Red rose.  Photo by Enid Martindale

A Rose by any Other Name

Katy McGlaughlin

In a field where personal satisfaction often out-weighs monetary payment a title can mean a lot. When I was hired for my last job I was officially called the “Production Assistant/Stage manager;” in reality I was assisting the production manager, shopping/buying for the shop, managing budgets, contracting crew, stage managing the Main Stage season, and working with the Second Stage stage manager. After I had been working for several months, and really started to understand the scope of the job, I had a meeting with my boss about changing my title.

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Replacing Cues.  Photo by Sarah Smiley

Adaptive Leadership

David J. McGraw

If you work in a close-knit theatrical community, you can guess the director or choreographer of a show just by its staging.  And despite creating environments in multiple time periods and locations, many designers also have ‘visual signatures.’  So do stage managers have a style that is apparent to other theatre artists even when the SM is not physically present?

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What if we couldn't rely on our communication technology?

Cutting the Cord

Katy McGlaughlin

After my computer crashed on my first day at my summer gig I started thinking about how dependent we are on technology. Another post on this blog talks about the method of first contact, do you call or e-mail? (Before this summer I would have answered e-mail, no question) Without a computer I couldn’t even access the contact list. (Smartphones, tablets, and the ASM’s computer helped us run the first week relatively uninterrupted and I did get access to the contact list.) What I discovered is that even though stage managers communicate constantly we are potentially less connected to our teams than the generations before us, we don’t have to be as prepared, and we are training future generations to be even lazier than the current one.

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A circus training school in Beijing

Risky Business: Challenge or Danger?

I am traveling in China this month and I caught show at a circus training program in Beijing. In many ways it was similar to the training program I observed in Montreal that feeds Cirque du Soleil: performers training at a young age in several acrobatic genres. The Beijing performers were younger, but that matches the cultural norms for some families sending children to dormitory schools as young as kindergarten. But the biggest difference was the level of physical risk in the circus acts.

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