Interview with a Stage Daddy - Sara Martini
What *is* a stage daddy?
First and foremost, stage daddy is an energy. Stage daddy is the person who is in charge AND the person who knows what’s going on. They are behind the scenes magic makers and power administrators; resourceful, supportive and ready. Stage daddy just wants to make sure you have a good show and is also the boss of making that happen.
Where do you stage daddy?
In capital cities across Australia and wherever the heaviest props need lugging.
What’s your most memorable stage daddy experience?
Probably the time I had to call an ambulance for a performer mid-performance. They’re ok! We’re good friends now.
Very memorably also moved an entire show set out of a venue in the middle of the night, while a club night was happening, the dance floor was pumping and everything had to be moved off the stage, through the green room and the dance floor and out the narrow back fire stairs. Bit of a mission! Thankfully we didn’t need an ambulance that time.
Favourite thing you’ve seen behind the scenes?
Enough room to turn a circle! Hahaha. There’s so many but I think seeing someone rescuing a bra and then a g-string that had been flung into rigging with a broom is up there.
What makes a good performer to work with from a daddy-perspective?
Someone who knows what they want and can tell me what this is - it helps me bring your vision to life! Realistic expectations are also good, as is a good sense of humour and just being friendly. Oh and I’ll never say no to cat pictures.
What’s the daddy-performer power balance? Who’s in charge (who’s the top)?
It’s a balance to be honest. Stage daddy’s job is two-fold: one one hand you’re hustling to make sure everyone and everything is where it’s meant to be and on the other you are of service; to the performers, to the audience, to the show. Creating the best possible experience is not only about making things happen but about creating the environment for those things to happen. The role requires some fluidity.
Top ten things you keep in your stage daddy toolkit in case of emergencies?
Compassion and a level head - abstract but important - a phone charger, adhesives (spirit gum, and carpet and gaffer tapes), metamucil (yes and it’s been used!), safety pins, hairspray, lollies, water and bandaids.
Tips for becoming a daddy-of-the-future?
Practise being organised, patient and flexible and find the balance between taking charge and letting go. Be prepared to crack the whip but don’t be a dick. It’s hard work and it’s fun work. Be ready to work under pressure and to miss the show really, but have great banter with your fellow crew and feel the warmth of performers being in their element and the audience cheering!