The House Manager: “Responsible for the smooth operation of the house (typically both the lobby and audience seating area) during the run of the show. House mangers welcome the public to the theatre and oversee their safety and well-being before, during, and immediately after the show.” A pretty important job, with all too real struggles. Here are eighteen struggles faced by every theatre house manager.
1.) Early Patrons
Why are you here an hour early? Do I talk to you? Pretend like I can’t see you?
How do you drip coffee all the way from the concession table down the hall and around the corner?
3.) Long Shows
Shows feel longer when you aren’t watching them. Especially Shakespeare.
4.) Patrons Showing Up on the Wrong Night…
That’s always an awkward situation.
5.) …Or the Wrong Theatre
Why didn’t you do your research? Like seriously, google is right there.
6.) Late Comers
Of course I can seat you thirty minutes in…that’s not distracting.
7.) Did I Mention Late Comers?
Stop stressing me out people.
8.) Patrons Sneaking Drinks
I am not cleaning up that Red Powerade when you spill it.
9.) Weekend Doubles
*Gets one hour to breathe before next show*
10.) Handling Intermission
*Stands awkwardly for fifteen minutes while thinking* Can you please stop talking and get back in the theatre?
11.) Juggling All Your Supplies
Walkie-talkie on your hip, phone in hand, programs under arm, binder on your head, ear piece in ear...
12.) Figuring Out When You Can Leave
The majority of the audience is gone…right?
13.) Running out of Programs
Should I just pretend we were never handing them out?
14.) Watching Your Language
Let’s be real, this is hard for a potty mouth in any professional gig.
You eat before. You have your first act snack. Your second act snack. And why not McDonald’s on the way home?
"You're hot, then you're cold. You're yes, then you're no."
It’s never the right temperature. No one is happy. It’s cold as Alaska or hot as Arizona.
17.) Underage Children
That terrible moment when you tell a mother she can’t bring in her four year old.
18.) I Can’t, I Have A Show Tonight
Oh, are you in it? No, I’m a house manager. Oh...what’s that?