Standby

What system do you use to call cues?

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TechWench

Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Chicago
Hello All!
So im going into tech week for the show im SM'ing and I was looking for a better way to notate a standby. Currently, I just write it in, or on one of those little dot stickers, but those get in the way of everything. How do you guys layout your prompt books?? And also, im starting to think I should call all cues the same number (Cue 4, lights and sound GO. instead of cue 4 lights and cue 7 sound, GO.) OR i was thinking about doing numbers for lights and letters for sound (lights cue 4 and sound cue B, GO). Has this worked well for you guys?? I want to try it, but I feel like there may be much confusion.

Thanks much!
 

Peter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2004
Location
MA, USA
I usualy sit in between the sound and light guys and yell in their ear if they look like they are going to miss a cue... all our cues are numbered though, the sound ones to match up with CD tracks (we run the sound off a computer, but a CD is in the player on standby, and if the cue number is the same as track number it keeps it easy to keep them ligned up). The lighting cues are numbered to match the cue numbers programed into the lighting board (sometimes with decimals if a cue got added, so sometimes it's like "bob: 5.2" if bob is the light guy that night).
 

techieman33

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2004
Location
topeka, ks
I usually like to keep the numbers in order, don't make your board ops jump from cue 4 to cue 7 it will confuse the hell out of them especially at first. And i'll usually warn LX 1, Sound ( i can't remember the abreviation for sound at the moment) 3, and then just say GO if they both happen at the same time.
 

cutlunch

Active Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2005
Location
Auckland, New Zealand
Techwench. The LX and SX cues don't need to be the same number. Unless there is a lot of joint sound and light cues at the same time it won't be needed. If your sound guy is switched on, he can probably visualy cue himself for action on stage. Backstage sounds, like prior to entries you will need to cue him. Remember that the sound guy would prefer to be off cans so he can use headphones on the sound system. So the lighting guy probably will pass cues on to him. I have done a number of community shows where the sound guy is on cans only at the beginning of each act for the start cue. If faults develop, and the SM wants to talk to sound guy, the lighting guy gets the sound guy back on cans.

There are cue list forms you can download from the web.
Stage Managers I know use Excel to print up job lists for the stage crew during scene changes.

For their cue sheets they actually use a photocopy of the script. The script is normaly printed out at A5 size (half an A4 sheet). This is then pasted on to refill pages that go into a ring binder. The script is centered on the page to give margins in which the cues can be written.

This seems to work well. Pencil marks can be drawn into the text to mark the point where the cue is to be called. This method allows easy changes to where the cue is called. For example light cues will have to allow for fade times. So after a couple of rehearshals, you may find if the cue is called two or three words different, it makes a big difference to the look. Just changing a pencil line is easier then retyping a que sheet. Also if you have the full script if an actor misses whole sections you can easily find your position.

All the best for your show
 

ccfan213

Active Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2004
Location
Maryland
i dont mind wearing a headset during a show. i generally try to avoid wearing headphones if im mixing from the house because it tends to get confusing if i accdientally pfl a mic. also, i have monitors in the booth so i dont use headphones up there much. it certainly is easier to put cues on a copy of a script, it is really very conveint.
 

moojoe

Active Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2004
Location
merion, PA
we use a combination of letters and numbers, for all light cues we use numbers, but for all sound cues we use letters, and when we get past Z we then start over with double letters, so the next one would be AA. this seems to work since it doesnt let us mix up our cues.
 

DJErik07

Active Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2004
Location
MA/ NC
I usually just take a script or even make a copy so I can make lighting cue notes in it. With my director she changes the cues everytime I turn my back, so by the end of the play my script lookes like a bunch of scribbles
 

avkid

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Fight Leukemia
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Feb 17, 2004
Location
Lakewood, NJ
Peter said:
I usualy sit in between the sound and light guys and yell in their ear if they look like they are going to miss a cue... all our cues are numbered though, the sound ones to match up with CD tracks (we run the sound off a computer, but a CD is in the player on standby, and if the cue number is the same as track number it keeps it easy to keep them ligned up). The lighting cues are numbered to match the cue numbers programed into the lighting board (sometimes with decimals if a cue got added, so sometimes it's like "bob: 5.2" if bob is the light guy that night).
When you sit there and yell at us, we get annoyed and begin to hate you!
 

Peter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2004
Location
MA, USA
lol Avkid. Yelling is not taken in an angry way @ my school. I am SUPER careful to feel out new techies before I do it to them so I know they wont be hurt by it (and dont do it some shows when kids are there that dont work that way) .... just a word of caution to others.

Ya, we have a sound and lighting script (actually a photo copy of the script blown up to full 8.5/11") and both scripts are marked with both sets of cues, each hightlited in a different color. Occasionally, if we have an extra middle schooler in the booth just feeling out what tech is about, they will get to turn pages and watch what the operators are doing, that way the operators dont have to worry about turning pages.

Highlighers work well, they make things easy to see, especially when fliping through the book quickly (black pen is the WORST for this)
 

JahJahwarrior

Active Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2004
for our last play, the sound and light guys each had a script with cues written in, and they handled them all themselves, except some, like the act 1 lights and beginning song were cued by the SM. backstage noises were a doorbell/ringy thingy and piano. the piano was easy, just start it a few moments after they exit for the room with the piano in it. The doorbel thingy the person backstage had in front of them, I built it, so they could push it themselves and hold it and whatever. sounds more realistic than a sound effect. a few less cues too! our SM had cues and he would usually check with the booth to make sure they were ready, and for three out of four shows I was in the booth, and being in the play (the other show when I wasn't in the booth...i was in the second cast which only did one show) myself I knew most of the cues well, so I was another person watching to make sure they didn't miss any.
 

ricc0luke

Active Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2004
Location
Central Illinois
When ever I call ques I give a warning half a page to a page in advance which they then have to acknowge as 'warned'. (I.E. "Lights warning cues 5 and 6, sound cue 10" response: "Lights warned cue 5 and 6")

I will call a stand-by about a two or three lines in advance-
(I.E. "Lights cue 5 and 6, sound cue 10 standby" response:"Lights standing by")

And then the best part- GO!
(I.E. Cue 5, sound cue 10 GO!..... Lights cue 6 GO!")

And of course I normaly try to have some fun on the bitch boxes inbetween cues....
 

TechWench

Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Chicago
oh man.
today was quite an eventful theatre day.
one of the girls in my cast called me and told me that the weekend of opening night, she will be going to the military. so guess who gets to play her part?!
oh yes. thats right...its me.
im not too happy about this.
id MUCH rather call the freakin show!
so now i have less than a week to learn this part, along with blocking and notes and all that jazz.
this will be an extra fun week!
 

TechWench

Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Chicago
She is going out for her first weekend. To get her physical and all that jazz. She was supposed to go this weekend and just miss a rehearsal, but the one this weekend got canceled, and moved to next weekend. and there is no way she can get out of it.

i think its perfectly ridiculous.
 

DJErik07

Active Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2004
Location
MA/ NC
That totally stinks for you TechWench!! I at my school we have understudies, so in case someone is sick or something else happens we have someone who knows the part to play. Does anyone else have understudies??
 

TechWench

Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Chicago
Haha. Ya, it does suck. Its only a hanfull of people in the cast, I mentioned to the director that we should have understudies, at least one male and one female to cover roles. But alas, he assured me that nothing will happen. And low and behold. I get subed in for one of them. sweet. at least i have a week to learn the part fully! (and hes freaking out that now HE has to call the show! cry me a river!) :)
 

TechWench

Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Chicago
i know right. I keep telling him that I will make it so the board ops can call their own cues. Whether it be making them cue sheets or their own fricken prompt books! But he insists on it and it frightens me to death. Especially since he is freaking out, that worries me even more. As well as the cast!

oy!