Author Topic: Explaining Stage Management to My Therapist  (Read 1634 times)

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Explaining Stage Management to My Therapist
« on: Oct 22, 2018, 08:38 pm »
Not sure where to put this, so I'm putting it in The Hardline...because it relates to health care...which I have through CAEA. Bit of a stretch, but hey. :)

I'm starting sessions with a new therapist soon, and I'd like to send them a short summary of what a stage manager does, and what the career is like. My former therapist worked with a lot of performing artists, and it was great to talk to someone who already understood the job and the lifestyle, but unfortunately I have to switch things up.

I've found some websites/links that do a good job breaking down the day-to-day responsibilities (scheduling, taking blocking, calling the show, etc.), but I'm struggling to find something that addresses the "soft skills" involved (leading the company, looking out for their well-being, managing conflicts/personalities, etc.) that take more emotional energy.

Does anyone have any links/literature that touches on this? Do you have any favourite ways of explaining/summarizing it?

I tend to default to the "I'm like a personal assistant, but to twenty people instead of just one" line when I speak to friends and family, but I'd love something a little more tailored/nuanced for this particular situation.

P.S. Realizing it's been a LONG time since I've posted anything...though I have been lurking. Hi!!


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Re: Explaining Stage Management to My Therapist
« Reply #1 on: Oct 24, 2018, 11:51 pm »
I wish I had some type of literature to recommend, just some anecdotal stuff:

I got REALLY lucky and my previous therapist (he retired - I know, selfish right?!) minored in theatre in college and happened to work in NYC post-grad/pre-doctorate backstage. Wow, was it refreshing to hear an "I know exactly what you mean" when you're trying to vent on the frustrations of the career.

Now, I usually describe the job as middle management. You have power and responsibilities, but certainly not the major decision-making (aka design of the show, direction, casting, money management, etc...) that an audience notices most. It's important and necessary stuff, but not the glam and glitter, and not easily taught or replaceable.

"Middle management" is also a term that I've seen triggers a sympathetic response from people. They understand you're in charge, but only to a certain extent, with a wide variety of responsibilities. This sentiment is something that I think easily translates across industries.


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Re: Explaining Stage Management to My Therapist
« Reply #2 on: Oct 30, 2018, 02:14 am »
I've been trying to come up with some examples to help you. The closest so far that I found is this article, on the "Overlooked Characteristics of Great Stage Managers".

The Bamboo Manager Project (a project of an SM friend of mine) also has this short video on her tagline, "flexible, adaptable and sustainable."



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