Podcast Episode 130 – Production Stage Manager, Michael Passaro

Broadway Production Stage Managers (or PSMs) are like air traffic controllers at the busiest airport in the world . . . in a blizzard . . . with 147 people in their ear asking for everything from Advil to advice on what to do with their career.

I started my career on the PSM path, actually . . . working as a Production Assistant on a couple shows, getting my Equity card as an ASM on Broadway, and then I said . . . “No effin’ way!  That @#$% is too hard.”

That’s why I have so much respect for people like Michael Passaro, who has PSMed about 147 shows over the course of his career.

When you’ve watched the development of so many shows from the PSM chair, you learn stuff that no one can teach in a classroom, or on a blog, which is why I was thrilled to sit down with Michael and let him share his wisdom on topics like . . .

  • What the primary responsibility of a PSM actually is (can you guess?).
  • The role of the Stage Manager in the creative development process.
  • The advice he got (that he has on a piece of paper) that he can see every day that he passes on to his students . . . and now you.
  • The best thing to learn if you want to be a Stage Manager.
  • How saying “Yes” to a job he didn’t have a clue how to do led him to his successful career.

And now, to channel my internal Stage Manager . . . “Podcast Cue 130 . . . GO!”

Click here for the link to my podcast with Michael!

Listen to it on iTunes here.  (And if you like the podcast, give it a great review, while you’re there!)

Download it here


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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.