What advice can I give my child who wants to work in theatre?

Creativity and performance skills aren’t vital

When most people think of the professions they can pursue in theatre, jobs such as acting, directing and playwriting come to mind. Advice you can share with your child is that there are many careers in the theatre industry. They themselves don’t need to be a Performer or Creative. Just like in any other sector, there are individuals who work in operational roles like Administrators and Accountants. If your child wants a career that’s closer to the stage, there are many options in theatre production.

Additionally, if your child wants to have a career as a Creative within theatre, you may want to consider encouraging them to have a second, non-creative job. Don’t think of it as a backup plan for failure, but a way of financing a main goal. For instance, I work as a Freelance Administrator in order to pay for my first love, which is playwriting.

See our complete list of jobs in the theatre industry

Support, support, support!

Arts careers are sometimes viewed as less “respectable”. Therefore, the knowledge that your child wants to work in theatre may generate negativity. It’s important to remember that arts jobs require skills, just like corporate jobs do. Speaking as someone whose mother tried to steer her away from a career in the arts, I felt a lot more happy, free and confident once I started exploring playwriting opportunities.

When putting themselves forward for career opportunities in theatre, your child may face rejection. The presence of a person who supports them can make selection processes less stressful. What better cheerleader could a child have than their parent or guardian?

Read the best 10 tips on how to start a career in the theatre industry

Try not to worry about money

Theatre careers may require spending money, especially when it comes to drama school. Fortunately, some institutions offer scholarships and bursaries. Moreover, public bodies like Arts Council England give out funding to Theatremakers who want to develop their skills. Even better, some training opportunities are completely free.

When it comes to careers like playwriting, qualifications aren’t essential. I was lucky enough to be selected for VAULT Festival’s New Writers Programme. I attended sessions geared toward writing a full-length play draft, watched plays and gained excellent experiences for a tiny amount of money.

For technical areas of theatre, your child can gain a qualification through an apprenticeship. Experiences can be collected through paid placements too. Thanks to Get Into Theatre, loads of opportunities are just a click away!

Written by Faye Acheampong 

Faye Acheampong (she/her) is a playwright from London, who took part in VAULT Festival’s New Writers Programme 2021. Her writing explores Black British womanhood in a fantasy-like manner.


Published: 21 September 2021

Blog photo: Shutterstock

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