I had started this list back in 2016, when something had gone wrong during a show (I believe an actor did some new blocking where he grabbed onto a part of the set and said piece broke off and so the actor did the rest of the scene with this big piece of lumber in his hand....very funny, luckily no one got hurt, but it prompted me to write down the phrase: "A good stage manager asks which parts of the set are weight bearing and which are NOT." From then on, I just kept a list of short, simple phrases that have helped me grow and maintain my stage management practices. Said list is below, and it is incomplete. It will be edited and changed. There are some things that, although I believe will always be true, could one day need to be rewritten. And that's ok. When I began this list I was not AEA, working 2 jobs, and didn't really have a goal in mind beyond flailing my arms and saying "I don't know I just want to stage manage!!!!".
Take what is useful, and leave the rest.
A Good Stage Manager...
1. Asks what parts of the set are weight bearing and which are NOT.
2. Knows where the shoe glue is.
3. Tries their hardest to know everything the ASM knows, and accepts that this is nearly impossible.
4. Puts the safety of their actors first. If it's not safe, we don't do it and everyone and their artistic vision can suck it. :)))
5. Gauges an actors comfort level. They may be good actors but not good liars.
6. Overchecks - it's better than underchecking.
7. If you haven't done it yourself don't assume it's easy.
8. Assumes the cues are flighty and need to be caught, not called.
9. In dealing with child actors, understands that you're dealing with 50% child and 50% parent.
10. Someone is gluten free. Someone is vegan. Know who they are. Provide options and don't be a little bitch about it.
11. Stick to your guns. Accept defeat with grace. Keep the goals in mind.
12. Put everything on a priority list. Accept that the bottom 3 things may not happen, at least without help.
12A. Ask for and accept help. It is not a sign of weakness.
13. Allow actors to be your allies. Allow actors to have inside jokes with you. End one email with "love".
14. Don't let anyone disrespect you. Shut that shit down.
15. Sound always gets the short end. Acknowledge it.
16. Keep in mind that your crew all have the same goal as you, they just have to go about it a different way.
17. Know everyone's names. Smiles when greeting everyone.