Things Stage Management Has Taught Me

Being a stage manager is a really cool job. It allows me to be heavily involved in productions without having to be onstage. There’s a bit of a stigma for theatre majors because people say that we need something to fall back on since it isn’t the most stable field. But there are so many important that this job has taught me that I know I am extremely prepared for my future.

Communication

As a stage manager, I am expected to be in constant communication with my actors, assistants, designers, technicians, the director, front of house, management, administration, and run crew. It is important that I am in good communication with all of these fields because it keeps a production organized and it ensures safety. This is something that is important in any field, and stage management has really given me a crash course in this.

Organization

One of the main duties of a stage manager is to keep the entire production organized from rehearsals throughout the performances. Stage managers keep extensive amounts of paperwork detailing prop lists, prop tracking, scene shifts, entrances and exits, blocking, scene breakdowns, and so much more depending on the needs of the production. If a stage manager is disorganized, the entire production falls apart. If I’m not two steps ahead of the director during rehearsal, then we aren’t running according to schedule. Organization is key to this job, as it is for many other fields.

Patience

Patience really is a virtue that is so important to uphold for anyone, and especially for me in my role as a stage manager. Actors aren’t always the easiest people to work with. They have a lot of memorizing and research to do when getting into character and working in rehearsal and for some, this puts them on edge. I have had my fair share of unpleasant encounters with people at work but I have learned that being patient and rising above any bad encounters, it makes you a stronger person and better person to work with.

The art of multitasking

Multitasking is something that I have become a pro at, especially during college. I have learned how to tackle multiple tasks at once to save time and my sanity. This is really great because it allows me to become more organized and check more things off my to-do list at once.

It’s okay to ask for help

This is something that I struggled with for a long time. I always wanted to be wonder woman but that isn’t always possible. This last year especially has taught me that I don’t need to be a super hero all the time. I have people around me who love me and care about me and would help me if I ask. If you ask for help when you need it, it shows that you’re comfortable bringing more hands onto your project to make sure that it gets done right.

Honesty and integrity

Honesty and integrity are important for any person with any job or life. as a stage manager, I am a leader. And as a leader, it is my responsibility to set a good example for myself and the people around me and practive being the best person I can be. Not only has practicing this been beneficial to my career, it has been beneficial to my personal life as well.

My College Exerience

I want to take some time to talk about my alma mater, and the place that has helped make me the person I am today, DeSales University. I am about to go into the second semester of my senior year and will graduate in May with my bachelors in Theatre Design/Technology with a focus in stage management.

I chose this program because it has a very inclusive curriculum and challenges the students akin to a graduate theatre program at another college/university. It was only one of a few schools of the many I researched that offered a great program for a theatre technician in addition to the a great acting program. For the DT (design/tech) major at DSU, we are given great opportunities to fulfill major positions in our small company, working alongside our professors and faculty putting on quality theatre and really getting the most out of our education. As a stage manager at school, I work on one show a semester as a stage manager and I work on costuming for the other show each semester. I have found a great passion in costuming, which is something I never believed would happen. This program has pushed me to be smarter and think faster and trust that I can do great things. I have a lot to thank this school for. I have made lasting friends, I met the love of my life, and I have made connections that will help me as I grow beyond school. Being a DT has been very challenging but it is the challenges that we all face which make us ready and eager for the “real world”.

Another positive aspect about my school is that the person who started the theatre program also started the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, which is closely affiliated with the theatre program. Working for the festival has helped me learn to be professional in a setting I am already comfortable in and I am so grateful to have this advantage for my career.

Never in my life did I think that I would be working in such a fun and exciting field with so many people who make everything worth it. That being said, things aren’t always wonderful and magical. I have had a lot of ups and downs in college. I’ve struggled with anxiety, pressure to succeed, weight gain, and the reality that a life exists beyond going to school. Lately, it’s been hard for me to accept that I will not be in school this time next year, since I’ve been going to school year after year for 18 years. The thought of graduating and the pressure I put on myself has added to a lot of the anxiety I have had at school. I am coping with it and some days are better than others, but remembering that I’m doing what I love helps me to overcome my fears. College has also taught me a lot about collaboragion with others, as theatre is a major collaborative art. Sometimes I struggle to get along with some of the students and professors at my school. You’re never going to get along with everyone you work with  and that can be hard but it’s something you’ll have to deal with no matter what job you have. It’s a good lesson to learn, especially in a learning environment.

College isn’t for everyone, but if it’s something you’re serious about, make sure you put lots of thought into what you want from your program. That’s what I did and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

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Good Times Never Seem So Good

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Welcome to my blog!

This is a place where I want to share my take on three of the most important things in my life: theatre, body positivity, and creativity. It’s named after a lyric in “Sweet Caroline”: “Good times never seem so good” because I want to share the good times in my life with all of you.

About me: My name is Caroline and I’m a collage student at DeSales University currently earning my bachelors in Theatre Design/Technology with a focus in stage management. I love theatre, body positivity, and being creative which is what I’m here to share.