Things have been going much better with the tour. Their load ins are almost painless, the shows are going so well and everything seems to be going just fine. All of this has recently been happening. Basically, since their stage manager left and they got a replacement.
Being a stage manager - I know, because I am one - is probably the most stressful, thankless job anyone could ever have - well, OK, that is not fair, I am sure there are others, but in the theatre world, this is it. You have to be protector, mother, iron worker and comedian. At least, these are the first few metaphor's that come to my head. You also have to be a negotiator and a mediator. And, most of the time, you will not know if you did a good job or not, until the production is over and someone says - you are the best stage manager ever, you rocked my world, you did an awesome job, etc. OK, I know I said this is a "thankless" job and by the end of the run of a show, when you are just getting the thank you's - you wonder where these people were two weeks ago when you were up to all hours of the night doing God knows what for the show. You try with all your might and muster up "thank you's" for others and "we really appreciate all your hard work" for some more, but yet you just keep going without a hint of thanks. And, I could be wrong on this last note. I could be so in the moment and running around so much, that I never hear it. So, for those of you that are reading this and have continued to thank me through a whole production - I apologize. I was just too involved to know you appreciated me.
OK, so on to my real comment. The one that has been boiling in me for weeks. The fact that I met someone, with all the good qualities of a Stage Manager. The want and care of the whole company. Someone I thought could balance the needs of the production with the needs and safety of the actors. Heck, he is going on a National Tour, he got chosen, he must be something special.
I met him. We discussed Stage Managing and I told him if he ever needed to vent about something, to feel free to contact me. If he needed any help, even though I just met him, I would be there. Well, he never did call and this boy seriously needed some help.
He basically, in a short note, but believe me, I should write a manifesto about this man after what he did to this group, catered to the production office even though it was not in the best interest of the production, crew or cast, let them work on a set that was falling apart and dangerous, let his emotions come out more than you should around a team of actors and tried to divide the cast. He also sold them up the river and let the production company know that they were the worst cast to work with compared to the other casts. AND, told other casts on the other subsequent tours, that they were awful to work with.
Now, not that I was there. But, when a whole host of people comment on this and one happens to be your husband, you begin to wonder. The story was always the same when anyone mentioned him and his doings. I couldn't believe my husband, and these great people, were under the care of this person.
Well, he left the tour. I am not sure if he was asked or if he quit. There is still speculation on that front. They now have a wonderful stage manager and lo and behold, the tour is running much smoother and the performances and load-ins, although not always the smoothiest due to external forces, are better than ever.
Aw, vent over. Now, I can finally get on to writing about something else. And, by the way, there are a lot of other duties of a stage manager - this was just a top o' head vent.
"Breathing Fire" Williams