Andy Brady, Hull School Of Performance Arts’ programme leader in Technical And Theatre Production, is a big believer in telling it like it is.
“People often think stage management is a glamorous career,” says Andy. “The reality is, you have To enjoy this job. You’re realising other people’s dreams. I’ve worked with shows and done 72 hours straight. The reality is, you’d better enjoy it, because you’ll be hanging off a scaffolding tower 20ft in the air, living off Red Bull and McDonalds at 4am.”
Stage managers and theatre technicians may be the unsung heroes of the stage but Hull-born Andy is equally down-to-earth when describing the benefits of his calling.
“I get to play with toys,” he says. “I could be out on a building site or working in a factory but I get to play creatively for a living. What you’re doing in stage management is creating worlds and making imaginations come to life.”
He spent 3 years working in and around the West End as a freelance stage manager and technician after completing a BA (Hons) in Stage Management at London performing arts school, Rose Bruford College.
Andy’s clients included Jermyn Street Theatre – a “testing house” for the West End – the Tate Modern and his alma mater, Rose Bruford College. He has worked on a variety of productions, including The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, The Bacchus, Bouncers and Madness of George III. He also production managed a full season of shows at London College Of Theatre Studies.
Before the bug for the technical elements of the theatre bit him, Andy was an actor and dancer, studying performing arts. This phase of study saw him working and building contacts with Hull theatre companies such as Magic Carpet, Hull New Theatre, Hull Truck and Hull Youth Theatre, all of which stood him in good stead for a move back home to Hull.
He began teaching adult education at Preston Road New Deal For Communities, then joined Hull School Of Performance Arts in 2001.
Andy continues to build upon his contacts within the community, in his own practice and with the opportunities he provides for his students. He works with Hull Truck, offers design and technical support to City Arts, stage management for Hull’s thriving dance scene and lighting design for a local street dance company and New Voices, a York screenwriters’ festival.
Andy’s major research interest is in digital performance, which he hopes to develop on a Masters degree.
“I’m investigating the links between digital arts and graphics,” he says. “I’m looking at the development and use of media servers and midi operating systems. It’s very big in technical theatre – you can’t see a show without huge projection walls and automatic lighting. Touchpad and iPad technology for lighting systems and sound networks is another area in which I’m doing a lot of research.”
View Andy’s LinkedIn profile HERE:
A presentation by Andy on Stage Management History can be seen HERE: