2011 O-Show ASMs and blogger extraordinaires!
As of right now, I have ASMed for three different shows (and SMed one). All that I can say is that I love it, and I know that in the giant grand scheme of theater things, it is where I belong. While I do enjoy acting, and have even dabbled in directing and design, nothing makes me happier than to sit backstage and listen to the laughter from the audience and the chatter from the booth.
Besides spending lots of time sitting in the dark backstage, there are other more reasonable reasons why I think ASMing (or SMing I guess) is the best.
1. You get to see and take part in both aspects of the production process. The stage management crew is present at EVERY. SINGLE. REHEARSAL. and therefore gets to know the actors and the show itself quite well. Not only that, but the SM team is also in constant contact with the designers and technical directors, and gets the chance to get to know them and understand more of what they do.
2. You have power. After the director (and sometimes even before...), the SM crew is at the top of the chain of command. Every little thing that has anything to do with the production goes through them. Therefore, it is their job to KNOW EVERYTHING ALWAYS.
3. Although you may not be onstage as an SM or an ASM, you are STILL a crucial part of the flow and success of the show. Recognizing cues and pacing on stage is essential to keeping the show running smoothly. The best shows with the best SMs and ASMs are the ones where they are not noticed.
4. You learn SO MUCH. This kind of ties into the first idea. Whether it is your first time working in stage management, or your 40th, you always learn something new about the wonderful world of theater. After working on a show, you might learn the value of being on-time, or maybe how to clean a samovar, or what acting exercises work best for young actors.
5. The headset. I can't say enough how cool it is to wear one of those things.
LOOK AT HOW COOL I LOOK!
(Pre - Dress Rehearsal photo)
6. Did I mention it is fun, too?