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Messages - PSMKay

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Stage Management: Plays & Musicals / Drop Count
« on: Oct 06, 2005, 02:05 am »
One show I did, the second act was an open Q&A based on questions that the audience members dropped into a fishbowl at intermission.  I had to track the questions.  

In the sequel to this show, the guy came out shooting baskets onstage at the beginning of the show.  I had to call opening when he got the third swish.  We had a running bet among the design team as to what the average number of shots per night would be from across the run, so I was tracking basketball shots on the perf reports.

The Green Room / Food
« on: Oct 06, 2005, 01:57 am »
What I used to do going into techs was to pick up a box of non-sweet cereal (usually crispix or chex was the best, occasionally kix or cheerios, something self-contained and not to crumbly or crunchy) and keep it next to the tech table for snacking.  Usually almost everyone grabbed a handful but it would last just long enough to get us through techs and dresses.

SMNetwork Archives / New Topic: Taxes for Artists
« on: Jan 27, 2005, 09:59 pm »

Well, I know that the standard self employed deductions can include things like car upkeep and travel expenses, moving expenses, health insurance, cell phone usage, home office maintenance... but keeping receipts for all of those things is tough!

And where do you draw the line is a good point.  I mean, if you're moving, you can certainly deduct the cost of hiring movers, but what if you move to a new apartment and that apartment needs an air conditioner or a fridge?  Can you deduct that?  What about depreciation?

Have any of you ever been audited while working freelance?  What was the experience like?

SMNetwork Archives / New Topic: Taxes for Artists
« on: Jan 27, 2005, 07:33 pm »
In response to the email I got that's on the main page, I figured that dealing with Uncle Sam (or taxes in other countries!) when you're a freelancer might be a good topic for this month.

What's deductible? What isn't?  Do you pay estimated taxes?  Any advice for folks who are filing as a freelancer for the first time?  Horrible experiences to share (well... moreso than usual...)?

A good topic for any artist in the industry, I'd think...

Stage Management: Plays & Musicals / cumbersome scene shifts
« on: Nov 29, 2004, 04:18 pm »
Yow, real food is always tricky.  For some reason over the course of my career I was involved in no fewer than four productions with seders onstage... I learned how to fake charoset in several different ways.  The worst one was clearing the full banquet table in pitch black on a crowded set with a crew of 8... we had enough trouble not tripping over each other let alone trying to do it with porcelain dishes and metal ewers.

SMNetwork Archives / Last month: Building Networks.
« on: Nov 15, 2004, 05:31 am »
On the flip side to VSM's tale, I worked with one actress a few years back who subsequently left the city.  She took her email contact list with her, though.  Every month we would get a long, windy, and personal update about what she had been doing, where she was working, and where she was headed next, peppered with comments to her younger cousins, best friends from high school and former professors at grad school!   She sent them to every member of the production team for the show that we shared -- from directors to designers to the cast.

The first one I thought was a mistaken email.  By the third one I had her on my spam blacklist.

Updates are cool, and can be convenient, but there is value in targetting your mailing list.

SMNetwork Archives / old posts
« on: Nov 14, 2004, 06:22 pm »
I had pruning turned on to automatically filter out threads that hadn't been added to in 30 days.  I've turned it off now.

I'm also considering creating a "Resources" Forum to move threads that are particularly informative after they've run out their lifespan.  For instance, the Gun Master thread in this forum would be a good candidate for moving.

This seemed like a good place for a poll!

For the record, I called standby, go.  My professor shared with me that ops tend to jump on the next thing they hear after their "prep line," and I've found this to be true.  So, I only called a standby.

The exception to this would be if we were going into a very long sequence of cues or if something was *very* off with the performance.  In the case of the former I would warn the whole sequence ahead of time, and then do standbys one by one.  An example of the latter situation would be when I did a play about a blind man for an entire audience of blind patrons.  We had an audio describer explaining the show -- to the whole audience over the PA.  The disturbance factor of this was high enough that I discussed with my board ops and we figured the best thing to do would be to warn sequences, as the timings on all of them were going to be off for that show.

The Hardline / To Go Union or Not to Go Union
« on: Nov 09, 2004, 09:27 am »
The questions I would ask myself before joining the union would involve my actual reasons for doing so.  Was I doing it because I supported what the union stood for? Or because I wanted the higher pay rate?  Also, do I feel like I'm capable of handling work as a professional stage manager with all of the added duties that AEA or whichever union you choose brings with it?  Maximum calls, riders... it's more than just the equity breaks.  Are the benefits you'll get out of working an AEA contract for five months worth the dues you'll have to pay?

Folks with experience in NYC will give you better opinons of the current scenario there.

I would say, sow your oats and live the life of a non union SM, maybe work as an intern in a couple of union houses to get the feeling of it, while continuing to cultivate your relationship with that Equity house.  That's just my own opinion, though.

SMNetwork Archives / Last month: Building Networks.
« on: Nov 05, 2004, 05:06 pm »
It's autumn, and a lot of stage managers have just entered the professional market out of school.  At the same time, folks are entering the busy holiday season, working on enormous projects where they'll most likely meet a ton of new people.

It's a good time to figure out how to build your network.  Where and how do you build up your contacts? How long do you keep someone on your contact list? Do you send them updates?  When is it time to burn a bridge, and how do you calculate that risk?  How do you keep a reference and leave the company?  

This topic is for new stage managers and experienced ones.  I think we've all got something to learn.  Start threads as they come to mind.

SMNetwork Archives / Call Board Community Standards
« on: May 27, 2003, 03:24 am »

If you're new to our community, jump right in. If you're an "old-timer," please greet newcomers and help them feel at home. This community is here for all of us, and we want it to be comfortable, thought provoking, helpful, safe, and easy to use.

The Call Board Admin is PSMKay (kscleaves at smnetwork dot org). The Call Board Admin is responsible for background coding and all final decisions pertaining to  Our staff list can be viewed on the staff page. Moderators have the ability to Edit, Delete, or Modify any post to their designated Call Board Forum.  You can email or Private Message the Admin or Moderators any time you have a question or concern.

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Edit, Mar 25 2009:
Uploaded forms have their own guidelines in the interest of intellectual property management.  For guidelines regarding uploaded attachments, please refer to this post on the Uploaded Forms board.


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The Community Standards are adapted from the excellent version at The Sluggite Zone.

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