qualities of a stage manager

(And then I get the satisfaction of ticking it off my list when I’ve done it). Everyone either laughs or gets frustrated as his perpetual persistence seems endless. Mediate - Don't cause problems, solve them. Thank you so much for reading, but you have now reached your free article limit for this month. What follows is a guideline for assisting you in your job of stage manager for this production. Characteristics of a Good Stage Manager Good stage managers keep their cool. You can join the Stage Management Association for professional recognition, training opportunities and to make industry contacts. You are an integral part of this great ride. They can elevate others with that passion and that is beneficial to all. Your investment will help us continue to ignite connections across the globe in live entertainment and build this community for industry professionals. Remember - We are all working toward the same goal; the best live theatre experience we can create. Remember you are privy to many discussions that are not for the cast and crew. Assumes responsibility: Realizes that that bulk of responsibility for the smooth running of the rehearsal process and the production run is on their shoulders. The job of stage manager is one of the most time consuming, difficult, and important positions in the theatre. Join our community of industry leaders working in artistic, creative, and technical roles across the globe. Good stage managers keep When someone asks what makes a good Stage Manager, our answers are usually along the lines of: organised, hard working, good humoured, tough, good with people. and reasonably accommodate everyone's needs in a timely manner. Why is the stage manager the one that all communication traffic runs through? It can be doing someone else’s dishes (or even your own dishes). It is perhaps the most important characteristic that I demand of people in my life, so it makes sense that I value it in good stage managers. Managers are the force that create and maintain a thriving work atmosphere for their employees, engaging and motivating individuals to success, and inspiring them to follow the greater company vision. 2. Good stage managers are considerate. The stage manager is the person who everyone can go to when they need answers to questions or help solving problems. All pages that contain links to other sites do so to assist visitors in finding useful and related material. The senior stage manager at The Royal Opera House explains how she reached this position. Our contributors are currently writing more articles for you to enjoy. 5 Qualities That Every Production Manager Should Have ... leader without good communication skills and any aspiring Production Manager will need to display this at interview stage. Organization is your key to success and the success of the production. You would make sure live stage performances run smoothly. As you drink the tea, you hold the cup in two hands, showing care and respect to the cup, the tea, the people involved in making it. You can complete a management program to learn some of the necessary characteristics, and you can also develop many desirable qualities on your own. As I found my way further into the field of stage managing, I practised generosity as a way to emulate her. Join TheatreArtLife to access unlimited articles, our global career center, discussion forums, and professional development resource guide. A good stage manager… 1. Could just be my opinion, but a director with any of these qualities is not only great to work with but more importantly really inspires you with enthusiasm and creativity. After becoming a mother to my two children, priorities shifted and I found it more difficult to be as generous at work. Remembers that responsibilities can and should be shared with able assistants. Maintain the run of the show. Sometimes you need to hold your work in two hands, sometimes you need to hold your show in two hands, sometimes you need to hold someone’s emotions in two hands. All rights reserved. What makes a good stage manager? First and foremost, a stage manager must be organized. Take notes in rehearsal. As I look up at what I’ve written above, I realise that these skills can apply to anyone in any field. As the world of work continues to change so do the qualities and characteristics of the managers who are going to be leading our companies. It is easy to get caught up in the process without realizing that you are forgetting a responsibility. Why must a stage manager have all of these qualities, and what does it do for them? Maintains a professional attitude at all times: Remaining loyal to all aspects of the production and never gossiping with the cast. The stage manager is often described as being the glue of any production, the person who always knows what's going on, where it's happening, and how things are actually progressing.. A great stage manager is typically a calm, professional, and organized person with a good base knowledge of stagecraft, and an ability to courteously manage others. When everyone knows what to expect of you, they are put at ease. What does a stage manager do?. The stage manager is responsible for picking up and distributing all scripts to the cast, crew, and designers. And as for doing what you believe to be right. Keeps their cool: Never loses their temper, especiall The stage manager begins before rehearsals and is one of the last people out of the theatre on closing night. Maybe the hardest thing is to remember to be generous to yourself. What happens when you work on a show that you hate (yes it happens!)? Never hesitate to ask for advice from the faculty or others with experience. DISCLAIMER: THEATRE ON A SHOESTRING is not responsible for information, images, or links on related sites. Visit our CONTRIBUTE page to learn more or submit an article. She was generous with her time, generous with her laugh, generous with her patience. Never loses their temper, especially in front of their cast. Laurie Swigart ~Director, Designer, & Webmaster ~laurie@dreamcoat.org ~ 715-781-5760. Be professional and respectful at all times but be firm. His shows are always so inventive and creative and it is partly due to his persistence that his work is so unique. If it is there, I’ll do it. There should very rarely a need for a Stage Manager to lose his … Some of the best stage managers I have known are still passionate about their work even when the passion for the show isn’t there. It can be a minor variation or a big one, but the best stage managers keep trying everything until they find something that works. For me, having integrity is two-fold. Remembers that responsibilities can and should be shared with able assistants. I know a Director (you may know who you are!) And sometimes when one thing goes wrong, being surrounded by consistency can minimise the impact. All the great stage managers I have encountered have all of these. Above all, Stage Managers should be calm and have a really good sense of humour. Now, I foster generosity by concentrating on each moment – listening well, being present (as corny as that sounds) and caring for others in each interaction. Efficiency, organizational ability, congeniality, unflappability, knowledge of technical aspects of theater, energy and devotion, calmness under fire, and an effortless ability to announce “Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s half-hour—half-hour—to curtain” on the backstage monitor, night after night after night. That can lead to burn out which doesn’t help anyone. A Stage Manager in theatre organises the day to day running of a theatre company from rehearsals right through to performances and then post-show. But for stage managers, when the going gets tough, those who have fostered generosity, passion, persistence, consistency and care in themselves will thrive. The stage manager hears all the complaints, has to deal with all the problems, and receives the blame for everything that goes wrong. Realizes that that bulk of responsibility for the smooth running of the rehearsal process and the production run is on their shoulders. Melanie Selwood is a stage manager, project manager and consultant with more than 15 years' experience in Australia and the United Kingdom. And a relaxed team is always a better team. There are a few skills, though, that are less discussed – generosity, passion, persistence, consistency and care. It is possible to develop the qualities good managers possess. Passion comes with the territory. The copyright for any material created by THEATRE ON A SHOESTRING is reserved. The stage manager and the technical director also work out a smooth and efficient plan for the stage crew to follow during set changes. Become a contributor with TheatreArtLife. All the best Stage Managers I have encountered have all of these.… Find out more about being a Stage Manager including pay, responsibilities and skills needed. Stage managers are in charge of the physical stage area of theatres as well as the technical aspects such as lighting, sound, props and scenery. Be Patient - Many things and people will try your patience daily. The stage manager I mentioned at the start, the one who was, for me, the best stage manager I ever worked with, was not only generous but always caring. When someone asks what makes a good stage manager, our answers are usually along the lines of organised, hard working, good humoured, tough, good with people. I like to think of it like the Japanese Tea Ceremony. Spot these top qualities of a manager The right qualities of a manager can make all the difference. If a manager is able to establish trust with his or her team, employee retention, productivity, and engagement can increase as a result. Generosity is something that comes naturally to some, but for me, it is something I need to foster. Your investment will help us continue to ignite connections across the globe in live entertainment and build this community for industry professionals. Care, respect, generosity and passion are all closely linked, but they can be distinct too. Being generous with my time as a stage manager was easier when my life was all about my work. If an actor is sick they call their stand in. You can find out more about becoming a stage manager from the Stage Management Association. The senior stage manager at The Royal Opera House explains how she reached this position. Stage management may encompass a variety of activities including the overseeing of the rehearsal process and coordinating communications among various production teams and personnel. Some people are so attached to their ideas of how something will happen, or whether or not it will work, that they become upset when their expectations are not met. 10 Top Qualities of a Great Director I love working with directors that have any or all of the following qualities. Attention to detail is the difference between a good stage manager and a great stage manager. In larger companies, a manager may only recommend such action to the next level of management. Remember to refer to this manual often. [the stage by looking at a set and figuring out what is missing to make it perfect, whether it be lighting or props is a vital part of a Stage Managers job.] DISCLAIMER: THEATRE ON A SHOESTRING did not willfully use any copyrighted material for the publication of this website. All scripts will be collected by stage management at the final callback and re‐ It can be putting your phone away when someone is talking to you. The stage manager I looked up to the most when I was younger was the most generous person I knew. After a while, I found my own groove and stopped needing to emulate others. Is organized, efficient, and observant: Always has paperwork ready, props gathered, rehearsals and meetings organized, and always be ready for what is to happen next. Good stage managers think ahead. They work in collaboration with the director, and head a team of technicians and other specialists to create the correc… Legible handwriting is a must, as the master script must be easy to read by another person should the stage manager fall ill and require a replacement. A numbered sign‐out sheet should be created by the stage manager to track script distribution. There are a few skills, though, that are less discussed - generosity, passion, persistence, consistency and care. It is a way of showing respect to all people and all things. Showing care and respect to our work and the people we work with is a great way to make our day (and everyone else’s) better. When something doesn’t work, what do great people do? These are only guides and are not intended to be "rules" for stage managing. The stage manager I looked up to the most when I was younger was the most generous person I knew. Consistency also maintains clear expectations. The tea ceremony is a mediation of care and respect. What happens though, when the passion isn’t there? Being in love with what we do is one of the benefits of working in the live performance industry. Visit our CONTRIBUTE page to learn more or submit an article. Love to write or have something to say? Good stage managers keep their mouths shut and their eyes open. After a while, I found my own groove and stopped needing to emulate others. Of course, you can always go above and beyond, but maintaining a level at which everyone can rely on is what makes everyone around you relax. The stage manager receives less glory than most involved in a production and often is only notices when something goes wrong. You can get more information on working in creative careers from Discover Creative Careers. In between those times, they become the life line, the communications hub for the entire production team and the performance ensemble. Copyright (c) 1997-2020 Theatre on a Shoestring. She was generous with her time, generous with her laugh, generous with her patience. Are you ready? They organise all practical and technical aspects of rehearsals and shows and ensure that performers and crew are in the right place at the right time. There is a shadow side to generosity though, as for some it can mean putting everyone else before yourself – always. As you prepare for a job in management, keep in mind these 25 qualities and characteristics of a good manager: Personal Characteristics It can be sweeping the rehearsal room floor. You can also get a certificate in project management, entrepreneurship, ethics, or human resource management. You are the conduit between everyone else. Remembers to always add "please" and "thank-you" to everything you do and say. They are ‘soft skills’ – difficult to learn at university but can be fostered within oneself. Artistic staff members get super-busy and it is easy for them to lose track of time. It can be tidying your desk at the end of the day. There are many different degrees offered for managers, including a bachelor’s degree in business or a master’s degree in leadership or project management. As discussed previously, keeping communication open with the stage crew is critical in keeping the show running smoothly. The stage manager is essential for keeping everyone on track and on time. Xander Taylor: It Started With Xena, Warrior Princess, Jan Freese - Set Designer in Berlin, Zurich, Vienna, and Paris, Arts & Live Events Around The World: July 9-15, 2018, Light In The Darkness: The Do's and Don'ts Of An Emergency Situation, How to Be a Writer: Do The Work and Get Writing, Andrew Lloyd Webber Continues Efforts To Reopen Theatres, Mike Broadhurst: Interview with a Manchester based Theatre Technician. Always takes responsibility for the production, always is early for any call, always is ready for the unexpected, and always is ready for what is to happen next. The stage manager works closely with the director and artistic staff during rehearsals, recording all blocking, entrances, exits, changes, etc., so the director can focus on actually directing. What both employees and employers expect of managers has changed dramatically in recent times, with the rise of remote work, and the need for stronger soft skills, and better staff support. If he has an idea, he will ask his team to try everything (even the ridiculous) to get it to work. 10 Things To Know Before Starting A Stage Management Career. Even if it is difficult for them or takes up a lot of their time. You would organise all practical and technical aspects of rehearsals and shows, and make sure all crew and performers are in the right place at the right time. Stage managers are responsible for ensuring that theatrical performances run smoothly and to schedule. We apologize for any oversight in the acknowledgement of the copyright of the respective object. Being goal-driven is one of the most impactful qualities of a good manager. Good stage managers assume responsibility. The two characteristics definitely go hand in hand but her care was split equally between her care for others, and for the craft of stage management. They work out what is the next logical step is and try that. Reading Time: 8 minutes Finding, keeping, and developing great people isn’t easy, but finding, keeping and developing great managers is even harder. One of the qualities of a great manager is knowing how to convey the mission to others, and proposing a clear way of thinking that can orient everybody’s work. Work is … Having vision is one thing, but it is another altogether to be able to convey it.After all, it is useless if it can’t be clearly understood. To keep reading, all you have to do is become a subscriber and then you can read unlimited articles anytime. Generosity is something that comes naturally to some, but f… Remember there are many artistic egos working in tandem; help to keep everyone working together. For me, forgetting that I said I would do it is what gets in my way, so the best way to practice integrity is to keep a note of it in my notebook. By clicking submit you agree to receive emails from TheatreArtLife and accept our web terms of use and privacy and cookie policy. Care can take many forms and can be shown in the simplest things. Organization We can combat this by being ready to try something new whenever something doesn’t happen as expected, and remaining persistent until it works. That way they can bring enthusiasm, care and love for the job to every show, even if everything else around them is not going so well. Once a show has opened its the stage manager’s main duty to keep the production going. Scenic Design: Is Digital Technology Erasing The Need For Drawing? 5. And if it still doesn’t feel right, walk away. Well, if it doesn’t feel like it is the right thing to do, speak up, make your case. Select JOIN to get started! But finally, when it works beautifully, everyone shares an incredible sense of achievement. who is the most persistent person I have ever met. They care about stage management as an art – their passion lies in being excellent at their craft. The more you understand design, the easier job you’ll have as a stage manager maintaining a designer’s intent. Due to the quantity of responsibilities a stage manager has, he must be extremely organized and able to find information quickly. Characteristics of a Good Stage Manager What makes a good stage manager? To be able to listen, not hear, and communicate, not order, is what any employee would find valuable in a leader. 3. A good stage manager can take in all of the scheduling needs from the director, music director, vocal director, choreographer, fight choreographer, dialect coach, movement coach, production manager, costume designer, etc. A manager may have the power to hire, fire, discipline, or promote employees especially in smaller organizations with the assistance of the Human Resources staff. It is doing what you believe to be right, and doing what you say you are going to do. Additionally, there are time when you may have to alter designs on tour to fit into different venues and you’ll use these skills to do so in ways that … Listen - Problems may not always come to you so always keep an ear to the ground for potential problems. They need to know what is being rehearsed and when, who is needed at each rehearsal, and how much time is left in rehearsal. Learn more about our subscription plans. It might not be when you expected (they are busy people) but they get to it eventually. Good managers are one of the greatest assets to any company and share the common characteristics below. As stage manager Will Lewis mentioned in his profile for Prompt-Side.com , consistency is key when calling, but it also translates into anything we do in the live performance world. Sometimes a small deviation from the norm can snowball into something much bigger. Step 4 – Discussion and Practice: (10 minutes) Tell students that there are four main phases of a show. As Tom Stoppard said, “Obviously, you would give your life for your children, or give them the last biscuit on the plate. But to me, the trick in life is to take that sense of generosity between kin, make it apply to the extended family and to your neighbour, your village and beyond.”. Communicate - Talk with each and everyone involved with the production and many problems can be solved before they happen. And I must emphasize the word clearly! Experience as a manager is a must but so is knowledge. We are not responsible for other sites' content or links. These are some of the skills that turn good stage managers into great ones. If you have a way of working that is more practical for you, by all means use it. Stage managers must be experts at dealing with a variety of personality types and remain even-tempered even when others are excitable or upset, which happens frequently as the tension mounts near show times. Is always asked to return for another assignment: Good stage managers are the life blood of the theatre and if you carry out your tasks well, with a good attitude and energy, you will always work in this business. As I found my way further into the field of stage managing, I practised generosity as a way to emulate her. Stage management is a broad field that is generally defined as the practice of organization and coordination of an event or theatrical production. Try something else. Yet, with all of this, the position of the stage manager is one of the most important and rewarding in the theatre. Further information. They are not the ones who give up, or get cross when something doesn’t go as planned. The best stage managers always do what they say they will do. Pre-Production, During Rehearsals, During Performance, and Post-Production. Good managers need to be able to understand how to form motivational and realistic goals, then guide the process to align with organizational objectives. While employees should be placed in the driver’s seat, managers still play an important role in goal setting.

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