Recently, I was hired to call a dance show. Their normal stage manager wasn't available and they just needed someone to come in for one day of tech followed by one day of dress/performance. A quick little gig for good pay - similar to many of the corporate/festival gigs that pop up outside of the traditional theater scene. These are gigs I always try to say yes to. They are always a little weird and you don't know what to expect - but that's what I like about them. I'm often working with people who flat out don't know what a stage manager does, and so the presumption that they know what I need from them isn't there. This not only makes me very proactive at these gigs but also forces me to assess how my position relates to others.
Of course, no two gigs are the same, and each one comes with the fun task of figuring out how they function. If it's a reoccurring event I find and rely on anyone who has institutional knowledge. Asking what worked and what didn't work is a great conversation to have if possible.
I knew this gig would be particularly fun when I realized that the owner of the company was the same person who hired me and was acting as the production manager, event manager, and everything in between. I had an overall great time and below are some fun things I learned along the way -
I've had a small break from the rehearsal room for a little while - after a month long vacation in NYC and an intense film gig prior to that - tomorrow I'll be back at my theater in prep for my biggest show yet. Stay tuned - I'll be posting updates/notes on prep week, first rehearsal, and all the things I'm learning as I work on my first LORT A contract (ASM).
I've prepped for prep by -
1. Restocking my stationary/notebooks.
2. Packing a tote bag full of snacks/a backup dinner. I know I'm only there a few days this week, but time flies and next thing I know I'll be in rehearsal and constantly starving.
3. Already had some lovely communication with my SM. She is a fountain of institutional knowledge as she has been with the company for many many years. Excited to learn from her and share that knowledge here.