Arran chose Stage Management because he loved theatre, but knew performance wasn’t the path for him.
Why did you decide to study Stage Management?
From a young age I knew performing wasn’t for me. As a young child I went to youth theatre because I had a joy for theatre and the idea of bringing something to life through performance or art still stimulates me, being creative drives me forward. However, I decided that I like the idea of working backstage and being the one who was in charge of everything!
As a young teenager I stood at the side of the stage during a tech rehearsal for my youth group’s production of All Shook Up. I was waiting for my cue when I noticed the Stage Manager for the first time. The way he commanded the performance, linked the action, the director and the crew really interested me. Ever since I have always observed the Stage Manager at a theatre, and have been motivated and inspired by their role. As I researched the job further, I knew that this was the career for me. I want to be backstage, taking pride in the performance that I have helped create.
What did you most enjoy about studying at RBC?
I really enjoyed my time at RBC because it felt like I was part of a family within the Stage Management course and within the school itself. Getting to work with all three year groups of students on the course was brilliant, as you could connect with fellow students who had already been through the course and ask for help and support from peers. The staff at RBC are so welcoming and you build such a good working relationship with them, I always felt comfortable to approach them at any time. It has such a good support network.
The course is a very busy and not like a ‘normal’ university course. It is very full on and it gives you a good insight into the industry you are going into, which I really enjoyed because this meant I was fully prepared and knew what to expect after graduating.
What experiences from the course helped prepare you for what you are doing now?
Getting the practical experience from the start was brilliant. Within two weeks of being on the course I was Assistant Stage Manager on one of our School’s shows. It’s also great to work in local theatres around Birmingham, which was a huge selling point for me because you can then start to network with venue staff. Most students get casual work at the theatres whilst studying at RBC.
As part of the course you get a wide range of opportunities. For me the best year was second year getting to work alongside set, props and technical departments as well as being a Deputy Stage Manager on a show. In my second year I worked on 14 shows, which was invaluable experience and also helped me gain knowledge about other departments within theatre and how to communicate with them.
Over my time at RBC I worked on a total of 18 productions and all were different in scale, size and genre. I think this was the biggest highlight from the course for me; the knowledge I gained when working on so many shows helped me develop as a professional and gain hands on experience, which is key in this industry.