Thinking about becoming a stage manager...


Active Member
What should i know before i suggest myself as stage manager? IE: Job Description, abilities needed, Pro's, Con's, etc.
Right now I'm an administrative and disciplinary type TD for a highschool and a Supervisor type producer for a church (sub-TD)
All I can suggest is to make sure you have thorough knowledge of lighting, sound, set building, and discipline. A stage manager can be ultimately responsible for every aspect of a production, good or bad. You have to know what is going on in both worlds: Technicians and cast. Cmmunicate with both. As a stage manager, I prefer letting the lighting and sound technicians do their own jobs, and I just focus on the stage. I make sure that everyone and everything is set, and that the backstage aspect of the production runs smoothly. I generally do not communicate with the booth much if I don't need to. The show I am working on right now (The Unsinkable Molly Brown) has several major scene changes, so the set and running crew require most of my attention.
Hope This Helps!
Know what you are talking about. There is nothing worst than a stage manager that makes suggestions that aren't possible. Have good organizational skills. Stage managers that get lost in their notes ruin the show, and are disliked. Know enough of all the aspects of the show that you can help the technicians with problems. To sum it all up in one sentence... A good stage manager is knowledgeable and organized...

Definitely the organization and knowledge are the two most important pieces of SM work... I would say that the third, which is usually a result of these two pieces, is a calm demeanor. A lot of the time, the cast and director (not to mention other production staff members) will depend on you as the SM to reassure them when the going gets tough. Even if you are stressed and exhausted yourself, appearing calm and projecting an "everything is fine" attitude will make the whole process easier on everyone.

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