How would you describe your current work and what do you like best about it?
I am currently between contracts, but last year I worked on an Royal Shakespeare Company and English Touring Theatre tour of A Mad World My Masters, taken The Jennifer Tremblay Trilogy with Stellar Quines to the Fringe, achieved my ambition to work on an opera with a Royal Opera House production of Orpheus at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse and also managed to fit in a fun filled Beauty and The Beast panto in Perth. My next contract is back at Stellar Quines on their new production of The Air That Carries The Weight.
What was your first ever job?
My first ever job was working as a book mover in the stack of the Bodleian Library in Oxford; I moved books from one shelf to another to make room for more books. The Bodleian is a copyright library so holds one of every book published in the United Kingdom. I moved books dating pre 1650 as well as some books that were so odd in topic that they might never get looked upon again!
What made you decide to go into a career in stage management?
I was working in the Welsh Assembly Government, hated it, and ran away to the theatre. I joined a local drama group in Cardiff hoping to learn more about being a lighting designer and they actually needed a stage manager. I learnt about how to be one from a book, loved it more than being a Civil Servant and decided to learn how to do it properly so went to train at RADA.
Has there been a particular person or an opportunity that you feel has made the most difference to your career?
I think everyone I have met and every opportunity, good and bad, has helped me. You learn by experience and seeing how others do. I am very thankful to those who have helped me, from those companies who keep re employing me, to individuals who have brought me on board their productions because we have had fun times on previous ones.
What do you like the best about working within the arts?
It’s all the people I get to meet, the different experiences and challenges. The fact that no jobs, or two days, are ever the same. There is no time to get bored and I love constantly learning about things I never knew I ever needed to know.
What advice would you give emerging female stage managers today?
As a stage manager you are the person who everyone relies on. You are the communicator, the diplomat, the leader, the listener, the first one in and the last one out, the supplier of tissues and sugary snacks, the catcher of wasps/bees and creepy crawlies, the one who calms those having panic attacks and the one who will have all their pencils, eraser, scissors and pritt stick pilfered by the end of rehearsals. It is a brilliant, but sometimes tough, job. It is a job that you really need to love to do.
Who would be your Stellar Quine of the month and why?
I think it would be Emma Rice. Not only because she is the new Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe and I really want to work there again, but also because I am genuinely excited to see what she will do.