Being the mayor

by. Anthony Demangone

Sometimes someone can coin a phrase or describe something in a way that makes it click with other people.

We’ve heard of “management by walking around,” quite a bit. But an article I read recently in the Washington Post really brought that concept to life for me. Michael Passaro is both a production stage manager, and the head of stage management at Columbia. He works with roughly 100 different people on any given night.

I always say that I’m a hybrid C.E.O. and chief operating officer for the producers and the creative team. On a musical, if you include the crew and cast and even the musicians, there are about a hundred people, on average, who work at the theater on any given night. I am a huge proponent of trying to check in with everybody as much as possible face to face — “How are you doing? What’s going on?” — on a nightly basis.

They’re more likely tell me about something in person, as opposed to sending email or texts. It’s also my opportunity to give them direction or notes I might have from previous performances. I call it being the mayor. (Emphasis added.) I walk around, say hello and find out how everyone is doing.

Being the mayor. I like that.  A lot.

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