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I have to spend a lot of time as a stage manager as little more than a glorified time keeper.  That’s during rehearsal.  My work is really before and after rehearsal – and I do what it takes to make performances go.

Luckily, my reward for sitting still for four hours at a time, six days a week, is a little bit of cash and a front row seat to watching talented actors give performances that only the director otherwise gets to see.  And I don’t have to sweat having an opinion.  I just get to sit back and watch.

I get to observe humans twisting themselves into emotional pretzels to find out what they’re trying to bring to light.  I see the successes and failures and the amazing, illuminating truths in between.

Actors do this emotional heavy lifting, over and over, on a scale unlike any other.  I find the work fascinating, as much to observe as to do myself.

Obviously, I’m someone who is capable of watching something over and over again.  I know people who insist they find that impossible.  I only find it unpleasant when the show itself is not to my taste.  But when the show is good I can watch it repeatedly until the cows come home.  Or the run finally ends, whichever comes first.

There’s a lot to stage managing that’s a bear, and I’ve dealt with actors who are a handful.  But I’m glad whenever I realize I get to watch an artist I like go to work.  Not many other jobs like this that I can think of.

Thanks, talented actors, for bringing it.

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