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BWW Blog: Working as a Professional Stage Manager at 20

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I was blown away that I could possibly be working off-off-Broadway in the city, somewhere I always dreamed of working.

BWW Blog: Working as a Professional Stage Manager at 20

As a theatre person, I have studied, trained and worked endlessly to reach my dream of professionally working on Broadway. Since I was only eight years old, I knew that my dream was to perform on Broadway. For the past 12 years, I have participated in every show possible, taken every theatre class offered and attended every theatre camp I could find. I have taken countless singing lessons, dance classes and acting workshops. Today, I'm currently studying as a theatre major at Drew University with a focus in musical theatre. However, despite my love for performing, I always had a passion for working backstage and behind the scenes, but I was always too scared to try. I would've never imagined that at only twenty years old, I would be working professionally as a stage manager off-off-Broadway.

My senior year of high school, my school's performing arts company was putting on Godspell, one of my favorite shows. I was ecstatic to audition and hopefully land a role in the show. Unfortunately, a week before auditions, I found out that the week of the show was the same week as my cousin's wedding. I was devastated that I would miss my Fall show my senior year, but I couldn't stay away from theatre for four whole months. Two of my friends told me they would be co-stage managing and I should work the crew for the show. I thought this was a great idea and went straight to the director and offered to work stage crew. I was shocked when he asked if I could also stage manage. I was extremely nervous because I felt underprepared for such an important role. Terrified,I said yes and it turned out to be one of my favorite show experiences ever.

BWW Blog: Working as a Professional Stage Manager at 20Fast forward two years later when my community college got a new theatre advisor named Maria. I was an officer of the drama club so me and the other officers got to meet Maria the summer before school started. She was very excited and wanted to get to know each of us personally. I mentioned that I previously stage managed a few years ago and I saw her face light up. Since then, she would always rely on me to help out with every show she put together. Just four months after meeting her, she told me her friend, Sean, was looking for a stage manager for a production in New York with La Mama Experimental Theatre Club and asked if I was interested. I was blown away that I could possibly be working off-off-Broadway in the city, somewhere I always dreamed of working. Again, I was terrified, but I couldn't let such an amazing opportunity go to waste. A few weeks later, I went to the city by myself for the first time ever and started working with the director Sean. It was very different then performing, with jobs I haven't really done before, like scheduling, budgeting, publicity and set design, but I was having the time of my life. A month later, I opened my first professional show at a professional theater, my greatest accomplishment yet.

BWW Blog: Working as a Professional Stage Manager at 20Since then, I have worked in every aspect of theatre- performing, stage managing, costume design, publicity, social media marketing, audio, etc. This summer, Sean even asked me to work with him again. I am now the official stage manager of Lilac Co. Overall, I learned to not be scared to step out of my comfort zone. Never be afraid to say yes, no matter how scary it is, because it can change your life.



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From This Author Student Blogger: Holly Stefanik