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Messages - djemily

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Take the job!! They obviously know who you are and that you work hard. And honestly, I wouldn't worry about the pay. To me, experience, especially when you are starting out, is far more valuable than a few extra dollars (though it is always nice).

Good luck! And let us know if you have any more questions!! There are always people on here who can give great answers!

Stage Management: Other / Re: Il Trittico
« on: Feb 13, 2008, 11:03 pm »
The no children or dancers part makes me smile after the last few months. The SM they are bringing in has TONS of opera experience and from the way our e-mails sounded she has no problem taking me under her wing and teaching me how things are done in opera. Thank you all for your advice. I may be back with more questions once rehearsals start at the end of Feb.

When I did Seven Brides for Seven Brothers last summer at an outdoor theater we had the actor playing the Parson (who was a silly, cute, older gentleman with rosy pink made up cheeks) come on stage and welcome everyone yadda yadda and then ask to see everyones cell phone. He would pull his out of his pocket and wave it in the air and talk about how cool they are while the audience fumbled for their own. Then he would sternly say "now turn it off!". It got laughs every time, and I don't think I heard a phone ring during the 10 times the show ran.

Also, I don't think I would mind the embarrassment or guilt trip to the audience aimed in my direction. Shoot, I'd even make googly eyes to the audience from the booth if I had time and it got the job done.

And having thick walls in the theatre where my cell phone didn't work would not be an option for me. I've had mics go out during an emergency and had to call my ASM on her cell to give her instructions on how to handle the situation backstage.

Students and Novice Stage Managers / Re: Drawing the line?
« on: Feb 07, 2008, 02:50 am »
I worked with a director my last semester at college that aside from taking morphine shots to calm his migraines on a regular basis (think 4 times a week) was veering towards insane. I met with the stage management mentor/head of the theatre department. Not a whole lot changed, but I felt a lot better and my mentor respected me for coming forward with the issues we were having. Another idea might be to suggest a postmortem. Because this show was a first for you both (and members of your class) it would give you an opportunity to meet outside of the classroom environment to discuss what worked, what didn't and what you would do differently if you could do the whole thing again. I would make sure that everyone that is invited knows that they are not required to be there like a production meeting, but that this is rather a discussion after the fact and if they don't want to input or hear others' input they don't have to. And even if the director doesn't want to do it, at least you have planted the idea in his head that maybe there are other ways of doing things than "his way or the highway".

Good luck!

Stage Management: Other / Il Trittico
« on: Feb 06, 2008, 02:52 am »
Hi everyone!

I just accepted a job as an ASM for the El Paso Opera. We will be doing Il Trittico [like the title... :)]. Anyway, this will be my first opera, but I have plenty of straight plays and musicals under my belt. I have read all the posts about the differences between opera and other types of theatre. I read music and speak and read/write Spanish and English. I plan on learning Italian, primarily because I want to expand my stage management to any area that I can, plus I love learning languages :)

Has anyone done this show? In my Google search I learned that the approx. run time is 4 hours. And I know about the 3 acts. Any helpful information? They still haven't signed a SM yet, so hopefully once they do I can talk to him/her and find out exactly what they'll be having me do. I pick up my script in the morning. Any advice about this show?

Thanks in advance. I hope everyone is having a great 2008 so far!


Tools of the Trade / Flash Pots
« on: Jun 10, 2007, 07:29 pm »
Hi All,

My director has decided that he would like to use flash pots for our current production of The Secret Garden. We are in an outdoor venue and I'm contacting the fire marshal this week to find out if we are allowed to do it. Does anyone have any recommendations. There will be at least 4 needed per show, and we have 11 shows, so I would like them to not be the disposable kind. We also don't have much money to spend on them, but I want them quality so that people don't get hurt, and they go off when they're supposed to. What I'm looking for is brand suggestions, any help?

Thanks in advance!!

Tools of the Trade / Re: What is Gaffer Tape?
« on: Jun 04, 2007, 02:57 pm »
I love the pencil holder idea!!! I will be makng one for SURE this weekend!!

Thanks to everyone for your suggestions. Here's an update. I spoke to the other SM and he told me that they "fixed it". What they ended up doing was putting wedges (glorified door stops) under the wagons to lift them off their castors, and then putting kick down door stops as an extra grip. I really hope this works out, but I'll keep you posted. I really appreicate everyone offering their ideas.

So, the problem is this. I'm doing two shows for a new company in my town. Our amphitheatre is completely open, and it's always windy here. Yesterday they were loading in the first set of the season (not one of my shows) and one of the set pieces was on it's wagon and just blew right off the edge of the stage, into the orchestra pit. When I was talking to the other SM (who is also an actor) about why this happened he told me that last year they would literally be riding the barn from Oklahoma! across the stage while acting. The wagons don't have breaks and the stage "floor" is solid cement so we can't screw them down. They try to hold the set pieces in place with wedges and sandbags. My question is, when it comes to my shows, should I fight for breaks on the wagons for safety or is this a battle that I shouldn't start at risk of offending the set designer/TD? And, how should I bring this up? Should I wait for my show or should I try to convince the other SM to fight it too?

Tools of the Trade / Re: Washable Blood
« on: Apr 17, 2007, 09:26 pm »
I don't have a recipe, but I have worked with the simple green version of blood before and it washed out of white shirts and bed sheets very well. We didn't even have to do anything special, but I think we did throw some bleach in just for good measure. 

Stage Management: Plays & Musicals / Re: What's my job again?
« on: Apr 17, 2007, 04:54 pm »
Thank you all for the advice. I will definitely take this into consideration if/when this situation happens in the future. Later on in that rehearsal I was walking back towards the room and said "places" to the people in the hallway and my director turned back into the room and said "places everyone" just before I walked through the door. Apparently she hadn't stepped on my last nerve, because after the places thing I just sat quietly and continued to do my job, and that just made me want to do even better. I talked to the cast as a group after rehearsals and let them know that I have the schedule through strike and made sure that at least THEY know I can do my job and that if they have questions I have the answer (or I can find it). I don't really think that they hate me but it is really important to me that they respect me, otherwise I don't feel I'll be able to do my job at techs and performances.

As far as my director... I am still making sure that things get done (like requesting 2 period briefcases 7 days after the prop addition deadline, 4 days before load-in) and I took line notes last night rather than my ASM. If she asks why I didn't do it that night I'll tell her that my ASM takes great line notes and I think she's doing great. She's also never SMed before and she's learning really quickly. During that night of rehearsal I made packets for the actors about techs and performances, spoke to the parents of the kids about things, and generally played liaison.

I'll just keep my head high and remember that this is just how she works, and she's under a lot of stress right now.

I'm about to go into techs on To Kill a Mockingbird. Aside from all of the other issues that we've come across on this show, my director just stepped on my last nerve. This whole process she's acted like she doesn't need me and has pretty much handled things herself, including calling breaks (when we decided that this would be MY job) and releasing the cast after rehearsals when I'm standing right next to her with a list of announcements (and then I look like a jerk going "wait a second, I have some things to say too"). This is a big production, and I know that she's overwhelmed and that's double the reason to let me do my job. This is what got my last nerve- Earlier today she came over to me and said "It looks like [your ASM] is having trouble giving lines and taking line notes at the same time, maybe you two should split that up,"  as if I don't have a thousand other things to do right now. I know that I don't look busy, but trying to keep this production together is a lot of work, and most of the cast hates me because of HER scheduling fiascoes, so I'm trying to make sure that the tech schedule is clear and that the cast knows I can handle things once we get there. I don't want to start a fight with her and I don't even feel like it's worth it to try to "fix" things with her at this point in time.

Does this happen in "the real world" as far as directors trying to tell us SMs how to do our jobs?

Tools of the Trade / Re: Google Groups?
« on: Apr 09, 2007, 03:17 pm »
I think so, but creating a Google account is not the same as a gmail account.

Tools of the Trade / Re: Google Groups?
« on: Apr 09, 2007, 01:58 am »
I had some free time so I checked out the Google Groups. I like it! I'm going to try it for at least one of the musicals I'm doing this summer. If anyone on here has some experience with it I may be asking for some help later on.

**later on**

Can I get the "email this group" thing to e-mail me instead of posting it on the discussion board?

Tools of the Trade / Re: Do you prefer Word or Excel?
« on: Apr 09, 2007, 01:55 am »
Word! I too love tables :) I also pick a clip art picture for each show that symbolizes the play, just to be cute :)

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