Will Technical Theater Career Provide Steady Work?


Lindsey writes:
I am interested in technical theatre and I am thinking about majoring in it.
My concerns are what type of steady occupation could I work in after college?
The Career Doctor responds:
First let me state that only you can answer your question. The ideal
situation for any student or job-seeker is to find a job/career that you
love — and that is in demand.
Technical theatre is all the stuff that goes on behinds the scenes — stage
management lighting sound props wardrobe scene design etc. And
as long as there is continued demand for theatre there will be demand
for the professionals who are responsible for just about everything
but the acting.
My advice is to conduct some informational interviews with professionals
working in the theatre. Informational interviews are where you sit down (in
person by phone or electronically) with someone in a job that interests you.
Ask as many questions as you can about how s/he broke into the field
how s/he sees future employment trends how you can best prepare for
a career in this field etc. The goal is information. A side benefit is adding
the person to your network. And in some cases the interview may
result in your being invited to apply for an internship.
I would also talk to the professors who teach the technical theatre courses.
Ask about careers and ask about the placement of recent grads and
other alums.
I haven’t seen any news indicating the demise of theatre in this country
but I think it’s a bit cyclical and tied to the economy — when people
have jobs and are confident about their future they are more likely to spend
more money on entertainment such as the theatre. But ask your
professors and the professionals in the field — they will have the inside
scoop.
Here’s a really cool site for technical theatre:
www.theatrecrafts.com.
And for books about technical theatre check out:
TheatreBooks: Technical Theatre.

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Lindsey writes:
I am interested in technical theatre and I am thinking about majoring in it.
My concerns are what type of steady occupation could I work in after college?
The Career Doctor responds:
First let me state that only you can answer your question. The ideal
situation for any student or job-seeker is to find a job/career that you
love — and that is in demand.
Technical theatre is all the stuff that goes on behinds the scenes — stage
management lighting sound props wardrobe scene design etc. And
as long as there is continued demand for theatre there will be demand
for the professionals who are responsible for just about everything
but the acting.
My advice is to conduct some informational interviews with professionals
working in the theatre. Informational interviews are where you sit down (in
person by phone or electronically) with someone in a job that interests you.
Ask as many questions as you can about how s/he broke into the field
how s/he sees future employment trends how you can best prepare for
a career in this field etc. The goal is information. A side benefit is adding
the person to your network. And in some cases the interview may
result in your being invited to apply for an internship.
I would also talk to the professors who teach the technical theatre courses.
Ask about careers and ask about the placement of recent grads and
other alums.
I haven’t seen any news indicating the demise of theatre in this country
but I think it’s a bit cyclical and tied to the economy — when people
have jobs and are confident about their future they are more likely to spend
more money on entertainment such as the theatre. But ask your
professors and the professionals in the field — they will have the inside
scoop.
Here’s a really cool site for technical theatre:
www.theatrecrafts.com.
And for books about technical theatre check out:
TheatreBooks: Technical Theatre.