Off Headset: Essays on Stage Management Work Life and Career

Front Cover
Rafael Jaen, Christopher Sadler
Routledge, 2022 - Stage management - 240 pages

Off Headset is a collection of essays by a richly diverse group of stage management professionals and educators covering the challenges stage managers face on the job, in their lives, and in their careers.

The book starts with the intersectional history of stage managers and the actors' union. In Part 1: Work, the contributors share a wide range of experiences, from regional theatre and Broadway to operas and cruises - and even running with the circus. The essays in Part 2: Life explore the relevance of stage managers claiming their identity, their resilience, and practicing self-care. Finally, in Part 3: Career, readers receive aspirational and business advice for life in the real world: leadership, networking, unemployment, managing demanding calendars, and career planning. The book ends with a moment of pause during tech--a direct response to the absence we have been enduring throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and a tribute to a world we used to take for granted.

Intertwining practical advice with personal anecdotes, Off Headset is the perfect accompaniment to students studying stage management in a university setting and professionals working in the field.

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About the author (2022)

Rafael Jaen (sounds HA-EN) is an award-winning costume designer, educator, and author. He is a USITT Fellow, the USITT VP for Communications (2019-22), and he is a past National KCACTF DTM Chair. He is the author of SHOWCASE and Digital Costume Design and Collaboration by Focal Press/Routledge, and the Series Editor for the USITT/Focal Press Backstage series. He is an Associate Professor of Theatre and Performing Arts Chair at UMass Boston.

Christopher Sadler is an Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma's Helmerich School of Drama, heading the stage management emphasis and teaching multiple courses in stage and theatre management and dramatic literature. He has degrees from Ithaca College and UC San Diego and is a proud member of Actors' Equity Association. Chris has a successful freelancing career having been on stage management teams for over 100 productions at theatres nationwide.

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