Everyone Makes Mistakes – Even Stage Managers

On Instagram, there is the following new post:


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Let’s talk about: Math! _ Just kidding. Let’s talk about Mistakes. I think it’s a big part of stage management - and the journey we all take to learning how to be good at making mistakes. _ It’s not easy. _ As humans, we stage managers, take our jobs and ourselves pretty seriously. Learning how to be okay that you are not a robot - is really flipping hard. You are a human that makes mistakes! It’s part of human nature. _ You are not your mistake. Period. End of discussion. _ So, here’s my suggestion to start getting good at mistakes. Next time you make a mistake: Write down why you think you made the mistakes - and THEN write down what you think you’re going to learn from that mistake. _ If we flip the mistake into a learning opportunity from the universe - we get better at not letting it get ourselves down. That mistake was just another little step to all the things we have to learn! _ Do you have tricks to help you get over a mistake quicker?

A post shared by Coach Laura (she/her) (@isaygo_bootcamp) on

It is SO hard to be okay with making a mistake as stage managers....yet we let everyone else make them (even if we grumble about it). Why are we so hard on ourselves?

My comment on the post was this:

It is hard, especially when calling a show and you screw up (or for that matter, when a crew member does). You can't let dwelling on that one mistake cause additional mistakes to be made. Try your best to brush it off (or have them brush it off). A show this weekend, my board op was struggling and missing cues because he was nervous the director had called him out earlier. I said, "You got this. Breathe," and for the second show that day brought him a towel for his slippery sweaty fingers.* You may have to do the same for yourself. And I love to tell others, if there's a discussion about screwing up..."look, you ain't called a lot of cues wrong until you've called Pyro 8 seconds early!" (Yep, that happened.)

*I told him, "I have a gift for you, and I mean this lovingly...." And he very much appreciated and laughed at the towel. Then he used it for the show several times. You also need to do something like this tactfully and hope it works out. Mine did. It may not another time.


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