Poll

If SMNetwork offered a mentorship program, would you be interested in participating?

Yes - as a mentee
239 (69.5%)
Yes - as a mentee (via email only)
34 (9.9%)
Yes - as a mentor
39 (11.3%)
Yes - as a mentor (via email only)
12 (3.5%)
Maybe
19 (5.5%)
No
1 (0.3%)

Total Members Voted: 341

Author Topic: Mentorship Program  (Read 28012 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

MatthewShiner

  • Forum Moderators
  • *****
  • Posts: 2477
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, SMA
  • Current Gig: PSM THE LION KING NORTH AMERICAN TOUR; Assc Director and Production Supervisor HUNCHBACK International
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Mentorship Program
« Reply #30 on: Mar 12, 2012, 10:09 pm »
Quote
I would love to see how Matthew's trial run worked out. I'd love to have him post right after this to say that it was super successful, but the silence from the western front tells me it probably petered out about 6 weeks after it started.

It was not super successful, but it was not a crash and burn.

I think the main problem is a mentor really needs to see the young stage manager in action, and outside of an internship or employment, that is difficult.  It ends up being a situation where you offer more generic advice based on the students self assessment on situations.  And that can lead to problems.  Because I didn't know the people that well, I found myself pulling back on how I would normally push someone if they were my student or intern, or I new the entire story.

What we forget is the the entire SMNetwork it self is a mentor to young stage managers - and we should continue to put efforts into that.  We are already mentoring each other.

What a younger stage manager maybe looking for is that golden ticket, someone to take them under the wing, and help them quickly up the ladder of success . . . I am not sure a lot of us are in the position to or would want to offer that.

I think what may be better for an internet forum is to foster and advertise members who may be open to offer more personal and offline advice on such things as resumes, choosing a school, interpersonal work issues, etc - and offer a much shorter time commitment for that relationship to play out.  For example, I would be willing to work with someone for a week on putting together a resume, but committing to six months for a more generic internship is more problematic.

Also, as a working stage manager you often have staff you are already responsible for mentoring - so besides just your 60-80 work load, you may have day to day mentoring to do.

I think there are also trust issues - I would say maybe 10 people in this network know me or have worked with me.  What would make me a good mentor over someone else?  Because I have a lot of posts online . . . maybe not.

I would strongly encourage members to reach out to other members, meet for coffee, network on their own, and start to form personal, real world business connections.  By meeting people, you can start to develop your own opinion about individuals, who you can trust, who you want to go to for advice, etc.  (I try to make time for each and every "young stage manager" who wants to get together for coffee . . . ). 

Those are my thoughts.

« Last Edit: Mar 12, 2012, 10:12 pm by MatthewShiner »
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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.

PSMKay

  • Site Founder
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 1353
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • http://www.smnetwork.org
  • Affiliations: None.
  • Current Gig: SMNetwork *is* my production.
  • Experience: Former SM
Re: Mentorship Program
« Reply #31 on: Mar 12, 2012, 11:07 pm »
Thanks, Matthew for that excellent report and insight. I hope you don't think I was harshing on your efforts!

Given the prior two posts I'm still interested to hear if anyone can suggest a way to make mentoring work for a web forum.

I am, however, thinking that we might want to consider some more focused attempts at teaching beyond the sporadic student challenges, which are always well-received but rarely active in terms of replies. I will ponder this, and welcome your suggestions to this end as well.

loebtmc

  • Forum Moderators
  • *****
  • Posts: 1567
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, SAG, AFTRA, SMA
  • Current Gig: Caroling, caroling now we go — and looking for my next gig!
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Mentorship Program
« Reply #32 on: Mar 13, 2012, 12:18 am »
Many good questions. There is such an interesting balance; each of us is an up-and-comer in one way and a mentor/teacher in another. As someone who trains newbies all the time, I agree that seeing someone in a real life situation helps - so many people misperceive their/our strengths and weaknesses. And people on this site mentor each other all the time. But yes, something structure married to realistic sounds like a great plan. I like the idea of something like "what have you always wanted to ask a working stage manager" and seeing what popped up. Or, maybe, we could lend stories to a "what's the most important thing you learned from your mentor" or "what do you wish someone had told you when you were starting out".

« Last Edit: Mar 13, 2012, 12:29 am by loebtmc »

ambrosialx

  • Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 77
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • Ambrosia LX and Design Portfolio
  • Affiliations: University of Guelph
  • Current Gig: Production Manager- Roseneath Theatre
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Mentorship Program
« Reply #33 on: Mar 14, 2012, 05:34 am »
This is just an idea but I've been really digging the iTunes U courses. What if something like that could come out of the forums? Do a series of podcasts that follow a loose "curriculum" that different members could take on and have a challenge at the end of each one that people could submit to the site for open (or not?) constructive criticism.
"I will prepare and someday my chance will come"

BayAreaSM

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 410
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • Bay Area SM
  • Affiliations: AEA
  • Current Gig: VP, Operations in AV Events
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Mentorship Program
« Reply #34 on: Mar 15, 2012, 01:05 am »
Quote
The US SMA has a Mentoring committee but mentoring is not mentioned at all in the US SMA's recruitment materials. This tells me it isn't a very robust program. If the paid-membership based associations with committees and dues can't pull it off, how can we do so with no budget and no real world contingent?

The US SMA does have a mentorship scholarship program, which gives 2 young SMs a 1 year paid membership to the SMA, as well as a mentor to contact via phone and/or email for that year. I participated as a mentor this year and it was completely pointless. The person running it was very disorganized (my name and contact info was continually mangled in drafts and final emails), the student I was assigned was not interested in having a mentor, and the group calls/monthly check ins just fell apart after month 1.

I have personally found more success as a mentor working in person than over the internet. I will say, if we do take this on SMNet, the person in charge of the project has to devote a LOT of time to getting this puppy to run properly - and continue to work on it, after it is started. I volunteered at a local arts high school this year with the drama department run by a local AEA actor. He had a well-written contract, informational letter, etc for the student mentorship period, which would only last 2 weeks. It was supposed to start on January 16 and run through the 27 (according to the contract). I have yet to receive my first email from my mentee. Each week I would email the actor in charge and he would tell me they'd been delayed, and the project would be starting soon. Soon just never happened - and his project was well thought out, planned and organized. But he didn't keep on it.

In my opinion, the biggest part of making a mentorship project work is for the mentee to be the one pushing for the mentoring. I can only offer myself so many times. If the young SM has questions, wants feedback, needs to vent - I don't know any of that until they come to me.

Kay, perhaps a new poll can be started to ask what mentees want out of the project - and if those are what we as group can deem as reasonable requests (sans the magic fairy dust), then a contract needs to be written up for the mentees. They need to guarantee that they want this mentorship, that they will be available, that they will check in with their mentor and the coordinator, and that they will state up front what kind of mentoring they are needing with their career. Personally, if I had my digital mentees sign the contract that I did, stating a dedication to the program and what's expected, then perhaps success could've been possible.

bpaige

  • New to Town
  • **
  • Posts: 24
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • Website
  • Affiliations: EMC for AEA
  • Current Gig: Freelance
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Mentorship Program
« Reply #35 on: Apr 01, 2012, 03:42 pm »
I have been fortunate enough to participate in the Stage Management Mentoring Project for two years now at USITT. While looking into the SMNetwork mentoring project I was hoping to see some of the things that I participated in while at USITT in an online format with more people.

There are a variety of "round table" discussions on a variety of topics (equity, marketing yourself, the differences between types of SM gigs, what it is like to work with IATSE, etc.) I know many topics are discussed in forums but there is a benefit (in my opinion) to having discussions in more of a chat room style setting. Mentors/mentees would be able to be able to discuss personal experiences and perhaps things they are experiencing right now.

I also think, if there is close enough proximity between mentors/mentees that shadowing mentors would be a great possibility.

Yes, this may seem simply like a different way to discuss things already on this website but it may have a different meaning to someone getting immediate feedback in a chat setting.

I also like Matthew's suggestion of working with someone for a week or so on a resume. Having personal feedback on a resume/cover letter/portfolio would be helpful and may be a way for people to feel more comfortable about putting this kind of personal work out there to someone who is "mentoring" them and they will get private feedback.

These are just my thoughts. I do see the difference between an in-person mentorship and online mentorship and definitely believe that it is harder to foster an online mentoring relationship.

joannamblack

  • New to Town
  • **
  • Posts: 11
    • View Profile
  • Experience: College/Graduate
Re: Mentorship Program
« Reply #36 on: May 02, 2012, 01:17 pm »
Personally, I would be interested in this just for the ability to have a contact in another country that I was willing/wanted to work in. It would be far less intimidating to move half way across the world if you had a theatre contact that could show you the ropes in their town.

mgaskin

  • New to Town
  • **
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
  • Experience: College/Graduate
Re: Mentorship Program
« Reply #37 on: Dec 15, 2012, 12:49 pm »
I would love this to get more information about the field

I will definitely be looking for more information about this :)

VEsherry

  • New to Town
  • **
  • Posts: 13
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Experience: College/Graduate
Re: Mentorship Program
« Reply #38 on: Feb 24, 2013, 07:24 pm »
I would love to have a mentor in Stage Management, I came late into the game as a theater student (Sophmore year of college) and when I decided to pursue Stage management as a career, i soon found out that my school had one class for this area of expertise and it was from the scenic design professor. I have pretty much taught myself and picked some tricks and forms from Stage managers I PAed and ASMed. As much as I enjoy the hands on learning on ones own, with a career like this i would love to find someone I could constantly look up too as I come into my own.

Logan Duhaime

  • New to Town
  • **
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
  • Experience: High School
Re: Mentorship Program
« Reply #39 on: Apr 27, 2013, 09:28 pm »
I believe this would be a great idea. As I am almost a senior in High school I have only been asm for one show. I have always acted in the shows. Our current stage manager is leaving this year for nau and I hope I would be fullfilling the stage manager role next year. So having a mentor would be amazing and really helpful. So I say yes.

Br3ak_a_leg

  • New to Town
  • **
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
  • Experience: College/Graduate
Re: Mentorship Program
« Reply #40 on: Sep 17, 2014, 05:48 pm »
A mentor program would be so cool! I would love to learn from all of the experienced stage managers on here!

IcewingPhoenix

  • Tourist
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Mentorship Program
« Reply #41 on: Feb 27, 2017, 11:33 am »
a mentorship program would be helpful for me, definitely.  i am mostly self-taught where stage management is concerned, and could use someone who would teach me without judging me personally.  (legitimately i just got out of a show where the SM complained about "why would i ever think to do _______" over headset, not realizing that i was on.  she apologized, and i tried to accept it, but didn't get over it for the entire run because i got a complex about what else she was probably texting her ASM about what i would ever think to do, or whatever.)  i have a fair amount of small-time experience, but no education credits, and not enough big professional experience to step in and run six-shows per week type productions, and that's where i want to be.
Failures are lessons- they're just more painful than most other classes.

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
8 Replies
5104 Views
Last post Feb 03, 2012, 03:02 pm
by BARussell
7 Replies
11065 Views
Last post Jan 19, 2016, 01:59 pm
by tonyedgabe
13 Replies
4675 Views
Last post Jan 28, 2013, 10:49 pm
by MarcieA