Winter 2020


David Auerbach

Thinking 10 Steps Ahead on The Today Show

By Becca Nadler

Stage manager David Auerbach enjoys the choreographed chaos of a typical morning at The Today Show. "It's like an amazing dance when things start changing," he says of the ripple effect caused by moving up, say, a cooking segment. "We're dealing with large tables, food, lighting crews, cameras changing… trying to get everything in place and [thinking] steps ahead on how what we've just changed is going to affect the rest of the show. It's very exciting."

A background in audio has made Auerbach the go-to for Today's outdoor music segments, which require creative rehearsal planning because of early-morning amplified noise restrictions in New York City. "Even though you are not supposed to make amplified noise until 6:25, I bring the drummer up at 6:05," says Auerbach. "Arguably he's the loudest instrument out of everybody, and he's only allowed to bang away because he's not amplified noise."

Another challenge? Performers who are less than enthusiastic about a 6:25 a.m. rehearsal call. "We get people that are so ornery, that just don't want to rehearse," Auerbach says, but "everybody knows that they have to sound good… so they'll give me what we need for the rehearsal."

(Photo: Marcie Revens)

At Work With

Short profiles of Guild members in all categories sharing their experiences at work.

More from this issue
This issue trains the spotlight on directors of non-fiction programming, including documentaries, news, sports and reality programming. In this regard, the subject of our centerpiece DGA Interview is Barbara Kopple. The three-time DGA Award winner and recipient of two Oscars discusses her relentless quest for truth and her uncanny ability to get her subjects to bare their souls. Read about Kopple's career and more in our latest magazine.