Spider Man

‘The ASM’ Stands For ‘The Amazing Spider Man’

While this may be factually correct, within the context of this blog we are most often discussing the Assistant Stage Manager. Although, just for the hell of it, let’s compare the skills and expectations associated with Peter Parker with those required from your average theatre ASM.

The film, opening during Summer 2012 to the tune of £11.1m at the UK box office, and nominated for a Teen Choice Award(!), charts Spider Man’s ‘struggle with love, commitment, and secrets’, the result of which sees Peter making ‘life-altering choices to use his powers and shape his destiny to become a hero’. Sound familiar?

Yeah, you’re right, there are definitely some evident shared qualities. To highlight them, let’s recap some key elements of the ASM job description:

  • ASMs are often privy to sensitive information relating to cast members, ‘showmances’, and other titbits of trivia that ought not to leave the theatre’s walls, much like Spider Man’s need to disguise his true identity.
  • Must make a full commitment to the show, showing allegiances to both the technical and the artistic teams, like Spider Man’s commitment to both his family/college work, as well as fighting various underworld criminal masterminds (I’ll let you decide which relates to which in this comparison).
  • May sometimes need to assist people in flying through the air, like Spider Man but without the weird, stringy, expelled bodily fluids.
  • Must be able to make on-the-spot snap decisions often relating to cast members’ wellbeing, like Spider Man does pretty much all the time with his various beleaguered girlfriends.
  • And, not forgetting, the old ASM adage: ‘with great power comes great responsibility’. Oh, no, wait…

So yes, whilst ‘The ASM’ standing both for ‘The Amazing Spider Man’ and ‘The Assistant Stage Manager’ may cause some mild Google-based irritation, it’s actually not so much of a serious mix-up after all. In fact, from now on I’m going to view these as pretty much interchangeable job titles. Okay?

P.S. This post does not wish to entertain any association with the Broadway musical beset with problems in its inception. That would be too much of a mind #@*&!

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