How to become a stage manager: Felix's story

Meet Felix and learn more about his life as a stage manager for BBC Introducing. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.

I was lucky enough to work with some of the top stage managers in the country, probably the world. I learnt a lot from them and moved into stage management when I was ready.

  • Felix is stage manager for the BBC Introducing Stage. This involves the unloading and loading of the kit and organising the build backstage. Then when the artists are performing, he makes sure the performers run on time and makes sure everything is neat and tidy on stage
  • Felix started out stage managing for local bands at venues such as the Brixton Academy and O2 Arena and learnt through working alongside the top stage managers in the country
  • He says you need to have quite a thick skin for the job as you can be outside in the rain a lot, but you get to see free concerts and it's an exciting place to be.

What to expect if you want to be a stage manager

Stage managers make sure the sound equipment is ready for the opening of a performance. They also work in theatres, making sure the equipment, set and props are ready.

  • Stage manager salary: £18,000 to £45,000
  • Stage manager working hours: 39 to 41 hours per week. You could work evenings, weekends and bank holidays.

What qualifications do you need to be a stage manager?

  • Typical entry requirements: You could take a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in stage management, or a related subject like performing arts production or theatre practice. You'll often need practical backstage experience to apply for a course. You can get relevant experience from working as a casual stagehand in local music venues or in student, amateur or community theatre, depending where your interest is. You'll usually need one or two A-levels (or equivalent) for a foundation degree or higher national diploma or two to three A-levels (or equivalent) for a degree. You could do a college course, for example Level 3 Diploma in Production Arts, Level 4 Professional Diploma in Technical and Production Practice. The skills you'll learn on these courses could help when you look for a trainee assistant manager job with a stage or production company. You'll usually need four or five GCSEs (or equivalent) at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a Level 3 course or one or two A-levels (or equivalent), a Level 3 diploma or relevant experience for a Level 4 or Level 5 course.
    You can join the Stage Management Association for professional recognition, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.

This information is a guide (sources: LMI for All, National Careers Service)

For careers advice in all parts of the UK visit: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

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