Author Topic: CALLING: It's Half-Hour: Do you know where your SM is?  (Read 10250 times)

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Debo123

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It's Half-Hour: Do you know where your SM is?
« Reply #15 on: Nov 07, 2005, 02:04 am »
This leads to another interesting question.
When do you actually call PLACES?
At the time the show is supposed to begin? One minute before the show is supposed to start? 2 minutes? Does it depend on the venue?
What if you're holding the house? Do you tell your actors and call them to places anyhow? Or do you say, "we'll be holding for 10 minutes" and then wait to call places?
How does your house manager fit in to all this?

Mac Calder

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It's Half-Hour: Do you know where your SM is?
« Reply #16 on: Nov 07, 2005, 04:38 am »
Places - aka beginners - as it is called in AU, is typicaly (again, in AU) 5 minutes before curtain up. Normally, since I call beginers ("Ladies and Gentlemen of the X company, Act 1 beginers thankyou, act 1 beginers. Please ensure all beginners are in place and ready to start the show."), if the house is being held, I just dont call beginers. If there is a long delay, I will give them a call ("Ladies and gentlemen of the X company, the show is being held for x minutes due to..." followed by an auditorium message "Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to this evenings performance of X. Unfortunatly, due to (Technical Difficulties|Bad Weather|Other Emergancy) tonights performance will be delayed for x minutes. We applogise for the inconviencience and would like to take this opportunity to remind you that flash photography......")

My policy of no tallent in the wings after house opens and no one in the wings until I call beginers means I dont have lurkers.

All ops in position at 15, especially flymen. Crew I usually keep in the crew room until beginers unless they are required.

It is all personal style, however there are union rules regarding a number of things.

House manager basically has control of the house and gives you the go-ahead to open the show. Basically, you hand over control of the house to the house manager when you give the go-ahead to open the house, and then they give back control of the house when they give you FOH clearance. I usually stay in close contact with FOH - they usually either have cans or a two way radio - so that I can anticipate when to call beginners.

Adam807

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It's Half-Hour: Do you know where your SM is?
« Reply #17 on: Nov 07, 2005, 11:45 am »
What on earth is a "chookers speech?"


This is the most absurd thing I've ever heard (the rule, not the chookers).  What if you have to give notes or otherwise check in with the actors, who aren't required to be there before half hour??

I could see making a REQUEST that you be in the green room at half hour, which would allow you to do your job AND be findable by others, but banishing you to the booth is just weird.

ORTaurean

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« Reply #18 on: Nov 07, 2005, 02:55 pm »
I think a lot of this depends on venue, cast, house...etc.

At the theatre I currently SM at, I will see the cast at 45min, just to let them know I'm around and working (if they haven't seen me already).  By 30min, I'm ready to open the house (in the best of all possible worlds) and I make sure the stage is ready, actors & crew are backstage and that house is ready.  At this point I'm in the booth.  If I come down, something is definately WRONG.  I am connected to my crew via headset and my ASM relays 15m, 10m, 5m and places to the cast.

Depending on the length of time that an actor has to travel to places is how I adjust my places call.  I currently use three minutes.  (it so happens that the director has a certin time to start the show after curtain speech that coinsides with three minutes...there is no preshow music)  So it all works out at three minutes...the actors were informed ahead of time during previews so they had a chance to get used to a three minute places.

Sometimes I use two minutes to places...really, I can't stress enough, it depends on venue, house, director and actors.

We adjust!!
Acting is standing up naked and turning around very slowly.
-Rosiland Russell

Mac Calder

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It's Half-Hour: Do you know where your SM is?
« Reply #19 on: Nov 07, 2005, 03:19 pm »
Quote from: "Adam807"
What on earth is a "chookers speech?"

This is the most absurd thing I've ever heard (the rule, not the chookers).  What if you have to give notes or otherwise check in with the actors, who aren't required to be there before half hour??

I could see making a REQUEST that you be in the green room at half hour, which would allow you to do your job AND be findable by others, but banishing you to the booth is just weird.


Chookers was the nick name given to the people who put free range chickens to bed. It basically came to mean goodbye and good luck (cos you need luck to catch a bunch of chickens). A typical, run of the mill chookers is "Well here we are, another performance of X and I can feel it in my bones that we are going to nail it guys. You've all practiced really hard, the show looks great, so break a leg and I will see you after the show. Chookers."

It was also used by crew a lot - often both at the start and at the end. Chookers before the cone of cans silence fell, and chookers when they go off cans - As in see you for tomorrow's performance.

I have never had a show where all actors were not requried to have signed in before the half hour call - even if they only appear in the second half of act 3 of a 3 act play. I believe it is a contractual obligation (correct me if I am wrong). Usually, at just before half hour, I make the welcoming rounds and then give chookers and then retreat to my little corner or booth. Chookers cannot be done over a PA. It looses all meaning.

Adam807

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It's Half-Hour: Do you know where your SM is?
« Reply #20 on: Nov 07, 2005, 04:17 pm »
Quote
I have never had a show where all actors were not requried to have signed in before the half hour call - even if they only appear in the second half of act 3 of a 3 act play. I believe it is a contractual obligation (correct me if I am wrong).


Actually, US Equity doesn't allow you to call an actor in before half hour.  So, yes, of course the responsible ones arrive slightly before, but technically they can be walking in the door as you call.

centaura

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It's Half-Hour: Do you know where your SM is?
« Reply #21 on: Dec 07, 2005, 11:47 pm »
Quote
they went outside for a fag


Off course, having the dirty mind I have . . . this meant something else . . . never mind.


Never ask a Brit for an eraser.

Anyway, I'm with the folks who advised that you ask why the policy was put there.  I'm almost wondering if it was for the FOH staff, either from before they had walkies or just because they wanted to talk to you in person.  For me its the last thing that I do before half is stop and talk with the FOH, and then I go back and call half hour.

-Centaura

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« Reply #22 on: Dec 08, 2005, 01:12 pm »
I call half-hour at 30 minutes before curtain time.

I call 15 minutes TO PLACES, 17 minutes before curtain time.

I call 5 minutes to places/crew to Places at 7 minutes before curtain time.

I call places 2 minutes prior to curtain time, unless I know we are doing a 3 more minute hold on the house.
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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.