Author Topic: To SM or to PM, That is the Question  (Read 3777 times)

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To SM or to PM, That is the Question
« on: Mar 30, 2006, 02:52 pm »
I have been switching back and forth with a local up & coming theatre between PM & SM.  Keeps me very busy for the season.

In any case, I'm on the fence as to whether I should PM for a season or keep alternately SMing with them.  

I think they are desperately in need of a constant PM - they're at a stage where a PM is always needed and to not have a steady on for the season has led to overspending and time wasting, in my humble opinion.  I've submitted some proposals regarding improvements to the managing director, however, I didn't want to throw my name into the hat as an opportunist just yet.

Not sure why I have reservations, still trying to sort that out.

History: Been involved with theatre since I was 7.  Actor for 7yrs.  Backstage for for around 11yrs.

I've been SMing for over 5 years now and love the job, I love working with young SMs and teaching the craft.  I love being a part of the creative process - in so many more ways than one.  As an actor I remember creating a role; as an SM I am able to help create a show and bring it to life with so many other artists through rehearsal, tech and performance.  Creation is a beautiful thing.

As a PM I feel a bit seperated from the creative and I miss that rush of "go" at the perfect time and hearing the audience react.  However, I do love working with designers (yes, there are diva designers AND actors) and helping the show come together financially as well as being the "older SM" with the experience to support the production technically.

Not being an equity SM, I have horrible hours and we all know how rough that is - especially during tech week when you're working a 9-5 and then going from 6-12 with the 12-10 weekend coming up WAY too fast.  When I PM, those hours are much more relaxed and controlled by me.

After talking this through - sounds like I have an hours issue, you think?
Acting is standing up naked and turning around very slowly.
-Rosiland Russell


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To SM or to PM, That is the Question
« Reply #1 on: Mar 30, 2006, 04:05 pm »
It sounds like you are in a position to set up a sweet gig for your is what I did in a similar situation.

I convinced the company to hire me at 3/4 time at the PM. I did all the PM duties for all the shows, then I SM'd half of the season as a contracted artist.   It ended up being a year round full-time job, I didn't need to keep my 9-5.  As their PM I could set my own hours and had the flexibilty to take some other gigs on the side when I wasn't stage managing for the company.

Best of luck!
Jen Matthews
Stage Manager, AEA

"In art we are once again able to do all the things we have forgotten: we are able to walk on water; we speak to the angels who call us; we  move, unfettered, among the stars." -ML