Author Topic: SCHEDULING: How much information do you give actors?  (Read 4177 times)

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DeeCap

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SCHEDULING: How much information do you give actors?
« on: Sep 27, 2013, 09:16 am »
I'm working on a show that has the entire rehearsal process scheduled; down to the hour. Rather strange for me, but that's neither here nor there.

There is debate on how much of the schedule should we give the actors. We are sending them a calendar that is basic; just saying when rehearsal is occurring, tech, opening, performances, and closing. Just the facts.

There is talk that we give them a weekly breakdown, but the fear is that if say an actor isn't called on a Thursday and we change it and call him, he can give the reason that we changed it "last minute" on him; though I wouldn't change a Thursday schedule later than Tuesday.

And if I only give the next day, I'll get complaints from the parents (kids in show) saying that they need more notice.

Thoughts? The artistic staff is leaving it up to me, and I'm a bit indecisive. 

Edited to add topic tag- Maribeth
« Last Edit: Sep 27, 2013, 10:24 am by Maribeth »

jcarey

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Re: How much information do you give actors?
« Reply #1 on: Sep 27, 2013, 10:22 am »
Personally, I like giving the cast a basic schedule of when rehearsals will be. I feel that if I give them a detailed schedule off the bat that I have less freedom of changing it. I send Daily Calls nightly and people will know when they need to be that day when they wake up in the morning.
If parents need more notice I would recommend that they plan to be there at the start of rehearsal until told otherwise by the daily call.
Ultimately, it is easier to cancel a schedule than to add something on.
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Maribeth

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Re: How much information do you give actors?
« Reply #2 on: Sep 27, 2013, 10:22 am »
How many kids are in the show? If it's just a handful, can you identify which days the kids are needed a week ahead of time, but give everyone else the schedule a day in advance?

You can also have a conversation with the cast at the start of rehearsals, explaining that you can give them a weekly schedule, but that it is subject to change with ____ amount of notice. If they have a schedule concern, like needing to schedule a doctor's appointment, they should talk to you.

Another factor is how likely you are to actually stick to the schedule....If you know the director makes an hour-by-hour schedule a month in advance but is unlikely to stick to it, it might be better not to disseminate the information to the whole cast. You could make a simpler schedule that everyone gets (e.g. Tues- Act 1 Scenes 1-3, Wed- Act 1 Scene 4 and Act 2 Scenes 1-4) and break it down into specifics a day in advance. 

iamchristuffin

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Re: SCHEDULING: How much information do you give actors?
« Reply #3 on: Sep 27, 2013, 05:48 pm »
For me, I'd do a weekly schedule, distributed on the previous Friday afternoon. Then any changes must be announced 24 hours in advance, or with the affected persons' agreement.

C

MatthewShiner

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Re: SCHEDULING: How much information do you give actors?
« Reply #4 on: Sep 27, 2013, 06:29 pm »
this really depends on the level at which you are working, and where you are in the process.

It's great to have an hour by hour schedule, but are you sticking to it?

From my experience, I would not give out more then 24-hours in advance . . . too many things can change.
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Anything posted here as in my own personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer - whomever they be at a given moment in time.

LizzG

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Re: SCHEDULING: How much information do you give actors?
« Reply #5 on: Sep 28, 2013, 01:24 pm »
I would say don't give out the detailed schedule with more than 24 hours notice - they should assume that they will be called for all the rehearsals.  It would be better to have an unexpected amount of time off then to make plans and have to cancel them because you got called in when you weren't expecting to.

On_Headset

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Re: SCHEDULING: How much information do you give actors?
« Reply #6 on: Sep 29, 2013, 03:53 am »
Quote
I'm working on a show that has the entire rehearsal process scheduled; down to the hour.
Down to the hour?

I suggest printing your schedule off onto 52 individual pieces of cardboard, then using them to construct elaborate, house-like structures. ;)

VilleSM

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Re: SCHEDULING: How much information do you give actors?
« Reply #7 on: Sep 29, 2013, 11:49 am »
We work under the assumption that all rehearsals will be all-calls.
Following each rehearsal, the director and I work out the next day's schedule, and I immediately e-mail it out to all cast members. If we anticipate staying in one scene but may potentially move on, we put actors on standby, with the understanding that we have to give them at least an hour's notice before they have to be at rehearsal.

And, as others have said, sticking to an hour-by-hour breakdown, even at the most professional level, is nearly impossible... It is better to only give them detailed schedules the day before, rather than have them anticipate getting to something that is then not reached.
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VSM

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Re: SCHEDULING: How much information do you give actors?
« Reply #8 on: Sep 29, 2013, 01:06 pm »
I give my actors an outline of the entire rehearsal process: Tues-Fri 1:00-9:00 and Sat-Sun 10:00-6:00.
Then a more specific schedule the night before via email. As a courtesy. And it could change if we get behind.
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DeeCap

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Re: SCHEDULING: How much information do you give actors?
« Reply #9 on: Sep 30, 2013, 09:54 am »
Thanks for the advice. I haven't worked with this director before, so I don't know how much she'll stray off the schedule.

Due to the many kids in the show and the parents carpooling, I'm going to send out the first couple of days and we'll revisit if it's a disaster.

brettnexx

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Re: SCHEDULING: How much information do you give actors?
« Reply #10 on: Sep 30, 2013, 06:06 pm »
I always put "Subject to Instant Improvement" on my schedule.

Aerial

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Re: SCHEDULING: How much information do you give actors?
« Reply #11 on: Oct 18, 2013, 11:27 am »
My calendar usually has the projected span of day on it (if that seems like it will be consistent after talking with the director), but I don't put out the specific daily call until the end of rehearsal the day before before even if I know it in advance.  I put a big Subject to Change on everything.

DeeCap

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Re: SCHEDULING: How much information do you give actors?
« Reply #12 on: Oct 21, 2013, 10:37 am »
I thought I would give an update

Yup, it's a disaster.  Director couldn't stay on schedule. Director also fired the Music Director this weekend. I think I'm on the chopping block as well.

Note to self-Next time listen to your gut when it's screaming: "Don't work for this group!!"