Hey guys, if you have any advice, please reply/reblog/whatthefrickever!
In basic terms and short pieces of advice:
1. Don’t be afraid to trust the newbies. It’s better to have unexperienced people learn on the job than take on all the projects yourself. As they work, they will learn, if one tech area lacks in a high school performance it’s OK! It’s about the learning experience and having fun. If you’re stressed more than you should be/more than you have been in the past- it isn’t a BAD thing, but it’s not a good thing either. Stress means you care. But over stretching your abilities and time is not worth it. High school comes with homework, outside jobs, and a slight need for socializing and support.
2. Teaching others is the best way to learn/prove that you know the subject well. Technical theatre does come with limited time and when your only opportunity to work/teach is outside of the school day, things become more difficult. Nonetheless, it is possible.
3. If people on your crew are misbehaving, lay down the rules with them. Have meetings. You’re the stage manager, do what you need to do. People are trusting your judgement. You DO have the power to be harsh, but be careful. A yelling stage manager is NEVER okay. So have patience, be stern, and show your people who’s boss!
4. Depending on what kind of system your theatre program is following, stage managers are above most others in the lay out of company. Whether or not that main focus is over the actors, the technicians, pit, or all of the above, is up to you and the other higher up individuals. Here's a pretty standard visual image of what I'm talking about, (or just google 'theatre positions flowchart.') In most situations, stage managers are only responsible for the actors, but I personally believe in the idea of keeping a check on everyone. For example, the every other day, “What do you need to get your work done this week?” kind of questions are helpful to you, your director, and your individual technician crews.
5. I think a “Tech Olympics” day is a great idea! Practice that ol’ trusty stage management skill of ‘being assertive’ and try to convince your TD that it’s a necessary event that needs to happen.
6. Is your school involved with ITS? (International Thespian Society) Sometimes there are state-wide events that are good opportunities to practice and learn basic tech skills.