Do Stage Managers Need a Portfolio?
It's funny...I've never needed to have a portfolio before. Sometimes if I bring sample paperwork to an interview, the person I'm talking to is surprised. Then again, most of my interviews are by phone or word of mouth, too.
However, most college stage managers these days are required to have one. Heck, it was even required of my SM friends one year below me. (I was the last to graduate with my Directing/Stage Management degree - after that, it became a concentration within Design/Technology - and I'm old enough to be a parent of a college student these days.) For the last several years, I've been in charge of coordinating USITT's Portfolio Reviews and Interview Materials Prep (PRIMP) for the national conference, too, so I have been thinking about putting something together myself. Check out the Stage Management Portfolio Review Tips we have provided in the past.
Some further ideas are brewing....stay tuned.
Cirque Dreams Holidaze - Gaylord Rockies (Aurora, CO)
Christmas 2019 I attempted a brand new genre - cirque! It was an exciting learning experience, combining several old skills of mine like working on large productions and being adaptable in a quick process. That said, the paperwork, rehearsal process, terminology, daily warmup needs, and even cue-calling were rather different from other things I've done. This was also the first time the production had been performed in the round. You'd never know from the photos that we transformed a convention center exhibit hall into a theatrical venue.
Amarillo Opera's La Traviata - Video
This October 2017 production was recorded for the local PBS station (via Panhandle Presents) and is available to view in its entirety on YouTube. I was production stage manager, and in a rare turn of events my husband Mike Wymore joined me for tech and performances as assistant stage manager/prop run crew head.
A couple different versions of my stage management resume are available on the About webpage. If you're perusing this page for ideas how to set up your own, I'd recommend making one long document with all of your credits on it. Edit from this overview document, to tailor a new resume for each job.
Check out my blog
Quote (posted with permission):
I have seen a lot of folk call shows in the last year. Yours....I didn't even notice the cues happening, it was so smooth. - Peggy Samuels, Production Manager/Stage Manager
Year of the Stage Manager Takeover
Check out my "story" on the @sminsta2020 Instagram account January 24th during an opera gig.
Digital Call Script
Sample Blocking Key
Sample Character/Scene Breakdown
Sample Blocking Pages (Back Pages)
SM Version coming soon
When I work as an ASM, I need to concentrate more on where the "stuff" moves, and the performers' entrances and exits, rather than the blocking (staging) within the scene. My back page may vary in style for every single show. Here's an example from a musical with a lot of props, furniture, scenic elements and OH so many quickchanges. We had more than 100 costume changes for 10 actors, so this time I also listed every character they played on a given page. Blocking Page Sample for ASM - full size
Webinar Host - Example
I host member webinars for the Stage Managers' Association. In honor of the Year of the Stage Manager 2020, we made one of ours public to help celebrate and educate. Whether you are a stage manager, or you LOOOOVE Stage Managers, or you’re actually not quite sure what a stage manager does, come listen to our conversation. Enjoy!