Dear Professor Production
Reviewing Rehearsal Notes Can Boost Manager's Confidence
As a first time stage manager, I feel that I am doing a good job at rehearsals, taking copious rehearsal notes and communicating these notes to the various internal departments via e-mail. I am finding that the director will read the e-mail, make corrections to my notes highlighting in red, and "respond to all," thus, correcting the notes that I thought were accurate. I find this an embarrassment, and it adds to my insecurity as a new stage manager. I feel that I have a good relationship with my director. How can I feel better about the job that I am doing?
And the professor replies:
Sometimes your crystal ball might be a bit cloudy. You may think you can read your director's mind, but this case illustrates that something is missing here. The solution is rather simple: take the notes as you see fit, but set aside time at the end of rehearsal with your director and go over the notes verbatim. Have the director give you his input prior to distributing the notes, and all should be well. Make sure that your notes reflect his required changes and vision. You save face and emotional distress.
P.S: As a follow up, make sure you visit the shops each morning and go over the rehearsal notes to clarify any misunderstanding in those notes. This will build your relationships with the shop managers and help you continue on a path to an "emotionally secure stage manager."
Don't beat yourself up. Even the most experienced professionals find they learn something new with each production.
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