Tonight i am stage managing opening night of [title of show] at Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte. Because that’s what i do. I stage manage. Most of you reading this know that, but a few of you probably don’t. I also know that many of you have no clue what being a “stage manager” entails, so i’m going to enlighten you a little by providing a comprehensive understanding of what a stage manager really does.
WHAT TEXTBOOKS SAY A STAGE MANAGER DOES: Provide practical and organizational support to the director, actors, designers, stage crew and technicians throughout the production process. During the rehearsal process, the stage manager’s most important role is to record all of the blocking, lighting cues, prop usage, costume changes, entrances of all the performers, blah blah blah
WHAT A STAGE MANAGER DOES: When you see a play, I’m the person who makes sure stuff happens when it’s supposed to happen. Both in the live run and in everything that it took to get us ready for the live run. If i do my job correctly, you don’t even know i exist.
WHAT CARRIE DOES: send emails, push light buttons, push sound buttons, shop, photograph, photoshop, make copies, Facebook, brainstorm, call people, text people, boss people, schedule auditions, run auditions, make sure the show starts on time (hey, what the person does giving the curtain speech is not something i can control, mmkay), thrift shop, get water, get beers, sharpen pencils, steal Maile’s pens, make lists, clean dressing rooms, wash clothes, iron clothes, hot glue, sew, duct tape, and most of all MAKE PEOPLE HAPPY.
Have you seen those tshirts, usually found in the plus size women’s department at your local Walmart, that read, “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” ? Well, i feel a clothing line for stage manager’s should adopt the saying, “If the actors ain’t happy, ain’t NOBODY happy”.
I think all the years i spent performing in college and community have made me a better stage manager. Let’s face it, i may never type you up a daily rehearsal report, but i’m going to be your best bet when it comes to making that split second decision in the midst of technical crisis, because i know what that actor is thinking.
In conclusion, i suppose that since i’m doing this on company time, you can now include BLOGGING in that list of things i do. Now, i must move onto more important things, like monkeys and playbills, because it’s the day of the show, y’all.