Catching up with the crew…Production Stage Manager
From wardrobe to almost everything to do with the show Danny, our production stage manager is the man to go too. Let’s see what tour life is like for him.
What does a typical day involve with load in/load out etc, how long would a load in/load out take?
My day starts laying the floor with the local crew. After all of the floor is down, I then hang the drapes (curtains) and then the hard-flats.
After this I lay the marley. Then the bandstands. At this stage in the day we consider ourselves ‘focus-ready’, meaning that the lighting dept. now have a set upon which they can light. To get to this stage generally takes 4-5 hours.
After lunch, I then swap over to my PSM duties which involve writing the show report from the night before, allocating the dressing rooms,making sure that tables/chairs etc are appropriately set-up. I then sign-post from the stage door to the stage/catering/dressing rooms and put up the notice board and sign up sheet.
Next is sound checks through till dinner. Then the show. During the show I am in contact with all technical departments and with the theatre/arena staff. I coordinate the start of the show, call all lighting/follow-spot/sound cues through the show and again coordinate the interval and through the second half.
On load-out, I pretty much undo everything that I do during the load-in. The load-out is about 2hrs. It’s a long day, but it is enjoyable work, and worth it when you can sit watching the show and seeing how much people are enjoying it knowing the part you played in bringing it to them.
How do you find the sleeper bus?
I love the sleeper coach. I have slept on a wide variety over the years. They are like sensory deprivation tanks. With no windows and all the lights out you get a true black-out. Generally it’s tight confines, but again, it almost is like being back in a crib or a pram. And then when the engine starts and all other noise other than the constant hum I always sleep deeper and better than anywhere else. (The long days of work help too most likely.)
Do you manage to get a good nights sleep on it or do you miss having a hotel?
Yep. The hotel still tops the bus overall because of the privacy and the ability to have your stuff and your bag to hand, but for a quality night’s sleep? The bus always wins.
As you watch the show every night do you have a favourite part of the show?
I love ‘Firedance’ and always have. Seeing the boys get a chance to really act and get into the performance side of the show always allows individuals to shine. Also, the music is so solid. I’ve listened to it probably over a thousand times and now i’m never tired of it. I also love the band numbers, ‘Slip in to Spring’ and ‘Slow air and Tunes’