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Messages - TheatreDino

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Hey guys,

I was recently interning (unpaid) as an ASM for a production where I got really terrible food poisoning a few hours before call time and I couldn't even leave my bathroom without feeling like I was going to hurl. I called my stage manager and said that I was really ill and didn't think I was able to do the show that night. They told me to come in anyway and that I'd feel better later. I obliged and said ok I'll give it a go. When it came closer to the call time and needed to leave I still felt the same and was vomiting at least every 10 minutes. I called the stage manager again and said I really didn't think it was a great idea to come in and she told me just to come so they could see my 'condition'. It ended with me having to somehow drag myself to the theatre only to get there and be told by the stage manager - "you need to learn that as stage managers you need to just do the job even when you are sick, the only exceptions are when you need to go to hospital or have had an accident." At this point, I was in tears because I thought I was being weak for not being able to pull myself together, but at the same time I was certainly in no state to work. I felt like the stage manager didn't trust me when I told her I was ill and that really upset me that this is how they thought of me. The director and company manager happened to be there that night and I got sent home by them anyway as they could see I could hardly stand up.

I put a lot of thought into whether I could afford to miss the show and in the end I could justify it as I only had 2 things in my ASM plot, being to open and close curtains, and this could easily be done by one of the stand by staging or lighting crew. The show also had no props and my only job was to sweep the stage and put the first aid kit side stage.

The stage manager only had a couple years more experience than me (in terms of uni graduation) and whilst I did (try to) respect their authority the whole time, there were many times during the production where she would call me in very early in the mornings when there was nothing to do and when I asked they said, "Me (and the lighting/sound crew) have to be here so you should be too." I didn't want to say anything but it felt like a waste of manpower to call everyone in when it wasn't necessary and also felt like I was being taken advantage of since it was unpaid. But would like to know what everyone thinks of this too?

This is one of my first experiences in the industry and it honestly wasn't a great one. Throughout university, the lecturers always told us that our health came first. I've met a lot of "ride or die" stage managers who really put their work first, but they've always only applied that to themselves and not the crew working for them.

So I guess what I am asking is if anyone has had any experience like this? And also whether you have the right to say no to coming in when you are ill or have some kind of family emergency?

Thanks for listening to my vent everyone...

Homework Help / Need Working Division form for SM Class
« on: Sep 03, 2015, 11:37 pm »
Hi there,

We have to do a Working Division of Pride and Prejudice for our SM Class. Is anyone able to upload a template that we could use?


The Green Room / Employment after a Career as a Stage Manager
« on: Apr 19, 2015, 10:25 am »
Recently, I was speaking to my course coordinator about jobs you can get after you've finished your career as a stage manager. I know that jobs in stage management don't last particularly long, I was told around 10-15 years.

I'm wondering if anyone here wants to give an insight about their plans for employment later on in life.

(I've only just begun my journey as a professional stage manager, but I find the idea of jobs that still fall under the umbrella of 'stage management' really fascinating!)

UPDATE: So I got offered a place at WAAPA, so it seems that all has worked out in the end :)

Thank you so much! I'll look around and see what I can find. I've also had a browse through some of the other posts and might see if there's an opportunity for me to 'shadow' a few productions.

Thanks again x

Introductions / Good Day, All!
« on: Nov 22, 2014, 08:02 am »
Good day, all!

My name's Ashleigh and I reside in Sydney, Australia. Starting as an actor, I realised my love for stage management during work experience at the beautiful Capitol Theatre where I got the privilege to chat with the SM of A Chorus Line. Since then, I've been working as a SM and ASM at school (that I've just graduated from!) and in the community. All of where I gained great experience! Right now, I'm in the midst of applying for university (WAAPA), looking for work and more exposure to Sydney's professional theatre companies, and finding a cheap copy of a stage management handbook. I can't wait to start working as a SM professionally and will do everything within my power to achieve this dream I've had for so long...

I'm also really interested in directing, designing and writing for theatre! I also collect scripts.

Outside of my theatrical shenanigans, I love love love my martial arts, fluffy animals, not so fluffy ones and hiking.

So, hello SM community! I'm so glad to have found you - I'm sure you'll all be of great help whenever I need something.

Ashleigh x

Hi everyone,

I'm from Australia and I have just graduated from high school. I've applied for one of the harder universities to get in to - Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts for a Diploma in Stage Management.  This uni is particularly difficult to get into because they don't normally take in school leavers.  So even though I've had a fair bit if experience as an SM and ASM, there is still a high chance that I won't be accepted this year. However, I know that when I apply again next year, WAAPA will expect more experience. My problem is, I've involved myself in quite a few community productions at the same company and I don't know how to 'break in' to something a little more professional - this is probably because of my age and the fact that there are very few SM jobs to spread around.

It's this awful blurry part between my high school and uni studies where I can SM, but don't have the qualifications or ties to do so. 

Would you know of some possibilities that would help me get more experience and exposure to different theatrical styles, spaces and people?


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