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EP09 – A Holistic Approach to Managing the Stage with Jon Allen

In this episode of The Production Channel, Stephen Bowles and Clem Harrod discuss deep thoughts and live event philosophy with stage manager, technical director, and owner of Technical Designs, Jon Allen. Jon is a 39-year veteran of the live show industry with a varied background in theater, concert touring and corporate shows. Jon has longtime experience being both onstage and backstage. He started off in show business as a 10-year-old community theater actor, and as the years progressed, he also found interest in technical roles including stage lighting, rigging, and camera work.


As a show caller, leading a production crew has its challenges, and Jon says taking the time to connect with people makes a big difference, especially in their response to you as a leader. He says, “You affect people in many, many more ways than just what we’re dealing with to get that cue done…you get more than you ever give if you sit and talk with people, and it took me a really long time to learn that.” Jon said he’s wired to adopt best practices, and “because of the best practices philosophy, I’m always listening to people who do stuff better than I do…if it’s slightly more effective, if it’s slightly better, if it’s slightly kinder, whatever it is. You can figure out a way that’s slightly better, and that’s best practices, man.”

Stop to listen in as Jon Allen tells Stephen and Clem about his holistic views on production life, the importance of downtime for his hobbies and his teenage daughter, and how the satisfaction of teaching his craft to new production professionals contributes to having the best job in the world.