It has officially begun!
As an ASM I am allotted only 2 days of prep. Due to another work conflict, I worked it out with my PSM to come in on Wednesday and Thursday (she and the SM intern were in pretty much all week). Because this theater has an SM intern assigned to every production, we really luck out during prep week because a lot of paperwork can get done (and tedious tasks like laminating wallet cards, labeling mugs, and printing scripts). It was great to come in and focus on editing, fact checking, and room set up. There are certain things that, at this theater, generally fall to the ASM. That includes -
1. Lead taping the floor
2. Send the pre-production safety information sheet to Equity
3.Connect with the prop master to coordinate receiving rehearsal props
4. Make sure all rehearsal furniture in the room is there/asking facilities to bring back anything missing
5. Get petty cash/keys/computer/shared folder access
6. Set up my office station, email, computer settings, phone extension, binder
7. Peruse all show documents that had been created - drafting, renderings, anything on the shared file folders. Print anything for binder as needed.
8. See what templates the company uses. If none, drop in own
9. Essentially assist the PSM and intern in checking their work, making edits, and picking up things that fall to the side.
Immediately upon entering, the PSM and I had a big download so she could catch me up to speed on everything. There's always a lot to cover - which company members do we know and what do we know about them? Do we have a history of working with them? What's the director like? How ambitious is the design? Luckily for us, we are working on a show that was recently mounted at a theater across the country. Although it is decisively NOT a remount, we have the same director, 2 of the same leads, and we are using many of the same costumes/set pieces. Think of it as a do-over, a re-vamp, a totally new show but we recycle. It puts production in a strange position - how much support does a recycled show like this need? We are worried that the assumption is 'not much'!. There are already signs of certain departments dropping the ball, but it's still very early in the process. We are keeping an eye on things for now.
After our big download, we headed to the production office to talk through the ground plan with our production and design associate. The walk through was very helpful as it gave me a more concrete understanding of HOW the set functions, which comes in handy during taping. I had a chance to look over the groundplans and drafting before coming in, so I already had questions in mind.
With all of that, my intern and I mocked up a plan with how to set up our room. We have an acetate to scale groundplan of our rehearsal hall that we can drop over our groundplan to figure out what we can get into the room in scale. We needed a space to accommodate not only as much of the set as possible, but also provided wing space, table space, and avoided an unfortunately placed column in the room. We put down small pieces to show where our center, edge of stage, legs, and drops would be. We waited on doing full lines until our PSM approved our plan.
I am always so satisfied by a well taped floor. Taping can be such a frustrating process at times, but this time I was lucky in that it was very simple, so we could really take the time to make it clean. (One day I'll make a post about my first taping experience...by myself...with many circles and no normal even shapes or lines....*yikes*).
Prep is the best time to get to know your team. It's the time to figure out how folks work and how to negotiate with them. Falling into a groove with your team at this time sets you up for success as you'll already have a work flow for the first rehearsal. This is also the time to sneakily get information like 1) their coffee order 2) favorite candy/treat 3) anything else they like. Tech week is always long. Surprising your team with their fave candy bar on their desk makes the week a little more bearable!
I don't feel the need to go into much more depth about prep week - it's all variations on the same stuff, after all. My prep week checklist is also posted (a few posts back) and covers a lot. Overall, even though this is my first prep week at this level (LORT A), it doesn't feel too different from what I've previously done.