One thing I seem to be routinely learning at my new job is that unlike Stage Management, the production never ends. Metaphorically and figuratively. Once a production is over, the company keeps chugging along right into the next one. This winter I learnt this in terms of my lists. As an SM, the lists have to get done, and all things on that list have a deadline; opening night. The office list has deadlines, but those deadlines just push all the other things on the list that keep the company running further down the list. It doesn't make them go away, instead the list just gets longer.
As we started to switch into high gear this summer planning our annual outdoor theatre festival and the world premiere of an original SKAM production, staged on the back of a flat deck pick up truck, I began to learn another hard new reality. When I was Stage Managing, I embraced that busy flurry of Production week, knowing that into the run I would sleep and socialize and at the end of it I would likely have a week off between it and the next job. Closing night, I could hand in my keys, make sure my prompt book was well maintained and hand it all off, content to sleep the next day away.
This is very very different. That flurry of activity happens in the weeks leading up to rehearsals. And it's the sort of flurry that you don't even know if you've done everything right until someone tells you you haven't. And then once you are safely into rehearsals it feels relatively calm, and just when you think you can relax, bam! Its over, and that means, things need to get paid, things need to be accounted for, reports need to be written! Before you can even adjust to finishing this project up you are into preparation for the next.
There is no resting up for the next job. There is no next job. This is my job.
Gahhh! I have earned so much respect for administrators every where this year. I notice GM's now, and Operations Managers and Producing Managers. I know what a controller is. My book keeper (and incredible mentor) is becoming my best friend... No, really. She emailed today to make sure my root canal went ok.
Someone ought to run back to 1998 and let me (and Mr. Mutch) know that somehow, I grew up and someone trusted me with an annual budget. That I know what a fiscal year is, and I know how to solve temporary cash flow problems. And that I've even voluntarily signed up for a class called Accounting for Arts and Cultural Managers. Now to find the time to study...
P.s. I cannot recommend the Dill Pickle soup strong enough. Even Amber gave it an A+ ;)