CAST & CREATIVES ORIENTATION & POLICIES
We would like to warmly welcome you to The Great American Melodrama and Vaudeville and to the beautiful Central Coast of California. The Great American Melodrama & Vaudeville strives to produce professional, affordable family entertainment and is committed to providing a professional working environment conducive to the creative talents of each performer. The enclosed policies and procedures are designed to ensure that your time of employment at TGAM is both enjoyable and rewarding. We hope that your experience here is a memorable one!
- Employees who test positive for COVID-19 must be excluded from the workplace for at least 5 days.
- Exclude COVID-19 cases and exposed employees from the workplace until they are no longer an infection risk. Exposed employees who are fully vaccinated or who recently recovered from COVID-19 and have no symptoms do not need to be excluded.
- Make COVID-19 testing available to potentially exposed employees with close contact at no cost and during working hours, with the exception of asymptomatic employees who were fully vaccinated before the close contact and—for a limited period—employees who recently recovered from COVID-19 and have not developed COVID-19 symptoms since returning to work.
- Isolation can end and employees may return to the workplace after day 5 if symptoms are not present or are resolving, and a diagnostic specimen* collected on day 5 or later tests negative.
- If an employee is unable or chooses not to test and their symptoms are not present or are resolving, isolation can end and the employee may return to the workplace after day 10.
- If an employee has a fever, isolation must continue and the employee may not return to work until the fever resolves.
- If an employee’s symptoms other than fever are not resolving, they may not return to work until their symptoms are resolved or until after day 10 from the positive test.
- Employees must wear face coverings around others for a total of 10 days after the positive test, especially in indoor settings.
- Masks are to be worn when patrons are present; pre-show and intermissions
Accident prevention is extremely important. Please do your part in keeping healthy and accident-free. Report any unsafe conditions to the Stage Manager or Company Manager.
When an injury occurs, inform the Stage Manager immediately. The supervisor must fill out a First Report of Accident. In the event of an emergency, you will be sent to the Arroyo Grande Community Hospital Emergency Room. Information regarding Workers’ Compensation is posted in the Box Office and Dressing Room. If you have a pre-existing medical condition that may affect your performance, please note it on your personal information sheet and notify the producing Artistic Director.
In-Show Emergency Procedures
NON EVACUATION EMS: Individual medical emergency, house or stage hazard
- All cast report to dressing room and remain there until released
- Stage Manager will direct MC to announce the show will resume and send cast to places
EVACUATION: Fire, flood, earthquake, loss of electricity, running water or natural gas
- Leave all personal items behind!
- No staff to return to the building until cleared by House Manager or 1st responders
- All staff and cast will meet in aon HWY 1 in front of the Box Office for HM to do a headcount.
- Shoes must be worn in the theater at all times. Please wear closed-toed shoes to rehearsals.
- Please keep the backstage and dressing room areas free of unnecessary clutter.
- Report any safety concerns to the Stage Manager immediately.
- TGAM is not responsible for personal property. Please do not leave valuables in the dressing room. Lockers are provided. Please bring your own lock
- On-shift employees may not consume alcohol on the premises.
- Keep the dressing room doors closed while unattended. Please make a habit of shutting the dressing room door and curtain (quietly!) upon leaving.
- Fight choreography or difficult dance moves must be rehearsed before each show in attendance of the fight/dance captain.
PAY & ATTENDANCE INFORMATION
Pay periods are two-week periods ending on Sunday night. Each employee is responsible for clocking in and out and keeping accurate timesheets in the current time tracking system. Please do not click in more than 5 minutes prior to your call time. Direct Deposit is encouraged. Paper paychecks may be picked up in the Box Office at noon on the Friday following the close of the pay period.
Leaves of absence are not granted unless prior arrangements have been made with the Artistic Director. Actors are not paid for the time they are absent.
Illness/Injury: Should an actor not perform bar duties during a show due to illness or injury, they will not receive tips. Should an actor call out sick from rehearsals, they will be cut from bar duties for that day’s performances and will not receive tips.
TravelPerformers are asked to let the Stage Manager know of travel plans on off days.
You may partake of soda, popcorn, and coffee free of charge at the theater’s snack bar.
The theater also provides credit to you in the form of a bar tab for any other food or drink offered at the snack bar. When you order an item, it is your responsibility to record it on the tally sheet in the snack bar area. Tabs will be collected each Sunday evening after the show. Please keep your tab under $25. TGAM Merchandise must be purchased in the Box Office, you may not put these items on your bar tab.
If you wish to pay for a guest’s food and drinks during a performance, you will receive a 30% discount on the order, but it must be paid in full by the end of the show. Please provide the House Manager payment during birthdays and anniversaries.
Please remember that snack bar items are prepared for patrons first. If there are items in limited supply, please check with the bar manager to make sure that what you wish to order can be easily replaced.
Each employee receives 2 complimentary tickets to each show title. Please arrange with the Box Office for use of your complimentary tickets. Employees may also extend our “Friends and Family Discount” to individuals. Friends & Family tickets are $15 each. Please stop in at the Box Office during business hours to make reservations. Wed-Sun 12pm to 5pm
TipsTips are counted by 2 persons (typically the MD and HM or Bar), collected and distributed nightly by the House Manager. In rare circumstances the House Manager may deem it neccesary to have tips available at the following show. You are asked to count and sign for your tips when you pick them up. Tip claim form 4070 are submitted weekly on Sunday.
CALL TIMES & REHEARSALS
Call Times/RehearsalsCall times for performances are ½ hour before the doors open. Please sign in upon arrival to performances. The call to places is given at 5 minutes before the house opens. Rehearsal calls are emailed daily by 11pm
The call time is intended as the beginning of rehearsal. Preparation for rehearsal (getting into rehearsal gear, warming up, etc.) should happen before the specified call time. Please bring your script to every rehearsal and keep it to refer to for the run of the production.
During many rehearsal processes there are actors that are also performing at night. While the actors’ health and well-being is our greatest priority, it is also necessary to the creation of the project that each individual rehearse with full physical and vocal energy. If there are any concerns (i.e. health, fatigue, etc.), please bring them to the attention of the Stage Manager and the Director before rehearsal begins.
The goal of any rehearsal process and production is word-for-word memorization and maintenance of such. Line notes will be given by the Stage Manager during rehearsal and throughout the production to assist the actors in this endeavor. Director-approved line variations will be recorded in the Stage Manager’s script.
Rehearsal ScheduleThe following is the rehearsal schedule for Show 1 of our season. Some alterations may occur.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: Rehearse
Performance Schedule Spring- Fall
Wednesday, Thursday & Friday 7:00pm
Saturday 2:00pm & 7:00pm
*Other performances may be added
*Please note: during the Holiday Extravaganza, this schedule is radically changed.
Dressing Room ProceduresMusic in the dressing room is prohibited unless mutually agreed upon by the entire cast and approved by the Stage Manager. Cell phone and laptop use are not permitted in the dressing room after the half hour call. Electronic devices should remain silent while the audience is in the building and until cleanup is finished for the evening. Cell phones are not allowed backstage during performances or rehearsals.
At the half hour call, the piano is off limits. Use mandated by the Music Director only.
Please do not wear cologne, perfume or other strong scents in the dressing room or in costume.
Two Show Days (2pm & 7pm)On double show days, performers may leave between shows after all cast have completed bar duties and Stage Manager is informed. Call time remains one hour before the house opens for the second show. Meal orders must be submitted and tallied on your tab sheet by the end of 1st intermission, after Act1. Please remember:
- All food will be prepared for you by bar staff
- Bar equipment is not for personal use, use the refrigerator and microwave on the patio
- Use the ice scoops for ice, never put your cup straight into the bin
Show MaintenanceThe maintenance of the actor’s performance is the responsibility of the actor. To assist in this, and for the maintenance of the show as a whole, notes will be given at places prior to each show.
Notes regarding music will be given by the Musical Director. All other notes regarding the production and performances will be given by the Stage Manager.
A note about notes: The only intention in giving notes is the support of our common goal - to consistently provide the best possible show for the audience. Notes are given in the best interest of every individual. During the run of a production, the Stage Manager may call maintenance rehearsals at her/his discretion.
ParkingDuring performances, you may park along HWY 1 in front of the costume shop or on surrounding streets. Please pull as far forward to any existing parked cars, so that there is room for all staff. You may not park in the parking lot or on the street in front of the theater. The alley behind the theater is a fire lane and must be kept clear.
During tech week, please leave the spaces in front of the double doors for vendors and technicians who may be loading and unloading.
Restricted AreasThe dressing room and backstage areas are restricted to non-employees without prior permission from the Stage Manager. The walk-in refrigerator is used for snack bar business only. Personal items can be stored in the refrigerator on the patio.
House DutiesAll actors are part of the team who greet our patrons and serve them at the snack bar. While you are rehearsing for your first show, you will be asked to come in and train for house duties during evening performances. This is to ensure that you feel comfortable with house duties before your show opens.
Your house duties will be assigned by TGAM and will be based on the needs of the show and the best way to make sure that costume changes and other considerations will be met. Things can and will be altered if the original duties do not work out.
House duties should be considered another way of giving to our patrons, just as you do on stage. You are expected to do your best at these duties. When you leave the house area to go on stage, please leave any problematic experiences behind. Your House Manager is there to support these duties and your first priority is to the work you do on stage.
That being said, your consideration of our patrons is of the utmost importance. It is up to all of us to make sure that they have a great experience. You will find that our patrons are extremely generous and enthusiastic and enjoy the fact that they can become familiar with “their” actors. Please take any opportunity to chat with them and enjoy their company.
During the pre-show, actors act as ushers and serve at the snack bar. The MC is an actor assigned to host the audience through their evening and will be sent to start the show when all the actors are released from the bar area by the house manager. During the MC’s speech, the other actors get ready to go on stage.
After the first act, the actors go directly to their house duties, unless production needs require other procedures. Again, the management is there to assure that the intermission and the production needs are equally met.
After the second act, the MC changes immediately and the other actors go to their house duties. When the set is changed and all of the actors are released from house duties, the MC is sent on stage to do the “birthdays and anniversaries” section of the evening. This usually gives at least 10 minutes for the actors to change into their vaudeville costumes.
When the MC leads the crowd in singing Happy Birthday, the actors should consider this their “places” call. The MC still has the anniversaries section to complete. While the anniversary song is being sung, the stage manager will check the dressing room. If no actors are in the dressing room, the SM will assume all of the actors are in place and give the MC the cue to start the vaudeville.
Please be assured that the show will not go forward without all of the actors being ready. At the same time, it is up to the actors to do their changes as efficiently as possible and keep the audience from waiting.
After the final curtain call, the actors leave the stage and the MC ends the evening. When the MC is finished, the other actors come out to greet the patrons as they leave. (They also hold tip jars that the patrons dump money into.) TGAM will assign stations for the cast to sit along the stage to greet patrons.
PROPERTIES & COSTUMES
Materials and Scripts
Scripts and music will be assigned to all company members. You may mark your scripts however you wish.
Costumes: TGAM provides all costumes except the following, which performers must provide:
WOMEN: Tan character shoes* – with at least a 2” heel. We will provide tights.
MEN: Lace up oxfords – black (not jazz shoes) Capezio style #440 or equal, white T-shirts (undershirts), black socks.**Before you purchase character shoes, check with the costumer and/or director, as you may be wearing specialty shoes provided by TGAM.
All costume fittings will be scheduled through the Stage Manager. Please wear personal undergarments to all fittings. Please bring character shoes or specialty shoes and undergarments needed for the fittings.
NO SMOKING OR EATING IN COSTUME (during two show days if you need to eat in costume an apron must be worn. A $5.00 fine will be given for each instance of an actor smoking in costume.
- Each performer is responsible for the proper handling of his/her costumes, accessories, etc. Please hang up costumes at the end of each performance, wear provided aprons for off stage duties.
- The hairstyle should not be altered without first consulting the artistic director and/or costume designer. This includes facial hair.
- Each performer is asked to supply personal make-up. Specialty make-up will be provided by TGAM.
- Costumes and wigs are not to be changed during the run of a show without the permission of the costumer.
If a costume is in need of repair, make a note on the clipboard provided. Please place the costume at the end of the rack behind the divider marked “Costume Repairs.” Please check all costumes prior to each performance and especially on laundry days. If anything is missing please contact the stage manager immediately. If the garment requires immediate repair, please notify the stage manager.
You will be given a mesh laundry bag—this will be for small items, socks, tights, camisoles, bras, dance belts, etc. Please label undershirts—there is a sharpie in the dressing room.
Please remove suspenders & jewelry and empty pockets. Dry cleaning will be pulled by the costumer as needed.
Light laundry. Clothes worn close to the body. Place items in the basket Friday night following the show.
Full laundry. Please check the list provided by the costume shop as to what can be laundered. Place items in the basket Sunday night following the show.
Please take good care of wigs and do your best to maintain them. Make a note on the costume maintenance board when wig maintenance is needed.
Please be responsible for checking props and costume presets before each show. If a prop (or a set piece) is in need of repair, please notify the stage manager.
Tech/Backstage and Strike Duties
Performers will be assigned tech duties which are required by a production. This normally includes scene shifts or helping with costume changes. Contracted performers are required to help strike the set at the close of each run. The Production Manager and Technical Director will provide a list of strike duties.
Open Door Policy
It is the goal, and the wish of the Owners, the Producing Artistic Director, and the TGAM department managers that each employee of the Melodrama has a positive experience while working here. Please feel free to approach either with any concerns or issues you may be experiencing. We are committed to finding solutions to any problems and nurturing a safe and inviting creative environment.
Who to Go
Actors - concerns of an artistic manner, show relayed
- actor deputy or stage manager
- Interim Artistic Director
- Operations Manager
- Stage Manager
- Interim Artistic Director
- Your Lead Staff Member
- Stage Manager
- Production Manager
- Artistic Director
- Housing- Operations Manager, Interim Artistic Director, Owner
- HR- Operations Manager, Interim Artistic Director, Owner
- Payroll/Hours (Jibble or timesheet) - Operations Manager, Bookkeeper