“What I would find in your bag”
The contents of my bag varies hugely, depending on what I’ve got on that day.
So, because I’ve got a show on my mind, I’ve picked my standard “going to rehearsal” pile of crap.
A fairly succinct summary of the stuff you'd find in my bag for a show
Pens, markers and pencils
Ruler & highlighters
Gaffer & Lekkie tape
Mini-screwdriver set, selection of screws
String & thin rope
Paperclips & Rubber Bands
Bobby-pins, hair ties & a comb
Mini first aid kit, inhaler & aspirin
USB to mini USB converter, USB hub, Apple data cable, AUX cable, LAN cable
Candy, crackers and muesli
Phone (Stopwatch, torch, internet, voice recorder, games)
Spare black t-shirt, socks & stockings
MP3 Player & headphones
The hardest part of being a Stage Manager is picking which things you think you’re going to need that day. Sometimes it turns out that a hammer would have been a great idea, most of the time you’ll know in advance if you’re going to need it.
Dan, however, doesn’t have these problems! Check out his short list here.
Ms Sofie has a rather special post, although not in the good way. Read her post over here.
And I’ve no idea where Briony is, I’m going to blame the snow and give her the benefit of the doubt for now. Hopefully she’ll be back into the swing tomorrow, once the snow in Welly has settled down.
“Nicknames you have and why you have them”
Over my years I’ve collected a great deal of nicknames, however many of them have gone the way of the original creators. Which is to say, well out of my life and the gods only know where!
There are a couple that I rather enjoyed though. Och, pronounced ‘oak’, which was short for Ochre was a favourite. Along with Blambie and Koinu.
These days I run mostly under variations my primary handle, which is Fallen Red Ninja. Some cats call me Red, others Ninja and even more call me Ninja-Pants. Continue reading
“A picture of someone/something that has the biggest impact on you”
I actually thought this was going to be a really easy one, that I’d finally only post one thing to answer the question.
There’s three things that I couldn’t choose between, so here they all are!
In 2004 I transferred schools, moving from one of the best music departments in the city to a school where music was practically non-existent.
All the top-stream students had to take an arts class, I didn’t want to do music theory yet again and hadn’t done art at school in fourth form so that was right out. So I chose Drama.
A picture of my Stage Manager's Desk at 3 Sisters. It's kinda weird thinking back to 5th form and seeing how far I've come.
The classroom was set up like a miniature lecture theatre, with a very minimal lighting rig and the sound provided by 2 slightly tinny speakers.
There were 17 girls in my class, most of whom didn’t actually want to perform but had picked it as the ‘easy option’, so this was never going to be a class that created brilliant performances. I still remember our first assignment. We were split into pairs, given 10 days in which to pick a song and create a performance telling a story around this song. Continue reading
“A habit that you wish you didn’t have”
The structure of my lifeblood.
Hurr… well I’ve spent the last few weeks kicking one habit that I wanted to be rid of.
My C8H10N4O2 or caffeine habit.
At one point I was drinking 5 or 6 cups a day, plus a large can of rockstar. Then there was the sporadic cans of V, bottles of coke and cups of tea as I fought an increasingly difficult battle to stay alert.
So when my last show closed, I made a decision. I went cold turkey for a week, it was hellish. Caffeine detox is a pretty nasty thing, although it also demonstrated how reliant I’d become.
Now I’m allowed a serving of caffeine a day. Just the one. So I’m back to drinking coffee because I like the taste of it, rather than because I need it. It’s been a good change. My habit was too pricey to maintain. Not to mention the mood swings and chemical dependence on my morning cup. Or three.
So. Onto the next habit I wish I didn’t have.
As part of the creation process, it’s always a good idea to keep a journal of some description. Usually I keep mine scrawled on napkins and across a thousand notes that I constantly use, so from here on in I’m going to blog about it. Who knows, it may even make a useful resource for someone one day.
This was our first day in workshops with Elena, our Russian director of our first big assessment piece; Anton Chekhov‘s “Three Sisters”.
I’ve been looking forward to sitting in on the workshops as Elena had described her process as being rather different from anything else that I’ve worked with. She’s right too.
Most productions begin by dealing with and analysis the text to be performed. So rehearsals are in fact read-throughs for the first week or so. Once the actors have gained some proficiency with the text we move onto blocking, introducing other elements, exploring relationships and gradually it starts looking more like a production.
With Elena we began by exploring motion and emotion.
Every movement has some form of emotive quality driving it. This emotion aids communication, driving the physicality that allows the subtext to be read by the audience. As well as the literal text of course.
Elena pointed out that “communication happens on a variety of levels. Emotional. Psychological”, which was a real light bulb moment for several of the actors. You could see it in their slightly puzzled expressions followed by the classic “derp, why hadn’t I thought of that” frown.
At least they took it on board. Continue reading
There’s nothing quite like a friend saying “I’m thinking about doing blahblah but I don’t have anyone to do it with” to make one consider all sorts of insanity.
Things like singing in front of 300 odd people, trialling for sports teams that I don’t expect to get into, writing a novella in 30 days or cranking out some 100 pages of a script in the same amount of time.
That’s right, I’m doing Script Frenzy.
You can throw things at me later, for now I have plotting and all sorts to do before it kicks off on Friday coming! OHNOES!
I’m leaning towards plotting a webcomic based on the mayhem that is being a theatre tech. I’ve been saying I’m going to write it for a few years now, so this might be the kick that it needs.
Would people even read a webcomic about that sort of stuff?
I know that Backstage Badger is starting to go viral and, according to a poll she did, most of the readers are Stage Managers. So I think there’s a place for it, I’ve just got to write it well. And maybe get the drawing thing down pat… but minor details, right?
I’ll post random updates on here about it, so don’t feel like you’re going to miss out on me completely during April.
I’m also running an IRC channel called #NaNoFrenzy on mibbit(dot)com, aimed at the NaNoWriMo kids who are insane enough to try this one out too but anyone is welcome to join. Unless you’re coming to grief, than I’ll stab you with my titanium spork.
And with that I’m off to bake a pretty cake with Rarakie.
Have a great day y’all!!
Ohai. Yeah, I’ve been slack. I’ll bake everyone sorry cookies to make up for it, you’ve just gotta come to my house to collect them.
In the past while I’ve moved cities, started post-grad, farewelled a friend, made some new friends and learned once more what it is to subsist on nothing.
So I guess I’ll fill you all in from the start. (And by you all I mean the 3 people that read this thing but one can dream) Continue reading