Author Topic: Making money with AEA?  (Read 2501 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


  • New to Town
  • **
  • Posts: 19
    • View Profile
Making money with AEA?
« on: Jul 10, 2008, 05:24 pm »
What is the minimum salary for stage managers in AEA? Are you paid weekly, and what do you do if you dont have a current job? How do you make money? Is finding equity jobs difficult?

I know these questions may sound stupid, but I am an aspiring stage manager in high school planning to go to college for stage management. My parents dont believe that it would be a stable job, and I need some information to back of my plan.  :) Thanks alot guys!



  • SM Expert
  • ****
  • Posts: 103
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, SMA
Re: Making money with AEA?
« Reply #1 on: Jul 10, 2008, 05:53 pm »
Minimum AEA salaries range from small stipends (think $100 or so on showcases) to very large weekly salaries in the range of $2500/week.  It really varies. Check out and the document section for different agreements.  They usually have minimum salaries for the individual contracts listed.

I'm not sure what you mean by "what do you do if you don't have a current job" --- but my best guess to answer your question: search for one!  (I'm not saying that to be snide.  Its the truth)

You make money weekly under AEA contracts.  Some stage managers have day jobs for a while if they're working on smaller contracts, but the larger ones usually don't allow time for a day job.

Finding work in any field is always difficult.  With stage management, it sometimes takes a while to get your foot in the door, and depending on your luck (really, it can come down to luck), your perseverance, and your skill, work will eventually come. It just takes time.  4 years ago I was day-jobbing it and making stipends of $250 dollars max for my work as an SM.  Over time I got a fulltime SM job, then started freelancing nationwide, and now am working at a regional theatre making LORT A/B salaries.  For some people the journey is quicker, for some, much longer.

These are very broad questions you ask. I can get more specific, but research on sites such as,,, and the archives of this website will probably turn up quite a few answers for you.


  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 204
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AGMA
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Making money with AEA?
« Reply #2 on: Jul 10, 2008, 07:29 pm »
This question pops up from time to time for the very same reason, and the answer is there's a bunch of us who make our full time living stage managing . . .which includes health benefits, retirements plans, etc.  But, Ryan, you do have to be good at what you do, and you have to wade through some tough years.  Right out of school it's not pretty.  Once you have your connections you can do very well if you haven't burned yourself out.
"This lovely light, it lights not me" - Orson Welles