The Assistant Stage Manager's Handbook to the AEA Small Professional Theatre
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I am a Computer Science and Theatre Arts Double Major in Kalamazoo College's class of 2011. For a long time I have thought of becoming a professional actor on stage or film, hence one of my majors. Aside from taking classes in theatre I had been taking classes related to a second career option; realizing that many actors remain unemployed for lengths of time I had been preparing myself for a job in computers as a backup plan. However until the summer of 2010, I have been lacking experience within a professional theatre. In the winter of 2010, I sought a job interview for an intern position at Stageworks Hudson in Hudson, NY. Although I had experience in job interviews my lack of professional theatre experience made me nervous. Despite being nervous my employer Laura Margolis, Artistic Director of Stageworks Hudson, reassured me about my role here at this theatre; there was no reason for me to be nervous, I wouldn't be some toilet bowl cleanser and I certainly wouldn't be discriminated as a rookie intern. Needless to say, the Artistic Director and I got on the same page and in no time she called me up and told me I had a job for the summer of 2010. During that summer I worked as an Assistant Stage Manager (ASM) for three shows at Stageworks: Lizzy Duff Adam's Or, Deborah Margolin's Imagining Madoff, and Jessica Dickey's The Amish Project. Throughout my experiences at this small professional theatre in the Hudson Valley of New York, I hoped to give myself a good idea on whether or not I want to commit my life towards theatre and a strong background for a handbook: the very one you hold in your hands. By putting what I learned and picked up on this job, I hope to provide you the reader with some insight on what an Intern/ASM does at a small professional theatre.