Currently I'm working on a production with probably the most authoritative SM I have ever experienced. Although I've only worked with a handful of SM's, this one really cracks me up. I have never seen her take a single note, I believe her only job is really to call the start, end black outs, and end of show. All the crews pretty much do their own thing, it's not even worth it for her to call cues. She is quite preachy, her announcements are always requesting the whole company to be patient with her explaining she may be snappy due to the show. Or constantly telling EVERY INDIVIDUAL involved in this WHOLE PRODUCTION to stay out of her box. First of all, why would anyone need to even converse with her, it's not like she actually has something to do to begin with. If she died, the show would probably not be effected at all. During pre-production she sat in the house and ate food, barely took notes. The only thing I actually noticed she accomplished during pre-production was creating a box surrounding the SM panel using a rainbow of spike tape, on top of it all labeled “Keep Out” and other suggestive phrases. Talk about a waste of tape/supplies. She and her ASM actually stole operating chairs from the booth just to setup some comfortable seating backstage in the pathetic little box? What in the world, no SM ever should be sitting down. The only time a SM should be sitting down (And maybe a small stool to conserve space in an already crowded wing. Think about it, there is a dining room and living room worth of furniture, along with a props table, access space to fly lines, and on top of it all a total of three light booms (trees) per wing w/as many as five fixtures per boom. I can't imagine the noise and accidents that could happen with a huge padded chair with casters) is when they have their nose in the script and they're watching the stage like a hawk calling out cues left and right. These chairs were bought for a reason so operators could adjust the height of the chair to access consoles quickly and easily, and comfortably as a minor perk. There is no excuse what so ever to wrongfully take advantage of your authority and preach such mindless crap to an entire company like that. This gets quite obnoxious with stage crewmembers and prop crewmembers that throw fits when they have to do anything that requires any extra bit of effort. They fringe and practically explode in the front of the entire company when something (ie: handing out props, candles, set changes, etc) was not followed out in the manner they have opted for, even though no policies or directions were explained. Quite frankly, I’m thankful all my work is in the booth and I don't have to experience the level crap that others have to work around. Sound actually used their own intercom channel (to give lights some courtesy, keeping wireless up and running requires lots of communication) for a while because there was actually no reason to keep in contact with the SM. While, I believe that there should always be a final authority during a show in case something happens to keep things under control. But, there is really no reason to even authorities on the level she does, she doesn't even know a third of what is going on in this production. Take for example tonight, which was opening night...My FOH tech/assistant was asked via headset from the SM backstage during the second act "what are those chords above stage?" A majority replied in synchronization "hanging mics", even members from other crews. The FOH tech replied laughing "They've been there for over two weeks." And the sound designer happened to respond with a long, witty, closing "Wowwww". It's quite idiotic that SM didn't even spend enough time during pre-production to actually notice these along with other things. It's not like she was stuck in meetings preparing the show's cue schedules. I don't even think she knows that there are spot cues in this show. What's horrible is she and her ASM don't even dress in black. Especially the ASM, he is in the sightline during portions of the show and he isn't even in black. The closest he's been has been black with overly faded jeans, and flip-flops. Is he insane, flip flops during production week?! Are you kidding me, do you have any idea how dangerous that is? It’s also setting great examples to the younger students (summer music theater, for incoming grades 6 and out coming grade 12) involved in this production. A few crewmembers informed me about inappropriate discussions over the intercom, right over the headset. Yes, a few jokes during an intermission are no big deal or something comparable, but there is a time and place for everything. And such casual discussions during a show are not it. Have you ever heard a human spoken ting simulating a bell ring ending a pre-show announcement? My designer and I fought pretty hard to get a character to record the announcement, it sounds great done in accent/ in character. Sounds way more professional. The SM opted to do it live, we would not let that slip by considering the crap we've seen gone on in the past few weeks. Also, considering every channel was occupied on the console, CD playback was ideal. Due to the fact that this production is at a venue w/equipment not all of us regularly use the recording was postponed. The announcement was done live at the matinee, using the console audio engineer's talkback mic feature. My designer wrote the announcement and got it approved by the TD and Directors. I had the announcement exactly memorized, I used the same announcement in another production this past spring. Luckily she talked into the mic correctly and no one bumped into her in the crowded wings. I had my hand on knob ready to fade out and mute directly after the last word. "Thank you, and enjoy the show"...I began to fade down when suddenly I hear her voice again thinking the announcement was not over, I realized she added in a cheesy "ting" simulating a bell. It sounded bad with the ting being faded out like that. The announcement was eventually recorded and was play-backed tonight the way it should be, although there still was an obnoxious "ting." We didn't have time to cut it out, but tomorrow night it will be muted out respectively. I don’t think the directors got a chance to closely listen to the pre-show. While many opera houses and some theater do their pre-show live from a stage manager and it works out fine, but this is High-School Theater for god sakes. Live is dangerous. Particularly in HS Theater, people don't have their salary/family/homes riding on their actions, they don't have a career to protect. There is a reason why they call it educational theater, and that's why you have to overcome such things. I realize communication is the key, but you can’t win it all. There are much larger things to worry about in this production, particularly mixing the show with my best efforts and using my experiences to my advantage. But, I’ll have to deal with these people no matter what. Anyone with similar feelings/stories/comments?