We’re taking a look behind the scenes with some of the people who make Motown the Musical happen off the stage. We caught up with our Deputy Stage Manager, Ros to find out what it takes to run the show as part of the Stage Management team.
What’s a typical day like for you as Deputy Stage Manager?
Usually, first I do the covering – I print out and send it around the building so that everybody knows who’s off and who’s covering who. Then it’s warm up time, so I have to make sure everyone’s here and then do the half an hour and quarter hour call, five minutes call and beginners’ call, and then it’s show time! When I’m covering Stage Manager, I come in and set up the show report so it’s ready for the evening before going onto the stage with the crew to reset it for the top of the show.
What’s the best thing about being Deputy Stage Manager on Motown?
My role is in charge of cueing the show, seeing everything happen and having control of everything to make it as slick as possible. As Stage Manager you’re looking after the cast and the crew, making sure the show happens smoothly and that everyone is safe.
What’s your role’s biggest challenge?
Because you’re watching everything happen, you have to have eyes on everything that moves, in case someone isn’t where they should be or if, for some reason, someone’s been delayed – you just have to make sure everything happens as it should.
How do you juggle all the many aspects of your role?
When you’re setting up the show you have to delegate – you have your Assistant Stage Managers; they’re your second pair of eyes, they’re at other parts of the stage watching things you can’t and looking after cast members. You rely a lot on your whole team.
Have there been any memorable moments so far?
We’ve had a few Michael Jackson’s suddenly falling ill on their way down to stage, completely not their fault, so we’ve had to quickly change Michael Jackson’s.
Do you have any pre/post-show habits?
I don’t, not really, but a lot of the cast do and a lot of them have little moments they have to do which involve you. I’ve had a show before where, if you were Stage Manager, the lead had to high five you at a certain point, and if you weren’t where you were meant to be he’d look for you until he found you rather than go on stage!
What couldn’t you live without in your job?
My laptop, definitely. Everything’s on my laptop. And during the show, a torch – it’s very dark backstage and you have to make sure bits of set are coming in and that they’re not going to be hitting anyone on the head!
What does “Motown” mean to you?
Motown’s great. It’s a big family, we’ve all gotten to know each other really well. It’s celebrating a great genre of music – watching the audience love it as much as we do every night is good! It’s a lovely, lovely team.
Keep an eye on our Explore page for more Behind the Scenes action!