Are You Ready for the 6th Annual International Stage Manager Day?

by David J. McGraw
Photo: Carly O'Neill
Photo: Carly O'Neill

I was chatting with an Australian colleague and I casually asked if the International Stage Manager’s Day had taken root on her continent.  Not only has the holiday “well and truly taken hold” in Australia, but various SM teams are trying to figure out how to top last year’s festivities.  The photo for this post is a cake made last year by a QUT Technical Production Stage Management student.  And yes, both the stop watch and the pencil are also edible.

American readers of this blog, we need to step up our game!

Much like the other beloved October holiday, we cannot wait until the day before to make plans or buy something from superstore if we truly want to inspire awe.  We have over a week – plenty of time for a stage manager to tech something brilliant!

If you are new to the holiday (October 10th or 10/10, which is how many British stage managers refer to Tech like the American 10-out-of-12), or just fresh out of ideas, you may want to consider the following options.

What We Can Do 

  • This is an international holiday, so can you find stage managers in other countries and learn how we are both alike and different? 
  • If you are a resident stage manager, are there any tours coming through the area?  Can you provide some local hospitality to a stage manager who may be feeling homesick?
  • Thank your mentor(s).
  • Listen the Standing in the Dark podcasts and read the Stage Management History blog for stories about how stage management has evolved.
  • Share a “Day in the Life” by journaling your workday to share with family, friends, and co-workers.
  • Tend to your battle-worn SM Kit: replace the cushions on your headset, take inventory of your Sharpies, buy new show blacks, etc.
  • Find a school/youth group and share what it means to be a stage manager.
  • Treat yourself!  You deserve it.

What Others Can Do for Us

  • We are giving our companies a new reason to celebrate!  What Stage Manager Appreciation events can your team’s social event organizer design with a week’s notice?  It is still a new holiday, so add your own twist.  Is 10/10 the day that everyone supplies secret gifts of chocolate at the SM’s table?
  • Annual Amnesty Day for Returning Things “Borrowed” from your Stage Manager?

Stage Management Students

The rest of us are counting on you.  We might be feeling worn out or, worse, jaded, so we are relying on you to remind us how wonderful stage management can be.  What makes you proud to be a stage manager?

As much as I want to treat that Australian cake as a challenge, we are all in this together. So when those Aussies start posting 10/10 messages on the evening of our 10/09, join in the early festivities - we have cause to celebrate.