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Messages - babens

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Stage Management: Plays & Musicals / Re: Pranks
« on: Sep 09, 2009, 01:13 am »
I also agree with Matthew.  During a long run especially you and the cast are going to need to find a way to keep a show from becoming monotonous.  My rule, like Matthew's, is that whatever method is used it can't affect the show in a way that the audience can tell what's going on.

The production of A Christmas Carol that I used to work on in Cleveland had some great backstage antics, as any long running production of that show needs.  Some of the things were downright expected and would be passed on each year from crew to crew and cast to cast (positioning the dolls and bears into naughty tableaus on the prop table, making horribly lewd gestures at Fezziwig during the Fezziwig Party, and so much more). 

The Green Room / Re: Best reason from an actor for being late
« on: Sep 08, 2009, 12:57 pm »
We had an actor in A Christmas Carol at Great Lakes Theater Festival my first year there who actually did forget about a preview matinee and went to visit a friend in the hospital, so his phone was shut off.  And of course it had to be the actor in the Christmas Past/Future track who has to go through a star trap and manipulate a 12' tall rod puppet.  Luckily, by a freak coincidence, the understudy had been around during preset the night before and asked if he could do the trap door test, so at least he had been through it once before we had to send him through it during a performance.

Tools of the Trade / Re: New Flexbinder
« on: Sep 08, 2009, 12:41 pm »
I have become a huge fan of the Better Binders from Staples.  They are extremely rugged, being made of plastic and rubber.  I have been able to recycle them for several shows now and have only had to replace the ones that went into archives.

The Hardline / Re: How did you get your card?
« on: Aug 08, 2009, 12:18 am »
I got my card with an U/RTA contract in the summer of 2004 as the rehearsal SM for Godspell and the PSM for A Streetcar Named Desire at the Porthouse Theatre in Ohio, run through Kent State.  I had previously worked for the artistic director as an ASM during my first professional gig on Bye Bye Birdie at Cain Park, in Cleveland Heights, OH.  I was good friends with the two SMs from the previous summer, and when both told me that they weren't returning I figured I would send in my resume and see what happens.  I was called in for an interview shortly after that.  The interview was great and relaxed (the artistic director even came in jeans and a sweatshirt, which is something she rarely wears outside of rehearsals, so I knew she already had her mind made up in my favor).

I've been a happy AEA member ever since.

I also joined AGMA in the fall of 2006 to ASM The Barber of Seville at Michigan Opera Theatre.

Stage Management: Plays & Musicals / Re: TECH: Overheated actor
« on: Aug 07, 2009, 09:49 pm »
Believe it or not, when dealing with dehydration you also have to look at sodium levels.  If the water/sodium balance gets out of whack, which it easily can due to heavy sweating, you need to help balance this out, hence the sodium content of sports drinks.  It is best to get your sodium through food and drink, but in an extreme case you may also need to supplement with sodium tablets.  So I would definitely recommend some Gatorade or similar sports drink backstage in addition to water for this actor if he's sweating as badly as it seems he is from your post.

Employment / Re: Share your special skills
« on: Apr 24, 2009, 03:31 pm »
The one that I have listed that seems to get notice is "works well with children and animals."  You may laugh, but I've worked with some stage managers who I would never want to see working with children.  I'm sure we've all done our share of Christmas Carols, Sound of Musics, Music Mans, Annies, etc, etc to know that it definitely does take a special skill set to work with kids.

I did a production of Cabaret a few years back where most of the dancers were smoking herbal cigarettes (more because they didn't want their voice teachers to know that they knew how to, and regularly did, smoke).  After the first half of our first ten out of twelve the whole theatre smelled like we were working in a barn that had not been aired out for several years.  The director quickly ordered all of the herbal cigarettes to the trash and our props crew made a cigarette run during dinner break.

Tools of the Trade / Re: Should I become a Mac-er?
« on: Jul 30, 2007, 02:43 am »
Right now, the one thing keeping me from moving to a Mac, other than the fact that I can't afford/don't need a new laptop at this time, is the fact that you can't run AutoCAD on a Mac.  And let me tell you, AutoCAD has become my lifeline when it comes to creating minis, figuring out scene shifts/backstage packs, and plotting out a set for taping.

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