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Discussion in 'Stage Management and Facility Operations' started by SBHSTECHIELB, Sep 7, 2003.
i was wondering if any one had any helpfull tips to stage managing or directing a play
Tip one, write your cues in pencil.
There was a huge amount of discussion about stagemanagement techniques with the above posted on Stagecraft http://stagecraft.theprices.net/stagecraft/ you should join the list and do a search into that topic. It's well worth the time. It's a forum that is far different than this one - both have completely different value and thus it's important to take part in both, or at least read Stagecraft and take part in this forum.
stage manager is expected to remember just about everything that happens on that stage.
stock and during college we had to submit reports to the Production manager especially if there was an incident or an altercation.
I use pen........lol!
There's lots of helpful tips on SM'ing or directing--but which one are you doing cause each thing is not like the other. If you can narrow down your question to a more specific thing--i.e. notes, organization, things to think of while you are planning, tidbits of neato things to have to help organize your binders, etc etc. That could help us help you more directly. I mean, there are as many ways and tips on SM and Directing as there are ways to cook chicken...
image" or concept. Both are a fine and elusive lines. Look at the Meisner Method or Lee Strasberg’s The Method for a little introduction.
There are a lot of famous actors for both methods. Al Pacino, Steve McQueen, Marlon Brando, etc.
blocking, one for the cues for the run of the show)
Never criticize one of your techs in front of a group, take them someplace private.
DONT STRESS IF YOU MISS A CUE, you could wind up messing more things up if you dwell on it.
Everytime you mutter the phrase, I wish I had a ______ . Write it down and have it with you next time.
Buy a very very good stop watch. And my friend leering over my shoulder says take time to write a lot of notes, and make sure you'll be able to read them later (he writes terribly and learned that the hard way).
I usally have one for rehersals and then right before opening night use a clean book to put the cues in so its easy to read and im not stugguling over an old cue that wasnt completly erased or a cue i didnt wright in hard enough.
I usally take the crew out to the lobby while actors go over thier notes, this way the crew can talk while I find out anything the actors and director needs. Actors are usally more willing to discuss tech problems then.
I've always been told get over it and move on. The more time you spend on something you messed up the better chance you have of messing something else up. And the cycle repeats.
Other suggestion besides theses and USE A PENCIL could include:
Have spike tape ready at all times.
Know where the first aid box is or bring your own.
Be friends with the actors AND technicians.
Make sure the crew knows that if you yell during a rehersal or show that its for the better of the show and not directed at the person specificly. (Like move that flat NOW!!!!)
You always finx tips and tricks the more you do it. Everytime I SM I think of something I should have done differently, but then again I didnt really learn alot from anyone at my high school, I had to pick it up on my own.
page so that I can flip the page at every blackout. That way if you have Qs close together you wont have to worry about when to flip the page and give yourself time to recollect your thoughts after a bunch of fast Qs. Anyway thats all I got for ya. If you have access to it, I would suggest keeping a laptop or desktop computer near by when going through the rehearsal so you can modify your prompt book.
I prefer to keep one master book, with all blocking and cues written in - it helps me stay on top of what order things need to happen in, expecially when I have actors working in scene shifts (as I currently do). I use pencil religiously, and keep an eraser handy. I also use lots of post-it notes, so when there is a change in blocking, I can just write the date and layer it over the original blocking, in case the actors or director want to see what a scene started out as.
I use the same method for light, sound, etc. At paper tech, I show up with a stack of post-it pads (the little strip-shaped ones, not the full squares) and write all my cues on those. That way, I can move them around easily during tech and the first few performances, and record them in the book when I am comfotable with where they fall. I also put my standbys and warnings on post-its...
Just a thought - it feels like a waste of paper the first time, but when your director asks you what you blocked three weeks ago, it's amazingly helpful.
book, but it is pretty extensive. I copy on teh back of each page of the script about 3 mini ground plans so I can draw the blocking as well as write it all down. That way, if something happens and I have to give my Prompt Book to an ASM or another SM to run my show, they would know exactly what to expect. It might take a little time, but it has saved my butt more than once! :wink:
For most of the musicals I have worked on, I wind up using large diagrams for mark start/end and any critical positions, and then just draw thumbnail sketches of the rest at the correct point in the lyrics or light cues. The one negative part of becoming dependent on the diagrams is when you SM a show that has no formal set design.... I just finished one of those 8) .
roll call have everyone sign in, and remind them too, it will save alot of time before rehersals because you can deal with the attendence sheet during rehersal, also get a list of all of the casts and crews home and cell numbers and keep it with you at all times, make shure you bring enough pencils for atlest half the cast, you shouldnt have to but actors can never seem to remember that they need a pencil and if your like me and lose them atlest 4 times a day then tape one to a string attached to your book, also it helps if you write different cues in different colored pencil like all fly cues in green and all sound cues in red. and finally always have an extra script open on the table so that when actors come up to check their lines they will not have to look over your sholder and annoy you.
rail, etc. I always use yellow for lights; it stands out nicely in most booths. I also put all my cues on post-its (the little tabs, not full squares) so I can move them around until the show feels comfortable.
I think im going to start using that.
As of now, i just write and scribble all over one script during all of the rehersals, and then get a new clean script, and write all of the cues the way they have been finalized...
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