Behind the Applause. My ASM experience

I’ve had the fantastic opportunity over the past month to help out on a show that was put on in London t as the role of the ASM (Assistant Stage Manager) for the gritty crime drama Caught. This month has gone ever so quick, but it’s been a wonderful process, and I’ve have had the chance to work and bond with such lovely and talented individuals. It’s been incredibly educational – being someone who trained in theatre, and being someone who photographs actors and artists on stage. I got to experience what crafting and shenanigans occurred behind the scripts, behind the direction, behind the performance, behind the applause.

Quite frankly without the team I was with – there would practically be no show! I was pleasantly surprised with the serene atmosphere as we pieced everything together. To have the role of building and designing a set, to position lights and run cues in a short period of time, you need three things; imagination, the calmest deminour and the attention span of a hawk! I was pretty much working with the best of the best.  A majority of the time I felt a little silly, as I constantly asked questions such as where was what and how should I paint this. Thankfully I was reassured by set designer Sarah, that there was no such thing as a stupid question. Then there was Ailsa, the Stage Manager. Like the Director, they too take the reigns and coordinate every aspect of a production. As the assistant, I was at her command! My role was to source and arrange props, plot a costume draft so that I knew every quick change and change for the actors after scenes, re-setting and ironing the costumes, tea and coffee duty, taking rehearsal shots and lastly, looking after and guiding the actors. I found that rather than a camera, there were two tools I had on me that stuck to me like a limpet;

1. A pen
2. Paper

SUCH A BLESSING! Who knew that these techno-free items would become my most important kit in this entire process. Always write everything down. Every additional change, every cue, every cut of a line, every prop, every call time and every number. That way you will have a less stressful time and will constantly be on alert.

Caught was performed at the Pleasance Theatre in Islington from the 2nd-5th September.