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Messages - Scott

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The Hardline / Re: Going Equity 'Young'
« on: Aug 24, 2011, 01:07 pm »
I think most everyone joins young~

isn't there a statistic out there somewhere about the how most working AEA ASM's are under 35-?

Didn't used to be the case before companies started handing out Equity SM contracts like lollipops...

The Green Room / Re: theater as religion
« on: Apr 30, 2011, 08:04 am »
Nice "mini-article" PSMKay.  I would take exception to one assertion: since you survey theatre from a historical perspective, the identification of a theatre audience as "silent" is a relatively recent characteristic.

The Hardline / Re: Prompt Script Etiquette
« on: Apr 05, 2011, 05:59 pm »
But again, it goes back to your reputation... And unfortunately I know I put in the extra effort to keep up my reputation...

(to play devil's advocate) I would think my reputation would depend on how amazingly well I can call a show.  If someone else (who is not a member of my team) cannot call/maintain a show as well as I can using my system of notating my book (as sloppy or incomprehensible as it may look to them), that is not my problem. 8)

adapter is the corrector term

like translator

like playwright

(unless there is some sort of other contractual term)


Bravo for English language!

Best arguement for adapting a work for a musical: you become the book writer!

The Hardline / Re: AEA ASM?
« on: Mar 24, 2011, 08:50 am »
I certainly don't have anyone banging on my door to ASM 1 show a year~ or any local non-AEA SM's willing to join the union in order to work 1 or 2 shows every 4 years!

Well, they don't have to be knocking down the door -- but I am sure you can get an town AEA ASM to come in if notices were posted with Equity, the SMA or even

Or is it that the producers don't want to expend logistical efforts and resources to hired a qualified professional as the negotiated contract stipulates?

The Green Room / Re: Convolution Creep
« on: Feb 23, 2011, 11:12 am »
"Okay, this is important: do not plug anything into the wall outlet behind the LX station."
I've had this conversation three times so far with three different board ops. Not a happy camper.

Cover the outlet with tape.

I If you're interested in option 2, let me know and I'll look up the device name/vendor. As I recall, it was a little hard to find.

City Theatricals makes a nice dowser.

I am working on a show at our URTA Equity theatre on campus, and the other ASM (I am serving as the other under an Equity SM) showed up repeatedly late to our 8am calls for our 10am matinees.

Is the other ASM Equity?

90 minutes before half hour seems like an unusually early call -- especially with two ASMs, why is the call earlier than the more standard "hour before half" for crew calls?

I like to have every single preshow duty on the list including those of the crews and my asms. I then denote who does what. I divide my to do list by time half hour, fifteen, etc as makes sense for the production, and then at each of those increments I make sure everyone is on track.

That sounds c-r-a-z-y.

I suspect you will have to adjust if you ever get to work with professional crews (if you don't want to find yourself hung from the fly rails...)

The Hardline / Re: Equity? In this economy?
« on: Jan 17, 2011, 12:47 pm »
But does it make sense at all, with the marketplace 'flooded' with AEA SMs and fewer union positions available, to consider going for it?

Nope, donít consider going for it - itís not worth it.  Trust me itís not worth it.  The head ache of being a free lance AEA Stage Manager is not worth - the competition is just too fierce for the jobs, and you are right the jobs are just too few and far between.  And when you get, in reality the pay is too low.  It's a terrible lifestyle - and to be honest - you will never be happier then you are being a non-AEA stage manager.  Most AEA Stage Managers are miserable.  They don't have fun at all.

Seriously, I donít want someone else competing with me for jobs - so I should be doing everything in my power to discourage you from entering the job market - I donít want any more competition - but most of here know that all the market is flooded with AEA SMís, BUT hereís the secret - the market is NOT flood with good AEA SMís - I happen to know both Maribeth and hbelden who are in on this conversation, and they both know of other AEA SMís who work in this business who perhaps should not be working in this business, but still get work.  Itís just a fact of life.  In reality, I want to encourage more GOOD stage managers to enter the work force so I only ever have to work with good stage managers.  But the reality is bad stage managers are every where, and they work all the time.  (Because they have experience, connections, etc, etc).


To beat my dead horse, I blame the market flooding on the relatively recent academic programs in stage management.

The style of performance report already established at the theatre I work at before I arrived was bullet points and fragment sentences. I'm low enough on the ladder that rocking the boat would be looked down upon, so I follow that example, which oftentimes omits proper nouns if they're not needed for clarity's sake. Examples:
"LX 37 late - operator error"
"LX 37 late - calling error"
"SL portion of deck was not fully swept before 1/2 hour; [Actor Name] had traction issues at top of show and almost fell"

Style looks fine to me -- I think my eyes would glaze over if I were to see any more complete sentences in regards to LX errors.

The Green Room / Re: Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark
« on: Jan 08, 2011, 10:42 am »
Why does this show need to be bashed ????

It has some work it needs to be done, sure?  Is it ever going to be great theatre?  Maybe not - is Mama Mia?  Is Rock of Ages?  Is WIcked?  Is Ave Q?  Is Rain?  There are always places for varying forms of entertainment on Broadway? 

Regarding the injuries . . . 4 injuries, yes, are bad . . . but . . . for some of us that have worked on large, complicated projects, let's raise our hands if we have had four or more injuries on a production?

They are employing a lot of people . . . I send them nothing but positive vibes, and hope the figure it out, and i hope it runs for YEARS!

Well, I might agree with the generally level-headed Mr. Shiner,  except for the two following reasons:

(major reason) : 4 injuries in previews?  That's a lot.  And it is typical of this director.  My "sauces" in general management tell me that "Lion King" has the highest rate of injuries of any show.  Ever.  And that includes "Starlight Express".  Why is this?  Because this director does not appear to really care about actors.  They are nothing but puppets to her.

(minor reason) : As someone who is a fan of comic books, at least casually familiar with the Marvel universe, and trained as a director/dramaturg, there is nothing I have heard about this show that appears dramaturgically sound.  Many of us felt that this thing was plagued by bad decisions from the start: really the wrong choice of director and composer.  (Honestly, a composer who is only occasionally available to attend rehearsals and previews?   Seriously, that is not how you build a new musical  And a female puppet master from a privileged background in Massachusetts to stage the story of a poor Queens boy going through extraordinary puberty?  Is that really the best choice?).  And the thing I can't get over -- and exactly the sort of thing that justifies initial apprehension of "Spiderman" fans:  introducing a major character into this mythos that has no relation to the resonance of the material. Seriously Ms. Taymor -- a giant female spider as a major villain?  Because you "dreamt" about it?  WTF?  If Stan Lee didn't dream it, I'm not interested.  What's next: a musical about Batman wherein Bruce Wayne battles a giant bat?  A musical about Superman wherein Clark Kent battles a giant super-nova?

No, not every musical has to be a great theatre.  But a musical should at least be true to the  appropriate level of pop-art art.

The Green Room / Re: Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark
« on: Dec 22, 2010, 10:16 am »

Even if that's the case, this is a failure in equipment. There's not all that much you can do about random happenings like this aside from triple checking the equipment preshow. And even then, things break.

Things may break -- but actors break far too often on "Puppet Master" Taymor's shows.  "Lion King" has the most horrific accident rate -- surpassing even the high risk roller skating juggernaut "Starlight Express".

I'm still aghast at the thought of Spidey battling a "giant spider".  Nothing I've read so far indicates that this director has the slightest idea about what makes the Spiderman mythos powerful and resonant.

Stage Management: Other / Re: Transferring into Opera
« on: Dec 09, 2010, 10:10 pm »
As an SM intern at a theatre that is currently working on a joint production with an Opera company, I would be curious to know what those differences are, specifically.  I have never worked on an opera before and neither has our production manager (I've never even seen an opera live...) I am REALLY curious after reading this and the Opera Tips thread, especially since we're currently running into some quirks with this company.

Difference number 1: Opera is quirkier than theatre.  That is the nature of the beast.

(You say your PM has never worked on an opera before.  I hope the company you are collaborating are has it's own PM as well ... otherwise, yikes!)

Syracuse University seems to produce a lot of working actors -- off hand, more than any other college in the NY area -- so that might be a good place for an aspiring stage manager to investigate.

Hofstra University has a very good theatre program and is producing a number of good working stage managers.  (Disclaimer: I know the stage manager professor there and gave a guest lecture last year.)

Hunter University might be another good option; while Maymount College also has a theatre program that you might not hear too much about but also seems to graduate a lot of good theatre folk.

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