Author Topic: Other Theatre Jobs  (Read 2400 times)

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Other Theatre Jobs
« on: Apr 12, 2010, 10:12 pm »
I've got about 2 years old solid stage management at the college level and am looking to diversify my resume some (all I have really done up to this point is stage manage, and basic crew work).  What kind of things should I strive to do, namely that will help my attempts to become a better stage manager?  Property master? Assistant direct/design?  Design lights/costumes/other? 

All of these options are fairly open and possible for me to do, so which ones, in your opinion, would be most beneficial? 


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Re: Other Theatre Jobs
« Reply #1 on: Apr 12, 2010, 10:35 pm »
Yes, yes, yes, and yes.  One thing you'll find across all of the message boards here is to just do anything you can find a position doing.  The more a stage manager knows about each element of production the better. 

Does your department allow you to work on more than one thing at a time? I've found it really helpful to, say, be on electrics crew for the same show I'm SMing--that way, I can have a conversation with the LD about what look this light is a part of, what scene it's for, why this kind of light, etc--and then when I'm calling the show I have a really good picture of what each type of light looks like.  And that works in all aspects of the rehearsal process, from props crew to direction to costumes, sound, etc.

All of that said, pick whichever one you have the most interest in to start off, or pick an area you have friends in--I don't know that I would recommend any one "other" role over the rest. You may find a second passion simply by spending a semester on a new crew.
[The SM is] a very gifted, slightly eccentric master mechanic [keeping] a cantankerous, highly complex machine running at top efficiency by talking to it, soothing it, & lovingly fixing whatever is broken. 
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Re: Other Theatre Jobs
« Reply #2 on: Apr 13, 2010, 12:59 am »
I think it depends on your strengths and weaknesses. I felt like I needed to spend more time working on my people skills, so wardrobe was great for me. I interacted with a ton of actors and designers and it helped a lot. If you are great with people and want to learn more about cueing, something like electrics might be great for you.


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Re: Other Theatre Jobs
« Reply #3 on: Apr 13, 2010, 09:48 am »
You might also look into overhire crews in your area...I used to work with them to do hang+focus at other colleges, strike with the ballet, and once even a wedding! It can help hone skills AND give you work in a lot of different environments, which is definitely helpful.
I personally would like to bring a tortoise onto the stage, turn it into a racehorse, then into a hat, a song, a dragon and a fountain of water. One can dare anything in the theatre and it is the place where one dares the least. -Ionesco


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Re: Other Theatre Jobs
« Reply #4 on: Apr 13, 2010, 11:11 pm »
I would actually suggest taking a good look at the subjects you can pursue outside of theatre altogether. When I was getting my BA, I also pursued a certificate in Human Resources Management: I only had to do 4 elective courses, it gave me a skillset which has been extremely useful in my work (and which is surprisingly rare amongst theatre people), and the certificate is something valuable to put on my resume.

It wouldn't be advisable to take courses at random, but taking a class or two of economics/finance, marketing/communications/journalism, HR, psychology, law or history could be surprisingly useful in your career, depending on the direction you're hoping to take it. (If you want to be a designer, a grasp of history will be useful. If you want to go into arts administration, some background in finance will serve you well. And so on.)
« Last Edit: Apr 13, 2010, 11:13 pm by On_Headset »