You may laugh, but this “theater thing” is one of the most difficult, time consuming, and rewarding things that I have ever been a part of—and I don’t even have to memorize lines. When Guppy asked me to be an assistant stage manager for Lisa Dillman’s “The Walls”, I hesitated but still said yes. My only other experience in Theater Westminster is running tech crew for the ten minute plays last semester. So I told myself “this is kinda like that, right?” … Ha. Ha.
I mean, I still get to hang out backstage and eventually will be helping moving set pieces (like I did before), but assistant stage managing is SO much more than that. Because I’ve never done this before, I’m in the process of learning to take line notes, blocking notes, how to fill out a rehearsal report, attending production meetings (I went to the first one honestly having no idea what it was), taking general notes, learning who to direct questions to, learning what answers I should be able to give, etc. I’m also quickly learning that “blood, sweat, and tears” is a real and highly applicable phrase.
Even if it seems like I have a lot to do, this is nothing compared to some of the other people you never see. You have Josh, taking over for a few weeks to direct the show while the main director is away (P.S. She’s back, and we love her now more than ever). You have Guppy, who is an angel of patience in dealing with my counterpart and I—teaching us about all the things I’ve stated above while still having her own to take care of. You have all the lights, sounds, set, etc., people that you never see, who work very hard to bring it all together.
Though I was very nervous to agree to be an ASM, this “theater thing” is turning into something great for me. I am excited to continue my learning, and even more excited to continue working with the talented cast and the equally talented crew.