Fake It ‘Til You Make It

Phew! I made it! I successfully ran my first show as Stage Manager and now I get to breathe for a couple of weeks before the next show. I was told several times that I did a great job in my position. I was told it was the smoothest running crew we’ve had in years and that I was level-headed and calm.

That’s what I was told.

What I find ironic is that I have never been an assistant stage manager, let alone an SM, and haven’t been a stage hand in… more years than fingers. As an SM in Colorado, more than a year ago, we didn’t do full productions so I didn’t have a set or prompt book, and only minimal props. It was more class management than anything. On top of that, this was a big show for our theatre. It was scene intensive with a ton of props and stage business going on. Did I know what I was doing? Nope, not a clue. Did I tell anyone that? I did not.

You see, one of my many adages I live by is this: Fake it ’til you make it.

And it totally worked. I read textbooks on the job position, got advice from fellow theatre people, and worked my butt off. Sometimes it was really rough. I was working sixty hours a week and dealing with drama in the theatre and out of the theatre. I never gave up. And this is what I have to show for it. A beautifully run show and rave reviews from my peers on the quality of my work.

People think they need years of experience to be able to get a certain job, or do a certain cool thing. Geesh, when I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree, my experience was in federal grant management, but I got a job within a month as an academic advisor. Did I know how to do that? Did I have experience as an advisor? Lol, no. But I showed my employers I had the potential and drive to be really good at my job, and then when I got the position I worked my butt off to actually get there. While I had my messy learning curve, I kept my chin up and rolled with the punches. Long story short, if you really want to do something, you can totally make it happen. And if you don’t have the experience or knowledge for a particular task or goal, just fake it ’til you make it. If you want something bad enough, you WILL make it. No doubt about it.

Wow, I think I just wrote my notes for my grad school interview! Hahaha…

Continuous effort —not strength or intelligence— is the key to unlocking our potential. —Winston Churchill


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