Backstage at the SM Survey

Every two years, a national study begins in early November: The Stage Manager Survey. This 3-week survey has evolved over the past decade into the largest study of stage managers in the United States and, quite possibly, the world. At just five days into the 2017 survey, we have already surpassed the participation count of the 2013 but are still hunting the record turnout of 2015. So let’s look behind the scenes into the survey.

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Everything Changes? Or Nothing?

David J. McGraw

Last week Actors’ Equity Association announced a major change to the Equity Membership Candidate (EMC) program. The stated goal of the change is to modernize the EMC program and to advance stage managers and actors from EMC status to full membership more quickly. Previously, AEA membership could be earned by accumulating 50 points, one point for each week you apprenticed on a show with Equity stage managers. Now SMs can become AEA members after just 25 weeks at EMC-participating companies.* So what does this mean for stage managers?

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Welcome to the New Stage Management History Blog

Jennifer Leigh Sears Scheier

After posting two articles on SD’s SM Kit blog curated by David J. McGraw, I am incredibly excited to join the Stage Directions’ family, with my very own blog, SM History.  Check back often, as I’ll be posting information about the projects that I’m working on and other fun facts that I find along the way. But before we get to the historical stuff… let me introduce myself, my journey, and what information you can look forward to.

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Happy International Stage Managers Day!

The Honor of a Stage Manager

David J. McGraw

On this International Stage Managers Day (October 10th or 10/10 to use the British shorthand for Tech like the American 10-out-of-12), we honor stage managers. I will never turn down a gift of chocolate and, although I will squirm and potentially blush when receiving praise, it does make me feel good to hear that another artist appreciates my work. I love hearing stories about magic SM kits that can produce the most obscure but absolutely necessary object. And SM jokes are usually very dry (“How many SMs does it take to-- Done.”) or end with fools getting their karmic comeuppance (the SM getting the third wish from a genie is my favorite).  But I would like to use this special day for honoring stage managers to consider the stage manager’s honor.

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Questions for the 2017 SM Survey?

David J. McGraw

Rehearsing the 2017 SM Survey

It is nearly time for the Stage Manager Survey! Started in 2006, the 6th edition of this now biennial study of American stage managers will start in November. As we prepare for the survey launch, we want to know if there are any questions that you would like to see asked in the 2017 survey.

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Onboarding Past Prep Week

David J. McGraw

As the seasons change and we put away our summer show-blacks for our warmer show-blacks (please tell me I am not the only stage manager who divides his all-black wardrobe by season) it is also time to train our new staff. Whether working for regional theaters, tours, universities, or the constantly changing Broadway, Fall is the season of new staffing.

Stage managers are very good at training understudies and new crew, but how good are we at training our own teams?

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Jade Cagalawan
Jade Cagalawan

Fighting the Patriarchy

Ross Jackson

An Interview with Jade Cagalawan, Stage Manager

Jade Cagalawan is a Filipino American, Los Angeles based stage manager.  Growing up in the San Fernando Valley, she first fell in love with theatre when her family repeatedly watched the documentary on Miss Saigon, praising Lea Salonga. She started stage managing at the age of 18 when she told former Cal Poly Pomona department chair, William H. Morse, that she was interested in directing. He then stuck her into stage management, stating that “stage management is an important aspect of directing”. Since then she never looked back.  

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Standing in the Dark

Standing in the Dark Project

David J. McGraw

“Name a famous stage manager!” I suspect that many of us (A) have never been asked this question, (B) want clarification as to what makes a stage manager famous, and (C) probably default to a stage manager with a lengthy career on Broadway. But who are the pioneers in our field and what are their stories? The Stage Managers’ Association is looking for the answers.

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Cherelle Guyton
Cherelle Guyton

Cherelle Guyton: Artistry of Hair & Wig Design

Porsche McGovern

Cherelle Guyton currently works as the Wig and Hair Supervisor at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.  I met her after a panel discussion at the Theatre Communications Group conference in Portland, OR this year. Cherelle Guyton is an artist, entrepreneur, educator, designer and speaker.  She is the CEO and Designer of C Stylez U, LLC, a bi-coastal wig and makeup design business.  C Stylez U offers a variety of wig and makeup design services for theatre, tv/film, photography, marketing videos, commercials and also serves individual clients. She has designed over thirty-three productions to date, including Les Miserables, voted one of the 2015 "Best of Ashland" plays.

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