"....you guys are endlessly helpful and supportive. Thank you!"
"The Orchestral Stage Management Day at the Barbican was amazing. I have always wanted to develop my knowledge of the orchestral side of the industry both personally and as a Stage Manager. I learnt so much working with the LSO staff and at the end of just one day I am confident that I could set up a full concert orchestra for any classical piece. How great is that? We also were able to look in on rehearsals as well . A day full of wonder and knowledge. I can’t recommend this course enough. Hard work but a huge new string to my bow!" (Course attendee in 2015)
TRAINING IN 2017: SPRING COURSES:
FINANCE for FREELANCERS
Tuesday April 11th 2017
This is an essential course for every freelancer – it will take you through everything you need to know to manage the business side of your freelance career.
Jointly run by and
"Empowering - after 10 years as a freelance, I finally have an idea of how to run a business."
Dealing with: types of self-employment, the main financial regulations you need to observe. By the end of the course, you will have a good grounding in the major financial aspects of freelancing, and how to make the most of what you earn and manage losses and debt.
Included in the subsidized fee are simple downloadable accounting spreadsheets and access to follow-up individual advice through David Thomas Media. The course will be taught in straightforward language - no business-speak!
Specifically you will cover:
Taking control: set-up costs, where to find advice on money/debt management
The financial regulatory system - what you need to know as a freelancer
Accountants – do you need one, and how to get the best out of yours
Types of self-employment, sole trader, limited company etc
Separating personal and business finance
How tax works, National Insurance, VAT
Getting organized: sorting the paperwork, keeping track of contracts, insurance issues, professional invoicing
Your game plan: business planning
Forecasting and managing cash flow
By the end of the course you should have a firm grasp on the essential financial aspects of managing your business as a freelancer.
Have a greater understanding of the importance of business planning and cash flow forecasting, as well as issues surrounding tax and national insurance.
Receive handouts with tips and tools to organise your finances and accounts.
Gain a comprehensive understanding of the financial regulatory system
Who Should Attend?
New and existing freelancers, stage management and anyone considering a freelance career.
Cost: SMA members £90; non members £110
Book and pay for your place (SMA Members at BECTU Members price)
Spring 2017: Tuesday 11 April 2017
Book Here (Select 11 April as date on the booking page)
This course is held at BECTU head office
This one-day course runs from 10.00am - 5.00pm with one hour for lunch (cost of lunch not included)
(please request if you need a slightly earlier finish and shorter lunch break).
ABTT Summer School 2017
P Y R O T E C H N I C S
Safety Awareness Course
in association with ASP/Just FX. Tutor: Lincoln Parkhouse of Just FX
Sunday 23 July 2017
9:30am – 5:00pm
Warwick Arts CentreUniversity of Warwick, Gibbet Hill Road, Coventry CV4 7AL
SMA Members (ABTT Members Rate: write SMAMemb17 on form ): £100+VAT (£120.00)
Non Members £185+VAT
"A MUST for all Stage Managers!" -Theatre Health & Safety Rep
As part of ABTT’s summer training programme, we are once again running this very popular
Pyrotechnics Course to cover operational safety which includes hands-on demonstrations of
many pyrotechnic effects. The course is ideal for lighting professionals, stage managers, students, community
theatre technicians, indeed anyone in the entertainment industry who may need to work with
pyrotechnics. The course will provide delegates with an opportunity to update and familiarise
themselves with current and forthcoming UK/EU legislation. The course is also an ideal refresher for technicians who have to produce certificates of awareness, to keep themselves ‘In date’.
All participants will receive a comprehensive set of notes and subject to satisfactory completion of the course, each candidate will receive a certificate, signed by the tutor, and automatic enrolment with the Association of Stage Pyrotechnicians.
(Please note that smoke and noise will be generated during the day).
Topics covered include:
● Workshop presentation
● Live device demonstrations
● An Observation exercise
● Delegates pressing buttons
● Flame Proofing
● Maroons & Concussion
● Fragmentation Tanks (Bomb tanks)
● Jets, Gerbs, Robotics, Comets, Mines
● Series/Parallel Wiring
● HSE Competent Authority Documents
● Risk Assessments
● Material Safety Data information
Tutor: Lincoln Parkhouse of Just FX
NB: All payments are non-refundable; please contact ABTT as soon as possible if you anticipate any problems in attending the course for which you have booked and we shall do our utmost to assist you in finding a suitable opportunity to participate in the training you desire.
SMA are currently taking expressions interest for many possible courses this year:
Cueing to Music Level 2 □
Emergency First Aid & refresher □
Finance for freelancers □
Orchestral Stage Management with LSO □
Props Sourcing & Making □
Corporate Showcalling with Kate Salberg □
Theatre Showcalling Masterclass □
Elements of Company Management □
Elements of Stage Management (SMs) □
Our very effective and practical Cueing to Music courses are always popular, enjoyable and sometimes career- changing! :
5% discount for booking two courses or more, including all SMA courses, or groups on any SMA course
‘I went on the SMA’s Score Reading Level 1 and Level 2 course in May 2014. A year later, I was offered a job as an Assistant Stage Manager at Glyndebourne Opera House. The course was an incredibly valuable experience and is clearly highly recognised.
I wouldn’t be where I am now without the SMA’s opportunities.’
Supporting Excellence in Performance
All SMA Courses finish by 4.30 PM to allow for evening show calls.
Earlier times or one to one courses can sometimes be arranged
(Don't forget you can also get SMA discounts on courses from BECTU, ABTT and others. If in doubt, ask!).
If you would like to develop your career by pursuing an SMA training course but are prevented from doing so by financial hardship please contact The Theatrical Guild to discuss eligibility for financial assistance. Tel: 020 7240 6062 or contact SMA HQ
- Cueing to Music - We run this course, at two levels, at least once a year, and when there is demand we are able to run it a second time. The next Level One and Two courses are due to run in Late Summer 2017. When there is no course date indicated on this page, please do still express an interest as we will always attempt to organise it when there is sufficient demand. Contact us
- Organise your finances/ assertiveness/ negotiating contracts - The majority of stage managers are self employed and dealing with the financial side of working for yourself can seem daunting. If there is enough interest, we'd like to take some of the stress away with a course which addresses all of the common, and maybe some not so common, queries and pitfalls, whilst also giving you the confidence to negotiate your contracts, something that we stage managers don't have agents to do for us! Interested? Contact us
Learn a new skill
Learn how to find courses in British Sign Language . Courses are available from:
How Safe is Your Theatre?
Run by respected trainer Geoff Joyce, get together with colleagues and book this course at your theatre or register interest with the SMA and with enough interest we’ll consider running one in-house. SMA Members receive discounted rates
This course examines the health and safety regulations that specifically relate to theatre staff, stage managers, technicians, workshops and front of house staff.
Read the full course details here - including contact details for more information.
Manual Handling Training. Out of date training in manual handling results in strains and muscle damage due to twisting and pushing or straining- we are aware of a number of cases where members lost many days and even months of work as a result of these injuries last year. Geoff Joyce offers a complete course in all areas of manual handling, and SMA Members receive discounted rates. Contact the SMA for more details, or consider booking a course for all of your backstage crew - especially if the risk assessment involves lifting or manoevering heavy furniture, pushing trucks or heavy and tricky scenery moves.
HM Revenue and Customs: Free short courses on tax issues
'Like many I thought I would struggle with the financial aspect of freelancing, but there's a lot of information out there. I pretty much had my hand held through my first tax return, courtesy of HM Revenues and Customs'.
They run free, short courses (an afternoon) in most areas, it's pretty easy to get, but do check it covers stage managers and UTR as well.
>OTHER COURSES AVAILABLE:
NEW for SMA Members:
BECTU: SMA has negotiated special rates (close to BECTU Members rates) for SMA Members. Contact SMA first whenever you see a BECTU course of interest.
ISM: SMA has also negotiated similar with The Incorporated Society of Musicians
>ALSO always check these for the latest news on training WITH SMA DISCOUNTS:
PLASA: PLASA have a huge database with lots of training from outside the theatre sector - nonetheless relevant - particularly if you are interested in technical aspects.