Getting A First Job In The Theater – Websites, Job Listings
Betty Buckley’s first theater job was playing Baby June in â€œGypsy.â€ Chris Van Patten’s first paid theater job was as stage manager of a community theater â€“ this summer â€“ 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 â€œWorld’s Most Perfect Teenager,â€ 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:
â€œKeep the faith,â€ Betty Buckley says.
â€œTreat people well,â€ says Chris Van Patten.
Lisa Jane Persky: â€œ1.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.â€
Whether seeking to be a performer or to work behind the scenes â€“ as a director, a producer, a stage manager, a lighting designer or any of the many other jobs required in the theater â€“ 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
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.