By: Kristen O
“The offense always gets the headlines. Nobody ever talks about the defense anymore!” – Lion
This line refers to sports (for all our athletes out there), and how the people on the team who score, always get the spotlight, whilst the people defending the goal are less acknowledged. Just as the offense have all the spotlights on them, so do all the actors, nobody really pays attention to the people behind the scenes. Ok, so yes, they see the directors, set designers, the make-up artists and they know what areas of the musical they are responsible for, but there are some aspects that are more latent, and that people don’t tend to recognize as much as “The offense”.
One of the positions less gossiped about after a musical are the stage managers. They are more like the ninjas of the production, they make an impact and do important jobs, but no one sees them coming. As a stage manager I have to be present at every rehearsal and be the one to take notes and make sure I know what everyone is doing, where they’re supposed to be and how they’re supposed to do it. Once it comes to the final performance the stage managers feel a sense of relief and panic at the same time; relief because well, we did it. We made it to the performance… alive. A sense of panic because, we question ourselves and our performance as the stage manager; did I do an ok job? How are the actors going to perform? Did I give them the right blocking or cues? Our minds pretty much become “tornados” of terror and confusion. (See what I did there? 😉 )
This year, we had two stage managers for the production, both of whom were also performing in the production itself: Špela K. and I. For someone who is scatter brained and has many things on her mind, I don’t know why I was chosen to be one of the stage managers, but hey! Hopefully everything turns out right. It’s a really good learning experience for me because it’s a position that requires a lot of dedication, responsibility and you never know what new skills you will acquire when doing this job. I learned how to hot glue gun my fingers to someone’s costume, and how to spray paint monkey masks, everything was fun. The best part was running under the rain multiple times from the auditorium to the art room to get spray paint with Špela, or running back and forth looking for a mysterious parachute (We found it in the end… well Ms. F did). It has also made me more aware of how the people backstage are just important as the people on stage performing, whether or not they are recognized.
But let’s not forget about the actors, and our special guests. They also have a really tough job to do… to entertain. When being part of a production, on or off stage, everyone is important; everyone is needed in order to make the production successful. We all just “ease on down the road”, to succeed together as a team.