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Messages - Balletdork

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Students and Novice Stage Managers / Re: Bad Behavior?
« on: Nov 19, 2010, 09:41 pm »
If you are all students you must go directly to your faculty advisors~ You are paying quite a lot of money for an educational experience and you should be protected as a student; just as professional AEA members are protected by the union. Your faculty should be as effective as the producers we work with professionally.

That being said; these things happen- and the silver lining is that it's happening to you in college, so you'll know how to and how not to deal with this in the future.  :-\

The Hardline / Re: SPT SM Overtime Tech Week
« on: Nov 19, 2010, 09:31 pm »
I count meetings, rehearsal hours and notes; but not my paperwork updating, and everyday set up stuff~ unless I'm coming in extra to cover for someone else. (IE; the PA has a day job and can't get here in time to sweep the floor; I count that floor sweeping time as overtime.)

But; be very clear with your producer prior to incurring those hours~ I've had producers tell me to go home rather than pay the overtime of tech notes. (Which is infuriating, because OF COURSE I need to stay!)

The Green Room / Re: SM Hobbies
« on: Nov 12, 2010, 10:41 pm »
Quilting~ I'm a quilter! Today before my rehearsal I nearly finished the quilt for my soon to be niece!!! So excited for a new baby!

I bought a house a year ago, so home renovations have been at the top of my list! re-finishing hardwood floors, putting built-ins into my dining room, gardening and general flower bed-care...

And wedding planning! My step-son got married this past summer, and so did I! Which of course led to scrap-booking.

The Green Room / Re: Did he REALLY ask me that?
« on: Nov 12, 2010, 10:05 pm »
The university I attended had spectacularly well-trained ushers. They knew all about the significance of the half, and the importance of not letting people go backstage, and guarding the appropriate doors, and not taking "no" for an answer, which led to conversations like this:

"I'm sorry, sir, but I'm not allowed to let you go backstage."
"I'm the stage manager."
"Well, if you're going backstage, you need to go all the way out and around to the stage door."
"The house isn't even open yet!"
"If I let you through now, then everyone else will want to go through here."

That's hysterical! I once had an usher tell me I had to leave the house! In the ballet world we take a company class everyday about 2hours prior to show- at 1 hour the ushers arrive and take guard of the doors- I was sitting in the house watching class, and he came in to ask me about my tickets!!! We were still taking class, mind you, at least an hour before the house opened~ I tried to explain to him that I was the one who gave permission for the FOH Mngr to open doors- but he just didn't get it and told me that I was in danger because I was in the house before the ushers were in the theater! It was amazing and unbelievable. Eventually the union steward went to find the FOH Mngr to call off the dogs! After that we made access badges for all of our staff!

In a former life I was the Stage Manager for a ballet company- which I loved... slowly but surely my job morphed into Company Manager and then Artistic Administrator-- all of which I loved... but finally I realized that I missed being in the studio! SO, after 8 years I chose to leave the admin side of things and return to the theater and the traditional SM role. Now, after 4 years back here in the regions I'm thinking of looking around for another admin gig! The benefits of admin to me now are as malewen suggested- better hours and a little more money. I know I'll miss the studio; but at some point I have to put the good of my family above my job-- And I know I can come back to SMing again later on... if I want to! Everyone wants to hire a mature SM! ;D

The Green Room / Re: "Multi-tasking" actors and designers
« on: Nov 11, 2010, 08:40 pm »
Absolutely! And I do know and understand and support everyone making a living (I'm married to a Lighting/Sound Designer) but, at the end of the day- I expect everyone who signs a contract to do any job; to actually DO that job~  ;)

I realized this weekend that there are situations where I do give the cast a heads-up about who is in the house.

I always let them know when there are dogs in the house~ we get a lot of seeing eye dogs, and since our house is so small, they always are in sight from the stage. Also, we have one patron who is a little person- not quite 2 1/2' tall; rather than have the cast surprised and stare during the show our Artistic Director asks that the cast get the heads up.

And, of course, if it's a bought corporate house or a school show we give fair warning!

The Green Room / Re: "Multi-tasking" actors and designers
« on: Nov 10, 2010, 10:27 pm »
YES! The last show I did EVERY SINGLE DESIGNER was working on another show which directly conflicted with our show! It was unbelievable and resulted in OUR production not having many of the sound cues, props and costumes until OPENING (we do 3 previews) -- AND we ended up cutting 30 to 50 sound cues and having the actors cover simply because the cues NEVER showed up!

I've NEVER has such a terrible experience~ in 34 productions I've done here this is the only one I've ever had to chat with the producer about unacceptable situations~ UGH!

I think it comes down to experience- some people can multi-task and work multiple shows; some people can't. I know most of us regional SM's are always prepping or rehearsing the next show while teching or in performance of the current one~

Ah- walk outs.... in my small theater, 220 seats, we notice walk outs, too. All you can do is note it for the management and explain to the actors (if they ask! don't tell them about walk outs if they don't!) that every show has walk outs.

Our 1st weekend of THE 39 STEPS (a pretty fast paced comedy- nothing racy or edgy here!) we had 30 walk outs on a matinee-- we discovered after the fact that it was a school group w/ no chaperone or advisor! The students went down to the restaurant next door since they weren't supervised!

Even when the archival script is not a mess it's still not always written for you to interpret! I remounted a show (MOONLIGHT & MAGNOLIAS, Marcie A) that has a perfectly adequate archival script- which didn't mean that I could interpret Marcie's notes-- because we're different SM's trained in different ways, with different notation styles~ it's not Marcie's fault I couldn't interpret her blocking notation!

copy & paste

Post Merge: Nov 09, 2010, 11:06 pm
Clarification: copy & paste your report into the body of the email- then all the information is in the body of the email & as an attachment.

I don't tell-- usually the cast is mixed about wanting to know, so you can't tell one, without all of them knowing.... it's a downward spiral.

And, once upon a time, I used to keep knowledge of when family was in town from some of my dancers!! They could keep calm & cool for Baryshnikov; but her Mom really freaked her out!


Well- as someone mentioned earlier- I think Dance SM's have the market on re-mounts! (A million NUTCRACKER'S, DRACULA'S, CINDERELLA's, SWAN LAKE's, GISELLE's-- but strangely, no COPPELIA'S!)

But, I have also done 3 NOISES OFF's, 2 TUNA CHRISTMAS's, 2 ROMEO's, 2 A CHRISTMAS CAROL's ... and I think that's it~ Although I'm set to SM a 2nd TWELFTH NIGHT, and a 2nd RIGHT NEXT TO ME this season!!!

The Hardline / Re: Equity and Checks
« on: Oct 14, 2010, 01:39 pm »
I still get my SM & Deputy packet for every show, SPT & LORT~ Just got one 2wks ago!

The Green Room / Re: Are there any AEA SM moms?
« on: Jul 09, 2010, 09:55 pm »
I'm in your same boat! And have frequently wondered the same thing. Most of the MOM's in the business seem to transfer into admin or the costume shop when the babies start!

Of course AEA SM's can't bring children to rehearsal; the rules, the rules! 

Finally I'm realizing that my night rehearsal schedule may actually be better than a normal 9 to 5 schedule! The intended Father teaches at the local university (also theater) but he works traditionally 9 to 6ish, and I generally go 4 to 11... which actually only leaves a couple of hours 2 days a week~ better than most traditional family schedules as far as daycare and babysitting. So I figure at least until age 5 and school starts we're actually going to do pretty well! I'll get the full days and Daddy will get the night shift. Of course tech's will be more challenging, but in 3 years we've only been in tech at the same time once! And it was because he was working in my theater!

KIT over this issue- I'm curious how this works for other working SM's!

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