Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - Celeste_SM

Pages: 1 ... 6 7 [8]
The Hardline / AEA Actors coming when not called
« on: Sep 10, 2007, 03:32 pm »
I asked this question in the Guest Artist thread, but it got a bit buried and the answer might help someone else.

What is the appropriate action to take if an AEA actor insists on coming to a rehearsal that is outside their contract?  I know they don't have the right to waive their contract minimums, but at the same time, I'm not comfortable kicking them out of a rehearsal.  (Context: Guest Artist contracts start after the rest of the cast has already started rehearsing.  An experienced AEA actor always wants to come to first rehearsal to meet everyone, even though he is not called and is not under contract yet.  The stage manager is not AEA.  The actor knows he is not called but shows up anyway.)  What is the appropriate action for me (the non AEA stage manager) to take to protect the company and the actor?

I do not want to call the Equity office to ask this question, because I don't want to get the actor in trouble with his union.

The Hardline / Re: Guest Artist Agreements
« on: Sep 06, 2007, 11:53 pm »
Sorry, I wasn't clear.  We pay per diem to actors who are not officially designated as out of town (because many live far enough away/across bridgets and have reasonable commute costs), and Equity says that minimum per diem for out of town actors is $20 but doesn't specify what per diem should be if the actor is not out of town.  That is negotiated individually.

Here's a question though...  are Equity members allowed to waive the minimums listed in the contract?  My understanding is that they are not.

If an AEA guest artist shows up at rehearsal the day before his/her contract begins (typically because they want to meet the rest of the cast), and insists on staying despite being told that their presence is not required or authorized, what should the company (or this non-eq SM) do?

The Hardline / Re: Guest Artist Agreements
« on: Sep 06, 2007, 11:45 am »
I've been stage managing for a company that uses two AEA Guest Artist contracts on every show.  I'm a non-AEA stage manager.  They don't go to three Equity, because the third contract is supposed to be the stage manager.  :) 

Actually, they can hire up to three actors and then an AEA SM as well. But once the producer hires 3 AEA actors, they must hire an AEA SM as well. As long as there are just 1 or 2 AEA actors, the SM can be non-union

Right.  They just don't want to jump to four contracts though, and three isn't an option without an AEA SM.

And back on the topic... we go by the address that AEA has on file for the actor as their primary residence.  But per diem isn't mandated by the contract, so we seem to negotiate individually.  (We tend to use actors who are based in NY but have local ties and are willing to stay here and work locally without a per diem or housing.)  Maybe we're breaking all kinds of rules, but again, these are usually worked out before it reaches my hands.  It just impacts my ability to answer questions at auditions regarding per diem.

I'm sure you've all heard this one... a stage manager, a director and an actor are in a rehearsal hall and they find a gold lantern.  A genie comes out and says he will grant them each one wish.  The director says, "I wish to be on an island in Fiji, surrounded by beautiful women, with a cold drink in my hand!"  The genie nods and the director vanishes.  The actor says "I wish to be in New York, a famous star of a broadway show!"  The genie nods and the actor vanishes.  The stage manager looks at her watch and says, "I want both of them back in ten minutes."   ;D

Anyhoo, I usually describe the stage manager position as the central coordinator of all aspects of a theatrical production.  Someone who makes sure that everybody knows what they need to know, with time to do something about it.  Then I get into the whole blocking notes, cue calling, first aid thing.

I don't notate the full dances either.  I do keep track of major markers (for example, if the dancers all enter in a line, I write down the order and position of the people in the line), and I sometimes note major landmarks within the dance.  For tap shows, I get the kahnotation from the choreographer for my records, but that's about it.

When I do write down a dance for some reason (for example, in working with a choreographer that wrote nothing down, in a show with no dance captain and a cast member that struggled with fairly simple dance), then I use one line for counts, and one line for steps.  I use intuitive abbreviations (ie. bb=ball back, bsf=back side front, c=chasse, kbc=kick ball change) or just write out the words.  Sometimes I use litte stick figure on a third line, if there are body lines that are critical, that I can't capture in words.

College and Graduate Studies / Re: Advice for the "advisor"
« on: Aug 21, 2007, 05:39 pm »
Bring them into the process.  Have a meeting, get their input on what the rules should be.  Let whatever inconsistancies exist come to light in shared discussion, so that the various SMs can have their say about why x should, or should not, be a rule.  Even if they don't all get their way, it will go much more smoothly if they feel they've been heard and had a voice in creating the rules. And they may even have thought of something that you missed, or have a better idea on how to do something.

Now finding time for a bunch of stage managers to meet... that's the really tricky part.

Employment / Re: Websites
« on: Aug 15, 2007, 12:12 pm »
Another example can be found at

Your graphics are gorgeous!

Tools of the Trade / Re: Backstage booth/SM area
« on: Aug 15, 2007, 11:55 am »
Space for video monitors - at least 2, maybe 3.

The Hardline / Re: Guest Artist Agreements
« on: Aug 08, 2007, 10:24 pm »
I've been stage managing for a company that uses two AEA Guest Artist contracts on every show.  I'm a non-AEA stage manager.  They don't go to three Equity, because the third contract is supposed to be the stage manager.  :) 

I'm mostly going to second much of what has already been said.  I agree that you will get different answers from AEA when you call with questions on Guest Artist, depending on who you are asking.  I find that many of the employees there don't seem to know much about Guest Artist contracts.  The rulebook and the contract itself are your best assets. 

The primary areas where I have run into issues are with video-taping and recording, as these issues are not detailed in the contract.  I default to the most restrictive assumptions and get written permission for archival video in advance.  The  rest of the issues that I usually face are very company specific, namely the length of the contract (which for us is two weeks shorter than the rehearsal period for the non-equity cast), and reimbursement for personal costume items.  Basically, directors who want equity actors in before their contract has started, and producers who don't want to pay for nylons, tights or shoes.  In both cases, being clear and persistant with the contract requirements usually works fine. 

Oh and per diem.  In my area, per diem and the definition of "out of town" is very loose, so those rates are negotiated individually.  It's a done deal by the time it's in my hands, but I often get questions from auditioning AEA folks, and there isn't a clear answer I can give them, because AEA doesn't lay out requirements for specific per diem amounts in the GA contract.

Students and Novice Stage Managers / Re: Bows
« on: Aug 01, 2007, 11:42 am »
I was going to mention that I've seen it done on every Cirque show that I've seen.  However, I've never seen it done anywhere else here in the U.S., except for elementary and middle-school shows.   

Corteo is the only Cirque show I have seen it done. It is definitely not done on the shows in Vegas (the example at Mystere was once in 13 years) or Quidam. I have not seen the other touring shows. I did mention this discussion with my roommate and she mentioned that although the bow on Corteo was cool at first - it was not for long. The crew HATE doing this bow now.

They did it on "O" when I saw it... although it might have just been the scuba divers, I can't remember.  It's true, Mystere and Quidam were so long ago, I can't remember if the crew bowed, so I believe you.  I personally would hate taking a bow.  I'd rather get things done.

Students and Novice Stage Managers / Re: Bows
« on: Jul 26, 2007, 06:43 pm »
It is done on Corteo. I have friends from the original crew - two are my current roommates. They appreciated the gesture. Cirque touring shows, especially Corteo and Quidam (where I worked), are quite technical and run with very small crews. The crew is very much a family and the instinct is to recognize them. I enjoy that they made the nod but felt the crew high fiving across the stage was a bit amateurish.

I have an excellent crew who run an amazing show each night. The only time they have been onstage was for the 6,000th show. The artists stepped into the house and the entire crew stepped out onstage to take a bow. That was nice, but a very special occasion and truly a celebration of the great people that have kept our show around for 13 years. I would certainly not want to do it every night.

I feel fully appreciated in each and every one of our standing ovations even if I am standing behind the audience.

I was going to mention that I've seen it done on every Cirque show that I've seen.  However, I've never seen it done anywhere else here in the U.S., except for elementary and middle-school shows.   

SMNetwork Archives / Liquid Nitrogen Ground Fog
« on: May 04, 2007, 08:18 pm »
Hi all.  Has anyone used liquid nitrogen to create a ground fog effect?  We normally do the dry-ice routine, but my director heard that the look was much more effective with liquid nitrogen.  I did some prelimary research on it, and of course the first few Google hits were about how it is dangerous for actors. :(  So, I'm looking to hear the experiences of others who may have used it!

I've also had to spike the floor for a moving light focus, which was basically just a grid of points, plus a few marks where actors stood in specific sequences.  However that was requested by the lighting designer, and he was specific about the points/actors he wanted marked.  Usually it's just scenic spikes though.

Just have a clean copy of the script that you don't touch, so that you have it for future needs.  Then use one copy of the script for blocking notes.  You write whatever you need to write to be able to recreate the blocking if needed.  I was given some blocking notation in school, but I mostly just invent my own.   eSL2 = enter stage left, 2nd wing.   Stuff like that.

Stage Management: Plays & Musicals / Re: A Chorus Line
« on: Feb 06, 2007, 06:28 pm »
Easy backstage, but you need really talented follow-spot operators if you're doing the traditional lighting of the show.

Pages: 1 ... 6 7 [8]