In honor of Labor Day, I thought I’d explain how I labor day to day as it is kind of unique. I am a Stage Manager on the touring production of Newsies. The show is a Broadway musical that travels the US and Canada – anywhere from one week to two months.
Describing a Stage Manager is really tough. I’m part of a team of 4 that essentially maintains the show. After opening, the Director goes away and the Production Stage Manager is tasked to maintain the Director’s vision which includes natural shifting of the show, as well as putting new people in. During the show, I’m either running a side of the stage – making sure everything happens at the right time, keeping my eye out for safety, and dealing with any situation that may arise. That could be anything from a missed cue or an injured dancer. I also call the show, which to an audience member means that anytime you see the set move or the lights change, that is all directed by a stage manager so that everything is happening at the right time, together, and on the music.
It’s an intense and busy job but incredibly rewarding.
I travel with the show everywhere it goes. I receive a per diem which covers housing & meals. I’m given two hotel options which are group rates and much cheaper than if you booked online. I am also free to choose my own option by booking an AirBnb or staying with family. If the hotel is over a certain distance, I also receive a rental car.
Travel is paid for by the company. Depending on the distance between cities, we will either travel by plane or chartered bus. I have even rented a car between certain cities, like to drive the Pacific Coast Highway between San Jose and Costa Mesa, CA.
I am extremely lucky that not only do I have an amazing job, I also get to travel to places I love, places I’ve always wanted to go, and places I never thought I would go – and might surprise myself.
Do you have a job that allows you to travel?