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Messages - Balletdork

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Tools of the Trade / Re: Bubbles!!!
« on: Mar 26, 2011, 11:19 am »
yup- carpet!

Especially at the nozzle- or even just a 6" square directly at the nozzle is very helpful!

But, no I don't know any mythical non-slippy bubble recipes!

It sounds like you've done everything you could!

I have FREQUENTLY been in this situation- in the current economic climate producers have a had JOB trying to get shows up-- AEA allows for us not to have understudies & swings-- and we have to punt!

I do think it's important that your producing staff acknowledge the challenges in this show and come up with solutions for the next time you do a show like this! Try to have a post-mortem with your producer and make sure you have a list of challenges the company has faced due to no swings, adding a performance without checking the availability of the cast etc....

Wishing you a smoother run!

The Hardline / Re: AEA ASM?
« on: Mar 22, 2011, 03:46 pm »
Yup- I've been SMing professionally for 14 years; I've had lots of assistants- a few of which have been former actors or dancers/ or are working as both. Sometimes these end of being AWESOME- sometimes not good at all.

While under the SPT contact I was once allowed to hire 2 PA's (local SM's, both with a BFA in SM) rather than the AEA ASM. Under the LOA to LORT D however, we've always had to have the AEA ASM. The 1st time the producer hired a local actor- a very nice person, who worked VERY hard to learn how to SM~ but on a big musical with a cast of over 20 and multiple rehearsals going on at the same time- my ability to teach is frankly, limited.

The 2nd time we hired a local SM, who had just completed her BFA, who had PA'd 3 shows prior. Again, someone who still needed instruction and support-

I guess I'm wondering what you guys think of the idea of hiring the 2 EMC PA's rather than the 1 AEA ASM--?? I understand the long fight AEA has had to get ASM's on contracts- and I do support the idea in theory... I just wish that the regions had more options!!!

I certainly don't have anyone banging on my door to ASM 1 show a year~ or any local non-AEA SM's willing to join the union in order to work 1 or 2 shows every 4 years!

The Hardline / Re: AEA ASM?
« on: Mar 20, 2011, 04:15 pm »
OH- I agree- it's no way outrageous. And I support more AEA job opportunities 110%! But my SPT theater is never going to do a season that would require an ASM for the full season.

But when the producer has the option to hire a local AEA actor and call them the ASM- of course that's what they're going to do.

Maybe my wonderment is more "Why is it that producers are allowed to hire actors as ASM's?" ~

On the one hand I understand and support the tradition of SMs & actors being indistinguishable within the union- more often than not it protects the SM... but in the case of ASM's in the SPT regional world- UGH!

The Hardline / AEA ASM?
« on: Mar 20, 2011, 01:11 pm »
SO~ Regional SM's -- what's your feeling on the requirement of an AEA ASM? I live in a state where as far as I know there are only a 1/2 dozen AEA stage managers.... and yet I'm required by the union to have an AEA ASM for any musical or show with a cast greater than 10.... HMMMMM.....

Which means my producer either has to

A. essentially give someone a card- usually someone who is NOT READY

B. hire a working out of town AEA ASM & house them & pay our of town salary

C. hire an AEA ACTOR as my ASM

To play devils advocate for a moment- it seems to me that the ability to hire 2 PA's - experienced stage managers or stage management majors (we have 2 BFA SM programs and 1 MFA SM locally) is far more helpful to the AEA SM, and the production, than to hire an AEA actor as the ASM.... no?

SO- in 25 years we had never canceled a show- UNTIL!... We had severe weather this past January and the roads were closed! But here's some stories about nights we didn't cancel....

A CHRISTMAS CAROL- Bob Cratchit had a dibilitating migraine, and was over an hour late to the theater- we chose instead to have our 2 directors step in- one walked the blocking and spoke the lines, and the other did all the choreo & set changes. It was 2 directors, but also, one of them was the writer and the other was the producer.... also- it was OPENING NIGHT!

12th Night- severe winter weather- a sold out house; 26 people actually showed! The audience outnumbered the cast, crew and FOH staff- by 2!

And currently- we're doing DROWSY CHAPERONE- one of the leads Grandmother passed away Wednesday night- on the LOA to LORT contract we're not required to have understudies- and so the director, (who had been the role on the 1st national tour) has been going on!


Exciting times...... :P

For the tough rosin stain spots I use lighter fluid& a scraper of come kind~ then basic warm water w/ a tiny dash of soap~ And not very often, either! And trying a good coke soak might help your slick spots~! MERDE!

The Green Room / Re: Do you add a personal touch to your booth?
« on: Feb 25, 2011, 05:26 pm »
I keep show gifts in the booth for the full run~ which was awesome this past December- we did 8TRACK: The Sounds of the 70's and the cast got me a lava lamp!!!  ;D

Really? $500 per week for an intern? Let's point out that on MOST AEA contracts in this country that's more than the SM or any of the actors are making.... Maybe I should think about being an intern!

Q lab- or even a power point would probably do what you're looking for~

Big casts- (15+) yes! Casts the size I usually have (2 to 4), not so much.

Signing in for rehearsal when there are over a dozen actors called is a super-good idea! Especially when rehearsals are split. At my current theater we usually have only 2 to 4 actors, so it's not worth it~ but when you have a chorus and and soloist and principals- do it!

The Green Room / Re: First Jobs
« on: Jan 15, 2011, 02:51 pm »
My 1st job as a paid SM was in a community summer stock~ I was paid $1000 for 6weeks of work as the Stage Manager of MY FAIR LADY back in 1996. My first AEA job was as the intern back during the 1997-98 season, and I made $255 per week!

I always knew I wanted to have a resident position- a seasonal contract, not freelance; and I've been lucky to have always had that! I always say to students to 1st decide what kind of SMing you want to do~ theater, dance- opera? There are very different paths into each of these genres! Now- go out and get an internship! The best thing you can do is go out and do it! You HAVE to be pro-active in your career; no one is going to give you a job; you have to get it. The more people you know and meet the more likely they will think of you when jobs come open.

Every single person in the theater world can and will help you, one way or another!  :o

The Green Room / Re: This one goes to Eleven!
« on: Jan 15, 2011, 02:38 pm »
Happy Birthday SM NETWORK!

January 2000~ I was midway through my first season (of 8!) as SM for the Alabama Ballet; I was promoted to PSM, then Company Manager and eventually Artistic Administrator~ little did I know in 2000.

Now I'm the PSM for the Human Race Theatre Company in Dayton, Ohio- and have been since August 2007; where I worked as a PA, ASM and SM prior to moving to Alabama. It's been a great time; and though we lost our Artistic Director of 25 years, Marsha Hanna, to cancer this month, we're opening 12th Night in 2 weeks.

The more things change, the more they stay the same....

I kept a bunch for years- all my college shows, all my asm shows- then once upon a move! I realized that they were just taking up space! I have old paperwork digitally and enough examples to teach from~ and my office is much less cluttered!  ;D

The Green Room / Re: Suffering from what I call "theatredox"
« on: Jan 10, 2011, 10:37 pm »
I had the 1st significant lay off of my life this summer- 10weeks! I decided that since I had the time I'd travel cross country, both directions... get married, and get my stepson married. I also managed to watch a lot of cable and entirely replant the front facade of my house! So well that we won our town's beautification award! Ah.... I had an awesome lay-off!

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