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Messages - Scott

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I have almost always ran my production meetings.  Occasionally I've had a production manager run them, but most places I have been, there wasn't a production manager and the TD was very focused on the build and not the overall production.


When I production manage, I will run the production meetings in the earlier parts of pre-load in, load-in and tech. Then I try to transition into having the PSM run the meeting as the "world" we are creating  is more complete and the PSM is in postition to give us the best evaluation of the "state of the world".

Stage Management: Plays & Musicals / Re: Dressing For The Part?
« on: Jan 06, 2007, 11:40 pm »
However, I'm now being told that I need to be dressing "nicer"-if I'm going to stick w/ my jeans, I need to be wearing nicer shoes and be more dressy on the top half if I want to be taken seriously. 

Sounds like bull-crap to me.

Jeans are fine, though holy jeans should probably be used with caution, as noted above.

Nicer shoes?  Boots or sneakers.  Black is best.  How the heck are you going to work in nice shoes?  Save 'em for the cast party.

SMNetwork Archives / Re: Digging Out in Denver
« on: Jan 06, 2007, 11:35 pm »
I want to try out my new skis!!

Where do you ski?

Stage Management: Plays & Musicals / Re: LAUNDRY!?!!?
« on: Jan 05, 2007, 10:10 pm »
According to the Showcase Code: "The Stage Manager shall not be required to perform any duties not normally regarded as a function a Stage Manager."

By the terms of all Equity agreements, laundry is not normally regarded as a function of a Stage Manager.  If you were on contract, laundy would be an "additional duty" that requires payment.

I am sure Equity would back you up on this -- you should contact the Showcase rep. for Equity (sorry can't recall who it is currently).

Also, having to open the building just to let crew in to pick up laundry would seem to fall under janitorial duties, which are also not required.  You should be able to give a key copy to a wardrobe person if not one else is available to let them in to get to pickup laundry.

Are you billing yourself as a Stage Manager or a Production Stage Manager?


Calling from onstage can be off putting at first if you aren't used to it -- but most Broadway shows (all?) are called this way and so are most operas.  Go for it!

Based on these boards alone, considering how many SMs these days are either returning to theater or coming from other arenas, I'd love to see a scholarship added for "over 35".....

Old thread -- but just want to clarify:

The SMA administers the KC Mehl Scholarship but does not fund it.


1) My trainee SM did not know anything about music -  apart from who the lead guitarist is in Limp Bizkit. The first thing I did was to give a crash course in music and conducting. If you are planning on SMing anything with a lot of music, I think that is something you should learn - you should know what each instrument is, it's basic sound, where it tends to fit into the orchestra, how music is written on the page, what note lengths are, basic patterns used by conductors, beat subdivision etc. I saw an advert in the paper the other day, 2 day "crash course in music" - I don't know what they covered, but it is certainly something to look into if you are planning on entering the operatic world of theatre.

Certainly good things to know -- but I wouldn't go as far as saying you need to know them all in order to stage manage musicals.  I wouldn't want to see someone who hasn't stage managed musicals before intimidated into not trying because they didn't have that knowledge set.

I think a decent ear -- memory for recognizing music -- is really all you need to start.  Especially if you are working on something from the canon -- like "JC: Superstar", which you might be familar with already.  Besides, many musicals are in essence simplistic musically.  (Verdi, now that's tricky...)

"I learned everything I know about music by stage managing opera..."

Drummers are almost always late by our standards.

SMNetwork Archives / Re: Christmas Wish List
« on: Dec 16, 2006, 10:22 am »

My first suggestion would be an associate membership with the Stage Manager's Association:

Also some gadgets that she might not already have, such as:

- good leatherman (multi-purpose tool)


- swiss army knife

- a nice mag-lite

- a nice pen with built in-light

- black wardrobe items (maybe a nice black blouse/skirt for opening nights, or a nice black leather baseball cap if that fits her style)

- nice leather boots (?)

- a really cool backpack (like a rucksack from LL Bean)

- small leather desktop accessories kit -- something like this:

- a cool led light (like on a keychain or a really good one from a dive shop)

- the book "Backstage Guide to Stage Management" by Thomas Kelly

- a large tin of antacids -- just kidding

There's a whole thread on this board on people's favourite gadgets --  you can look there for other ideas.


Sorry in advance if this has been adequately addressed already...

My suggestion would to be assign:

2nd ASM -- on book (responsible for "line" calls and helping track line changes.)

1st ASM -- responsible for tracking props, presets, fielding outside communications (answering calls from those who are late, making the calls to those who are late, filtering/dealing with other production calls as appropriate)

Either can be used for "outside errands" (photocopying, coffee runs, etc. depending on the situation in the rehearsal hall.)

2nd ASM helps 1st ASM implementing presets, etc. as production grows closer to performance.

(You don't have to call them 1st ASM and 2nd ASM if it will ruffle egos.)

The Hardline / Re: Breaks During Run-Throughs
« on: Dec 13, 2006, 11:44 am »
[Mac, Rebbe's issue seems to be what to do when there is no intermission/interval in the show.

I would imagine that breaks are required in this situation except for official dress rehearsal -- very curious as to what Equity says.

Personally, as an audience member, I hate  >:(  shows longer that 90 mins (tops!) without an intermission.  Better be as brilliant as, let's say, the original production of Pippin to make me forget my bladder!

It's just doing the bare minimum so often and not giving what is asked for.  but perhaps that is off topic?

No, it 's your topic -- thanks for the clarification -- I see what you're saying.

Well, aside from people not reading their email.  Why do people do theatre and get paid very little money if they are going to be slackers about it?  I don't understand.

Perhaps because some (many?) people who go into theatre have gone into a field where by the far the most important work is done in the real-time of the rehearsal room and the theatre and are far less interested in the virtual world or anything that smacks of boring civilian business overtones -- or at least see an obsession with the recent computer tools (which have been in general use for about 10 years, representing something like less than .04% of theatrical history) as a distraction from the real work...

After all, we still consider official call times the last time given by the stage manager at the previous end of  day, don't we...?

Just something to ponder on a day off.... :)

The Hardline / Re: AEA Deputy selection process
« on: Dec 04, 2006, 10:46 am »
The deputy is responsible for reporting themselves to AEA and with the newly elected deputy's permission, I usually publish it in the report to the staff.

Seesms to me that publishing the identity deputy to the staff goes against the intent behind the deputy and closed elections and that asking a fellow Equity member for permission to do so is not cool.

The Hardline / Re: Some wonderings...
« on: Nov 24, 2006, 09:13 am »
If you want to work fringe - I doubt many of them would be union.

I don't know how exactly it works in other US cities, but in New York it is fairly easy for Equity members to work on smaller scale productions -- the Showcase Agreement is very easy to use.  When I was heavily involved directing in the downtown scene, I was almost always able to work out a way to use union talent.  And now the Fringe Festival itself uses a "special" Equity Showcase Agreement.

Employment / Hiring and references
« on: Nov 20, 2006, 01:33 am »

Brilliant post by Matthew -- in my world, the Director has only as much say as they are The Power That Is and I often do not list directors if there are others with More Impressive Credentials; but, and inclusive, for that, I think he's really narrowing in on some important principles.

When I have the rare privelege of reviewing resumes, I would say that on first review I scan the first few (let's assume three) credits (physically top to bottom) hoping that I'll see some Institution or Talent that I am familar with, then look from bottom up for some clue as to training or training affiliation that I am familar with so there's something to talk about if all else fails (with an personal bias towards either liberal arts backgrounds or established conservatory programs -- but any sort of clue is interesting and useful).

In regards to dates, I find them useful in trying to establish the age of a candidate and in fixing a more precise view of where  one was in the process of a particular piece.  Also important when discussing events and other "non-traditional" SM credits.

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