Stage managers are a lot like orchestra conductors. Each must strive to make sure that the vast array of components that they work with flow together. Further, they must do so in a manner that is outwardly imperceptible to their audiences but that make a huge difference in the overall productions. In other words, stage management is no easy task. It takes education, skill and experience to pull off this coordination of many separate pieces to form a whole unit. It’s a challenge, but here are a few tips to make it easier
- Set hard deadlines: Otherwise you may end up falling short on the debut night. Set expectations of stage and crew and make sure that everyone knows what is expected of them and that they fall in line with the dates you set up.
- Listen: Make sure to listen to what everyone directly associated with the production is saying. This includes actors, playwrights, costume designers and of course light and sound engineers.
- Don’t ignore the tech: Find out early if there are any technical issues that may become a problem later. Know what you will need and what the budget calls for in terms of sound and lighting equipment. Finally, make sure that you develop cues for sound and light engineers and that they know what they are. Have rehearsals to practice communicating those cues.
- Know the tech: Closely related to the above tip, all stage managers should know something about how to operate the tech behind their productions. This will help you to be able to communicate more effectively with the experts in those roles.
- Be a people person: Managing a stage production involves communicating with a lot of people who each have a different skills set. Be sure to be respectful of everyone involved in the production. This will help the play come off better and it will also help your career.
In short, the job of a stage manager is difficult but can be immensely satisfying. Successful stage managers are individuals who care deeply about their job and can view the production from the eyes of the public. They strive to make everyone work together as a whole and above all they remember to have fun. At Ratpac Dimmers we also enjoy our work with professional in the lighting business. We have Strand dimmer repair and dimmer rental services that help stage managers excel in their profession.