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The impact an SM has on event production.

Are you considering who should call the shots at your next live event? Perhaps you think your Technical Director (TD) can handle the responsibility. The idea of hiring less support might be tempting, but there’s a compelling case for bringing a dedicated Stage Manager (SM) on board for your next event. 

The role distinction and responsibilities are so impactful that adding them to a TD’s to-do list will likely result in slip-ups or blunders that affect the entire show. Rather than focusing on the technical aspects of the show, such as equipment setup and troubleshooting, your TD’s attention will be preoccupied with aspects of the production that they are much less familiar with, such as artistic direction, damage control, and script management. 

The preservation of your Technical Director’s role and purpose alone is reason enough as to why hiring a Stage Manager is not a waste of money or duplication of headcount. But in case you’re not yet convinced, here is why you should consider hiring a Stage Manager at your next event.

What is a Stage Manager?

A Stage Manager (also known as a Show Caller) specializes in the coordination and execution of live events. They have a deep understanding of the flow of a show, timing, and intricacies of live production. The role of a Stage Manager is to support directors, performers, and technical crew members, ensuring a seamless, well-executed, and memorable event.

Understanding the Value of a Professional Stage Manager

When mapping out your event’s production team, it’s critical to recognize and differentiate the benefits of each role backstage and the way that they build upon each other. A professional Stage Manager is an essential vertebrae to the entire production, focusing on the holistic coordination and execution of the event; they are the backbone of a smooth operation. 

Here are a few key skills that a well-trained Stage Manager can bring to your next show: 

Communication and Coordination: A good SM is the communication hub between various departments. They coordinate cues and timings to ensure that every element of the production is synchronized, from lighting, sound, and video to the talent. Fostering seamless communication between crew members is vital in creating a cohesive and polished presentation; this is not a lightweight responsibility.

Artistic Oversight: Losing sight of artistic direction amidst production commotion can be easy. A key responsibility of an SM is to focus on the artistic and creative aspects of the show, guaranteeing that the event follows the intended script while staying true to the artistic vision.

Crisis Management: In the face of unexpected crises, a seasoned Stage Manager…well, expects them. A professional SM adeptly navigates challenges and keeps the show on track by delegating and making crucial real-time decisions that minimize or eliminate disruptions. 

Script and Cue Oversight: Precision and timing are crucial in live events, an aspect of a production that can make or break the show experience. A key responsibility of an SM is to meticulously manage all cues and scripts to ensure flawless execution, from lighting changes to audio transitions.

Venue Knowledge: A professional SM will often have experience working in various venues, giving them insight into the unique challenges that different venue spaces can present. This adaptable expertise can be a secret to optimizing your production, regardless of location.

Rehearsal Leadership: The SM typically leads and facilitates rehearsals, working closely with producers, presenters, deck managers and the technical crew to fine-tune the production. Their keen attention to detail is crucial in understanding, tracking, and supporting the roles and responsibilities of the entire team unifying the production.

While a Technical Director may have some overlap in responsibilities, the distinct skills of a Stage Manager are indispensable to a high-quality event. The role’s dedicated focus on show execution and coordination can significantly impact a production’s quality, a crew’s harmony, and an audience member’s experience. 

Hiring a skilled Stage Manager is a wise decision for any live event, and hiring with Tempo Live Events is easy!

Every contractor in our network is expertly vetted and selected with your unique event needs in mind. If you need to hire event professionals NOW or are interested in becoming a contractor, contact us using the link below!

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