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Getting A First Job In The Theater – Websites, Job Listings

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from Springboard NYC, a summer boot camp for new professional actors

Betty Buckley’s first theater job was playing Baby June in “Gypsy.” Chris Van Patten’s first paid theater job was as stage manager of a community theater – this summer – after performing there for free for several summers and seeing they needed someone. Lisa Jane Persky was hired for her first role for the stage, playing the “World’s Most Perfect Teenager,” because the playwright, H.M. Koutoukas, lived in her building and saw her that way.
All three offer advice for those who are seeking their first theater job:
“Keep the faith,” Betty Buckley says.
“Treat people well,” says Chris Van Patten.
Lisa Jane Persky: “1.Tell parents not to take you back under any circumstances 2.Sell car. 3.Watch “All About Eve” nine times. 4. Stay sober 5. Love it.”

Whether seeking to be a performer or to work behind the scenes – as a director, a producer, a stage manager, a lighting designer or any of the many other jobs required in the theater – there is no question that luck, connections, and talent play a large role for those who get what they want. It also never hurts to have a strategy.

Many advise beginners that the best way to break in is as an intern. The American Theatre Wing, which sponsors the Tony Awards, runs a Theatre Intern Group . The Wing also offers every June a two week college-to-career transition program specifically for actors, called Springboard NYC

Other useful sites:
New York Foundation for the Arts
Twitter feed: @nyfacurrent

Theater Communications Group


American Association of Community Theater

Actors Equity Association

Actor Source

ArtsLynx Theater Resources

University/Resident Theater Association

As the new season begins and recent graduates pile into New York looking to break into the theater, here are some websites that offer lists of job openings, and sometimes advice.

New York Foundation for the Arts job listings

Theater Communication Group’s Artsearch (requires a paid subscription)
Backstage
Entertainment Careers
Producer’s Perspective Classifieds,
Playbill