Author Topic: Last Call for New Questions for the Stage Manager Survey  (Read 3573 times)

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David_McGraw

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The biennial Stage Manager Survey launches on November 1st and we are finalizing new questions to ask in this edition of the survey.  What question do you want to pose to hundreds of stage managers?  Most questions are multiple-choice to keep the overall survey short - besides, the SMNetwork is a far better forum to have a discussion.

If you haven't taken the survey in the past, you can join our mailing list at http://smsurvey.info or follow the link we will post on this Discussion Board on November 1st!
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RuthNY

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Re: Last Call for New Questions for the Stage Manager Survey
« Reply #1 on: Oct 10, 2015, 09:41 am »
Does this year's survey have a specific theme or direction?


The biennial Stage Manager Survey launches on November 1st and we are finalizing new questions to ask in this edition of the survey.  What question do you want to pose to hundreds of stage managers?  Most questions are multiple-choice to keep the overall survey short - besides, the SMNetwork is a far better forum to have a discussion.

If you haven't taken the survey in the past, you can join our mailing list at http://smsurvey.info or follow the link we will post on this Discussion Board on November 1st!
"Be fair with others, but then keep after them until they're fair with you."
--Alan Alda

LexieTaylor

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Re: Last Call for New Questions for the Stage Manager Survey
« Reply #2 on: Oct 15, 2015, 11:54 am »
I love the fast food, coffee, and alcohol consumption question. Could we get another chart or 2 to compare these to tech and performance weeks?

I would also like to know about pay scales - how do people get paid? salaried? flat rate? - and work week hours.

I also think it would be interesting to know who considers themselves a freelancer and who is a contracted or full time employee of a specific company.

megf

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Re: Last Call for New Questions for the Stage Manager Survey
« Reply #3 on: Oct 15, 2015, 02:00 pm »
The Lilly Awards findings on gender parity among theatre professionals are really striking, and I see the League of Professional Theatre women cited the SM survey in their report on Women Hired Off-Broadway, 2010-2014. (Link: http://theatrewomen.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/lptw-women-hired-off-broadway-august-2014-2014-8-6.pdf)

I'd love to see more data collected in the SM survey that helps us understand gender/wage realities for female and male stage managers, especially those at different life stages. Particularly in regional theatre, which is such an economic driver for the theatre business as a whole, this data could inform decision makers at LORT companies, colleges, and elsewhere.

David_McGraw

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Re: Last Call for New Questions for the Stage Manager Survey
« Reply #4 on: Oct 15, 2015, 02:28 pm »
Ruth: We tried a themed survey in 2011 on technology, but we were concerned that it skewed some of the feedback.  We heard from several individuals who were either not particularly interested in new technologies or who believed that they were not as engaged in new technology that they would be skipping the survey since they didn't feel it applied to them.  And we don't want the survey to just sample people who have a very strong opinion either for or against any particular topic.

Having written that explanation, I can say that we are looking to expand some of the demographic questions now that the survey is reaching such a large sampling of American stage managers.  We are seeing many studies done on discrimination and wage inequalities based on gender, sexual orientation, and race with the arts and entertainment industries (see Meg's post for one example).  So we are trying to learn more about all stage managers so that we can begin to study the extent to which some stage managers face discrimination. But large sections of the survey will continue to be about the day-to-day duties of a stage manager.



Post Merge: Oct 15, 2015, 02:31 pm
Lexie,

Great questions!  It may be tough to get specific about the pay scales since many stage managers work for large and small companies in a single year.  We are testing questions with "On average" and "On your most recent show" to see how it affects the responses to financial questions.  But the freelance question is very promising....

Post Merge: Oct 15, 2015, 02:36 pm
Meg: We may need to slice the data a few different ways.  For instance, in an Equity theatre, how much wage inequality exists if the majority of stage manager are earning union minimum?  Then again, it would be a great question to ask all Equity stage manager how often they earn above the minimum - this might encourage more stage managers to negotiate! 

In order to get meaningful data for those stage managers who don't work under union contracts, we need to get enough participants at the same stage in their careers and working at a similar size theatre company.  We will see how our beta testers do with these parsing questions next week.

« Last Edit: Oct 15, 2015, 02:36 pm by David_McGraw »
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iamchristuffin

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Re: Last Call for New Questions for the Stage Manager Survey
« Reply #5 on: Oct 16, 2015, 08:04 am »
I would love to be involved with the survey, but as a non-US stage manager, it's not meant for me! Is there going to be any change to this policy in the future?

KMC

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Re: Last Call for New Questions for the Stage Manager Survey
« Reply #6 on: Oct 16, 2015, 09:17 am »
That you're in a University setting has some unique advantages.  IMHO Meg and Lexie's questions a worth discussion, though if it were me conducting the survey I'd be concerned about the questions being interpreted or answered in a subjective manner as opposed to answered with objective facts.

Have you considered (or maybe you already do) collaborating with some statisticians or other types that could lend more of a "numbers" approach?  You may be able to find some effective ways to [anonymously] collect raw data to put some metrics to some of these questions.
Get action. Do things; be sane; dont fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action. -T. Roosevelt

ScooterSM

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Re: Last Call for New Questions for the Stage Manager Survey
« Reply #7 on: Oct 16, 2015, 06:32 pm »
I would be very interested in the demographics of older SMs, particularly those with families.

Thank you so much for doing this survey! It is an amazing tool. :-)
I've never been paid a lot, but the theatre has kept me, and for that I shall be eternally grateful. Tony Church

Maribeth

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Re: Last Call for New Questions for the Stage Manager Survey
« Reply #8 on: Oct 16, 2015, 06:52 pm »
Yes, really looking forward to reading this year's survey! I'm always interested in reading the results. Thanks for putting it together!

smejs

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Re: Last Call for New Questions for the Stage Manager Survey
« Reply #9 on: Oct 16, 2015, 11:33 pm »
Hi David,

Always fun to see the results. Some quick random possibilities are:

I can't remember - have there been questions on how you write your cues (if in a paper script), as in strictly penciled words, colored small dots, colored dots that you can write on, post-it flags, post-it stickers....if any of the latter, do you pre-print any text on them ahead of time?

Do you take notes on computer during rehearsal, or compile them from paper later? Do you send the report embedded in the email or as an attachment (or both)? How many people still do hard copied reports?

Do people generate their own paperwork from own office programs and email vs use a prepared "system" like Propared and the like?

Agree  on the older SM demographics.

How much do you work in the same town/state vs travel?

Generally how many stage management are on your team? How often do you also run a light and/or sound board as SM?

Erin

David_McGraw

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Re: Last Call for New Questions for the Stage Manager Survey
« Reply #10 on: Oct 22, 2015, 12:03 am »
So many great questions!  The hardest part of this survey is keeping it to a length that doesn't jeopardize participation due to survey fatigue.  We utilize a lot of question logic formulas so that you might have several "surface" questions that then generate additional questions based on your initial response. 

KMC: We do use some great numbers crunching that shows the statistical significance of our findings.  But we also set the bar fairly high as to how many participants need to be part of a subgroup (for instance stage managers over age 65) before we can report on that group with any confidence.

I am sorry that the survey does not include non-US stage managers, but so many questions deal with US-specific employment practices, union rules, SM/ASM terminology, training programs, and financial systems.  But we would be happy to partner with you to conduct a survey in your country.

Counting down to launch!
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http://standbycue101.com

 

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