top of page

What do ASMs do?

Today we were marking on a mind map what an ASM and DSM do in a group that we split into 2 people writing about what ASMs do and 3 people writing about what DSMs do. I was writing about what ASMS do. ASMs make props, grab props from props store, but props online, research the show, move props, put down tape and activate glow tape, check if all props are there before and after shows from a checklist, pre setting props, bring on door duty, sweeping the floor, cleaning up after wards, help other departments if needed, fix broken props, going through the script if scripted piece and there are probably some things I missed that ASMs do. Then I went through the sheet that DSMs use that notes are made on. The sheet number, date, running time and playing time are needed. The running time is from clearance to the audience applause at the end which doesn't include the interval and playing time is the same, but it includes the interval. Also, a note is not needed in every section for every rehearsal. Then I went through the different calls and what is said and all of them are called 5 minutes before so when you have 35 minutes you say that you have 30 minutes this is said to give the performer time to go to the stage door. Then I took my latex finger mold out of the alginate mixture and then I mixed a base coat which was going to be skin colour. So, I grabbed brown paint and then I mixed in some white then I mixed in yellow and white then I painted the finger. The colour I mixed is a good base coat but after I had painted it, I realised that it needed to be a lighter paint colour because my skin colour wasn’t that dark so while waiting for it to dry I went into the studio to watch rehearsals of Brainstorm the level 3 show. The Brainstorm level 3 show is in the round which means that the audience is watching the actors from every angle and the play is about how teenager’s brains are different from adults and before they started rehearsing the show, I saw that they were using 5 black stage blocks. The pre show is a long blocked scene on loop until the light changes which is the actor’s cue to begin the show. The pre show starts with all of the actors being bored teenagers on their mobile phones and then some of the actors turn into parents and then for teenagers angrily say, “What’s for dinner?” while getting angrier and angrier, which created a chaotic atmosphere, and some metal music was being played to set the mood. Then then happy calm music is played as the teenagers are happily on social media then the mood changes with the metal music again and the teenagers are arguing with their parents and then different music plays as the teenagers mime vaping, drinking alcohol and taking pills or doing something on their phone or dancing. Then all of the teenagers huddled into centre stage as the parents are mad and disappointed at them for their bad grades and then it loops back to the beginning until the lights change as a queue for the actors to begin the show. The show is very chaotic, and the actors interact with the audience for example one of the actors took a selfie with me and another actor asked if I had any alcohol. The actors used their own mobile phone, bags and notepads as props as one of the actors mime using a prop TV remote. Also, the actors mime taking pills, drinking alcohol and vaping. Also, in one scene Chopped chicken was mentioned and a handheld microphone is needed to ask the audience members questions with. Then we went back to design where we shared notes and then we made a list of props that we definitely needed which was a tv remote, colourful ping pong balls, dirty dishes and glow in dark string/rope. The colourful ping pong balls originally were wanted as bouncy balls as they wanted to pour out of a bag onto the floor, but an audience member could grab and throw one hitting another audience member or hitting a light, so the stage management tutor suggested using ping pong balls which hurt less if someone got hit with one and they couldn’t bounce and hit a light. Then we made a mind map of prop ideas that would be in a teenager's bedroom, and we came up with many ideas as a group and two of the ideas I came up with were trading cards and a mini fridge. On the mind map there was a TV, food and snacks, bottles, books, dirty dishes, headphones and earphones, plants, posters, fairy lights, chargers, teddies, piles of washing, craft supplies, sewing machine, instruments like a guitar, clocks, accessories like sunglasses, hats and jewelry, schoolbags, sports equipment like skateboards, footballs and a cricket bat, a mini fridge, games consoles, dream catchers, flags, mirror, tissues, remotes an controllers, ornaments, shoes, overflowing bin, trophies, fan, make up and a laptop on it. Then I did some research on props that we needed to buy for the show, so I tried looking for colourful ping pong balls on amazon and I looked at the amount of ping pong balls, the price and the delivery time. I eventually found a pack of 150 colourful ping pong balls for £19.99 which would come in 3 days if ordered today. Then I tried to find a set of small white drawers for a cheap price but the cheapest I could find was £32.99 and someone else found one cheaper from Argos.


ASM and DSM mind map

Notes and calling


Rehearsal notes

Show report

Stage management calls

Painting a base coat onto my finger mold


Before painted

After painted

After paint dried

Watching the show rehearsals

comparing notes and making prop lists


Researching props

Prop ideas mind map

Colourful ping pong balls

£32.99 white drawers

£35 white drawers

Doing a maths task

Then I did a maths task where I worked out how much money would be given to MTI Europe to have the rights to put on a Sweeny Todd play with an amateur license. First, we looked up online MTI Europe and then I looked at how much 30 libretto vocal books and 2 piano conductors scores would cost if borrowed for 4 months and it costs £365 for 12 weeks and for every 1 week more it costs £60 more, and I got the answer of it costing £603 for 4 months. Then a logo pack was £150 and a Rehearscore was £330. Also, the orchestral materials were needed for 6 weeks prior, so the first part all added together gives the answer of £1330. The tickets cost £12.50 and £10 for concessions and there were 5 shows that gave a number of how many full price and concessions were sold so you times the number of full price or concessions by it’s price and then the full price and concessions are added together and then this was repeated for all 5 shows. Then the 5 totals of how much money from the tickets sold were added up to give a number of £1802.50. Then I got a bit confused on the last bit so I added all of the money together and then I decreased it by 16% and then I decreased it by 20%. I think I should of worked out 16% royalty and 20% VAT on the amount of money made from the ticket sales instead of adding all the number up.

Bit of paper I did maths task on


Finishing my weapon

Today I painted the other side of my blade on the dagger which I hadn't finished which I did with metallic grey and Dyna orange paint. After I painted the blade side, I painted another layer on top of the blade side which I had already painted on to give it another layer of paint because some of the black base coat was visible under the paint. Then I made sure that the newly painted blade side had a thick layer of paint on it, so I didn't need to add a second layer of paint onto it. Then I did some research on 3 acting types and 3 stage types to write about in my coursework that I put in later this week. I was doing coursework because I was waiting for the actors in Brainstorm to start rehearsing so that I could watch. Then I went into the studio to watch the rehearsals and they were practicing a scene which I hadn’t seen. The scene started with a short clip of music about being bored while the teenagers are bored on their phones and then one of teenagers talks to the audience about the limerick system in our brains like a school presentation and she is really interested in presenting it then two other teenagers get bored and say that she is being boring and then they try and make her laugh to mess up her presentation but they end up annoying her and she eventually gives up with trying to present it. Then a different teenager goes up to an audience member with the handheld microphone that was being practiced with a mobile phone and ask the questions how are you today?, what’s your name?, are you enjoying the show so far? And then he says do you want to play a game? Which another says straight after you do don’t you. If they say yes, then the actor say everybody then the audience member’s name wants to play a game and then all of the other actors stand up and look at him quickly. Then the rules are explained, and the game is never have I ever and if the audience member have, they stand up and if they haven't, they sit down and are out of the game The is played by the actors on stage and the audience members and if they are unable to stand, they hold their hand up. Then the never have I ever statements are said by the actors until 6 or less people are left and 4 people standing are actors and they are practicing for if there are 2 audience members left then all of the people left go on stage and then an actor in an office chair is spun around like spin the bottle and whoever is pointed at goes back to their seat rf sits on the floor if an actor and then that continues until one person is left and they are the winner. This is a fun creative idea which makes it different every night but what if every audience member sits down or something else could go wrong and not every person would want to go on stage.


Back of blade I painted

Front of blade with new layer on

Doing coursework

Watching the rehearsals

Research on smoking and vaping rules in a theatre

Today I was researching about the smoking and vaping on stage because the actors are wanted to look like they are smoking, vaping and taking other drugs. When smoking or vaping in the UK there are specific rules so I did some research and the rules in Scotland are different from England and Wales. Also smoking or vaping in educational establishments have stricter rules. Smoking or vaping in a theatre is only allowed on the stage and it must be extinguished immediately when the actor is off stage so they are not allowed to be used in the dressing rooms, rehearsal room or anywhere else but the stage. If the cigarette is herbal than a warning sign is needed on every stage entrance this is because the smell could be off putting and the smell could stay even after the herbal cigarette has left the stage. Herbal cigarettes are specifically made to be used as prop because there is no nicotine or tobacco in them so they are not addictive instead they contain marshmallow root, passion flower, cloves, or jasmine. Even with no nicotine and tobacco they are still bad for your health and can cause coughing, shortness of breath and hoarseness from the tar and carbon monoxide.

Websites used to find information

Researching replacements for cocaine use

When researching what to use instead of cocaine but I couldn't find any being specifically used in a theatre. When filming a Vitamin B drug also known as inositol is used and it gives a slight energy boost while being healthier than cocaine but it's still not healthy because your body wasn't made to inhale substances that way. Powdered sugar is too sticky to use and flour can get damp or clumpy.

Websites used to find information

Painting the finger a skin tone colour

Today I painted another layer of paint onto my severed finger but this time I mixed a lighter skin tone. So, I mixed brown and white then a lot of yellow and then a bit of white that turned it from a light brown to a skin colour then I painted over my brown base coat and when it dries, I want to paint the nail and add some black and red paint to look like dried blood. Then me and the rest of stage management talked about the research we did about smoking or vaping on stage guidelines and making fake cocaine. One person got their information from the same place I did on the theatre crafts website. I learnt that prop drug pills can easily be a tic tac, or a cake confectionary and I learnt that fake marijuana can be made from leaves and seasonings. Also, I learnt that fake heroin can be made from pancake mix and cocoa powder. Then we got told that the director mentioned something about sugar glass which is made to look like glass that breaks easily for dramatic effect with no sharp edges, and it is edible since it’s pure sugar but the problem with sugar glass is that it’s expensive to buy especially the bottle molds for the sugar glass and if one is broken every night it would get expensive since there are 5 show nights for Brainstorm. Then I watched the rehearsals, and they were practicing a scene where a phone was being used as a video game controller which would be a controller. We could easily find a broken video game controller on Ebay for a cheap price. Then the lights went off and the teenagers played a game with the narrators where they answer the questions given with their phone torch and turning it on means yes and turning it off means no. For that scene the narrators were using head torches to read the scripts in the dark that won’t be used for the show. Then the next scene was talking about teenager’s bedroom and after an actor talks about his parents removing his bedroom door for not letting his little brother in a construction man walks across the stage while carrying the door Also a mum fold clothes into a washing basket and then she reads a magazine and a group of teen were looking at a dirty magazine that they found in another teenagers bedroom which they were practicing with a script.


Painted finger

Paint colour I mixed

Talking about research and sugar glass

Watching the rehearsals

Scene with phone torches and head torches


One type of acting is called mime which is when an actor doesn’t make any sounds, but they perform through physical movements and big facial expressions. This style of acting is usually used for comedy and is popular with street performers. This was style of acting has been used for many years and a French actor called Etienne Decroux introduced many of the classic mimes like “Pulling the rope” that he made to teach beginner actors body control. Before the classic black and white outfit and make up mimes wore masks to hide their identity until Jacques Copeau opened an acting school in 1923 that taught miming, but he decided to use black and white make up instead of a mask to make the facial expressions seen better which overtook using masks for mimes. Another type of acting is Improvised acting which is when an actor makes up the acting on the spot with no script or preparations apart from the scenario of what’s happening which is usually only a short description like going into a shop that is getting robbed. If more than one actor is improvising you need to say yes and bounce off each other, for example if one of them said oh no there’s an earthquake, they can’t say no there’s not. This is useful for if something goes wrong during a show like forgetting lines. Sometimes actors say to the audience give me a scenario and then they perform it on the spot and make it up. Some of famous movie moments have been improvised and kept in the final cut like “here’s Johnny” from The Shinning and “You’re gonna need a bigger boat” from Jaws’ Also, another type of acting is method acting which is when the actors think about a specific memory while acting to give the raw emotion to put themselves in their characters shoes. Some actors even get a job that their character has for a few weeks, gain or lose weight or gain a six pack. This is used by a lot of actors. There are also acting exercises that can be method acting like behaving like an animal or doing something that you normally do in private if you are playing a scared timid character.

Websites used to find information


Different types of mime

Charlie Chaplin old movies

Classic French mime

Street performer

Improvised acting

improvised acting.jpg

Method acting

Lee Strasberg who invented the method acting technique

inventor method acting.jpg

Stage types: In the round

A type of stage is in the round which is when the audience surrounds the stage in a circle which dates back to ancient Greece and Rome. An example of a play that uses this stage is Brainstorm which is the level 3 show at the moment. This type of stage does have some problems with it like the actor will always have their back to some of the audience, so the actor needs to always be rotating which direction they are facing or have one actor for every audience side. Also, if any big prop or set pieces are on the stage, they could only be centre stage to try and not block the audience’s view but that still blocks the view of what’s behind it. Entering and exiting the stage is also difficult because there are no wings, so the actors are limited to the existing doors in the room so for most of the time the actors stay on stage and go low down near the view. Another problem that is faced by this stage type is that lights can only be used from above and a speaker is needed for every audience side. Another stage type is traverse which is when the audience are in front and behind the stage a bit like a cat walk An example of a show with this stage is The Beauty and the Beast, that was the Christmas show last year. This stage type also has a few problems like having limited stage entrances and exits. Also, scenery has to be minimal so the audience can see the actors and an actor does not have much space because the audience seating either side creates a corridor like stage. Lighting and sound also struggle a bit more for this stage type because like in the round the lights need to be above. Thrust is a stage type that has the audience on the front, left and right so a good atmosphere is created with there still being room for a backdrop and wing on either side. Many shows that are usually end on can be easily changed to fit a thrust change by having the actor spread out more on stage and switching direction that they face. This stage type isn’t the best for shows that have fighting scenes in as blocking them so all 3 sides can see it is hard to do.

in the round stage type.jpg

Example of in the round stage


traverse stage type.webp

Example of a traverse stage


Example of a thrust stage

Weekly evaluation 6

This week I wrote on a mind map what an ASM does, looked at show report, DSM notes and stage management call sheets, mixed and painted a base coat for my finger, watched rehearsals for Brainstorm, got a list of props they definitely want, made a mind map on teenager bedroom props, researched colourful ping gong balls and white drawers, did a maths task to work out ticket sales with VATs and paying to put on their show, finished painting the other side of my blade, researched about smoking and vaping rules in a theatre, researched how to make fake cocaine, mixed paint then painted my finger also I researched about 3 different acting and stage types. I solved the problem of not having my weapon finished when everyone else had theirs done by finishing it in the morning before the call time and all I needed to do to finish it off was to paint the other side of the blade which I did, and I also added a layer of paint onto the side I had already painted that was dry. I have improved on my knowledge of the level 3 show called Brainstorm from watching the actors rehearse. Before I watched the rehearsals, I thought it was a serious play about teens mental health, but it was about teenager’s brains and how they are different to adult brains. This is a very fun interactive show with the audience, and it doesn’t follow a story. Instead of a story there are short scenes that are about classic teenager things like being bored or having a messy bedroom or the scenes are something creative like playing never have I ever with the audience. From watching these rehearsals, we have gotten a small list of props that we need to buy for the show and some ideas of our own for possible props for the show. I can improve on my maths skills so that I can understand how much money is given to the people that hold the rights to the show so that you can put on the show. Improving my maths could help me be better with money and help me pass GCSE math. This week I researched colourful ping pong balls and white drawers to be bought as props for Brainstorm. After looking in a few different places I found a pack of 150 colourful ping pong balls for £19.99 and someone else found a cheaper white drawers furniture piece. When I was doing the maths task, I researched the Sweeny Todd amateur license on MTI Europe so that I could see how much everything costed Later in the week I researched about the rules of smoking and vaping in theatres for a show because Brainstorm wanted actors to vape on stage and I researched about how to make fake cocaine. Also, I did research on 3 acting types and 3 stage types.

bottom of page