Author Topic: Production Stage Manager Versus Stage Manager  (Read 8251 times)

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pyromnt

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Production Stage Manager Versus Stage Manager
« on: Nov 18, 2012, 07:02 pm »
Hey guys, I am in process of creating my portfolio and resume for college and for employment at community theaters around my area and one question I have is regarding my title.

Some stage management resumes have people listed as PSMs and SMs for different shows. Now for my school and for the community theater where I am currently employed, I am stage manager and I start from the beginning of the process (pre-auditions) to calling the show and post-production "clean up."

I know that some productions, mostly touring, have an SM through the rehearsal process, and then a PSM comes in to call the show. I also know that some other productions, have the PSM on the top of the metaphorical pyramid, then SMs, then ASMS.

Therefore on my resume, if I put SM, could that be looked upon that I was a lower position than I actually am (i.e. Another student was a PSM above me).

Collectively, on my resume should I put PSM or SM for all of the shows I stage managed (not assistant stage managed)?

Thank you

P.S. If anyone is currently a student at, or an alumni of, SUNY Purchase's stage management program, I would love to talk to you about the experience. That is, at this point, one of my top choices to get a BFA, the others being NYU Tisch and Emerson. Please PM me. Thanks!
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PSMKay

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Re: Production Stage Manager Versus Stage Manager
« Reply #1 on: Nov 18, 2012, 07:13 pm »
What was the title specified in the show's playbill for your work?

pyromnt

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Re: Production Stage Manager Versus Stage Manager
« Reply #2 on: Nov 18, 2012, 07:26 pm »
For both companies,I usually put together the Production Staff and Technical Crew portion of the playbill myself. And therefore, I am listed as Stage Manager.

But, for future shows I could change that. Depending on what sounds better.

Thanks
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PSMKay

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Re: Production Stage Manager Versus Stage Manager
« Reply #3 on: Nov 18, 2012, 08:30 pm »
I reached over to Wikipedia to back up my claim here, and found my own preference is pretty much accurate for US terminology. To my mind, PSM implies that you were supervising other stage managers. "Stage manager" can imply that you were the only one on the gig, or that you were a secondary SM without supervisory responsibilities on a gig with a large team.

If I saw "PSM" on a resume I'd expect you would have experience heading an SM team, generating master calendars, running production meetings, overseeing a full season, and possibly with some hire/fire discretion for subordinate SMs. IMHO if you haven't done these things, stick with just "stage manager."

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stage_management#Regional_differences

Bwoodbury

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Re: Production Stage Manager Versus Stage Manager
« Reply #4 on: Nov 18, 2012, 08:44 pm »
I agree with Kay. I don't think that stage manager implies anything negative. PSM just implies that you were overseeing a very large team. Even when there is a PSM, often there is an SM who oversees an entire show with a PSM overseeing several. I wouldn't change your title to PSM without a change in responsibilities.

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MatthewShiner

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Re: Production Stage Manager Versus Stage Manager
« Reply #5 on: Nov 18, 2012, 09:30 pm »
Professionally, SM vs ASM is a contract issue - these are the only two AEA Positions available in stage management.

PSM, SM, First Assistant, Second, Assistant, etc . . . are all billing titles, negotiated.  AEA goes back and forth and how to deal with these billing issues.

In America, I feel production stage manager has the following nuances . . . .

1) A PSM oversees other Stage Managers, often oversees someone with the title of stage manager, or multiple ASMs.
2) A PSM tends to be the senior Stage Manager among a group of stage managers.
3) A PSM can be a staff member at a resident theater.
4) A PSM is responsible for hiring / assembling the staff.
5) A PSM is artistically responsible for maintaining the show - technically, acting, putting in understudies . . . which means the PSM may not call every show so that they are able to step out and watch the show and take notes.
6) A PSM is responsible for the training of replacement stage managers.
7) A PSM is the stage manager who reports directly to General Manager / Production Management / Producers.
8) Often a PSM, especially on larger productions may not be in the rehearsal room at all times.

So, yes, you might have done what will be considered a PSM position in the professional world, but I think to be fair, for a resume, it comes down to billing - how were you billed in the program?  What were you referred to as during the production?

I have times been doing an ASM"s job, but was only a PA.  There are times when I was billed as SM, but I was more of an PSM.

My advice is to list as SM . . . I can private you and tell you the woes of fast tracking yourself too quickly to PSM level . . .

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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.

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pyromnt

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Re: Production Stage Manager Versus Stage Manager
« Reply #6 on: Nov 18, 2012, 10:38 pm »
Thanks for all the responses guys. Man, I love this site

I will definitely look back on my past shows and see what my label should be. I will also talk to the director and producer. My responsibilities have surely changed depending the show. For example, when I was SM for Pippin, there were three ASMs below me and I basically just oversaw the process and their training, but didn't do most of the "field work(?)" with blocking, being on book, etc...so for situations like that I will probably put down PSM

Thank you all so much
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Jessie_K

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Re: Production Stage Manager Versus Stage Manager
« Reply #7 on: Nov 19, 2012, 05:03 am »
Another take on the PSM/SM debate can include other production duties.

While touring with Ailey II, my title was PSM.  I only had 1 ASM but I was serving as the Production Manager, Lighting Director and Technical Director for that show.  I supervised the local crew for the load-in, set up and rehearsals.  I had budgetary and purchasing duties as well.


LCSM

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Re: Production Stage Manager Versus Stage Manager
« Reply #8 on: Nov 19, 2012, 12:49 pm »

 8) Often a PSM, especially on larger productions may not be in the rehearsal room at all times.


...they may instead be on vacation, somewhere sunny.

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