You may have reached the point where your dream of becoming a dancer on the stage is probably not as likely as it was when you were five or six. But don’t fear! There are so many ways you can work in the theatre. Whether it be in London’s West End or New York’s Broadway the stage is beckoning for enthusiastic behind-the-scenes superstars like you!
The back stage scene in theatre is booming right now, particularly in London’s West End, in fact, Creative and Cultural Skills have estimated that by 2017 there will be over 30,000 skilled backstage and technical theatre jobs available in the UK.
People are often put off by these roles because of their often low starting salaries, but it’s important to look past the initial salary as most of these roles have lots of potential to grow and to improve your yearly wage, and you get to work the West End – what’s better than that? So, if you’ve always wanted to work in showbiz, here’s some of the jobs that could be yours with a little bit of time and effort:
A stage manager is not only heavily involved in the creation of shows from the beginning but is also involved throughout the whole performance process, ensuring the performance runs smoothly and the tour dates are organised and booked at each venue.
As with all areas of theatre, you will rehearse your lighting performance a number of times before the real thing, and then perform with the cast. If you love lighting effects and don’t mind working up high then this could be the job for you. Experience can land you this job, or you can study at college, or take an apprenticeship.
The costume designer on a show would usually work with the director and producer to establish the concept, and will create the perfect costumes for the performers depending on their role and character. The job involves lots of research, sketching and producing the clothes. This is an extremely creative job that requires some training before hand in design.
The sound designer usually works closely with the artistic director to decide on the order and types of sound effects for the show. This could be anything from music to funny noises. The sound designer will establish every small moment to create an overall soundscape, delivered with the help of a sound engineer. A musical background is vital for this role.
The role of a development assistant can be a lot more varied than some of the other back stage theatre positions. From liaising with the supporters of the theatre to organising fundraising and events in the West End, the role is more about making sure the show is a success and popular before it’s even on the stage.