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Opening Night is pretty exciting and it’s generally traditional to spring for a gift for your cast and your ASM. If you’re looking for some great, inexpensive ideas for your cast, check out these five opening night gift ideas for less than $5.00.
Sometimes the same is done on closing. Personally, I usually give everyone involved on the show a little something and a personal note at Opening and often the only person who gets a second gift at Closing is my ASM.
Your ASM is a little different though. If you have a great Assistant Stage Manager, your life was probably 100% easier than it would’ve been with a bad one. You can still show them that you noticed without breaking the bank.
My budget is usually a factor in how much I choose to spend, but since it’s often just one gift, rather than a pile of them for the cast, how awesome the ASM was is usually the bigger factor. When you’re buying for the cast, it’s generally just a nice gesture. When you’re buying for a decent ASM, it’s as much a thank you gift as anything else.
I worked with an Assistant Stage Manager this year who was, by far, the best assistant I’ve ever had. I probably threw a few too many issues at her to solve, but she nailed them all.
She was also fresh outta college broke and would wear her blacks until they were falling apart. And then she would gaff tape them. I pointed out once or twice that it wouldn’t kill her to pick up a new pair and she would just laugh at me and use her paycheck to buy more alcohol.
Oh, to be 22 again.
So she got a gift certificate to Kohl’s upon closing. I totally used Raise.com to save a few dollars on that thing too.
Another awesome Assistant Stage Manager was a caffeine addict and got a gift certificate to the local coffee shop she often frequented. Sometimes supporting local isn’t so easy – especially on the road – and then they get Starbucks.
If I notice my Assistant Stage Manager is missing something from their kit in this price range, I’ll also consider picking that up as a gift.
I’ve bought decent flashlights for them before. I also have a former coworker who makes spike sticks that I pick up for them sometimes.
Sometimes an Assistant Stage Manager may be headed out on tour or to a cruise ship yet, so I pick them up fun travel supplies for their next adventure. In those cases, I usually wind up at Etsy.
Cool luggage tags are usually pretty affordable.
Or a fun themed makeup bag.
If your ASM has picked up a nickname, this is pretty easy too. Hit up Etsy to get something with their nickname printed on it (I’m looking at you, Mimosa.). You can get them a cute necklace for not that much.
Or you can go more practical (and gender neutral) and pick up something like a water bottle. Apparently, you can personalize just about anything these days.
Food is always a safe and easy bet – especially if you spent enough time together to pick up some of their favorites. Bonus points if you were on tour, noticed when they raved about something local, picked it up and kept it till the end of the tour. That’s a cheap and easy way to be real impressive.
On the flip side, sometimes you just get so busy that you’re suddenly at closing and a grocery store or even a CVS or Walgreens can often provide your ASMs favorite treat.