NEohioPAL FAQs

BELOW ARE SOME BASIC ANSWERS TO FREQUENT QUESTIONS ABOUT THE NORTHEAST OHIO PERFORMING ARTS LIST (NEOHIOPAL):

What are the origins of Neohiopal?NEOHIOPAL-logo-green

In 1998 while directing Fiddler on the Roof at the JCC Halle Theatre, I compiled e-mail addresses of people who had been in that production and a few previous ones. That became the nucleus of the list. I asked that original group to send me addresses of people who would want to get notice of my upcoming auditions. Then someone at a theatre heard of my “huge list” of 35 names and asked if I would forward something for his theatre. I said “Why not?” and the word spread. Through word-of-mouth other theatres started sending me notices and performing artists asked to receive the postings. At first I kept all the email addresses on a Microsoft Word document and manually subscribed and unsubscribed and sent out the messages through AOL. After three years the list had grown to about 350 names and my system wasn’t working anymore because the volume of names was starting to crash my AOL account. In June of 2001, I cut over to using the “mailman” software, first through hostway.com, more recently through listserve.com, and currently through Big Blue Computer Consulting. Usage exploded and the subscriber total is currently over 8,850.

What’s the purpose?

NEohioPAL Mission Statement:

The Northeast Ohio Performing Arts List exists: (in random order)
1) to promote cooperation & support within the performing arts community.
2) to provide a forum for critical opinion and educational essays in order to promote free discussion of our work.
3) to provide arts organizations and individual artists an easy way to publicize their events thereby making the whole performing arts community immediately aware of opportunities.
4) to create an environment where performing artists can get assistance from their colleagues for performing arts related issues – borrowing equipment, selling equipment, finding a prop, etc.
5) to provide an easy way for performing artists to hear about goods, services and topics that may be of interest.

How many messages will I get?

By subscribing, you can select digest style and receive all of the messages bundled into one e-mail every time the total reaches 150kb, get individual messages in real time as they are posted or just check the archives periodically on the archive page. There are between zero and fifty postings per day / one hundred to two hundred per week.

Do you do this full time?

I administer the list part-time. Additionally, I free lance direct regionally and nationally.

Also, Noah Budin assists in administering the list.

Will you manage my account for me? Make changes? Unsubscribe me if I don’t like it? etc.

One of the great features of the ‘mailman’ software is that you can handle your own account and do all of these things on your own. That is the main reason it can be kept free.

How do I make changes to my account?

To change your password, select digest or individual messages, un-subscribe, temporarily go on hiatus from the list when on vacation, permanently go on hiatus in order to be able to post without receiving email, switch from “plain text” formatting to “mime” formatting or vice versa, select topics, etc. etc., you need to access your individual account page with your password. You have either already chosen a password yourself or have been assigned a password automatically by “Mailman.” In either case you can get the “Mailman” administrators to send you your password by visiting this site.

Look for the heading near the bottom of that page: NEohioPAL Subscribers. Under that heading you will find this: “To unsubscribe from NEohioPAL, get a password reminder, or change your subscription options enter your subscription email address:”

Enter your e-mail address where it says, then click on “edit options.” Then, to get your password look for the heading “Forgotten your password?” and click on “E-Mail my password to me”.

Once you get the password and can access that page, you can change your password, select digest or individual messages, un-subscribe, temporarily go on hiatus from the list when on vacation, permanently go on hiatus in order to be able to post without receiving email, select topics, etc. etc.

How do I post a message to the list?

1) You can only post to the list with a subscribed email address. If you try to use an unsubscribed address it will automatically be rejected by the software so the administrators will never even know you attempted to post. This change was made (on 11/16/07) because the posting queue was getting inundated with spam. Note: A way to be able to post messages but not receive any mail is to subscribe and then go on hiatus.

2) Send the message to post@neohiopal.org. We will know it is for the list if you use that address. No request or explanation will be necessary. Postings will usually be approved and forwarded within hours after they are submitted, but for sure by the end of the day.

3) To help reduce our bandwidth usage, combine all of your messages from your organization into one message per week. Do not exceed 35,000 bytes or your posting will get rejected with instructions to re-submit it with changes that will bring it below the 35,000 byte limit.

4) Send a clear, concise headline in the subject line including producing organization, event and any other pertinent information.

For example…

“AUDITIONS: You Can’t Take It With You @ Karamu Theatre”

“2 women in their 20’s needed for paid film roles”

Keep your headline as specific as possible — subscribers will decide whether to open and read your message based on the subject line. Everyone always reads all the subject lines, but probably only open 10-20%. YOUR SUBJECT LINE IS YOUR MESSAGE!

Also, the software will automatically put the prefix [NEohioPAL] before your subject line when it sends the message out to the subscribers. Do not put that in yourself.

A suggestion to help assist subscribers in deciding whether to open and read your email would be to put a prefix before your posting such as: Audition:, Opinion:, Review:, Sale:, Career:, Event:, Opening:, etc.

If you find after sending out your post that you made an error, you can re-post your message but be sure to add “correction” to the subject line and identify within the body of the message what is different.

And please remember to identify yourself – your message will not be posted if it is anonymous.

5) Put your message in the body of the e-mail. Give all the basics – Who, What, When, Where and Contact information. If you are casting, make sure you include whether the positions are paid or not, and whether any AEA contracts are available. Be sure to include the authors of the play and whether the job pays or not. Please follow the guidelines in the contract you have from the rights (Music Theatre International, Rodgers & Hammerstein Music Library, Tams-Witmark, Samuel French, Dramatists Play Service, Dramatic Publishing Company, etc.) licenser.

6) Don’t put a private message with instructions in your message as everything that you send will get posted to the list.

7) No attachments, pictures or graphics as they require too much bandwidth AND some people have their mailboxes set to not accept attachments AND we are wary of accidentally forwarding a virus. If you want people to see pictures or be able to view a flyer or attachment then you should set them up on a website and send out the link with your message. Whether you use AOL, Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, Microsoft Outlook or another program, the system will usually but not always translate your text formatting (font, point size, centering, color, etc.) in the body of the message.

8) Carefully edit and spell-check your message.

9) ONLY send the same message to the list ONCE A (meaning once every 7 or 8 days) WEEK. The subscribers don’t want to be inundated with repeat postings. Trust that if they are interested in your event they will note it and attend.

10) If people reply to your message, it will go directly back to you. The e-mail address you originate it from will appear in the reply-to field in the header.

How do you decide what to approve for forwarding?

Everything that appears to be legitimately related to Performing Arts or that will help performing artists that is relevant to this region will be approved. However, please perform due diligence for any organization or individual promoting goods and services. Approval of a posting by the administrators is not in any way an endorsement of the validity of the content. We don’t do any background or reference check on any posting.

There have been several debates about what is appropriate for posting on this list. Here is an archive and summation of those discussions:

“should reviews be allowed?”

“should items for sale be allowed?”

Do you post notices about ALL auditions and openings in the Northeast Ohio area?

We only post what is sent to the queue. The weekly and daily newspapers may have additional coverage of other auditions, openings and arts events.

I don’t care about High School Productions. I only want information about Musical Theatre auditions. Can you just send me that?

Sorry we can’t. It would become too time consuming and expensive to have multiple special interest groups because each would need a separate mailman list. Delete the postings that don’t interest you. Our aim is to be as inclusive as possible with Performing Arts events in Northeast Ohio.

What is the Neopal Bulletin Board and how is it different from NEohioPAL?

There is also a sister site to this list called the [NEoPAL Bulletin Board]. Occasionally when “hot-button” discussions go on more than a day or two, the bulletin board is used. This site also has some other terrific features, like a searchable database for you to put your personal information and a place to post pictures: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/neopal/

I am a current subscriber and use the digest version. I am getting a lot of html gruel or I am receiving the info as a download that I have to hunt for. How do I fix that?

Certain e-mail systems have problems with the way Mailman delivers the digest version.

Here are several solutions and/or workarounds:
–Three systems that do not have any problems delivering the digest version are Microsoft Outlook, Gmail and Hotmail. If you are having trouble and decide to switch to MS Outlook, Gmail or Hotmail, use the “mime” setting for text style.
— If you currently use the “digest” version try changing your setting (see instructions above) from “plain text” to “mime” or vice versa.
— Set up a new dedicated e-mail address just for NEohioPAL and subscribe using the “individual” setting. The messages will accumulate in this dedicated e-mail address and you can check them as often or as little as you like. The inbox, effectively, will be your table of contents.
— Switch your setting from “digest” to “individual” then set up a rule in your e-mail program (Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express & Hotmail have this option. Others may as well — you will need to check yours) to move all e-mails to a dedicated folder. Designate the rule to move “neohiopal-bounce@neohiopal.org” or all mail with [NEohioPAL] in the subject line to your designated folder and then access that folder as your personal “digest.”
–If you are a yahoo subscriber and are getting html gruel, be sure to change your settings back to “classic.”

I accidentally deleted a message and want to see it again. Will you resend it to me?

Sorry we can’t do that. But all messages that have been sent out are available in the archive.

I noticed when I Google my name, I can see a posting I sent a few years ago. Can you delete a posting I sent so it no longer appears in the archives?

Once a posting is approved and sent, it becomes a permanent message on the archives and can be searched for by all the common search engines. It cannot be removed.

How do I communicate with you about your productions or something private?

If you want to communicate with me about something private and not related to the list or posting email me at fredsternfeld@neohiopal.org. The ONLY e-mail address to post a message is post@neohiopal.org.

I recently tried to post but was unsuccessful. What is going on?

There are two possible reasons you weren’t able to post.

1) You sent your posting to the old address.

Since August 19, 2010, Neohiopal has been switched to a new host. Resend your posting to post@neohiopal.org.

2) You tried to post to the new address without being a subscriber.

Since November 16, 2007, the Neohiopal settings have been changed to automatically discard all postings that come to the queue that are not from subscribers. The reason for that is that a ton (4 out of 5 messages, at least) of spam was getting to the posting queue and this was the only way to eliminate it.

So, the only way to get a posting through is if you are a subscriber. Please use an email address that is subscribed. If you don’t have one, you will need to subscribe first before you can post. Note: A way to be a subscriber but not receive any mail is to subscribe and then go on hiatus – see “How Do I Make Changes To My Account?” for more info.

I haven’t been receiving the mail lately. Why?

Recently some subscribers who have Adelphia, Juno, Roadrunner and other email accounts have been bumped off the list, probably because those people have been erroneously (after all, every subscriber VOLUNTARILY joined the list) reporting the Neohiopal mail as spam. You can resubscribe using your old email address, or subscribe using a gmail or yahoo account. If you aren’t able to resubscribe contact me to take you off the software’s “banned” list. In the meantime you can check the archive.

What do you charge for this service?

It is free, but voluntary financial support is critical to help us provide you with this service.  Please read the NEohioPAL support page.

How do I subscribe?

You don’t have to subscribe to receive messages, you can just check the archives instead. If you choose to subscribe, you can do it below.

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