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BWW Blog: How to Feel Like You're Still an ASM- A (Fake) Guide for the Isolated Theatre Student

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BWW Blog: How to Feel Like You're Still an ASM- A (Fake) Guide for the Isolated Theatre Student

Since the cancellation of all in person shows, the familiar feelings of being an assistant stage manager are put on hold. Being in the rehearsal room all day, moving furniture, creating prop tracking sheets, tasks that would have been taking up our time are delayed until who knows when. Along with thousands of other students, my time as an ASM has also unfortunately been cut short, but who's to say you can't have the joys of the ASM life at home? Here's six things you can do at home to make you feel like you're back in the wings of your show:

1. Wear all black constantly

Ditch the sweats for another look that says "please don't look at me." If you're a stagehand, it's more likely you don't own any clothing that isn't black anyways. Take pride in the unofficial uniform of the ASM, who says that summer has to be bright and colorful?

2. Only communicate with your family through headset

If you're like me and you've had to move out of the dorm for the remainder of the school year, you'll be back with your family instead of your backstage crew. Instead of feeling blue, just run your house like you'd run your backstage. Everyone gets a headset, no voices raised above a whisper, only talking when necessary. Not only will you feel like you're back in your production, it's an efficient way to resolve family conflicts too!

3. Don't turn on any lights

To really authentically simulate you're backstage, it's best to not be able to see anything. Instead, bump into every prop table until you've memorized the most minimally damaging path. Or, if you're an overachiever, you can glow tape your way around. Just make sure that the fake audience you've made up in your head in order to cope with your disappointment isn't able to see you.

4. Tape out your house

How else would you know where the set pieces- I mean furniture- goes? Spiking is a crucial part of the ASM duties. It's important to always have your spike tape on you, you have to be ready to mark anything at any moment. You can never be too careful. Spike everything, always. Spike your couches and chairs. Spike your car. Spike your dog.

5. Don't go outside

Just don't. During rehearsals/tech/performances, you're in that theatre from sunup until sundown. There are no windows to let you know what time of day it is, frankly you don't even know what day of the week it is, there is no outside world. You live in the theater now. Stay inside like a hermit.

6. Have fun and enjoy the people around you

Look, nobody can be sure when productions will be able to run again, but there's something so universal that keeps us coming back to being ASMs in the first place; because we enjoy it. As hard as you have to work, as late as you have to stay every night, nothing beats the enjoyment you get out of seeing a production you've worked so hard on come alive. Even better, you create relationships with your team that keep you smiling through the difficult rehearsals and the mistakes. So while life is really hard right now, don't forget to apply the same philosophy to the present. Have fun, be grateful for the ones getting you through, and before long we'll all be back in the theater.


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From This Author Student Blogger: Nora Rhein