Where do you start when you are looking for a career in the theatre industry? It’s challenging getting a job in any industry and the competitive nature of the theatre industry is often seen as a barrier. If you follow our top 10 tips, you will definitely be in a better position to not only get a job in the theatre industry but also be a success in your chosen field.
Having goals is something that will help you in the long run as it will give you something to work towards. But don’t forget, the journey to any career is never a straight, easy path - especially in theatre. There will be things that take you in all different directions and this is normal. As long as you don’t lose sight of what you want to gain and what you want your end goal to be, you will find the right career in theatre for you.
Not everyone wants to study and that’s fine because that’s not the only way to begin your theatre career or be successful within the theatre industry. There are so many ways to do this so you must do your research to find out what these ways are. We’ve made it easy for you because we’ve put all this information in one place. It’s good to have a rough idea of what job role you would like to pursue within the theatre industry. If you’re not sure what job in theatre you are best suited to, don’t worry. Our handy blogs describing different jobs within theatre will help give you an insight to the many different roles available and what you need to do to get there.
Take a look at our job descriptions here.
It will benefit you so much to have as much experience within your chosen area of theatre as possible, especially if you don’t want to study. If you don’t have a formal qualification (for example, a degree), having experience is what is going to make you stand out to potential employers when applying for jobs. Experience comes in many different forms but the three main forms are work experience, apprenticeships and internships. You can find information about all three of these experience opportunities here.
This is always a good suggestion because let’s face it, who doesn’t want to go to the theatre? Not only that but seeing a variety of different theatre shows will help you if you’re interested in a particular area of theatre e.g. if you’re interested in lighting you can take notes of lighting designs which peak your interest or are particularly inventive. Some theatre tickets can be a little expensive but don’t worry we’ve got that covered too. You can find a number of different ticket schemes where you can get discounted theatre tickets right here.
This is the 21st century and almost everything is on social media. Try and be as active as you can without becoming anti-social. It’s a great tool to keep up-to-date with industry news, shows and upcoming theatremakers. It may sound obvious but never post any offensive or discriminating posts on any of your social media channels. Some employers like to view their employees social media pages and you don’t want something inappropriate to pop up that you wrote 10 years ago!
This can be daunting but once you get into the flow of it, it can be really fun and so invaluable to you in the future. You should network every chance you get and this doesn’t always have to be at a networking event; it may be a fellow Performer you met at an audition or your best friends cousin who is the Head of Lighting behind Wicked the musical. There are also loads of networking events available for young theatremakers which you can find here.
It may be difficult at times to remain positive when starting out in a new career in theatre but it is really important to approach everything with positivity, especially when you’re going for interviews/auditions. If you’re an Actor auditioning can be constant throughout your career and you must always go into your auditions thinking that anything is possible. This is the same with any interviews for offstage roles too. If you go in with a negative attitude it will only go downhill from there.
When you’re new in the industry (even when you are more established) you’re likely to make mistakes. Of course you are, you’re only human and this is totally natural. Accept you have made a mistake but always make sure you have learnt from the experience and then move on to the next thing. There is no need to lose sleep over a little mistake because this may affect your ability to complete other tasks and could lead you to make more mistakes. Accept it, learn from it and move on to the next thing.
When you’re at the very beginning of your career in theatre, it’s wise to be realistic about what you want to achieve as well as what you are able to achieve. If you begin with an unrealistic goal it is unlikely you will get there at the beginning of your career and this can knock your confidence. Remember, every little step counts and these things take time.
Fringe Theatres and Festivals are a popular way to get a new piece of theatre noticed and produced. It can also be a great way to kick start your theatre career. Fringe venues are all over the country and features every type of theatre you can imagine. Most shows are brand new that no one has ever seen before. One of the more well-known fringe festivals is Edinburgh Fringe. The TV show Fleabag started as a one woman show at the Festival. It was later adapted into an internationally famous award-winning TV show that we all know. Fringe theatre is a great opportunity to learn, get tips and ideas on theatre, performance, comedy and more, the sky's the limit. Remember to always make sure you are paid fairly when working on the fringe.