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Messages - TarytheA

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The Green Room / Re: USITT SM Meetup
« on: Jan 12, 2011, 09:49 am »
I'm very interested in meeting up!  I decided to go to USITT for the first time this year and I'm really excited.  Feel free to PM me or post here if a group is going to meet up.

The Green Room / Re: Did he REALLY ask me that?
« on: Nov 14, 2010, 04:44 pm »
She said that she saw my head through a window (the booth), and saw a big ladder in there once. Just put two and two together. :)

...And got five.

The Green Room / Did he REALLY ask me that?
« on: Nov 11, 2010, 12:01 am »
My current freelance gig is at the local community college, and tonight was our final dress.  A very sweet actor (the only male in the show) came up to me and asked the following question:

"So which show are you going to come see?"

After seeing a flash of shock on my face, he quickly followed with, "Oh, I guess maybe you'll watch all of them, huh?"  I started to laugh, and asked him (very kindly) what he thought I had been doing the whole time - and told him that the show simply wouldn't happen if I didn't "watch" every night.  We both laughed it off and continued on our way, and all was well.

I wasn't offended, just surprised - I know these are very inexperienced actors, but I thought I had been good about being very consistent with them and explaining things along the way - this is how they learn the way theatre operates and what to expect.  I knew going in to the project that some of them had never been in a show before, so I took great pains to mentor, encourage, support, and teach them (and the director did the same thing on her end).  How could this actor still be so oblivious?  I was a little taken aback, because I know that stage managing is one of the least understood (and hardest to define) jobs in theatre, even by some who are in our field...but really???  Which show am I going to see???

Does anyone else have a story about working with someone who, despite being in theatre, had NO idea what a stage manager did?  I'm sure there are some good ones out there.

Does anyone do it this way? Send the cast the rehearsal reports? I'm actually really curious now. Or have we started to misinterpret what was stated?
Going back to review the original question, it was about getting "people" to read the reports, not actors, and was more about embedding the report in an email instead of attaching them.

My confusion came when the discussion turned to putting messages in the report like "wear something red" to the next day's rehearsal to get a prize (posted by Dee), or how everyone at rehearsal the next day would be talking about the funny quote at the bottom (posted by thehayworth).  The people at rehearsals every day are not the designers or other members of the production team, but the cast...this led to me thinking that rehearsal reports got sent to actors every day.

I think I'm cleared up now, it seems that most SMs don't send rehearsal reports to actors which makes me feel better. :)

After reading the replies to this thread (and judging by the title), it seems like many people send rehearsal reports to the actors as well as the production team - is this true?  I've never sent rehearsal reports to the actors, all the information is for the designers/shops since they were not at rehearsal.  I send the actors an email with the next day's call, and their line notes if applicable.  I've also never gotten rehearsal reports when I've been an actor myself.

What would the actors need to know from the report?  It seems to be common knowledge to everyone else so I must have missed something along the way...?

Tools of the Trade / Re: Light hang and focus
« on: Sep 14, 2010, 09:39 am »
Don't drop anything, of course, and don't carry anything to the grid that isn't firmly attached to you. :)

When hanging:
Try to hang the instrument so that the gobo and gel slots are on top when the light is pointing the right direction - this makes focusing and dropping colour in much easier.  Sometimes you don't know for sure unless you're looking at the plot yourself, but if you're working on the furthest downstage pipe, for instance, you can pretty well guess that the light will point upstage b/c designers don't typically want to light the audience (though there is no guarantee!).

When focusing:
pan = moving the lighting instrument side to side.  You first have to loosen the tiny bolt on the side, which requires a c-wrench.

tilt = moving the lighting instrument up and down.  You first have to loosen a large knob on the side, which can be loosened by hand.

rotate = self-explanatory

flagging an instrument = waving your hand in front of the light so the designer can see what light onstage is actually coming from that instrument.

running the barrel = sliding the light from really unfocused, through a sharp focus, to really unfocused the other way.  This is done by twisting the circular knob (usually on the bottom, but sometimes on the top), pulling the barrel all the way towards you, and slowly letting it out until the designer says stop.

going "sharp to shutter" = pushing a shutter in (doesn't matter which one) and running the barrel until it is as sharply focused as you think you can get it.  Then pull the shutter back out.

If the designer says "lock that", then tighten the bolt/knob on whatever you were just working on.  That means you got it just right!

Remember that when shutter cutting, the light output is flipped so that if you push a shutter in on the left side of the instrument, you will see it taking effect on the right side of the onstage pool of light, and vice versa.  Same thing with the top and bottom.

Hopefully that helps, Bridget.  If I think of anything else, I'll let you know.  You'll do fine.

Hi all!  I have lurked for about a year and finally registered a few weeks ago.  I'm stage managing a play at the local community college starting at the end of this month, and I just got the finalized cast list yesterday.  My production manager is on it.  She's absolutely lovely, and so I don't think there will be big problems, but it makes me a little bit leery. 

What potential issues are there that I should keep on my radar?  I'm sure that some of you have come across this situation before - any words of wisdom?  I'm dealing with students, some of whom have done little to no theatre in the past, so I'm hoping that she can set a good example for them: being on time, knowing her lines, being professional and respectful, etc.  Also, they might not know what questions to ask, how to ask them, or be completely comfortable approaching me (never having worked with an SM before).  So as a part of the cast, she could potentially help them out or send them to me - "It's okay to ask the SM that."  "That's a perfect question for the SM - I know she would love to help."

In short, I'm hoping that this will be actively positive, but I'm nervous because I haven't dealt with this situation before.  I just want to be prepared!

Tools of the Trade / Re: TECHNOLOGY: Would you use it?
« on: Sep 12, 2010, 10:12 pm »
I would definitely be interested.  I'm not interested in giving up the physical call board, but I'm curious about the possibility of having both a physical location and a web forum for doling out information (especially for out-of-town designers and such).  What piques my interest specifically is the ability to put documents (contact sheet, production calendar, light plot, scenic drafts, etc.) online so that they can be accessed by all members of the production team at any time (well, any time one has internet access).  I'm currently testing Google Docs for that purpose, but have so far been finding it slow to load - and I haven't been able to organize it as neatly as the Streetcar website was, with sections for each design area.  Perhaps there's a way and I just need to play around with it more, but so far it's just a list of all my documents - including Google documents from other, unrelated things.

What I loved about the Streetcar site was that there was a main site/call board accessible by everyone, and a separate site for only the production team with a place for the production documents that the actors didn't have a need to see.

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