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Messages - LindSM

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Hi all - I'm seeking some anecdotes/advice regarding internships.

I'm currently going into my junior year of college, and I'm a props intern at a summer stock Shakespeare company out west. I'm also working on the stage management team for two of the four mainstage shows as run crew for two shows, and I was given the opportunity to informally ASM a less involved, non-mainstage production with two performances. Despite the fact that I'm a props intern, stage management is definitely what I want to do, and eventually I hope to relocate to New York or Boston.

I really like the company I'm working with this summer and am definitely going to apply for their stage management internship for next summer. However, I was wondering if anyone has advice about interning for the same company twice. I'm having mixed feelings about it, because on the one hand, I already know I love this company, and interning here next summer would give me a chance to continue to further develop relationships with the people I already know here. On the other hand, I wouldn't be meeting as many new people as if I were working at a different company, and this theatre is kind of far from what I want to end up doing: I am particularly interested in working on musicals (which I don't really have the opportunity to do at my college), and also working in a large, east-coast city.

I'm going to apply to a variety of internship programs, including the one I'm currently working at, but I was wondering if anyone had any advice for me to keep in the back of my head during my search/decision process. Thanks in advance!

(Sorry again for the late reply - I'm a summer theatre camp counsellor, and I've had very little free time the past few weeks.) Thanks for the additional replies. I actually already have a bit of experience as a light board op and an LD for some smaller shows (nothing intense), and I've loved the small amount of experience I've gotten in this area.

I'd definitely be interested in assistant designing, as well as stage managing, a production - just not sure if my program actually allows students to do that. I'll definitely look into it. I think my main "issue" is that I just want to try everything (and the fact that my school has so few stage managers besides myself to fill production roles makes things complicated), but doing both would be a good solution.

Thanks again for all the advice!

EustaceSM, sorry about my late reply! I have no idea how this plays out in the professional world or at other colleges, but at my college (Vassar), assistant designers are very much involved in the design process. We have a very small drama department, and I would say that a majority of the people in the department are there for direction or performance (plus we're not a BFA program), so the faculty love getting more people actively involved in and educated about the design side of things.

(Also, as my own update - the department actually asked me to stage manage two shows this year, which doesn't leave me room to assistant design a show this year. Maybe next year, though!)

Employment / Re: How far are you willing to travel?
« on: Jun 27, 2016, 02:38 pm »
Thanks for sharing, everyone!

Employment / How far are you willing to travel?
« on: Jun 20, 2016, 02:11 pm »
I've been thinking about this question for a bit, and I was just curious to see how you folks would answer - what is the longest commute you have done/would be willing to do daily (or almost daily) for a "decent" job?

I'm currently trying to decide if sending in resumes to the professional theatres in my state, which are all 1.5 - 2 hours away, is even really worth it since I wouldn't be able to move closer if I were hired. (Not specifically seeking professional advice or anything, just curious to see what the range of answers is and any other thoughts people may have on length of commute.)

Awesome; thanks so much for your feedback. Everything both of you said about scenic design knowledge makes sense. I'm probably most interested in both lighting and scenic design, but I already have a bit of experience with lighting design/electrics, whereas I have close to zero experience in/knowledge of scenic design, so I think assistant scenic designing would be best for me from a purely educational standpoint as well.

Not sure about the work breakdown for designers vs. assistant designers - many times we don't even have assistant designers, and a lot of times we have people who ask, for example, "Can I be an assistant lighting designer for this show?" only to have our design professor come back with "How about you be THE lighting designer, and I'll be here to help and answer questions." We're a small department at a small college, so there tends to be a lot of variation in how we do things season by season and show by show. But that's useful advice, and once I know more about who is working on each production, I'll definitely evaluate how much hands-on experience I think I'd be getting in each potential position.

Thanks again!  :)

Hi all!

I am a drama student in college and plan on stage managing for a career after I graduate. Since I go to liberal arts college, the faculty encourage us to work on department productions in capacities outside those we plan on entering professionally. Because of this, I am planning on taking on some kind of an assistant design role for a play in the spring semester.

They don't really factor in experience when assigning you a position if you're an assistant, so I can pretty much ask to be assigned to any position (assistant lights, set, sound, props, and costumes are the usual positions available). I have my own preferences and certain levels of comfort with each of these areas, but I wanted to reach out to all you stage managers and see if you have any recommendations - in short, which area(s) of design do you think it is most beneficial, professionally or educationally, to gain more knowledge and experience in?

Hope that makes sense, and sorry if something like this has already been asked/answered - a quick search didn't yield anything, but I may have been looking for the wrong thing. Thank you!

Introductions / Hello, everyone!
« on: Mar 10, 2015, 02:30 pm »
I'm a student stage manager (well, I'm on a gap year between high school and college now, so I'm not exactly a student right now...) and I will be attending Vassar College in the fall. I plan on double-majoring in English and drama, possibly with a correlate (minor) in film.

I stage managed at my high school until I graduated, and, in addition to my full-time job, I'm doing several shows this school year with a great youth theatre company in my state, New Hampshire. I just finished assistant stage managing A Midsummer Night's Dream, which, while technically simple, was one of my favourite shows to work on (as a literature nerd/Shakespeare fanatic, it was a ton of fun for me). I'm currently getting my first experience at the light board for a production of Aladdin (opening this weekend!), and I'm also assistant stage managing The Wizard of Oz, which opens in May.

I don't know what I want to do as a career, but stage managing is definitely an option - and if I don't do it as a career, I definitely want to do it as a hobby for the rest of my life. I'm looking forward to learning more about the art on these boards. :)

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