What if we couldn't rely on our communication technology?

Cutting the Cord

Katy McGlaughlin

After my computer crashed on my first day at my summer gig I started thinking about how dependent we are on technology. Another post on this blog talks about the method of first contact, do you call or e-mail? (Before this summer I would have answered e-mail, no question) Without a computer I couldn’t even access the contact list. (Smartphones, tablets, and the ASM’s computer helped us run the first week relatively uninterrupted and I did get access to the contact list.) What I discovered is that even though stage managers communicate constantly we are potentially less connected to our teams than the generations before us, we don’t have to be as prepared, and we are training future generations to be even lazier than the current one.

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A circus training school in Beijing

Risky Business: Challenge or Danger?

I am traveling in China this month and I caught show at a circus training program in Beijing. In many ways it was similar to the training program I observed in Montreal that feeds Cirque du Soleil: performers training at a young age in several acrobatic genres. The Beijing performers were younger, but that matches the cultural norms for some families sending children to dormitory schools as young as kindergarten. But the biggest difference was the level of physical risk in the circus acts.

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TagNotate: The best SM app not invented by a stage manager

The Best Line Note App Ever Made?

David J. McGraw

For the past four years, I have been searching for a better way to record and distribute line notes.  It is easily one of the most labor intensive chores for stage management and speed is a priority so that actors can learn from their mistakes before we work the scene again.  I even met with a software developer, who estimated it would only take about $7,000 to build and another $8,000 in annual royalties to other programmers to create the software needed for this job.  How many copies would we need to sell – and at what price – just to break even?  Then I found an existing little app that does everything a line-note-taker needs for just $5.99.

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