This interview with Michael J. Passaro, production stage manager for “Pippin” on Broadway and head of the stage management concentration at the Columbia University School of the Arts, was conducted and condensed by Adam Bryant.
Q. Were you in leadership roles growing up?
A. I’m the oldest of four. When you’re the oldest, you’re put under a leadership spotlight, whether or not you know it or like it. When I was in junior high, my mother re-entered the work force and said to me, “I need you to keep things in line here at home.” I approached that with great enthusiasm. I put together cleaning schedules and work lists, and there were meetings and clipboards and a chart on the refrigerator.
My brothers and sister still laugh about this. I quickly realized that top-down managing, with me standing over the clipboard checking things off, was not working. So I changed my strategy, and we made it a little bit more team-based.
What else were you doing outside of classes?
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