Ambition is a crafty enemy that can leave who you truly are behind.
Creating a craft doesn’t align with her values, she wants results.
Time to grow is lost in her web of beliefs with their twisted urgency.
Why take the train across the country, by the time you arrive I will be done
You can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man
I often write about Stage Managing from the point of view I know best, which not surprisingly is my own. A stage manager of a certain age who has been raised in a variety of theatrical environments. I would like to take a departure from the familiar and try to see life from a very different point of view, the point of view of a generation that is “the new frontier”, the Millennials of management. A talented group of driven managers who definitely threaten we heirs to the throne. With there facile minds and often tone bodies the “say no to drugs” generation is taking broadway by storm. They are brought to broadway direct from Stage Management programs everywhere. These lads and lassies have some pretty powerful traits; they are young, bright and super ambitious.
“Here I am, ready to go. Last year I was the teacher’s pet and my teacher knows this person who can get me in with a person who I think will put me in touch with this other person they met having drinks with another friend of hers and now I have an interview to be a PA for a new Broadway Musical. Here I am working with this broadway stage manager wowing him with my hard work and powers of excel. This is amazing and the director totally values my contributions & the choreographer said I was “the best”. Here I am in tech, the PA on headset. I have done so much paperwork on this show the ASM’s “couldn’t have done it without me.” To the cast I am part of the team, they told me so at drinks the other night. Previews & Opening Night of my show. There I am in the program, my show. I was so good as the PA, “my PSM” recommended me for another PA job… I start in two weeks, just enough time to fly home and see my folks. Day one of rehearsal for my new Broadway show. The other PA has done some Off Broadway & Regional work but this is her first Broadway show… I guess I’m the voice of experience and I am the script PA so the Bookwriter has been coming directly to me. I’m actually “invaluable to this process.” The other PA’s can run for lunch because I have to be in the scene work rehearsal with the PSM and the director. To the writers I am a part of the team. Previews & Openiong NIght, my show. Two broadway shows on my resume and I have been trained as a sub. Another PA interview in two weeks, just enough time to go to Fire Island with some of the folks from my last show and do the Broadway Cares benefit in the Pines, 1K likes on my last Instagram post, yes. While I was on Fire Island I found out that this new show may be adding an ASM and I am the only one of the PA’s with… broadway experience…
Are we doing a disservice to these powerhouse individuals by promoting their youth and myoptic experience? Or is this actually the future of our business on Broadway? They have cut their teeth on the grizzle of Broadway politics. They are not intimidated by Producers, General Managers & many are friendly with directors & choreographers since they are not bound by the convention of showing deference. It’s a new generation of folks who are proud members of Actor’s Equity Association, they completely missed the generation of stage managers who thought we should be part of the IATSE. Maybe this pride and vibrato is a thing that should be embraced. They are paying their dues as Production Assistants, maybe they don’t need to know how it works in Summer Stock or Tour, Regionally or Off Broadway. I remain true to my upbringing in the business as it has shaped me into the manager and human I am at work, but I will try to keep this new generations legitimacy in mind while I am interviewing to assist them in the future.