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 2 [3] 4 5 ... 8
The Green Room / Re: Being friends with other stage managers
« on: Aug 20, 2010, 06:02 pm »
I have to say that I was thrilled when Matthew Shiner and I crossed paths on Facebook (accidently - friends of friends).  I also really liked it when a director paid me a huge compliment by telling me that I was "just like" his favorite stage manager - who I don't know at all - but quickly recognized the name from this board!

So hip hip hooray for this board and being friendly virtual acquaintances, if nothing more!

I have several close stage manager friends in real life, but there's only a few that I'd care to work with. Otherwise I'm happy just being friends with them and we can indivually complain (or brag) about our own projects without conflict of interest.

I am looking for an electronic script of La Cage Aux Folles.  I'm doing a licensed production that is in rehearsals now and the format of the script is killing me.

I usually call from the script, unless there is a particularly difficult musical sequence. I personally find that the score contains more information than I need. :)  Even with tight musical sequences with multiple cues (think: transformation in Beauty and the Beast) I often find it easier to write the counts rather than calling from the score. It's totally personal preference though. But if you don't read music, then I strongly recommend sticking to the script. I once took over a show where the SM was calling from the score, and she had used small round colored stickers to note the cues in the score, color coded for standbys and go's. They were very legible and the clear and specific placement allowed me to take over the show with very few problems.  If I called from a score, I'd do that, just because I had such a great experience with that. I fear a SM taking over one of my shows would have a harder time understanding my cue notations for musical sequences.

I've done it. I think you handled it fine.  No need to cry though. A locked door should be locked; if you could open it, then it wasn't locked and you'd have no expectation of setting off an alarm by opening an unlocked door.

My story is similar, except that I had a key. In my case only the facilities manager could shut off the alarm, and it was his duty to shut it off prior to our arrival in the space. He didn't.  I had no way of knowing that, so I waltzed in and had that fun siren go off seconds later. I called him and he came and shut it off. It was another story later when the company was charged the $500 false alarm fee by the facility (who passes it along from either the alarm company or the police station), and I had to show documentation that the false alarm was not our fault. I also found it interesting that no police came by during the time it took to get the alarm shut off and reset and the alarm company notified, yet they were still charged.

I recently had reason to count up my shows with the company that I work for on a regular basis. Over the past 18 years I've stage managed 32 musicals (with just that one company) and ASMd another 15.  I've done 45 ballets, but if you count every Nutcracker only once, the number drops significantly. :)  And for other companies I'm counting around another 37 shows, although I stopped keeping track awhile ago, so I'm probably missing some. I guess I'm old too.

Employment / Re: Child Wrangling
« on: May 17, 2010, 05:57 pm »
Child wranglers are key to my sanity as a stage manager.  I love having great crew!

The Green Room / Re: THOUGHT OF THE DAY: What's your day job?
« on: May 17, 2010, 05:57 pm »
I'm director of marketing at a high tech company.  I decided not to pursue stage management as my primary career about 10 years ago, but I still stage manage on a regular basis.

The Green Room / Re: Oh earthquakes, how I loathe thee...
« on: Apr 04, 2010, 11:11 pm »
I read about it during intermission of my own show, and was grateful that it was in SoCal. Did you lose power? Have to evacuate or cancel?

Our ushers are well trained in managing the audience, but I still don't look forward to my first earthquake-during-a-show experience.

The Green Room / Re: can stage managers take a joke?
« on: Apr 03, 2010, 02:48 pm »
I got totally April Fooled by a cast member who showed up to final dress with crutches and a boot on her foot. She's also young enough that it was plausable that she'd hurt herself and think that she didn't need to tell me until she got to rehearsal. I got as far as calling the understudy and the choreographer before she "April Fooled" me. I was so relieved that I was not as mad as I might otherwise have been.  It was funny really.  And I was able to reach both the choreo and understudy before they'd left their houses.

I think actors just need to know their SMs and choose their jokes accordingly. I know some folks who would be seriously angry over this prank. I was mildly annoyed by looking the fool, but no harm done.

I like stage managing dance, but for me those shows usually have the least rehearsal time (for me).  If I'm lucky, I get one rehearsal and one day of tech. I find it helpful to make notes about patterns of dancers to help me recognize when a cue is coming up, if I don't know the piece well enough or have music. As a last resort, I have also used a stopwatch to help call cues in pieces that look (to my unrehearsed eye) "all the same" through the whole number.  Then I note stuff like "at 34 sec, middle girl sits up, SL guy points toe Q with beat after toe point."  Again, it's just a way of dealing with a show where you have no music and not enough rehearsal time to actually learn the choreography well.

Calling dance shows is fun though, I think. I enjoy the fast pace.

The Green Room / Re: Olympic-sized technical difficulties
« on: Feb 14, 2010, 06:16 pm »
I worked a musical with a full stage turntable set (about 34' diameter). One night, during the show, the turntable broke. The axel actually failed, with a 3' steel rod broken in half. After a few awkward moments we had to bring in the main as the set was in a mid position and we simply could not continue as it was. We ended up making an announcement to the house that the show would continue in "concert version" and we quickly costumed the crew to bring on/take off as many free set pieces as could be used without the turntable. The audience was given the option of a refund, which none took. An exciting and challenging show, followed by work to 3am on repairing the turntable, and a 9am call the next morning to complete repairs, thanks to a machine shop that was able to manufacture a new axel first thing in the morning.

Tools of the Trade / Re: TECHNOLOGY: Smart phones
« on: Feb 13, 2010, 05:14 pm »
I'm an iPhone users. I love it. I previously had a Treo (which I do not recommend) and a Blackberry.

I do theater with a volunteer crew on a regular basis. Although my crew is paid a nominal stipend (or they get community service hours), so I guess that may be all the difference. Do you do contracts with your crew? Perhaps something in writing that spells out the exact commitment that is required and must be signed would help? I have to agree with Heath's comments about the use of the volunteer crew time. It seems excessive to me and not a good use of their time. But I understand you may be restricted by the time constraints of your space. I can't fathom doing a show without a concentrated technical rehearsal period.

I've had problems with flaky crew before, but part of our company culture is that the crew tends to pride itself on doing a good job. As a result, the peer pressure turns on the flakey person pretty heavily when they flake. The crew has helped to find subs for the flakes, and the flakes don't get invited back. I also try to make it fun to work crew for me, because I do know that they're not compensated fairly in the monetary sense... so I want to make the experience enjoyable so they want to come back for other reasons - a sense of accomplishment, friendships, to share theater "war" stories, etc. If they are good, I look good, so it's a bit self-serving on my part. But I find a bag of mini-candybars goes a long way towards a happy volunteer crew!

10) Don't lie. Stage managers are detail oriented, and they usually know when you're lying (perhaps better than you know). I remember that your grandma "died" during the last show, so don't try using that excuse for missing rehearsal on this show. I can check traffic conditions on my phone, so I know that's not why you're running late. I'm here to make things work. Tell me the truth and we'll try to work out the problem.

The Green Room / Re: SM Joke
« on: Jan 13, 2010, 10:20 pm »
How many lighting designers does it take to change a light bulb?
It's a LAMP darnit!

Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 ... 8