Author Topic: Civilian Resume?  (Read 3618 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


  • New to Town
  • **
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
Civilian Resume?
« on: Apr 21, 2011, 01:18 am »
I'm at a point in my life where I'm seriously considering "retiring" from the whole stage management thing. I've settled down in my home town (which does not have a big theater scene), and am looking for work to start over. Problem is, I went to school for theater and have had very few non-theater jobs since I was a teenager. I need to send out some resumes, but am having a hard time figuring out how to format a "civilian" resume which would be easily understood by employers who have no knowledge of what "ASM" or "LB Op" means.

Another concern is how to convey several short contracts. It seems that all the examples of non-theater resumes I come across say things like "Independent Consultant, 2006-Present," while my jobs are, for example, working a Christmas show at the same theater several years in a row, with gigs elsewhere in between. I can't exactly say "Stage Manager at Such and Such Theater, 2007-Present," when I was only there two months out of the year, and was working at several different places during that time period.

Any advice/resume examples would be greatly appreciated!


  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 1574
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, SAG, AFTRA, SMA
  • Current Gig: Caroling, caroling now we go — and looking for my next gig!
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Civilian Resume?
« Reply #1 on: Apr 21, 2011, 01:48 am »
I will see if I can find the link to a workshop I saw about translating SM skills into "civilian" resumes, but start by thinking about your skills the way, say, women who run households and raise kids translate skills. Time management, multitasking, handling challenging situations, teamwork, leadership, problem solving. Scheduling. Dealing with egos and emergencies. Not counting detail oriented, finishing what you start and even basics like writing reports and math! Remove the stage aspect and take a look at the bigger picture, and you will be able to see the skills you can offer and start thinking about where you want to apply them.



  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 320
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA/AGMA/SMA
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Civilian Resume?
« Reply #2 on: Apr 21, 2011, 01:52 am »
The way I have seen it done is to list yourself as a freelance stage manager, the time frame that you have been freelancing/stage managing, describe the main basic SM duties (scheduling, record keeping, distributing reports, etc) and then to list a handful of representative companies & productions.


  • Guest
Re: Civilian Resume?
« Reply #3 on: Apr 21, 2011, 03:50 am »
Don't be constrained to a conventional "chronological resume" where you list: Job A, dates, responsibilities. Job B, dates, responsibilities. etc.
You might consider instead a "functional resume", where the highlight is your skills and responsibilities. Your actual employers in secondary.  (A quick google search or a book at your library should provide plenty of examples).  Emphasize verbs/buzzwords like Manage, Coordinate, Supervise, Facilitate, Communicate, Organize (which any job will value).  As a stage manager you are skilled as managing and organizing people as well as data.  You are responsible for communicating information between artistic and technical departments.  You are responsible for quickly assessing and resolving situations as they arise. (Think in general terms and build from there.) 

As for your employment history, you might list it by profession/position, ie.:
Stage Manager, 1996 to present.
 * Such and Such Theatre
 * So and So Theatre
 * City Theatre
Lightboard Operator, 1994-1997
 * Repertory Theatre of My City
 * City Theatre
Box Office Agent, 1994-1996
 * Such and Such Theatre

Another option...  Start with some temp agency work.  They'll be less discriminating, can even offer some resume help and will give you some non-theatre work experience quickly for your resume.

Give employers a little credit, especially if you are applying to smaller businesses (ie. a place where an actual person will look at your resume).   They may not work in theatre themselves, but a lot of people GO to theatre and have a basic understanding.  Don't assume their preconceptions about our job will be negative. 


  • SM Expert
  • ****
  • Posts: 113
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA
Re: Civilian Resume?
« Reply #4 on: Apr 21, 2011, 04:16 pm »
I left stage management a few years ago and had to redo my entire resume and cover letter. I'll see if I still have it and PM you.


  • New to Town
  • **
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
Re: Civilian Resume?
« Reply #5 on: Apr 24, 2011, 07:22 pm »
Thanks, everyone!


  • Tourist
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Civilian Resume?
« Reply #6 on: Oct 02, 2012, 02:53 pm »
I realize it's over a year later, but stagebear, is there any chance you still have that 'civilian' resume, and could PM me as well?

I'm in the process of finding a day-job to supplement my theater work, and having a bit of a time trying to translate my theater work into a non-theater resume.


Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
7 Replies
Last post Mar 25, 2005, 01:48 pm
by nook
2 Replies
Last post Apr 02, 2008, 02:10 pm
by hsstagemanager12
14 Replies
Last post May 10, 2011, 11:21 am
by BARussell