Rebuilding The Theatre And Performing Arts After A Tough Period: How To Pursue A Career On Or Behind The Stage

The past two years have not been kind to careers in theatre and the arts. According to Arts Council England, the arts contributed almost £3 billion a year in taxes to the national economy and provided almost 340,000 people with work prior to the pandemic. It may take time to restore the sector to its former glory, but there is light at the end of the tunnel, which means a career in theatre or the arts is a viable possibility.

Theatres and other cultural and entertainment venues reopened last year, giving actors, artists, musicians, and other workers the opportunity to get back to doing what they love. Despite some setbacks, it’s a case of the sector keeping calm and carrying on – onwards and upwards.

A Variety Of Possibilities

The performing arts industry includes dance, music, opera, and theatre jobs that could see you working as an actor, comedian, dancer, musician, or singer. According to education publishers and assessment service provider Pearson, the possibilities are not limited to theatres or TV. You also could find work on cruise ships, in education, or at festivals and theme parks.

Furthermore, work in the sector is not limited to performing. Other possibilities include working in administration, marketing and promotions, and behind the scenes. However, insurance experts at cerity.com note that whatever position you apply for, you should bear in mind the importance of having workers’ compensation insurance. Injury on duty can happen in any location, including theatres. If you have insurance, you can rest assured that should the worst happen, you won’t be without any form of income. 

Here’s a closer look at careers you can pursue in the world of theatre and performing arts.

Working With GCSEs

If you have a GCSE or similar qualification, you can work in almost any area in theatre and the performing arts. Some of the jobs you could apply for include actor, dancer, event steward, musician, stagehand, and trainee costume assistant.

It’s important to play to your strengths. If you have technical skills, consider behind-the-scenes jobs. If you have good communication and organisational skills, a front-of-house or junior administrative position may be the right one for you. With enough natural talent, confidence, or musical skill, you could apply for a job that will see you take to the stage.

Working With A Levels

Having A levels or a similar qualification also could open the door to a theatre or performing arts career. Behind-the-scenes jobs you could find include make-up artist, sound operator, stagehand, and trainee costume assistant.

If you have the confidence and talent, you could apply for work as an actor, dancer, or musician. You would need to be prepared to work in the supporting cast or as an understudy to gain the experience needed for bigger roles.

Working With A Degree

Even with a degree or similar qualification in performing arts, you aren’t likely to walk right into the job of your dreams. The industry is competitive, and there’s a good chance you will need to work your way up.

Some of the jobs you could apply for include actor, choreographer, costume designer, dancer, musician, stage manager, or theatre director. According to the universities of Plymouth and Warwick, a performing arts degree could open doors to other jobs across various industries, especially if you invest in further studies. For example, you could find work as a digital content producer, production manager, community development worker, drama teacher, recruitment consultant, or a drama therapist.

By pursuing a career in theatre and performing arts, you could be part of rebuilding it and of finding new avenues for making arts and culture more resilient in the face of potential future upheavals.

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