I just stand behind you and wait for you to say "hey what's up?" but I do that because we've worked together before so I know your style.
So Bad Habit Productions does the super wonderful (though not unique to them) by including in their process a debrief for designers and stage management close to the end of the run of the show. Not only does this allow everyone to air concerns about the process, from hiring to performance run, it gives designers and SMs (young and old) valuable feedback on their performance.
As freelancers, we don't have the structure of corporate world, where performance reviews are routinely scheduled. So being with a company that does some sort of production debrief where you can get feedback from peers and supervisors is always better than the alternative.
So this debrief, the biggest feedback I got is that I need to lend more time to the designers needs in tech! I focus a lot on the actors' comfort level and integration into the space, but I am sometimes leaving the designers in the dust and don't give them the time they deserve in that week. I think this stems from my focus on "must start running this show like it's the real thing as soon as possible, that's what will get us ready best." However, I need to move past that mindset and remember that the designers, as the Managing Director put it "only have that time to add their part of the craft" and value that time - the time of tech week is not just for me to get as many runs under my belt as I can before opening. It's time for them to do their work and me to run when their work is done.
Related to this, I need to have better communication with designers in tech - namely, I need to be clearer to the designers that their needs are paramount and we can hold whenever THEY need to, not just when director or I need to. I think the solution to this is having a clearly laid out speech before tech begins to all in the room; the "this is how we're going to do tech" speech. I do typically do this, but my speech is primarily about the vocabulary and structure of holds (to avoid false starts, actors taking off before all designers are checked in and ready, etc.), the necessity of patience, and the focus on the goal: a great end product. In the future, I'm going to include language in that speech affirming the designer's "right" to call holds and the procedure they should follow to do that.
It's encouraging to get this feedback from people I know and trust. Having this feedback reinforces my philosophy that I should learn something new from every show I do. That's one of the joys of working in theatre - every show is different, every time. I may be young, but I think anyone in production who's worth their salt values the feedback of debriefs and uses it to further their craft. Those who don't...well, they're not much fun to work with.
The IRNEs were incredibly exciting. Company One received awards for Set Design and New Work. AND this little show I worked on (it wasn't actually little) with Bad Habit won FOUR awards: Best Actor, Best Director, Best Ensemble, and Best Production of a Play (all in the small company category). There were some really fabulous shows also nominated so to be counted in that company was honor enough. But to win was humbling. And no I didn't really win anything - but to have been such an integral part of a play that wins best production I don't think entirely excludes the stage manager :)
From the Fly Rail
My musings based off experiences I have in my theatre work. Or like my life.