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TV Stage Management

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I've been a theatre SM/DSM/ASM etc etc for 3years since graduating and have been offered a job stage managing a tv pantomime. Haven't really touched TV work before, I was just wondering if someone could point out the differences and maybe any job role changes - basically what does a TV SM do?





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...stage managing a tv pantomime. ...

Is this...


a) A TV recording of a stage production in a theatre with an audience, to be recorded 'as live'

b) A TV recording of a stage production in a theatre with an audience with retakes

c) A TV recording of a TV production in a studio with or without audience


In studio based TV there is no such things as a stage manager - they have floor managers. A very different job.

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The big difference is time. To TV people, time is God, so if something takes 1:20 in rehearsal, they exect you to make sure it takes 1:20 when you do it next time. I've always found time to be very difficult to do in my head. It's mainly to do with the ad breaks, more than anything else, so they will expect to hit the natural breaks at the right time. If things start to fall behind, you need to notice quickly, and then get the turns to stretch or shrink. Standing stage side with running order and times and a watch is pretty stressful, then somebody shouts in your ear, coming to scene change 30 seconds early, and you're expected to make it happen. I've floor managed a few times back in the 90s, and done the TV stage manager role in theatre a couple of times now. Theatre is much simpler!
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