Top 20 Most Read TheatreArtLife Articles of 2018
2018 has been an exciting year from TheatreArtLife! We now have 120 contributors, all live entertainment and theatre professionals working around the globe who write articles for us each month who share their journey, advice, wisdom, and experiences from the industry. We are so grateful for our staff of volunteers who run our website and to our partners around the world. Most of all, we would like to send a huge thank you to all of our readers and members who support our site TheatreArtLife.com
When I was first learning how to “be” a stage manager, I learned how to properly record blocking, how to lay out spike tape, and the best way to distribute a schedule. Nothing prepared me for having a direct impact on the physical well-being of my performers…. Read Stage Managers And Human Reaction Time
#2: Lighting Programmers: Let’s Talk About Their Rights By Anonymous
“We must continue to prove to the world that we can provide a rising standard of lighting for all people without loss of programmer rights or human dignity to any technician.” -Robert Kennedy
Programming lighting for a big show takes time. It requires several days of long hours being chained to a console smashing buttons, flipping faders and twisting knobs. There are endless tweaks and teases that will haunt our creative conscious right up until doors. If given three days and twelve hours to program a show, we will take three days and thirteen hours whenever possible… Read Lighting Programmers: Let’s Talk About Their Rights
I’ve been stage managing professionally for nearly 25 years, teaching stage management for 7 years and producing the Broadway Stage Management Symposium for 4 years. There are some common themes I’ve seen about how our profession is viewed (both inside and outside the industry). Below are the four most common and biggest misconceptions about the profession of stage management that I’ve seen… Read The Misconceptions & Myths Of Stage Management
Tom Fairchild is a travel and portrait photographer who also specializes in capturing events and stage performances. Live theatre and events are some of the most difficult and challenging environments to be a photographer. In theatrical photography, subject items are dark, things move quickly and lighting is a challenge but here are ten tips to help you take great theatrical photos… Read 10 Tips For Great Theatrical Photos
“With great power, comes great responsibility…”
Rough day at the office? Equipment issues? Running low on operators, maintenance technicians, show callers or artists due to illness? Well, for all those cast and crew members working in the circus, resident theatres, cruise ships, rock tours or anywhere else in the live entertainment industry, we have all heard the old saying, “The show must go on.” Read Safety: The Show Must Go On – Or Does It?
As an automation guy, the link between my job and rigging seems very obvious. I fly scenery and/or people above other people’s heads all of the time. So I recently decided to add some extra knowledge and got myself on one of UK Rigging’s basic rigging courses. Admittedly, there were loads of concepts that I was very familiar with from the start, but in the three days I spent there, I did pick up some fine details that I had never been fully aware of… Read Rigging: A Skill For All Technicians
TheatreArtLife has connected with a number of Entertainment Riggers across the globe to bring you their stories, experience and advice on the very crucial roles and responsibilities Riggers hold in today’s industry. Tora La Rosa is currently based in Montreal but this woman is truly a global rigger, having taken projects in some of the toughest places in the world. Here is her story:
Tora La Rosa, how did you get into rigging? What was the path that brought you to this career? Read Inside The Lives Of Entertainment Riggers: Tora La Rosa
As a stage manager who relocated overseas last year for a startup, I was surprised at the many different ways that people used email. Sure, we were placed together from all parts of the world from different cultures, backgrounds and languages, but I thought that email etiquette was understood globally. I was wrong. In an effort to corral the online craziness and misinterpretation across the internet channels in an already stressful theatre opening, I went online to gather a few rules to send to the team… Read Email Etiquette: Let’s Refresh The Basics
When someone asks what makes a good stage manager, our answers are usually along the lines of organised, hard working, good humoured, tough, good with people. There are a few skills, though, that are less discussed – generosity, passion, persistence, consistency and care. All the great stage managers I have encountered have all of these. They are ‘soft skills’ – difficult to learn at university but can be fostered within oneself… Read The Overlooked Characteristics Of Great Stage Managers
As a freelance stage manager living in New York, I have learned a few things in the past year. Here is my incomplete list of knowledge I have acquired in this time.
1. Work begets work.
2. Excellent begets excellence.
3. You’ll spend a lot more money during tech: you eat out, you buy more coffee, and you generally have too much to do to try to also save money doing it.
4. Pay for the uber home during tech… Read An Incomplete List Of Things I’ve Learned In My 1st Year As A Freelance Stage Manager
We are already aware that as a stage manager, stress comes with the job. Everyone in the creative & production process is relying on you to know and communicate everyone’s needs and notes. You are the person responsible for everything, but have control over nothing. Read on for 7 ways we stage managers can deal with this stress… Read Stage Managers: How To Deal With Stress
Theatre has always combined separate artistic mediums to create cohesive story lines and narratives. Artists devise novel uses for everyday and non-conventional objects as a means of expression, and the component pieces that are employed in theatrical settings help stimulate creativity. Likewise, the informational digital age has created a myriad of theatrical possibilities for producers of the performing arts, and automation and digital tech advancements have become standard to functioning theatres. How has technology changed theatre? Here are four ways technology has changed the onstage performance landscape… Read 4 Ways Technology Has Changed Theatre
TheatreArtLife has connected with a number of Entertainment Riggers across the globe to bring you their stories, experience and advice on the very crucial roles and responsibilities Riggers hold in today’s industry. James Busby from Washington DC begins our series. Here is his story:
James, how did you get into rigging? What was the path that brought you to this career? Read Inside The Lives Of Entertainment Riggers: James Busby
Have you ever had a boss that you absolutely despised? Someone unorganized, impatient, and short-sighted?
A quality leader can make or break any business or project. As the boss, you are the face of the team. What your team does reflects on you, and vice-versa. If you’re unorganized, or don’t know your crew, or have no goals, how can you expect to lead anyone anywhere? A leader needs to have many positive qualities in order to be successful… Read How To Be A Good Crew Boss
Jodi Benson is a Disney Legend, successful voiceover actress playing iconic roles like “Ariel” in The Little Mermaid, “Barbie” in Toy Story 2 & 3, “Thumbelina” in Don Bluth’s Thumbelina, a Tony Award nominated Broadway actress, mother, and wife. I asked Jodi to share her journey with TheatreArtLife, she graciously agreed and during our candid two-hour interview, she opens up about her life as a working actress and mom. Jodi Benson shares everything from important advice for millennials, insight into homeschooling kids and teaching Honor Chemistry, gives advice for a long and prosperous career and most importantly, steps to lead a joy-filled life with no regrets. Read Jodi Benson: The Industry, Motherhood & The Little Mermaid
#16: Thank You For Not Smoking By Chris Lose
Can roadies still smoke two joints in the morning? Today, the production manager just came onto our bus before load in to tell the entire crew that smoking pot is not allowed on this tour during working hours. Yesterday, he came on to deliver some fine gifts of cheese and wine from the venue and the whole bus reeked of marijuana cigarettes filled with delta 8 flower – reefers… Read Thank You For Not Smoking
What can we do as lighting professionals to save lives in an emergency situation?
It is with the heaviest of hearts that I write the hardest article I have ever written. I would much rather write an opinion piece on my feelings about rainbow chases and load-in puppy play days. However, I feel it necessary to state my opinion about the state of the tragic affairs surrounding unnecessary violence in the entertainment arena… Read Light In The Darkness: The Do’s and Don’ts Of An Emergency Situation
The 2017-18 Broadway season is officially in the rearview mirror and culminated in the Tony Awards a few weeks ago. Since then I’ve been reflecting on the season and about stage managers. Because stage management is what I think about. And I wondered why there isn’t a Tony Award for the stage manager?
Our industry honors so many in our industry, but on its special nationally televised night, there is no stage management acknowledgement. In fact, there is no annual stage management award at any of the big ceremonies: Drama Desks, Obies, Outer Circle Critics, Lortels, etc… Read 6 Reasons Stage Managers Don’t Get A Tony Award
There is no mistaking the look on a director’s or producer’s face when you first present the full list of everything that can possibly go wrong with the show. Depression, anxiety and worry are just some of the emotions when they realise the beautiful show they have pitched to the client may in fact go wrong at any moment!
But this document is not just a list of all problems, but also a comprehensive list of actions that can be taken to rectify the problem and keep the show going. This is the contingency planning document… Read Show Calling: Effective Contingency Planning
The New Year is upon us, and everyone at TheatreArtLife has their hopes pinned that 2018 will be a prosperous and fruitful year for our readers. As people kick off 2018, it is traditional that they should devote themselves to causes that will make them better, whether that falls towards heading to the gym more often or giving up their cancer sticks. So let’s address your stage management repertoire.
Join us in a countdown to improvement with resolutions that will bring you through the year as a calm, well-respected beacon of stage management excellence… Read 10 Ways To Improve Your Stage Management Repertoire In 2018
THANK YOU to all of our contributors for writing articles for TheatreArtLife in 2018! We can’t wait to see what you write in 2019. Stay Tuned!