off while they finished running a song with 90 seconds left or whatever. The artistic director who was observing raised his eyebrow at me, and I said I knew that it would be better for everyone if I let it go. But that was only affecting me (and frankly my rapport with the director at the time). You could also be scheduling incorrect Equity breaks for the others in the cast, but making sure that one person gets theirs, if that's what the producer means. But really, the Equity person's schedule should be done by the book. Have I had other producers try to stretch the rules? Sure. They shouldn't, though.

The Hardline / Re: AEA "guidelines"
« on: Mar 04, 2020, 12:18 am »
It's unclear from the post....are you ACTUALLY working on an Equity contract, or just a company that likes to use it for reference? That makes a big difference. If it's an Equity contract, a call to the business rep may be in order. If it's guidelines only (like, I know many college campuses that try to abide by them anyway), that's a little more flexible. Also, an actor (or stage manager) cannot just vote away/sign away any rights, no matter the contract. And any vote that is officially allowed needs to include the stage manager too. (They often think actors only can decide that.)

Now, if we go over a break by 1 or 2 minutes, that's something different, and then I might make it a 12 or 15 minute break after. But outright scheduling without proper AEA rulings (no more than 5 hours in a row, correct span of day, etc), that is not something to allow on a true Equity contract.

If you're asking about whether you need a digital script in order to do line notes, the short answer is no, unless you want it. There are many ways to do line notes. I tend to take them in my own script by hand, then type them out later in Excel, filtering by each actor before I hand them out. If you have a digital script, it's great for the copy/paste option on bigger lines, but sometimes more headache to find, copy, paste. Others are big fans of PDF programs to highlight right in the PDF and send to actors. Others handwrite their line notes.

Having a digital version of the script is handy for many reasons, including updating your call script when you need to add in more cues than the original margins like, or other various reasons. If you've got a PDF available that looks the same as the printed one (doublecheck all page numbering, and really every line to be sure), sometimes there's not a great reason to retype the script as well. Do what works for YOU, and what you have time and energy to do, if it's useful.


Employment / Re: resume format
« on: Jul 20, 2019, 08:29 pm »
It varies what kind of position I'm applying for, but sometimes I've listed  that I was the PSM for an entire season, with "Highlights include" and then the shows I actually called (or a selection of them appropriate to the job applying for).

Thank you for sharing, Michelle - both the article and your experience!

Stage Management: Other / Quarter Marks and Number Lines
« on: May 19, 2019, 04:22 pm »
I just wrote a nerdy blog post about taping out markings for dance/musical theatre choreography. Even tips for a "quick and dirty" portable number line for about $10 and half an hour's time. Enjoy!

The Green Room / Re: The Rut...
« on: May 15, 2019, 01:05 am »
I was in a rut in a very stable job that was tangent to stage management (even occasionally actually was stage management), but I was not happy. My father got cancer and then died, and it was finally the catalyst to ask myself what I was doing with my life, and what did I want. I have the fortune of a supportive husband who could "hold down the fort" (and we have no kids), so that I was able to go out and freelance and get my name back out there. I mostly work out of town...and no, not in Australia, so I can't compare to the job markets there. I did stay at that stable gig for several more months until I found something strong enough to jump to for two shows in a row. I don't know that I'll stay with stage management forever, if I find something else that feels fulfilling too. But I knew even if I was taking a hit financially that I couldn't stay where I was any more. I have no answer for you, and you'll figure out your "you". But I will leave you with my Dad's phrase - which we just put on a dedication plaque for him at his Hospice location. "It Won't Happen That Way." However you think you're going to plan out your life, good or bad, it probably won't happen that way. You can make choices that will help guide you better or worse, and life will take turns you never expect. Keep your mind open and see what may come. And start figuring out for yourself what it is you think you want, whether in a career or personally. What gives you a spark? A former stage manager friend of mine now runs a bed and breakfast and finds joy there.


Post Merge: May 15, 2019, 01:09 am
With the "luxury" of a 7-4 "day job" - also see what other extracurricular you can get into. Some outdoor exploring group or free music to never know who you may meet and what it may lead to, both professionally and personally.



Take a look around - there is a wealth of knowledge here. I too started out in very small roles - I was the Wicked Witch of the West WHEN SHE SHRANK when I was seven. I spent my first year of college as an acting major before I discovered what "real" stage management was.


I just have to say that I hate the online forms that don't really fit us - and I imagine that most of the people receiving them understand that we don't fit them either. I usually fill in my three to five most recent jobs (though I'd have to think if it really said "in the last ten years" or something and would be more vague), and for various reasons (including filing unemployment), I do keep track of how many hours per week it officially was, etc.

Introductions / Re: Greetings from a New York theater newbie!
« on: Mar 05, 2019, 01:39 pm »
Sorry for the delay, but welcome!

Congrats on getting your play accepted. Sounds like you've got some long hours ahead of you but hopefully very fulfilling.

Introductions / Re: From the UK, its all about the opera
« on: Mar 05, 2019, 01:35 pm »
Hello and sorry for the delay in responding - given the short rehearsal time at least over here in the US, the job may well be over. Anyway, you may want to check out my Opera SM 101 blog series, which is currently up to six posts (and so many more brewing in my head). It's gotten some good response.


I've always been taught that you should write your cues on the page relating to your writing hand. E.G. I'm right-handed, therefore, I write my cues on the right.

I have tried writing them on the left, however, I find it difficult to line up the cue with the line/direction on the script.

I use removable stickers a lot of the time, in my left margin of my left page. I then use a straight edge (often a lighting template, or drafting triangle) to draw a straight line to the cue word. What I can't do is have the cue on one page and then a line over/through the rings to the script page, which I've seen some people do. That doesn't work for me. I also tend to adapt my script every production and continue to finesse what works for me, so yes, to each his/her own.

And then there are the almost jarring (and yet sometimes awesome) times when you say "GO" on the word "Stop" or similar....

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