Kerrie Driscoll, Diploma in Stage Management and Technical Theatre
I was ripped apart at GSA and I was put back together in a way that made me a much better stage manager. I was confident to leave GSA with the training I had and I felt confident I could hold my own in the industry.
Company Stage Manager at The Watermill Theatre. Previous roles have included Chess in concert at The Royal Albert Hall, 13 productions for Guildford Shakespeare Company and Swallows and Amazons – The National and Bristol Old Vic Theatr
Have you always wanted to work in Theatre?
My love for Theatre began at an early age. I knew I wanted to work in the industry but originally it was as a dancer. My close friend and Ballet teacher told me that I would make a great Stage Manager. I found out about the course at GSA and I started my training. Unsure of what to expect - the moment I got to GSA I knew I found my calling.
In your opinion, what are the most important skills for a Stage Manager to have?
Sometimes it’s the skills that you can’t teach, you can only hone. For a Company Manager it’s about communication, empathy and understanding of people’s needs. Paperwork can be taught, but having the right attitude goes the furthest in making you successful in your job.
What do you consider to be the most exciting aspect of your work?
Making people happy. Making an audience happy, seeing their faces light up when they watch something and can see an interesting story being told. Making company members happy and relaxed so they can be good at their job. And finally creatives – making their vision tangible.
What attracted you to choose GSA?
It had a very good reputation for Stage management. I knew other people that had been and enjoyed their time. I loved every day in my training and I’m very proud that I can say that. I loved my course, my teachers and the people that shared my two years with me.
What was the best thing about your training at GSA?
I enjoyed how the course was laid out, I liked that we had intense teaching and then crewed the 2nd year shows. It gave us the opportunity to learn from the 2nd year stage management teams.
I always say, I was ripped apart at GSA and I was put back together in a way that made me a much better stage manager. I was confident to leave GSA with the training I had, I’m not saying I didn’t still have things to learn but I felt confident I could hold my own in the industry.
What are your top tips for students aspiring to work in your profession?
Learn everything you can from the people around you. Be proactive about the training you want to receive. Try and make connection in theatres locally and learn what you can from people with more experience. Get some work experience in a good theatre and use the contacts GSA have.