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Hm... actors, well...

Discussion in 'Stage Management and Facility Operations' started by megf, Nov 26, 2003.

  1. megf

    megf Member

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    Any tricks/suggestions for dealing with reticent or (wrong word, but I'm writing this at nearly 2am after starting class at 8 yesterday morning) just plain unprofessional actors? Nothing really irksome has come up in my cast, but one member of my cast has serious trouble taking direction from me - i. e., hearing me when I call places. He has substantially less experience than most of the rest of the cast, so I am trying to be understanding of the learning curve and whatnot, but I can't let tech be held for him to get to places.

    Any thoughts? This kind of problem has occurred about four times in eight weeks of rehearsal, twice in the last week and a half, so I am trying to work to prevent it recurring before we move into dress reh next Monday. Unfortunately, Monday is our next reh - and the second to last. Argh, I hate scheduling shows for the last week of classes!

  2. wolf825

    wolf825 Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Eastcoast USA
    Hi there,
    Well my suggestion would be to try try and try to get this guy to respond. However put it back on to him psychologically...ask him if he has been having problems, or if he is doing ok or if he is unsure of his role as you have noticed he seems distracted and not been following direction as the director wishes and has had you convey to the cast. Play the "good cop" role--especially if this guy is new to the game he may not know the whole chain of command thing and who does what--perhaps a few of the more seasoned actors can explain it to him? Sometimes you have to treat actors as if they are the ONLY actor and make them feel like that to get them to perform. If that fails and you have tried and tried to get his attention and compliance--have the director speak with him. Go thru the chain of the SM you are the middle-man between directions and producers and the actors and crews. You have to be forceful and firm and let it be known that you are the Director's & higher ups right-hand and anything you say goes, but at the same time you can't be a dictator. The SM is in fact the Drill Sergant of the theater world... Failing the actor responding to you, let your director know of the difficulty you are having with one person and the Director should pull the actor aside or make a "blunt" and global statement to cast about following your direction.

    my suggestions...hope this helps.

  3. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    New York
    Or try to explan how you accutly have the power to tell him what to do. I know some actors who don't understand the concept of that when a techie says something, you lissen to him. Some actors seem to think that our job is to make everything perefect for them, and that we need to lissen to him...
    Play the good cop, but make sure he knows that he needs to listen to you.
  4. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Power comes with respect and responsibility. If those you wish to infuence don't believe in either of the above, telling them you have power will have little effect. Especially difficult for tech people, but for a stage manager, I vote for taking the person under your wing. If that does not work out, than it's time to follow the chain of command so the law gets laid down. Do this only with trepidation however because if not done correct that person you have problems with will blame you instead of themselfs. In the end, it's people skills, some times you get along with everyone, sometimes you have to be professional but after that there is no wiggle room. Do your best, it's your job. After that, the actor should become isolated. Peer pressure can also help to influence.

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