Author Topic: MORALE: Before Show Pep Talks - Cast and Crew  (Read 11771 times)

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BWEEVEED

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MORALE: Before Show Pep Talks - Cast and Crew
« on: Dec 20, 2007, 11:14 am »
Does anyone have a particular way they try and bring everyone together before a show? Generally I attempt to give everyone on crew a little pep talk and often times I'll make my way to the dressing room to perk up the actors.

Do you bring everyone together? Or do you do it separately or not at all? What do you say/do to give a general good feeling prior to the show starting?

Thanks!
« Last Edit: Jun 09, 2009, 01:37 am by PSMKay »
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Scott

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Re: Before Show Pep Talks - Cast and Crew
« Reply #1 on: Dec 20, 2007, 09:18 pm »
Does anyone have a particular way they try and bring everyone together before a show? Generally I attempt to give everyone on crew a little pep talk and often times I'll make my way to the dressing room to perk up the actors.

Do you bring everyone together? Or do you do it separately or not at all? What do you say/do to give a general good feeling prior to the show starting?

Thanks!

I don't see that as a function of Stage Management.

I like to think I generate a good feeling among the cast and crew by giving my calls (half-hour, etc.) in a calm and vaguely pleased manner.

chops

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Re: Before Show Pep Talks - Cast and Crew
« Reply #2 on: Dec 20, 2007, 11:38 pm »
I actually try to have dinner with my crew every night.  We have a dining room at work that we all eat at and it is the time of day where we are all equals.  Often times we run through the shows and make sure that everyone is on the same page.  If we are having any problems it normaly gets mentioned around the table and everyone voices in on how to resolve it.  It's a great way of using a manditory break to conduct business. 
Peace,

Chops

Scott

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Re: Before Show Pep Talks - Cast and Crew
« Reply #3 on: Dec 20, 2007, 11:57 pm »
It's a great way of using a manditory break to conduct business. 

Whatever works for you...but I don't beleive that mandatory breaks (or any other kind) should be used to conduct business.  They're breaks.

J

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Re: Before Show Pep Talks - Cast and Crew
« Reply #4 on: Dec 21, 2007, 12:58 am »
I agree, Scott. A break is a break. If you're anything like me, I want that time on my break to be as "theatre free" as possible. I love my job, but I like to think about other things when I can and have conversations that don't always involve work.

As far as a preshow pep-talk, I agree your comment as well, Scott.  It's not our role to be the person to pep everyone up. In fact, I don't think that the role belongs to anyone.  We're all here to do a job, and we don't necessarily have to be in a cheery peppy mood to do so. The actors are the same. Onstage they need to play their characters, but if they aren't in great moods themselves, that's really none of my business.   I consider their individual mood part of their personal life. If they're really acting strange, I might ask if there's something wrong and something I can do, but there's rarely a time where that is necessary.  And with AEA actors, be careful, because unless it's scheduled before 1/2 hour call, you can't ask them to gather for a talk. 1/2 hour is their time in the dressing rooms.

In larger organizations, I might not even see the whole crew before the show.  They have their own department and don't need me to supervise them.  As far as getting them together before the show for a pep talk, I don't think that's my role either.  They do their job and if they are having problems or making a mistake, then I have a chat with them...otherwise, I say hello and go about my business.  This isn't to say that I'm not friendly with them. I'll often sit in the crew break room or the greenroom and chat with them, but it's not usually about work unless I have a specific issue that needs addressing...and it's never to cheer them up.

I don't always come to the theatre in a peppy mood either.  I don't mope about the place, mind you, but I am not in a great mood all the time.  I love...and I mean love my job, but it is a job and most jobs don't require the person to be cheery and bubbly.  I'm always positive and energetic around the actors, but I'm not always in the brightest and happiest moods every day.

As long as everyone does their job as best they can, I have no reason to pep them up or bring people together. 

killerdana

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Re: Before Show Pep Talks - Cast and Crew
« Reply #5 on: Dec 21, 2007, 01:56 am »
I'm also not much of a pep-talker.  It's not even an issue of whether or not it's my job--it's just not me.  The closest thing I do is that after everyone has checked in on headset I'll say something like "All right, let's rock this one."  (yes, I know it sounds cheesy, but it's very me).  Of course, that's a pep talk for me as much as for anyone else.
Science without art is sterile.  --Albert Einstein

zayit shachor

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Re: Before Show Pep Talks - Cast and Crew
« Reply #6 on: Dec 21, 2007, 02:02 am »
I like to give pep talks in a college environment, but in the professional world I agree with Scott that it's not expected of the SM to do it, and not really necessary for professional actors.

In college, though, I like to have a quick get-excited meeting before places.  The actors seem to like it, and it helps get their energy up.  Usually we'll circle up and go around answering some stupid question I've come up with (the SM I learned that from once asked which Disney character we'd most like to have sex with).

TtheAmazing

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Re: Before Show Pep Talks - Cast and Crew
« Reply #7 on: Dec 21, 2007, 04:50 pm »
I like to give pep talks in a college environment, but in the professional world I agree with Scott that it's not expected of the SM to do it, and not really necessary for professional actors.

In college, though, I like to have a quick get-excited meeting before places.  The actors seem to like it, and it helps get their energy up.  Usually we'll circle up and go around answering some stupid question I've come up with (the SM I learned that from once asked which Disney character we'd most like to have sex with).

I must say thought that "Zayit Shachor" 's pep talks are ASTOUNDING. having been the subject of some of them before! :)
Circus Performer by Night, Stage Manager by ... um also Night

Mac Calder

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Re: Before Show Pep Talks - Cast and Crew
« Reply #8 on: Dec 21, 2007, 06:10 pm »
I am pretty much with Scott on the issue of pep talks. The closest to a pep talk I get is a quick "Chookas" over cans/backstage IFB on the 5 minute call.

"Okay cast and crew, 5 minutes to Act 1 Beginners - Chookas everyone!"

I am against 'huggy-feely' sessions too. Theatre is a job. Provided the relationship amongst the cast is decent, I won't step in. It's none of my business. The only time I will step in is when the relationships are affecting the show.

Jessie_K

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Re: Before Show Pep Talks - Cast and Crew
« Reply #9 on: Dec 21, 2007, 10:43 pm »
Hmm.  In dance, most companies like to gather and pep talk/ breathe together/ whatever before each show.  I usually designate a location for this and announce ahead of time that we will gather at 5 mins.  In theater, I have not really found a need to do this.

KMC

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Re: Before Show Pep Talks - Cast and Crew
« Reply #10 on: Dec 21, 2007, 11:04 pm »
I'm with Scott as well - a professional cast doesn't need the SM's help to "get up" for the show, that's their job.

The closest I've come is a running joke I had with my cast on my last ship - one night at half hour on the bitch boxes I was letting them know the seas were a bit rough.  One of the dancers joked that I sounded like an air traffic controller - so every once in a while I'd come on the bitch boxes at 30 and give something along the lines of a "jewel of the seas cast this is your 30 minutes to take off, ship is sailing 24 knots north-northeast, winds from the east at 3 knots.  clear visibility, all systems go."  Lightened the mood a bit, all business after half hour though.
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LizH

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Re: Before Show Pep Talks - Cast and Crew
« Reply #11 on: Dec 24, 2007, 11:59 pm »
When I did college shows the director would typically hold a pre-show chat for cast members either right before house opened or ten mins before curtain. I try to 'set the mood' for the crew by being upbeat, but that's about it unless someone's having a visibly bad day or something. If I know an actor's mood is going to interfere with their acting I'll pull them aside and try to improve their mood or center them or whatever works, but that's really only happened for me in college & amateur shows.

sievep

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Re: Before Show Pep Talks - Cast and Crew
« Reply #12 on: Dec 25, 2007, 01:12 am »
I have to say that I would steer far away from any kind of pep talk whatsoever.  For those actors who are nervous, your pep talk may only make them more uncomfortable.
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erin

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Re: Before Show Pep Talks - Cast and Crew
« Reply #13 on: Dec 27, 2007, 02:04 am »
I just make sure everyone is there and functional, give any notes from the previous performance, and call that good enough.   When there are kids involved, the child wrangler usually does a group warm up for the kids at 10 minutes, but that is just for the kids.   Adults can get themselves prepped however works best for them, and that varies widely.    Our Scrooge hangs out in the Scene Shop (when it is empty) from 20 to places, and that's fine by me as long as he watches the clock.   You have enough to do, don't add cheerleader!  ;)

Sarah

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Re: Before Show Pep Talks - Cast and Crew
« Reply #14 on: Dec 28, 2007, 07:01 pm »
Quote
...vaguely pleased manner.

Hah. This makes me giggle.