At the beginning of the semester, I did not participate in any of the shows for which I auditioned. I was upset, but I thought that meant I was going to have a quiet, boring semester. I was wrong. My advisor asked me if I wanted to stage a show for her. It was something I had never done or never thought I would do, but I gave it a shot and I’m so glad I did. Here are some tips I learned as a first-time stage manager.
The internet has a plethora of resources in terms of learning stage management. I was able to find templates for everything from a daily journal to a rehearsal report. There were also plenty of videos and blogs that can teach you things like how to host a show and how to host a production meeting. I don’t think I would have had the success I did as a director if I hadn’t done my research and learned.
You’re there to help the director, but don’t be afraid to ask questions too. The only way to learn is to ask questions. These can range from simple questions like how do you want the rehearsal space set up to more complicated questions like what you want to do during the strike. These questions will make the rehearsal process much smoother for everyone involved.
Management can be terrifying. I will lie. I was nervous with each new step in the process, but the only way to succeed is to do it. It will be so much fun once you get over that fear. There is also always a possibility of social fear. You work with your peers and teachers, and you’re supposed to tell them what to do, but that’s the only way for the rehearsal process to go smoothly. It won’t do you any good if you never contact the late actor. This will cause burnout if you’re too scared to call a five or a ten. Don’t be afraid to be responsible.
- Time management, time management, time management.
It’s something that surprised me when I started directing. I’ve always been something I’ve been really good at when I’m an actor. However, with stage management, you will be called in every rehearsal, no matter what. It is therefore extremely important to do all your school work during the day if you want to maintain a semi-normal sleep schedule. It is also important to send emails and reports in a timely manner. Otherwise, the information will no longer necessarily be accurate or relevant.
I hope you decide to direct, you have a great first experience like me. This experience will not only help me grow as a person, but also as a performer and director. I hope the knowledge and experience I have gained will make me more understanding with stage managers in the future.