Katie has just completed her 2nd year studying History and Theology with Religious Studies at the University of Leeds.
“Whilst the society can seem intimidating at first, I promise you we are not at all, just chat to any of us and you’ll see how lovely we are”
I joined Backstage in 2015 with little to no experience of how anything techy worked, but I knew when I came to Uni I wanted to join a society and Backstage had been super friendly at the Freshers’ Fair! Whilst the society can seem intimidating at first, I promise you we are not at all, just chat to any of us and you’ll see how lovely we are. I came to the Backstage GIAG, signed up to the mailing list, replied to the crew call for SMS’ Cabaret a few weeks later and never looked back. Fast forward a year and a half later, and the Production Manager call for the LUU Dance Show was released. I knew I wanted to apply for it since I’d done something similar at school and Stage Managed the Dance Show the year before, and I was lucky enough to be given the role!
“As a first time PM, the experience was stressful at times, but I had a lot of support from Committee who advised me on what to do whenever I got stuck or had any questions”
The clue to what a PM does is in the name – they are the overall managers of a particular show. They are the ones to liaise with the Production Team from the start, to choose designers and pass on all relevant information to them whilst the designers take charge of their areas. The PM also keeps track of the budget, hires vans if required for equipment pickup and return and leads the load in and load out with lots of #delegation. As a first time PM, the experience was stressful at times, but I had a lot of support from Committee who advised me on what to do whenever I got stuck or had any questions, though in general I was fully in charge of making all the necessary decisions and the show in the end turned out amazingly!
“It was a great learning experience within the society and a great way to develop myself. I can’t recommend PMing a show enough”
I absolutely loved the whole experience from start to end, and would recommend PMing to anybody that is stuck into Backstage and wants to take their experience and love for the shows to a new level! It was an incredible way to develop my skills in Backstage and learn some new things – since I mainly take on Stage roles, but I learnt a lot about lights that week. 🙂 I then went on to PM again at the end of the year doing Devonshire Hall’s Into the Woods – this was a different sort of challenge, since musicals have a bigger Production Team who all need liaising with, which was very different from just talking to the Dance Rep! However, it too was a great learning experience within the society and a great way to develop myself. I can’t recommend PMing a show enough, and if you think you have the experience in the society and the knowledge of how we work, I would absolutely say send off the application, since you never know what might happen!
If you’re thinking about applying for a PM role but have questions or need advice, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help you!