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The Hardline / Re: AEA "guidelines"
« Last post by smejs on Mar 05, 2020, 03:33 pm »
Well then you get into that fun world where one person needs to follow the rules, but the others could break/bend them. I did a My Fair Lady where the only Equity were myself as SM and the Henry Higgins. When we held dance rehearsals, I became the only Equity person in the room. I did bend slightly, going beyond our 10pm cut off while they finished running a song with 90 seconds left or whatever. The artistic director who was observing raised his eyebrow at me, and I said I knew that it would be better for everyone if I let it go. But that was only affecting me (and frankly my rapport with the director at the time). You could also be scheduling incorrect Equity breaks for the others in the cast, but making sure that one person gets theirs, if that's what the producer means. But really, the Equity person's schedule should be done by the book. Have I had other producers try to stretch the rules? Sure. They shouldn't, though.
The Hardline / Re: AEA "guidelines"
« Last post by mizi5620 on Mar 05, 2020, 02:32 pm »
To clarify:

I am not an AEA stage manager but I am working under an equity contract at an equity company. We have one actor who is equity.
The Hardline / Re: AEA "guidelines"
« Last post by smejs on Mar 04, 2020, 12:18 am »
It's unclear from the post....are you ACTUALLY working on an Equity contract, or just a company that likes to use it for reference? That makes a big difference. If it's an Equity contract, a call to the business rep may be in order. If it's guidelines only (like, I know many college campuses that try to abide by them anyway), that's a little more flexible. Also, an actor (or stage manager) cannot just vote away/sign away any rights, no matter the contract. And any vote that is officially allowed needs to include the stage manager too. (They often think actors only can decide that.)

Now, if we go over a break by 1 or 2 minutes, that's something different, and then I might make it a 12 or 15 minute break after. But outright scheduling without proper AEA rulings (no more than 5 hours in a row, correct span of day, etc), that is not something to allow on a true Equity contract.
Employment / Re: Needing a cover for 2 shows
« Last post by Maribeth on Mar 03, 2020, 07:21 pm »
You might also find out that the theater is willing to pay or provide the sub themselves....not always the case, but it does happen. As has been mentioned, they may have someone they prefer to call in, but it never hurts to have a name in your back pocket of someone you know is available.
Employment / Re: Needing a cover for 2 shows
« Last post by JustinJanke on Mar 03, 2020, 05:00 pm »
From a non-AEA perspective...

Let the company know as early as possible. In the past I've seen my company most commonly pull from staff they already have to fill those kinds of gaps. Often an Artistic Assistant or Assistant Production Manager may be available to fill in when needed. If there is another SM they commonly work with they may pull them in. I think we work in-house mostly to keep from having to process more new hire paperwork for a very temporary job.

Have a few names in the back of your head, in case your producers ask, but I would let them lead the search if they feel so inclined.

The Hardline / AEA "guidelines"
« Last post by mizi5620 on Mar 03, 2020, 04:32 pm »
I recently had a producer tell me that the equity rulebook are guidelines to follow as closely as possible but to be flexible if there are times when we really cant follow a rule. The conversation was related to scheduling where we are having a hard time working with actor/director/space availability while adhering to some of the AEA rules. I have heard from other SMs and have always worked off the idea that the AEA rules are rules that cannot be broken without actor approval in writing. I am not an AEA stage manager but often work at AEA companies.

Where on the guidelines vs. hard rules debate do you land?
If you do have to break an equity rule how do you go about that?
Employment / Re: Needing a cover for 2 shows
« Last post by MandalynM on Mar 03, 2020, 01:55 pm »
I have the same issue! Fortunately, my production manager was very easy to talk to about it and helped me find my replacement (my brother is getting married). Having open communication is key. I knew when I signed the contract that I was going to miss a Sunday matinee for the wedding. So its written into the paperwork that I signed.

I am not on an Equity contract, its a small theatre here in Cleveland that I am doing the show at and my replacement is someone who has stage managed at this venue before.

I am going to pay her out of my pocket.

My suggestion is to have a person in mind when you talk to your producers. Knowing that you trust this person, will only help!

Employment / Re: Needing a cover for 2 shows
« Last post by loebtmc on Mar 01, 2020, 10:20 pm »
Is this a union show? What contract are you on? And how many shows a week?

Of course, let your producers know well in advance. Also, if possible, make sure that person gets to watch the show from the house at least once, and if possible as well, that they meet the cast ahead of time.

Normally, the sub observes once, then is observed once before taking it over for those few days, but that may depend on how complex the show is technically, and how well the sub picks up.

For your, there are a few options: In an ideal world, you are on an AEA contract that has formal sub SM language which (if I remember correctly) requires that person being hired for a minimum of a week and may include a health allotment. For your employers, it would mean one additional check in that week.

Other people choose the option you mention, to simply be paid directly as a sub ? which would be full amount for however many days, but before taxes are taken out. That person will be working at least 4 and possibly more days, depending on show specifics, cast size etc.

You might start by reaching out to SMs you know and trust in your area. Some will only work under contract, and some will prefer covering without the formality. But either way, it will give you a head start before broaching the topic to your producers.
Employment / Needing a cover for 2 shows
« Last post by mizi5620 on Mar 01, 2020, 03:55 pm »
I just found out that my sister's graduation is on a two show day for a contact I am already on. We are a couple of months out from the show dates. I have never had to find a cover for shows and I want to ask the producers if I can hire a cover for the two shows. Have any of you done that before? How did you go about that? I was thinking about proposing that I would find and hire a replacement, have them shadow one or two shows and then run one or two shows with me watching before having them take over for two shows. I would also propose that I would directly pay the person out of my paycheck for that week so the producers don;t have to do anything.
Employment / Re: branching into props
« Last post by loebtmc on Feb 19, 2020, 01:57 am »
This is very simplistic, but you might start by walking with the  prop people on shows you are already doing. And if there are any major houses in your town, that's also a great opportunity to meet prop people who might take you under their wings.
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