Author Topic: Miscellaneous: stage managing  (Read 3026 times)

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Miscellaneous: stage managing
« on: Aug 10, 2006, 07:00 pm »
Just out of curiousity, for those professional stage managers out there. What kind of advice would you give a Stage Manager in training if it was her/his first/second/third show? Especially in college.

« Last Edit: Feb 11, 2008, 12:47 pm by PSMKay »


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Re: stage managing
« Reply #1 on: Aug 11, 2006, 12:51 pm »
My first piece of advice is to keep your ears open and your mouth shut.  New stage managers often have a directorial urge, and try to suggest interpretation or artistic choices several times in rehearsal.  It's been my experience that behavior like that can't help and often hinders the process. 

Occasionally, a stage manager with lots of experience and a strong level of trust with the director can chime in during a sticky problem in rehearsal, but it's usually best not to.

I spent the first few years of my career insisting I was a manager, not an artist.  Mostly I was convincing myself to leave my acting background behind, and to stick to the SM job description.
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Re: stage managing
« Reply #2 on: Aug 11, 2006, 11:03 pm »
Always have a pen and paper on you. About the only time you are really aloud to not have PnP on you is when you are in the toilet - actors and directors will give you notes all the time, and you NEED to be able to write them down (and don't think being in the toilet will mean you are safe from notes, it is just unhygenic to have a PnP in there)

And stick close to the director during breaks. Many actors seem to overlook the SM and go to the director with a lot of their problems. Chances are the director will nod and agree, and forget to pass the message on to you, then half way through tech, will ask "Where is the ______" or "Why is there ______" and all you can do is look confused.


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Re: stage managing
« Reply #3 on: Aug 12, 2006, 12:43 am »
It has not been that long since I've been out of college, but these are a few things that I always find true for my stage management philosophy and would be helpful to keep in mind your first shows in college.

Relax.  Usually everything turns out in the end.  Also, you are the one who sets the tone and nothing will be accomplished if you are stressed out.

Write everything down.  I have a great memory and will forget things in regards to a show if it isn't written down.  If you don't see me write it down, then you haven't told me.

Listen in on conversations.  People expect you to know everything even if they haven't told it to you specifically.

Be confident when around those that take their cue from you (designers/director/actors/crew) even if you aren't so sure yourself.  If you act confident then you will be, and everyone will have confidence in you.

Best of luck!
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