Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Term of the Day: battlefield conditions

battlefield conditions--during the brutal production period, repairs are made with materials at hand and props are built and scenery rehashed in the alleys of theaters, often during the freezing winter. Sometimes miracles are pulled off in primitive conditions. When asked why a certain decision during production was made, you can mutter "battlefield conditions."

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Term of the Closing Moment: stop clause

stop clause--a clause in a theater-rental contract that says if a show dips below a set financial amount in ticket sales for two weeks in a row, the theater owners have the option of forcing the production to close and vacate the theater. "Despite rave reviews, the recent revival of 'Side Show' dipped below $550,000 a week in ticket sales, so the theater owners exercised their stop clause in the theater-rental contract." Usually, the theater owners have a more promising show waiting to come in.
(see the New York Times article from December 13, 2014)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Another Stagehand Nickname: Le Miza Bob

Le Miza Bob--a miserable stagehand named Bob, always complaining and sucking the life out of those he works with. A takeoff on the title of the never-ending musical Le Miz. In Local #1, we have a Le Miza Bob working Legit and one at NBC.

Term of This Moment: met at the back of a truck

met at the back of a truck--to meet your peers in Local One when you are 18 or so unloading trucks. "I've known Bobby for 20 years. We met at the back of a truck when were 18." It can be an intense bond.

Term of the Moment: Word of mouth

word of mouth: gossip about a show. Positive word of mouth can pump energy and ticket sales into an iffy show. Negative word of mouth can chip away at a healthy show and eventually kill it.

Term of the Day--spending money like a drunken sailor

spending money like a drunken sailor--sometimes shows come to Broadway and spend money with reckless haste, despite poor ticket sales.

Term of the moment: the Great Land Grab

the Great Land Grab--when the different departments during a load in grab different areas of the basement or other available places of the theater to store their road boxes, put chairs and tables, as well as to make sleeping berths. As a rule, wardrobe tends to grab most of the basement, the heads tend to have their own offices and the stagehands who work for the theater might have a crew room. The remaining space is usually divvied up among the contract stagehands, who work for the show. Often, the stagehand working the hardest, like the contract carpenter, will get screwed out of marking out space because he or she is trapped on deck during much of the production period while the choice spaces are being grabbed.