Stage Manager - Live Performances or Events Salary
Job Description for Stage Manager - Live Performances or Events
Stage managers of live performances are essential members of the backstage crew of any type of performance. Whether it’s a stadium-sized show for a major musical star or a theater production in a small town, a stage manager must ensure that things go smoothly without mistakes, embarrassing delays, or other troubles that could otherwise be avoided.Read More...
These stage managers are in charge of the full organization of live performances of all sizes and keeping both performers and stage technicians on their toes, ensuring they are doing their jobs and in the right places at the right times. They also schedule and conduct meetings which get all parties involved and working cohesively, as well as manage rehearsals where backstage workers also rehearse their roles in the production.
Stage managers for live performances must have strong organizational and management skills, a strong ability to communicate and motivate people of different roles, and the ability to work in a high-pressure environment with increasing stress levels until the final performance is over. They must also be thoroughly familiar with the upcoming performance, the role of each person involved, the jobs they must do, and how each piece fits together to create a greater whole. They also take notes as each step progresses in order to make adjustments as necessary.
These managers can expect to work at off-site rehearsal spaces and the venue at which an event will occur, making for a wide variety of possible locations, both indoors and outdoors. They should generally expect long and unusual hours, which may vary more as a performance draws nearer.
Many stage managers have bachelor’s degrees in stage production or performance arts, and some even have technical degrees. It is not uncommon, however, for stage managers to work their way up from small theaters and venues, as some begin in high school and build up to greater events and increased responsibility.
Stage Manager - Live Performances or Events Tasks
- Coordinate production plans and meetings, and direct activities of stage crew during performances.
- May cue lights, sound or scenery changes.
- Provide accounting for stage expenses and maintain equipment inventory.
- Address technical and human emergencies on the day of the performance.
- Record all blocking, lighting cues, prop usage, costume changes, and entrances of performers during rehearsals.
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Pay by Experience Level for Stage Manager - Live Performances or Events
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Live Performance Stage Managers with more experience do not necessarily bring home bigger paychecks. In fact, experience in this field tends to impact compensation minimally. Individuals who have worked for fewer than five years bring in approximately $35K on average. Those in the five-to-10 year range can expect an average that is only a touch bigger at $38K. On average, Live Performance Stage Managers make $42K following one to two decades on the job. Survey participants who have spent more than 20 years on the job report a predictably higher median income of $52K, demonstrating that compensation is roughly commensurate with experience in the end.
Pay Difference by Location
For Live Performance Stage Managers, New York provides a pay rate that is 99 percent greater than the national average. Live Performance Stage Managers will also find cushy salaries in Las Vegas (+50 percent), Chicago (+49 percent), Los Angeles (+24 percent), and Orlando (+3 percent). Live Performance Stage Managers in Denver report much lower salaries than the rest of the country — 32 percent below the national average — proving that residence is a major factor in overall pay.