Author Topic: Do circuses have Stage Managers?  (Read 9568 times)

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Lady

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Do circuses have Stage Managers?
« on: Aug 01, 2006, 11:02 pm »
When I was younger, there was a traveling circus that came to the amphitheater I worked at every summer.  The circus would borrow the amphitheater’s ushers, so many a summer afternoon was spent under the bigtop.  Recently I've decided that I want to get back to life with the circus.  My question is, is it possible to find work as a stage manager in the circus world?  Do circuses have SMs?  If not, what do they have?
"One cannot truly become an artist unless he has questioned his own sanity and lived in a haunted house." -Jasmine Rivera

loebtmc

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Re: Do circuses have Stage Managers?
« Reply #1 on: Aug 01, 2006, 11:17 pm »
I have friends who have travelled w the red and blue trains as clowns and jugglers and the like - and there is something in the SM ballpark - here is the link for Ringling - ask them directly!


2. How do I get a job with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey?
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They will either contact you or forward the material to the appropriate individual. We also advertise positions on the Web at the Feld Entertainment Web site and at Career Builders

Lady

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Re: Do circuses have Stage Managers?
« Reply #2 on: Aug 01, 2006, 11:25 pm »
Cool. Thanks!
"One cannot truly become an artist unless he has questioned his own sanity and lived in a haunted house." -Jasmine Rivera

MarcieA

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Re: Do circuses have Stage Managers?
« Reply #3 on: Aug 03, 2006, 12:09 am »
Cirque definitely has SMs. So do many others.

The circus I toured with (Yes, I toured with a circus and it was the greatest thing I EVER did!!!) had a Backstage Supervisor who was a combination ASM/SM and the board ops took cues on their own.
Companions whom I loved and still love, tell them my song.

acottrell

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Re: Do circuses have Stage Managers?
« Reply #4 on: Aug 05, 2006, 04:38 pm »
Bit of a tangent, but I've always wondered...

Does Cirque (and we are talking about Cirque du Soleil, right?) hire Equity SMs, or non-Equity SMs?

MatthewShiner

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Re: Do circuses have Stage Managers?
« Reply #5 on: Aug 05, 2006, 10:28 pm »
They hire any SMs, but not on an Equity contract - their shows are non-union - although, from my experience interviewing with them for various shows, they are looking for people with some pretty extensive backgrounds - many of the SMs were Equity SMs in "previous lifes".  It's a very interesting group to work with - not your typical SM stuff - there are lot of other responsibilities.  The position is not for eveyrone.  But that is what great about Stage Managing, there are so many different levels, productions, etc to work on - everyone can find their niche.

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Anything posted here as in my own personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer - whomever they be at a given moment in time.

acottrell

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Re: Do circuses have Stage Managers?
« Reply #6 on: Aug 06, 2006, 01:52 am »
What kinds of "other responsibilities", just out of curiousity? How is it different than typical stage management?

Sorry to draw this out, but I love watching their shows, and I've always wondered what it would be like to work for them. :)

loebtmc

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Re: Do circuses have Stage Managers?
« Reply #7 on: Aug 06, 2006, 02:51 am »
Someone on the site mentioned working w cirque - can't recall who, but it's fairly recent, so if you have the time to do a little investigation tlhrough the threads you should find it fairly quickly - good luck

and they are based in (Florida I think) and have a website - you can always ask them directly

acottrell

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Re: Do circuses have Stage Managers?
« Reply #8 on: Aug 06, 2006, 03:34 am »
Thanks for the heads up - it's been a couple of months since I lurked around here. I'll do a little searching and see if I can find the thread.

ChaCha

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Re: Do circuses have Stage Managers?
« Reply #9 on: Aug 07, 2006, 09:57 am »
I was lucky enough to sit with the stage manager of a cirque show touring australia last year. It was absolutely fascinating! He had a sort of laminated card with some cue information on for the mechanics of the flying system, but he almost never looked at it...He told me he had called the show more than 2000 times! Not that he called lighting - the LX op sat on my other side and he took all his own cues (also from memory). I think there were 2 stage managers or ASM types backstage running the floor/props etc. The show was fine, but watching the stage manager and listening to the crew was much more interesting!

I have stage managed a couple of circus shows for the National Institute of Circus Arts here in Australia - no circus background so steep learning curve regarding circus terms and protocols, but by staying calm amid the chaos and applying all the normal stage management techniques I got on just fine. If you get the chance to try it, don't hesitate. Its fun working with people who stand on on someone else's head as a matter of course!

Cheers
ChaCha
« Last Edit: Aug 07, 2006, 10:51 am by ChaCha »
ChaCha

MatthewShiner

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Re: Do circuses have Stage Managers?
« Reply #10 on: Aug 07, 2006, 06:00 pm »
Someone on the site mentioned working w cirque - can't recall who, but it's fairly recent, so if you have the time to do a little investigation tlhrough the threads you should find it fairly quickly - good luck

and they are based in (Florida I think) and have a website - you can always ask them directly


They are based out of Quebec in Canada, Las Vegas for the United States sit down shows, with a sort of field office in Orlando.  I believe most of the tours are managed out of Canada. 

It all depends on which show you are being interviewed out - I was interviewed out Mexico City for the last interview . . .
« Last Edit: Aug 07, 2006, 09:49 pm by MatthewShiner »
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Anything posted here as in my own personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer - whomever they be at a given moment in time.

loebtmc

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Re: Do circuses have Stage Managers?
« Reply #11 on: Aug 07, 2006, 09:08 pm »
I believe they have a US office - when I was being solicited to interview, all the production addresses were in Florida - but maybe they only train everyone there, or something -

MarcieA

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Re: Do circuses have Stage Managers?
« Reply #12 on: Aug 08, 2006, 07:07 pm »
They have a show in Disney World, and I think that office solicits for their own work. It's is a non-bilingual position and that may be why.

I was interviewed by the Quebec office, and that was for an international tour.
Companions whom I loved and still love, tell them my song.

Lady

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Re: Do circuses have Stage Managers?
« Reply #13 on: Aug 08, 2006, 10:32 pm »
Somehow I think my inability to pass my college French class will limit my chances with Cirque :-[
"One cannot truly become an artist unless he has questioned his own sanity and lived in a haunted house." -Jasmine Rivera

afought

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Re: Do circuses have Stage Managers?
« Reply #14 on: Sep 19, 2006, 10:33 am »
Interesting topic. Ironically, I have worked for both Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus and currently with Cirque du Soleil. (I am currently a SM with Cirque.) Both companies do have stage managers but with RBBBC you will see it listed as Production Manager and Associate Production Manager. These positions do the 'stage managing' per say but during the show they will call curtain cues mainly and wonder a lot about what might be going wrong on the floor. The board ops (lx and sound) do their own cues. With Ringling the PM and APM deal with contracts, disputes, local publicity, show notes, artist interviews and, the biggie, the animal walk that happens in each city.

With Cirque it is handling a lot of the backstage areas, calling the show, show reports, dealing with the tour publicist, assisting in getting the weekly rehearsal schedule ready, etc. There will possibly be 3 positions on tour being the General Stage Manager, Backstage Manager and Junior Backstage Manager.

Both companies are a lot of fun to work for but like every other company, they have their ups and downs.

If you have further questions, please ask.

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