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Messages - Celeste_SM

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Our guy did it with oversize pants, a fists-on-waist pose, and timely sucking-it-in and pulling his fists away a bit. Worked every time.

I thought those in the US might find this article relevant. It pertains to cell phone jamming in jails, and I imagine that CTIA would fight equally hard to prevent it in theaters.

I stage manage musicals for high level community theater. I provide the sound engineer with a script and a mic plot. The mic plot shows which actor is wearing which mic during which scenes. We don't have enough mics for everybody, but anybody with a solo line or song pretty much has to be mic'd, due to the size of our house. I usually figure out how to accomplish this (mic exchanges) and the mic plot reflects that information. After that, it is up to the sound engineer to take his own mic cues. Our sound engineer only attends one rehearsal prior to tech, so he relies heavily on the script, and visual cues (ie. seeing the actor on stage), so I try to make time to review special issues with him, such as lines that are spoken on a lav from off-stage, or circumstances where he might want to kill a mic before the actor has left the stage (fight scenes, where the mic is at risk of being brushed, etc.).

Cueing of onstage/offstage mics is also done by the sound engineer independently.

Stage Management: Plays & Musicals / Re: Dry Ice
« on: Jan 19, 2009, 10:36 pm »
There is a big difference between the effect you get with pellets as compared with the effect with bricks. Even if broken into chunks. Pellets create fog faster.

« on: Dec 12, 2008, 11:40 am »
And my big anchoring gig this spring disappears.  Just when I became solidly the SM of choice in San Jose, AMT shuts up and I don't get to do one of my favorite musicals, 42nd Street.  I hate this economy.  :(

Seriously. This is just terrible. I was in shock over the AMT failure.
Sacramento Ballet may go under if people don't buy more tickets for Nutcracker.

Stage Management: Other / Re: Dance Choreography Notation
« on: Dec 07, 2008, 11:03 pm »
I don't take full choreography notes/blocking. The dance captain and choreographer have them, and I just capture key elements, such as the order that people come in, and where they're standing at key moments. When I am taking dance notes, I use blank paper and write out the counts on one line with the choreography underneath it. Ragtime really doesn't have much dance in it. The prolouge is crazy busy with movement and the Getting Ready Rag is real dance, but the rest is mostly just musical staging.

I wish I had great tips but I think what I do is a very personal solution that works well for me, but isn't very transferable.

I'm just bumping this up because it's another year and another Nutcracker for me. :)  Today we had a mini-performance for school kids and the fire alarm went off during the show. The great thing is that teachers are much better at evacuating a theater than the average audience member.

One thing I have to say, this show is great for helping pay the holiday bills. 

Employment / Re: Who toots your horn?
« on: Nov 26, 2008, 05:35 pm »
I get gigs thanks to directors and producers that I've worked with, and once in awhile from actors (who usually double as a director or producer elsewhere).  Directors and producers are about equal in my book for referrals. I've only had designers refer/call me when something horrible has happened on a show and they're searching for someone at the last second. I guess they just aren't generally involved in that stuff upfront.

I get great crew through referrals from crew though. I'm really proud of the network of skilled stagehands I've accumulated, and I'm always proud when I get an inquiry about working one of my shows based on a referral from another stagehand who has worked with me before.

I got my day job through a lighting designer referral, but that's a whole different ball of wax!

Stage Management: Plays & Musicals / Re: Fill in the BLANK...
« on: Nov 25, 2008, 10:09 pm »
Setting up the orchestra pit.  That one came out of left field for me

Yeah, I'll say. I often facillitate the layout getting from the MD to the theater manager or TD. But I haven't ever had to set it up personally.

I have, however, had to set up orchestra rehearsal layouts. Urg.

Stage Management: Plays & Musicals / Re: Fill in the BLANK...
« on: Nov 22, 2008, 01:14 pm »
I was surprised that the community theater I work for expects the stage manager to provide the first draft for the program.

SMNetwork Archives / Re: Just neet to vent...
« on: Nov 19, 2008, 12:47 am »
What a sucky situation. You've already got good advice from people who know more than me about the NY reality, but I can absolutely sympathise with your position.

Employment / Re: Overhire?
« on: Nov 19, 2008, 12:44 am »
Bring your own wrench and a method for attaching it to yourself, for ladder/lift/grid work.

I do overhire work sometimes, and I'm not at all an expert in anything. But as long as you know the difference between different lamps and the basics of focus, you'll be fine. I think regulars know that overhire folks are generally a mixed level of skills, and are prepared to deal with that.

I always stay for all the music rehearsals. I usually just work on my computer, away from the piano, but within earshot. I track any changes or cuts that are made, and any solos that are assigned as they happen, and I remind about breaks if the musical or vocal director doesn't give them on their own.  Sometimes I just end up reading a book or something, but as SM, it's my job to be there and to be a consistent presence and support to the artistic staff and cast.

Stage Management: Plays & Musicals / Re: Hell Week...?
« on: Oct 24, 2008, 12:39 am »
I never call it hell week. I used to be a bit offended by actors who would call tech week by this name, because I put so much effort into making it the best possible experience for them (and everyone). Then I realized that it was a point of pride, and that "hell week" jokes and complaints would happen even if it was perfectly smooth.  I got over it, but I'm not above joking back at people who use the phrase around me. "Hell week, huh? Did you get out of rehearsal late? Work any harder than usual? Thought not."

I do get the value of the term for team-building and it really IS hell week sometimes. I just don't call it that regardless.

Tools of the Trade / Re: Useful iPhone apps?
« on: Oct 12, 2008, 01:32 pm »
For master electritions iSwitch DMX is fantastic.

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