How to Make a Good Impression

by Esther Emery

I know I’ve been posting a lot lately, but I can’t resist reporting on my first day of freelance directing at The Old Globe.

I arrived early, as is my wont, and used the free time to exchange gossip with a fellow stage manager.  No, wait, not fellow stage manager. She’s a stage manager. I’m a… This is weird. I used my old stage management door code to get into the House of Charm, because I can’t remember the new one, and I resisted a fleeting temptation to check on the coffee.

Instead, after unloading my breast pump and unpacking my soy milk and peanut butter sandwiches, I found my way into the first day meet and greet. My packet was laying on a white plastic table, just like everyone else’s, except for one thing. Mine was in front of the upholstered chair with wheels. You know, the red one. While everybody else in the room was expected to squirm through the first read on status-free metal folding chairs, my ass rated a cushion.

I have arrived.

I stammered through the design presentations. In my defense, the purpose of these design presentations was difficult to fathom, but I persevered. My hands shook a little as I rearranged furniture on the set model, but I picked up speed on costumes, and finished with what I considered to be a very potent one liner on the lighting design.

Oh yeah.

As I breathed a sigh of relief and started looking for a cup of coffee, my favorite stage manager in the world pulled me aside.

“I’m so sorry to tell you this right now,” she said.


She leaned a little bit towards me.

“Your fly is down.”

Didn’t I tell you I’ve arrived?