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How much money do stage managers make for working?

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 0

Stage Manager

So how much money do stage managers make for working? Ask any manager and they will quickly avoid the question by refusing to answer it. There are no clear figures given when it comes to the amount of money they earn because it varies actually as it depends on a lot of factors.  This career choice has also its shares of ups and downs, but when they hit the jackpot, we can see them smiling from ear to ear.


How much money do stage managers make for working? This is a question which people ask, especially when Broadway hits start coming.  With jam packed theatres and a multitude of sponsors, many wonder if stage managers earn that much that they choose to stick with this line of work.    However, it would be good if this would be the scenario all the time, because there are instances when the mill runs dry.

Thinking of becoming a Stage Manager?

Stage Manager in Action

If we have all the needed public relation skills and a love for the arts, then there is no problem if we want to become a stage manager for one day.  The job is an important one, because without an effective stage manager, the show can collapse just like that.  This is the person who sees to it that everything runs like clockwork and must therefore have nerves of steel and not that easy to wilt under pressure.  He must learn to think quickly and be prepared for any contingency as the life and death of the show is virtually in his hands.  Hence, this is the perfect job for those individuals who are resourceful and who can immediately act on any given situation presented to them

How much do they earn?


Usually, these stage managers earn big if shows are successful, and they take a percentage of the box office receipts or settle for a percentage of earnings.  Big productions are what they usually go after because it would also mean bigger incomes for them.  However, if the production is a flop, it is quite safe to say that they do not earn as much as they used to.  Thus, with the right publicity and connections, it is imperative for any stage manager to put a successful show together to ensure a guaranteed fat pay check.

Reputation they have to protect

For these people, earning big is equally as important in having a successful show to establish his reputation.  The circle in this line is quite small, and news travels fast if a stage manager is not able to deliver and perform his job when the situation calls for it.  If this happens, he may find a hard time finding another job if he wilts under pressure and the presentation suddenly bogs down.  This is why they work double time whenever they have a project on hand, because when the audience gives rave reviews (even if it is centered on the performers) it reflects on their capabilities and shows how efficient they are at the work they do.

In this line of business, having a good reputation is equally valuable as earning big.  Naturally, people would endorse and watch future shows if they learn that the production was brilliantly handled.  This is where they basically base their earnings.  Good reputations are built on major successful productions, and if the turnout is big, so does the pay they take home with them.

Working behind the curtains

Stage managers often work behind the scenes and rarely get any credit because attention is normally focused on the director and the performers.  What people don’t know is that if the stage manager does not do his job properly, the production will never be a success, and if this happens, there can be certainly no credit given to the director or any of the performers.  Here, we see that the people behind the success of any production are those whom we do not see or watch on stage.

Behind the curtain

There is actually nothing new about this concept since the people whom we not see are the ones who usually get the job done.  Without these people, there is no production to speak of, and no one would move if there was no one directing traffic backstage.  The sad part about it is that these guys have no fixed income, unlike performers who demand a price before they even do their stuff on stage.

The workhorse which spells the difference

Stage Crew

The stage managers actually spell the difference between the life and death of the show because if he does not know what he is doing, then he has virtually put the death sentence on the production.  What assurance is there that he will do his job effectively? Well, he has only one thing in mind: if he does not do his work and the show is a dud, he does not get the pay he expects to receive.  It is as simple as that.

With this principle in mind, we can very well expect that stage managers will work their pants off in every production.  This is the reason why we often see them shouting backstage, telling the props men to get ready, or even prepping up the performers if needed.  He is simply the silent workhorse who suffers a lot if the production does not go as planned.  Thus, for the success of any performance, so does the success of the stage manager. His earnings will now depend on how the successful the production has become.


So how much money do stage managers make for working? Well, all we have to remember is this, if their talents do not perform well or if the production is not that successful, they do not get to earn much.  It is therefore imperative that every show they handle is a rousing success to ensure a fat pay check.  They have reputations to protect which to them is an important part of the business.  As we can see, it is quite difficult to determine how much money stage managers make for working.



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