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Messages - J

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The Hardline / Buy-Out Payments
« on: Jul 11, 2009, 10:33 pm »
Does anyone know how soon buy-outs are supposed to be paid when an offer to a production tour (required because of a transfer from LORT) is rescinded?

The Hardline / Re: Overtime
« on: May 30, 2009, 10:02 pm »
Central Region.

Well, for fun, maybe I should go through with a search/find in the book and list all the instances in which it states overtime shall be paid....hmm. A nice side project!

The Hardline / Re: Overtime
« on: May 30, 2009, 09:30 pm »
Very interesting. We just heard back recently from our rep and from the national committee that if you go over on weekly and daily that you bill for both. 

So overall, Matthew, your understanding is that you do not bill more than once for a specific hour, but only 1 unit per hour, no matter how many rules are violated, correct?

The Hardline / Overtime
« on: May 30, 2009, 08:38 pm »
I'm assisting on a show right now and am disagreeing with my stage manager on the issue of overtime. We are working under the LORT contract.

The basic idea is that I have understood overtime to be charged "per rule" and she believes that that is considered "double-dipping".  So in other words, if we break 2 rules in 1 hour, we get 2 hours worth of overtime.  I've done this myself on past contracts and seen it done when I ASMed on other contracts as well.  She is under the impression that even if 3 rules are broken in 1 hour, you'd still only get the 1 hour of overtime.

This came up recently when we went over on the weekly AND daily hours alloted on a Sunday evening.  A call to the rep, and then from there to the National Committee came back saying that we should charge for both.  (that day we went over by 1 hour, but had gone over on the week by 5 hours)

It has now come up because we are open and we will be going back in to rehearsal during the run.  An outside producer has picked up the show and we will be making script revisions during this rehearsal. This alone requires double overtime for any rehearsal hours because it is work outside of our contract. On top of this, the show is 4 hours long, which only allows us 4 hours of rehearsal during the afternoon hours.

We have scheduled 5 hours on these days, and I believe that we are then due for the double overtime (for the work outside of our contract) and an additional hour of overtime for working longer than the allotted hours.

Anyone have any experience with this type of issue?  I know I can call my rep, but I'd rather get some feedback here before it goes that far.

Tools of the Trade / Re: Conquering Spam Filters
« on: Feb 27, 2009, 01:53 pm »
I had major problems with Yahoo, but I too had signed up with a .com from them and was getting over 300 spam emails a day.  After switching to Gmail and getting rid of my .com, I set up a second email account, that I called Spam.  I use this account (with a username very similar to my actual one) to sign up for things online that I need to provide an email address for. If this account ever gets out of control, I can delete the account without worrying about people not being able to contact me.

In regards to the fact that as long as the email is in your address book all is well, true.  But this conversation originated from a discussion about job offers being sent by employers to freelancers.  In this case, many times their email address is not in your address book.  For someone who is constantly working freelance, or working with different designers, directors, actors, etc. , this can be difficult to do. 

My best advice to those dealing with spam- make sure that on resumes you have a telephone and email address.  Remove the bad email account completely (don't just stop checking it, actually delete it) and set up 2 accounts (Gmail is my preference).  1 account for your actual mail, and 1 account to use when signing up for things online.  Do NOT let your email address get published anywhere online whatsoever. Do NOT list it on a website.  If you must have email on your website, use a dummy email address and then forward those to your actual email.  This way you can change it often, but DO NOT let your primary email get out there to the public.

That's my two cents.  This comes from months/years of being absolutely furious about the amount of spam I was getting and the amount of legitimate emails I was losing on a daily basis.

I really have to agree with Ruth on this one. It's not or responsibility, or job, to make it a rule that actors cannot ask character/blocking/etc. questions during tech. It's the director's choice whether to respond to them at that time or not, or to ask the actor to wait until another time for the discussion. 

Employment / Re: When Hiring Other SM's...
« on: Feb 26, 2009, 10:07 pm »
I really have to agree with ChaCha.

A LOT of email can get swallowed by a spam filter, and if you're getting hundreds of spam a day, it's not always caught when emptying your spam folder. I had this trouble with yahoo, and had to eventually switch to another email provider. I was missing legitimate emails on a daily basis.

The Hardline / Re: Dear Abby: AEA issues with show hand-off
« on: Feb 21, 2009, 10:22 pm »
YES! Thank you Amy877!  I knew I had the essence of the idea, but that I had forgotten a portion of it.

The Hardline / Re: Dear Abby: AEA issues with show hand-off
« on: Feb 21, 2009, 09:06 pm »
I can't remember the name of the rule, but my understanding from my business rep, when there was a possibility of a non equity SM on a show at a company I worked for, is this:

A non-equity Stage Manager can be assigned to an equity show.  They have 30 days to work on the equity contract while refusing to join the union.  After 30 days, they must either leave the contract or become a union member.  And, they can only do this once in their career.

That's what I remember.

Employment / Being new during tough times...
« on: Feb 08, 2009, 08:06 pm »
I've decided to write this post because I'm allowing myself to be consumed with current situations that are being created due to the tough economic times that we're all going through.

I am a young stage manager, late 20's, and have been working since I was out of school.  In the past 2-3 years, it turned into a full-time position for me, and I was hired on at a prominent regional theater.  First I got 1 show, then there was about 6 months off, and I got another show, and then 3 more following that.  I was working continually (and am right now) and felt very happy.

I've learned that in the coming season, there are going to be major production cutbacks, and I will have only 1 show in the season.  Our staff is hired on shows by seniority and I, along with 1 other person, fall at the bottom since I'm new.  It does seem that this other person is going to get quite a bit more work, I believe because of their age and that they had a few side projects with the company while I was working in other theaters during the initial 6 month layoff.  It's hard for me to accept that this gives this person seniority, but I guess I have to.

The reason I'm writing is more about how to handle the stress and sadness that goes along with what I'm going through.  I feel very let down that I am not going to have work with the company in the coming season.  I was handed some very difficult tasks, and did well with them, and have received incredibly positive feedback from supervisors, production staff and actors.

I feel a sense of failure for not having a full season next year, especially when this other person may indeed have one.  I know that I'm not a failure, but it feels that way.

I don't know what I want in response from this post.  As I'm feeling more and more consumed by the anger, pain and loss with this, I felt that writing it and sharing it may benefit me, and hopefully allow others to know that they are not alone.  Maybe someone has insight... I don't know.

Stage Management: Plays & Musicals / Re: Alley Staging
« on: Sep 01, 2008, 10:35 am »
Working in this configuration before, I found it very effective to set up the SM/Director table on the side of the room that the booth was located on. Of course, this may not be possible for many different reasons, but if it is, I would recommend it. Also, it wouldn't hurt to post signs around the room (SL SR US DS) since it can become confusing when there really isn't an upstage or downstage.... (or do the N S E W thing if you prefer that)

Students and Novice Stage Managers / Re: LOOKING TO SHADOW
« on: Aug 20, 2008, 02:15 am »
I am a high school stage manager looking to shadow the sm of tourig broadway shows in minneapolis. how should i go about doing that? thank you for your help!

You will need to find out what shows are coming, find the company they are with, and contact the SM on those shows through someone at the central office in the producing organization.   Example:  Say Avenue Q is coming.  Figure out which touring company they are coming with, get the production managers info, contact him/her and ask them to forward the letter on.  Allow a few months for this process.

I feel as if I still haven't been able to clearly state my opinion here. I agree fully with Matthew and Loeb that, yes, we do take the yelling if it is someone venting at us, or, as Matthew pointed out, directors who only know how to yell notes.  I get that.  I get that the stage manager is the person that everyone goes to to let it out.

However, I re-read the original post, and when an actor yells at a stage manager for 15 minutes and it ends with "that's why I f***ing hate you, that's when I think it's NOT ok.  That's when it becomes abusive to the point that a stage manager should not stand there and take it. In a situation like that, say "I'm sorry you feel this way, but I do need to let you know that I cannot allow you to talk to me this way." 

It makes me wonder if perhaps it is a geographical issue too. I work at a regional theater in the Midwest and no one of the stage management department would let an actor talk to them like that. There's also a top-tier director that has been told he is not welcome back unless his attitude changes (by the artistic director).  Perhaps it's something about the Midwest mindset of always having to be "friendly and nice" as opposed to the "rougher and tougher" East coast mindset?  (I mean NO offense to anyone by this, but it seems to be a fairly agreed upon stereotype).  Maybe people in the East are willing to take more because it's more the way of life there, and people in the Midwest are more sensitive to these types of attitudes? I don't know...but it's a thought.

**side note: this director I speak of is actually coming back to do a show next month, and has been warned that he needs to be kinder, and has promised a better attitude....we'll see what happens....**

I wrote this quickly, and perhaps wasn't clear enough in my last post, though I addressed that in this statement:

I'm speaking directly about being yelled AT instead of TO. Of course situations will come up where the yelling at is deserved, like you example with forgetting to make notes about the pony, but I'm not going to be walked all over and abused when it's out of line.

Yes, if there's a reason to be yelled at, I'll "gladly" take it, but if I'm being yelled AT (and not TO) because of something that I can't control or has nothing to do with me, and being blamed and screamed at, I'll stand up for myself. Like I said, I'm not a punching bag.  I don't consider that to be part of my job. 

And if someone is yelling at me for something that was my fault, I'd hope that it was a huge issue or was a recurring issue, because its a workplace, and being professional, in my opinion, is important.  Yelling without reason to yell is ridiculous.  Now I'd never tell a director off of course, but if I was constantly yelled at, I'd either take it to someone else, or discuss with them privately to see what can be done. If an actor yelled at me without reason, I'd pull them aside and talk to them them. **I will concede and say that how I handled it could depend on who it was.  A local equity actor would be treated very differently than an A-list star in a situation like that.

I know that the entertainment industry is a lot different than other jobs, but it's still a job and still a workplace. And we all deserve fair and reasonable treatment in the workplace.  I don't expect to be yelled at any more than a person in middle management at a corporation is yelled at. And having a partner who works in that field, I've come to understand that rarely are those type of employees yelled at without reason.

Finally, I'd like to throw in that I will always be there and listen when an actor, director, designer, etc need someone to yell TO.  I'll listen to a rant about an issue so that they have someone to let the steam out to...

since my job is take abuse. 

Sorry Matthew, I really disagree with this.  Yes, as stage managers, we remain calm and sometimes have people take anger out on us. But to let actors yell AT me for inappropriate reasons, I'm going to stand up for myself. It's a workplace and we deserve the same respect that anyone else does.  I'm speaking directly about being yelled AT instead of TO. Of course situations will come up where the yelling at is deserved, like you example with forgetting to make notes about the pony, but I'm not going to be walked all over and abused when it's out of line.

I'm a stage manager, not a punching bag. My job is to communicate to all departments, keep the process moving smoothly, track all production elements of the show, record notes, etc.  It does not include getting reamed for no reason at all.

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