A day in the life of... a Stage Door Manager
Get to know the people behind The Old Vic in the countdown to our bicentenary.
Ned Seago has been working at The Old Vic for over 30 years. He won The Stage’s Unsung Hero Award 2017 and recently spoke to The Stage about his time here at The Old Vic. We caught up with him too.
What does your job involve?
Basically being nice to people whether face to face or voice to voice on the phone. I always say that we, at the door, are the warmup act for whatever comes after the initial contact. The door looks after the security of the building and we pass on information to the various departments, messages, deliveries etc. The stage door is also responsible for unlocking and locking the building on a daily basis.
What do you do on an average day?
Answer the telephone, handle deliveries, sort the post and act as an angst sponge for peoples’ woes. Deal with visitors to the venue and report any issues that arise to the various departments.
Have you always worked in a theatre?
I’ve been here so long I can’t remember what I did before! Joking aside, a long time ago I was an actor. I came here as a ticket tearer for various reasons and got in everybody’s way and did more and more jobs. I finally took over stage door management in 1998.
Which part of your job do you most enjoy? I could say going home at the end of the day but that’s not true. I think I get the biggest kick out of meeting the whole range of people who come through the door.
What is your best memory of working at The Old Vic so far?
Probably the visit of the Queen in 1987 when the Royal party arrived about seven minutes earlier than expected. It was one hell of a bumpy ride but all did go well although not quite as originally planned.
If you were to offer a young person wanting to get into the industry some advice, what would you tell them?
Don’t do it! I shall swing for the mendacious swine who convinced me theatre was glamorous! Really though it’s a great job if you understand that the hours will be many and the pay not huge. I think you have to love it to a degree but above all enjoy it.
What is the biggest misconception about working in a theatre?
Probably, as mentioned above, that it is any way glamorous. It has its moments but they are fleeting.
Did you have any theatre heroes when you were growing up?
Not really but I remember going to my local ‘big theatre’ at least once a month, one could afford to then, to see names on stage that I’d seen to TV.