Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Calling a Show

One of the largest responsibilities of being a stage manager is calling a show.  It is far more complicated than it sounds.  It involves timing, multi-tasking, and an excellent feel for the show.  One of my mentors said that a good stage manager should be breathing with the actors in order to call a show well.

A stage manager gives their board operators and tech crew a stand by a some point before the cues need to be called.  Then when the time comes the stage manager will say: Light Cue # GO.  A good board operator knows not to click the button until the stage manager says the operative word: Go.

When I first started calling shows it took me awhile to realize that a stage manager needs to call the cue slightly ahead of when the cue needs to happen so that board op has time to react.  Once I realized this, my timing for cues got significantly better.

Currently I am serving not only as a stage manager but also as a light board operator.  I have done this before, but I forgot the amount of multi-tasking required for calling other cues (such as follow spot and sound cues) while also hitting the button.  It means that I actually hit the button after I would normally call the cue.  Basically it takes some getting used to.

Hopefully my ramblings were actually comprehensible.

As a side note.  Props that I made (Schlitz labels):

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