Monday, June 4th, 2012
Blogs | Artistic Liberties
Max Maven | Thinking In Person
Last month I was hired as the Production Stage Manager for the New York premiere of Max Maven | Thinking In Person presented by 2 time Emmy winner Alexander Marshall and Giles Cole.
I accepted this role for a number of reasons. Turns out, it fits my job criteria. Years ago, another stage manager told me his criteria for accepting SM jobs. He said it needed to have two of three elements. Either it paid well, had an awesome script and/or had an amazing production/creative/talent team. If he could get 2 of the 3 in his role, he’d accept a job. Sometimes you have amazing scripts and you love the people, but it might end up being a low paying or free gig. Or perhaps it pays extremely well and the people are cool but the script could use some tweaking. Or its an awesome script, the money is awesome but the people have their challenges. I liked his critieria and adopted it for myself.
Max Maven has an illuminating, thought provoking script. He’s a freaking mentalist! I’m fascinated by magic. In fact, magic is my June word of the month! Click here to read about Fairy Dust Faith.Â After looking at youtube clips of his show, reading reviews and asking questions of the director, I knew I was intrigued by the script. I’ve never been involved in this kind of stage magic. I did help create pixie dust out of dirt, sand and peet moss while working with Redmoon on Boneyard Prayer. (read about that here.) But this is different. Therefore, one of my criteria’s was met.
Two, it is a paying gig. It pays more than enough. (Besides….I work on Wall Street. I don’t necessarily stage manage for the money. I do it because I am passionate about it and I believe in the transformative power of art.)
Three, the people. HOLY SWEETNESS. You did read about that Alexander (Sandy) Marshall won 2 Emmys. On top of that he was nominated for 7 Emmys. He owns a magic shop in Chicago. Of all his awards and honors, he’s most proud of the New York May’s Award for Heroism that he received for stopping a violent crime fo rape that was in progress. Alexander, who also goes by Sandy, also wrote the amazing, “Beating a Dead Horse, The Life and Times of Jay Marshall.” If you don’t know, Jay Marshall is a famous magician and ventriloquist who, among many other things, appeared on the Ed Sullivan show 14 times! From this google search of Sandy, I knew I wanted to work from him. I knew there was so much I could learn. Just being in the room with him is an honor.
But, it doesn’t stop at Sandy.Â There’s also his lovely wife, Susan Palmer Marshall, who is a celtic singer, producer and editor, among many other things. All I can say about her is that she is so utterly delightful and an absolute sweetheart.
Also on the team is Jules Fisher as the Lighting Designer. If you’ve been living under a theater rock, let me share a little bit. Jules Fisher was nominated for 18 Tony awards. He has won 8.Â I get to work with people in the theater history books. Its so freaking incredible. Its humbling. It’s an honor. It ROCKS!
The set designer is Alan E. Muraoka, who’s been working as a designer for television and film for 25 years. He has been nominated for two Emmys and three Art Directors Guild Awards.
Taking all these things into consideration, including the fact that I like to take something I know absolutely nothing about and delve into learning it completely, I signed the dotted line in seconds.
I’m liking my New York credits so far. First, I staged managed a historical chinese epic where most of the script was in Mandarin. Now I’m stage managing Max Maven, which involves an edge of magic and who’s creative team is full of TV and theater history. And later this summer I’m stage managing a dance showcase.
My life rocks. I love theater. And rehearsals begin tonight. I will be tweeting, blogging, vlogging and everything else throughout this process.
If you want to purchase tickets, please visit MaxMavenOffBroadway.com The show runs June 12th through July 1st at the Abingdon Theatre Arts Complex.
I stage manage plays, events, showcases and everything else. If you’re interested in my experience or what’s coming up, check out my stage manager website here.