The Color Coded Life

Looking for the optimum combination of hiliters & sticky tabs

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(Photo credits: Kyle Bricker, Jack Horwitch, Aaron Lichamer)
(Middle photo: production still from “No Child…” by Nilaja Sun. Produced by UIUC Dept. of Theatre at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Studio Theatre. Directed by Latrelle Bright. Scenic and Props Design by Joe C. Klug, Lighting Design by Jack Horwitch, Costume Design by Liz Rowe
Bottom photo: dress rehearsal photo from “Falstaff” by Guiseppe Verdi. Produced by Lyric Theatre @ Illinois at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Tryon Festival Theatre. Artistic Director and Conductor, Eduardo Diazmunoz. Stage direction by Kathleen F. Conlin. Scenic design by Collette Pollard, Lighting Design by Michelle Benda, Costume Design by Amy Chimelewski)

SMblr Admin Profile: housetohalf

Age: 22
Current position: Stage Management Apprentice at Phoneix Theatre in Phoenix, AZ 

1. What was your first stage management experience and what did you take away from it? 
While this wasn’t the first show I have ever stage managed ever, this was the first one I did for my university’s theatre department. The source play was a semi-autobiographical one woman show based on the playwright’s experiences teaching theatre in the NY public schools. We expanded it so each of the dozen-ish characters are played by an individual person. We also added a really emotional step dance routine/movement piece in the middle (pictured above) at the climax of the show. This show was also going to tour to 3 community centers in the area, though I would not go with the tour. The two Assistants to the Director would be managing the tour. I (and I think my advisor) were under the impression they would also function as my ASMs during the rehearsal/tech process in order to learn the show. They felt this would detract from their ability to function as ADs as they wanted to and essentially refused to take on the added responsibility. When I found out that I was basically alone on a 16 person show as my first SM assignment two weeks before rehearsals started, I had a full-blown panic attack. I get them very rarely and they’re scary as hell. My advisor reigned me back in, basically told me to deal with it, that I could handle it, and I was able to get two part-time PAs to help me, neither of whom had much or any stage management experience. The challenge became teaching these two incredibly bright and eager people everything they needed to know about ASMing while figuring out everything an SM did for real (all my previous SM experience had been much more low-key and/or small casts). I ended up going to my “work brother” a lot just to talk things out. The show turned out ok, but that show taught me a lot about internalizing my stress and learning to delegate, as well as prioritizing what I teach to new people. I give a lot of credit to the success of that show to those two PAs, without whom I probably would have gone completely off the deep end.

2. Most mortifying thing that has happened during tech/a performance?
Tied: During a final dress for Falstaff my senior year of college we were right at the end of the second act (there are 3) and about to fly in the act curtain for the scene change. Onstage there’s this chaise and a chair (among other things). The chair was set further upstage and then one of the singers brings it downstage of the chaise later in the scene. Both singers (the part was double cast) were instructed not to bring it down past a certain point because if they did, the curtain would land on top of it and almost certainly break it, as the chair was old and fragile and the curtain is REALLY heavy. I noticed the chair had been moved too far down pretty early, but unfortunately i couldn’t get anyone to move it (all the servant characters were busy pushing Falstaff around in a wheeled laundry basket) so when the SM called the curtain cue, I dashed onstage, yanked the chair off and hid behind the portal. The ME/my boyfriend at the time was in the house taking photos and managed to catch me in a photo (bottom photo above), though nearly no one else did, including the actors onstage.

3. What has been your biggest struggle as a technician? 
When talking to people who don’t know what my job is, it’s convincing people I’m not a mindless secretary/emailer, that I have creative solutions to problems and often see things the director/designers aren’t and can often enhance the end product. However, I’ve been fortunate to usually find myself working with directors who value and often seek out my opinion. One thing I struggle with in my craft right now is noting a show, mainly because I’ve not worked on a lot of long-running shows yet. Being able to be aware of the artistry that goes into the direction of a show is crucial, particularly in shows that are long-running or in rep, because your notes become crucial to maintaining the artistic vision long after the director has left town. It also takes a lot of directorial skill to give the notes to the actor and be able to direct them back to what they opened with. Sometimes this can be difficult so being able to talk to an actor as a director is crucial.

4. Favorite type of Post-it Note and why? 
The regular yellow 3” square ones are perfectly serviceable…often if the colors are too bright I can’t read what’s written on them. Though I do have a lovely pack of pink ones that say “#wordsofwisdom” on them that were a gift from a dear classmate of mine. Also have yinz guys see the new Post-Its App?? Very excited about that.

5. Any advice for other SMs? 
Always have something to write with and something to write on. Always know what time it is and what the schedule is. Build a working relationship with your director. Know how to read a room. Know how to write in a tactful, straight-forward, non-passive aggressive way. Find a way to manage your stress. Be assertive enough to say “this is a 10 minute break for me too and I am going to go to the bathroom, you can talk to me after”. Cultivate a perfect pre-show prep jams playlist. Invest in black pants with pockets. Trust people and make yourself trustworthy. If you aren’t willing to work the hours and not get the applause, I strongly urge you to either change or your mind or change your field. Do not allow yourself to be bitter.  Know your worth. Allow yourself to ask for help. Find the joy in what you do.

this is so fun. i’m glad #smblr is a thing now.

134,080 notes





oh god i tried to explain i’d’ve and y’all’d’ve to a friend who is a korean exchange student and she just kind of stared at me in horror for a minute lmao


y’all’d’ve is a triple contraction, which breaking it down is “you all would have”compare to: “you + all” -> “y’all”"you + would" -> "you’d"and" you + have" -> "you’ve"

im sorry people learning english

as an Alabamian, pronunciation: “yawll-duhv” NOT “yawll-ood-uhv”





oh god i tried to explain i’d’ve and y’all’d’ve to a friend who is a korean exchange student and she just kind of stared at me in horror for a minute lmao


y’all’d’ve is a triple contraction, which breaking it down is “you all would have”
compare to:
“you + all” -> “y’all”
"you + would" -> "you’d"
" you + have" -> "you’ve"

im sorry people learning english

as an Alabamian, pronunciation: “yawll-duhv” NOT “yawll-ood-uhv”

(Source: dntdodrugs, via warningstandbygo)

166 notes

Standby Cue SMblr


If you would like to be a part of the SMblr network and page [Stage Managers of Tumblr], let me know by messaging me or replying to this post! I am sifting though related posts as fast as I can, I’m just afraid I will miss someone.

SMblr should be up within 48 hours.

And I was…

i wanna be on smblr!

21 notes






Hey SMblr —

Thoughts on distributing rehearsal reports to actors?

Do you do it? Do you prefer not but your company does? Gimme opinions.

I personally prefer not.

I never distribute to actors. They have enough to worry about, and there are conversations that happen that really don’t concern them. If there is something in the report that they need to know about, I just send them a separate email.

Actors don’t need them, and often times rehearsal reports include information that cannot/shouldn’t be given to actors. Actors get line notes and individual/group emails, production team gets rehearsal/performance reports, and never the two shall meet.

Never. I usually send a schedule to the full company of the week/day and include any pertinent on that. I have had actors receive rehearsal reports because they also worked in the scene shops, much to their delight, but they very clearly understood that it’s not to be shared with the other actors and was only sent to them in their capacity as a carpenter.

I stage managed a two-hander once where one of the actors was also the director… He demanded that the other actor be included on rehearsal reports. I have no idea why. I did it because the director told me to, but otherwise, never.

Unless an actor is also working in some other capacity like housetohalf mentioned, there’s no reason for an actor to see the rehearsal reports. Actors receive weekly schedules, daily calls, line notes, and other assorted informational emails if there’s anything that can’t be included in the above (like “don’t forget to submit your bio” etc). There’s no need for an actor to have any part in conversation about technical/design concerns.


Actors get a daily call, which includes the next day’s schedule, fittings, and announcements. There is zero need for an actor to see a rehearsal report. 

101,940 notes




Can’t stop, won’t stop: Protesters in Ferguson rally again, seeking justice for Mike Brown. More than a month and a half after his death, his killer, Darren Wilson, is still a free man. (Pt 2) 

Because it wouldn’t be a protest in Ferguson without fuckery from the police. A driver plowed his car through protesters, grazing several and running over a young boys foot. Beyond taking several hours to transport the boy to the hospital, they took even longer to arrest the motorist. Who did they not wait long to arrest? Two of the protesters who had been documenting the altercation for the world to see. If you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention. #staywoke #farfromover #nojusticenopeace

September 20th, 2014

Just in case anyone thinks these are old posts still going round Tumblr: they’re not. 


(via wilwheaton)

4 notes


One time when I was little I woke up from a nightmare and I don’t know why but I went to tell my mom, because that’s what I always had done before. So I went into my parents’ room. I told my mom (an elementary school teacher) that I had a nightmare. And she sat up in bed and still asleep said “Briana can’t you see I’m teaching a class?!” and I looked around her bedroom and I just said, “No I don’t” and she went on to yell at me for interrupting her class and she told me to sit on the floor by the desk until the class was over and she would walk me back to my class. So I went over by her computer desk and sat for like an hour. Then I went back to bed. My mom still has no memory of this. 

this is hilarious

(Source: fortheloveoffutbol)