College College Help! - for Stage Management GA

The Guy In Black

New Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2016
Location
Georgia
I'm a rising senior at my high school and am heavily involved in my high school's drama department. I act and work backstage for every show, depending on where I'm needed. I have decided that I want to go to college for Stage Management and become a Professional Stage Manager. I live in Georgia, but I know little about colleges that offer good Drama Programs for Stage Management. I'm open to colleges anywhere in the country, but I'd prefer to stay in Georgia. Also, any advice for once I get the degree on what to do with it and how to get work stage managing is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 

rochem

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 20, 2008
Location
New York, NY
As you can imagine, this question has been asked in various forms dozens of times over the years. To start off, be sure to read the megathread on college choice, https://www.controlbooth.com/threads/faq-recommendations-about-college-education.21801/. Once you've done that, the article at https://www.controlbooth.com/wiki/?title=Collaborative-Articles:ControlBooth-Member-College-Demographics will give you a better idea of the college demographics of many of the frequent members here - although keep in mind that this is by no means representative of the industry as a whole. Even if I was able to definitely say "XX is the best undergrad program for SMs in the nation, period", that wouldn't mean the program was necessarily right for you. Going to college in this field is largely about what you put into it, and even the best program out there can't force-feed you the knowledge and experience you need to succeed - you need to mesh with the personality and culture of the program, as well as the faculty you'll be working with, in order to get the most out of it.
 

derekleffew

Resident Curmudgeon
Senior Team
Premium Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2007
Location
Las Vegas, NV, USA
Are ya sure? Are you REALLY sure? "If you can find happiness doing anything other than the arts, do that instead."

Okay, that said, and not to send you away from this fine site, but check out http://smnetwork.org/forum/index.php
after you've read
https://www.controlbooth.com/threads/faq-recommendations-about-college-education.21801/
https://www.controlbooth.com/threads/how-important-was-your-college-degree-to-your-career-path.22893/
https://www.controlbooth.com/threads/choosing-between-two-great-schools.27997/#post-249225
https://www.controlbooth.com/threads/getting-a-job-in-the-industry.31375/

... I have decided that I want to go to college for Stage Management and become a Professional Stage Manager. ...
With few exceptions (rock shows and TV--but those are truly different job descriptions) being a professional stage manager means being a member of AEA; if you want a chance of making a living. Most PSMs act as director once the show opens. Are you/ Will you/ Can you be comfortable directing actors, all aspects actually, of a show? Training stand-bys/understudies? Putting new cast members into the show? Living in a large city between gigs with no income?
 
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Senior Team
Senior Team
Premium Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2005
Location
Saratoga Springs, NY
You won't find the school you are looking for in Georgia. SCAD is the closest but their program has had its issues. I don't know of any state school that offers a production degree vs an overall "theatre" degree. I taught at a performing arts high school in Georgia in a previous life. All of our students who "made it" went north to go to school. North Carolina School of The Arts is the closest good school to you. A lot of people ended up at the multitude of schools in Ohio. Even more so then other disciplines stage management tends to be more of a networking game then other crafts. The contacts you build in college will be what gets you your first gig. You never see stage management jobs posted for a reason. Going to a school that doesn't have working alumni will sink you.

With that though, how are you paying for school? Are you eligible for the hope scholarship?
 

TuckerD

Active Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2012
Location
Rochester, NT
I know several graduates from NCSA, all of whom were very happy with their choice to attend school there and some of whom are pretty successful (at least in my eyes). A friend and mentor of mine once told me "It doesn't matter where you go to school unless it is Yale, Carnegie Mellon, <school name>, <school name>" I can't remember what the last two schools he mentioned were, but his point was this: How hard you work to succeed will be far more important than where you go to school. I know several graduates of the programs from the aforementioned schools (or at least CMU and Yale) and they all reported to me that the networking opportunities was by far the most important factor of their success at those schools. And, if you work hard, you can make those networking opportunities for yourself by asking questions here on CB or in other relevant online communities and just directly reaching out to people who you admire in the industry and asking for a bit of help or advice.

I wrote a post on the subject of finding a mentor or asking questions and learning from those you admire here:
https://www.controlbooth.com/threads/any-tips-on-finding-a-mentor.39919/#post-345386

As far as specific schools go:
I'm not familiar with schools in the south, nor am I familiar with stage management. But if you want to talk about engineering and theatre, I love to talk about that.
 
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