The Deal with Maestro

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The Deal with Maestro

Postby Jessica » June 17th, 2010, 9:49 am

The Deal with Maestro:

So here is the current deal with Maestro.

I am in charge of the show. This means that I find the directors, do the cast list, make sure tech is in, call periodic directors meetings, and oversee any changes that we are making.

I have basic goals for the show.
The first, always, is that it is a good show for the audience. Maestro has consistent full houses and great word of mouth, I want to keep it that way.
The second is to make sure that we have a place for our students to train with a well supported show and a good cast and directors that have their backs.
The third is to make sure that we have a way to invite guests to play. This is guests from other theaters who don't play with us often, as well as out of town guests.

From this I have developed a casting matrix.
I always have 6 "core" performers. These are the people who have been doing Maestro forever; They know how the games work, they play them well, many of them play together frequently, they can support newer players and guests.
Then I have 2 students or recent grads from our theater. We like to train our students and this is one of our venues for that.
I also save 2 spots for guests. Guests are people from out of town (usually my first priority), people we haven't seen in awhile, and people who usually play at other theaters.
The last two spots are for whatever else I may want to throw in.
With in these categories, I also give priority to people who help out frequently. And, just to keep it fun, if I have the time and energy, I like to cast people that I think will work well together and have a fun time on stage playing together. I love match making. I may also break these rules at anytime if I think it will be fun and make the show better.

As you can see if you are not a "core" player or a student, you probably won't get cast as much as the other people. I'm not trying to be mean or power hungry, I'm just trying to reach my goals.

So, how do you get into the "core" player category? Well...that's my judgment call. We are lucky to have a large group of strong players that like to play frequently. As new people come in as guests or students, I like to watch them a few times, play with them bit, talk with them, and get impressions from other players. This is not a formal process. It's just that I start realizing that a player does a lot more of supporting the show as a whole and I can count on them to carry a scene. If you want to know what category you are in, you can ask me.

Not casting people - So if you didn't get cast for a show it doesn't mean that you aren't a good person, or player. It usually means that there were a lot of people in your category and I chose a mix that didn't include you. Nothing personal, nothing judgmental.

Tech- this show can do fine with a light hand at tech or new people, but having a seasoned, strong tech person makes a big difference. For this reason I like to train new people by having them work with someone that has worked the show before. Tech can really be a lot of fun and is a great way to be a part of the show without being on stage.

I also try to get in two director each week. We have a much smaller pool of constantly good directors, people that can direct each scene in a way that supports our actors and our goals, people that can look at the entire show and get a good feel for what needs to go next and how to make that work, people who have fun with the audience and know when to break the rules and when to keep the show on track. I'm trying very hard right now to train up some new directors. I do that by pairing them with more seasoned directors for a really, really long time. I also try to look for fun match-ups here. Two people that will enjoy bouncing off each other and make playing/watching the show even more fun. If you want to be a director just ask me and I'll let you know if I think that is a good idea and how to get on track. We have notes for directors that I keep online. Feel free to ask to see those as well.

If you have any further questions please ask me. I love to talk Maestro. If you have any complains, I'd love to hear those also. Over a drink. That you bought. Please, please don't whine at me.

When it comes down to it, I freaking love this show and want it to be awesome forever. That is pretty much my motivation for how I handle everything related to Maestro.

Now go sign up!
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Postby Jessica » June 17th, 2010, 11:07 am

The Mechanics of Maestro:

Each Week:
I will post the call on the Maestro Casting Board on Sunday or Monday. Please don't post it for me - that annoys me. Often if I am late it is because I'm trying to work out the director or theme of the show. But feel free to poke me if it is taking too long.

I will look over the sign-ups, the people that the director may have asked to play, and anyone else that has come to my attention. I post the cast list on Thursdays. You will need to check back on the forum, I don't send out individual notes. I try for early, but I don't always make it. Again, feel free to poke me if you need to know now.

Sometimes people need to back out before the list is posted for the week - that is okay if it is Wednesday or before. But if you need to back out after that just realize that you could possibly be making casting more difficult and will probably delay the posting of the cast list.

You may not trade spots. Sorry, if I cast you, it is for a reason. It is really generous to "allow" someone else to play in your place, but I'm in charge of making sure that our mix is working. Trading spots messes me up.

If you sign up, please show up. I know that stuff comes up and people get sick, but it is a pain to have worked on making a nice balanced Maestro and then have someone back out and leave a hole in the middle. If you wouldn't miss work for whatever the issue is - please don't miss Maestro. If you do this frequently you will get cast less often.

Call time is 9:15. Especially if you are new, take this early time to get stuff together and hang out with some of the other people. It doesn't look like warm-up, but this can be some of the most important pre-show work that you do. The directors may lead the warm-ups or get someone else to do them.

If you get out early, grab a loser beer, process for a few minutes if you like, then come in and watch the rest of the show. I know sometimes people have other things going on afterward, but if you can, go ahead and stay until the end. It looks really nice to have the entire cast come back on at the end and greet the audience.

Notes - these should go fast and are focused on just the few points that need to be covered. Save long discussions and philosophy for the bar.

Have fun! This is a light and easy show for both the imps and the audience so go out there and have a blast.
Last edited by Jessica on June 29th, 2012, 8:01 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby kristin » July 8th, 2010, 10:39 pm

Remember what it was like before Jess did all this? When we didn't know who was directing or who was playing sometimes until Saturday itself? Chaos! It's so much more professional and smooth now.

Thanks Jess!
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Postby Shawn » July 9th, 2010, 7:15 am

kristin wrote:Remember what it was like before Jess did all this? When we didn't know who was directing or who was playing sometimes until Saturday itself? Chaos! It's so much more professional and smooth now.

Thanks Jess!


YES! Jessica is awesome!
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Postby Aden » July 9th, 2010, 12:21 pm

Shawn wrote:
kristin wrote:Remember what it was like before Jess did all this? When we didn't know who was directing or who was playing sometimes until Saturday itself? Chaos! It's so much more professional and smooth now.

Thanks Jess!


YES! Jessica is awesome!


Yes, kudos.

Also kudos to Madeline for making sure the white board is sign-up ready, the Maestro box is out, and all kinds of other behind the scene details that she makes sure are ready to go so that the show itself runs smoothly day-of.

Also kudos to the Hideout folks in general. The theater is looking great, and the shows are too.
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Postby Marc Majcher » July 9th, 2010, 12:21 pm

Shawn wrote:
kristin wrote:Remember what it was like before Jess did all this? When we didn't know who was directing or who was playing sometimes until Saturday itself? Chaos! It's so much more professional and smooth now.

Thanks Jess!


YES! Jessica is awesome!

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Postby sara farr » July 10th, 2010, 1:22 am

Aden wrote:... Also kudos to the Hideout folks in general. The theater is looking great, and the shows are too.

YEA!!
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Postby EmilyBee » July 25th, 2010, 12:29 am

I CAN'T WAIT to play Maestro again!!! Jessica is THE BOMB.
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Postby ashleylowe » July 26th, 2010, 1:48 pm

Jessica+Madeline=Success!
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Postby kristin » July 4th, 2012, 6:49 pm

I just had to go back to look at what Jess said about this last week, so I thought I'd post it in this sticky thread instead of it getting lost in a random weekly one:

Jessica wrote:On pulling out on Wednesday or later:

It makes it super hard to cast this thing and pushes everything back while we have to figure it out. I know sometimes stuff comes up - and can't be helped - but it really does mess with stuff. So, sure if you have to pull out than do it - but just know that it is not with no consequences to me and the rest of the folk.

And just for the record - once I've cast it, I see it as your obligation to play. No backing out once the list is posted unless you would miss paying work for the same reason. K?
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