Author Topic: Flexing your creativity  (Read 3661 times)

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michaelallen

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Flexing your creativity
« on: Dec 12, 2011, 12:27 pm »
Hello! I am a college student and am in the process of figuring out what the heck I want to do with my degree. I've been told, and I agree, that I would be an excellent stage manager. I am a natural leader who is very organized and likes to make sure everyone is on the same page. I would love to become a professional stage manager.

That being said... I am worried that as a stage manager I would not be able to use my creativity. From the classes that I've taken it seems that being a stage manager is all "business." They do not really have a say in any of the shows workings, they're just there to make it all run smoothly. Is this true? As a stage manager do you feel like you are satisfied with just running the show as opposed to having a part in creating it?

Thanks for any responses!

BeccaTheSM

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Re: Flexing your creativity
« Reply #1 on: Dec 12, 2011, 12:46 pm »
Welcome to the site!

I have found that many directors like to work in a collaborative environment -- everyone's ideas are fair. I enjoy that aspect of creativity within the production. Also, I find that once the show is running, there is often a bit of ebb and floe in the calling of a show. If a particular joke lands really well on the audience, I may hold the doorbell sound cue that takes us into the next scene. It's a matter of milliseconds, but your contribution as the stage manager is to support the production towards its best version.

Another creative responsibility of the stage manager is problem solving. When things go awry, the SM has to think on their feet and solve it in the best way possible. Do you send a cast member onstage to clear the prop that fell off of the rolling wagon during the last scene change? Do you wait until the next blackout? Can you even wait that long or is a line of chorus girls about to head right through that space in tap shoes at breakneck speed? Do you have crew members in costume? Do you even have an extra cast member to take care of it? All of these questions need to be answered (and quickly). There's a lot of creativity involved.

Finally, if those kinds of creativity aren't enough for you, find an outlet that satisfies you. Draw, paint, play music, write, dance. Do something in your spare time that will fill your creativity quota.

Personally, I very much enjoy the 'business' aspect of stage managing. I call it the mathematical side of theatre. But I also need a creative outlet (and it helps to have a place to let off steam away from work). I play piano as a stress reliever. I also keep a coloring book and a box of colored pencils around when I'm working. It's mindless enough and creative enough that it becomes a great way to wind down after a long day of tech.
Art, in itself, is an attempt to bring order out of chaos. - Stephen Sondheim

PSMKay

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Re: Flexing your creativity
« Reply #2 on: Dec 12, 2011, 03:43 pm »
We've discussed this in depth recently - you may want to check out the following threads:

Who are we anyway?
The Creative Aspect