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What is a guaranteed job with a theater major that's not teaching?

I want to major in theater also but I don't want to be a teacher. #theatre

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Scott David’s Answer

Well... Nothing is guaranteed, but there are healthy jobs you can take as a theater major after graduation. Technically, most people don't use their degrees when they graduate, so you can basically get a job doing just about anything.


More to the point, if you want to make your living as an actor, you are usually going to have to work more than one job, because shows don't run forever, and you will need to do something on the side. A Broadway contract pays between $492 - 972 a week for house with up to 500 seats, (http://www.actorsequity.org/agreements/agreement_info.asp?inc=100) but be aware these are the most highly fought for jobs, against some of the toughest, and most talented people in the world. ...Training and Persistence is key.


I live in New York City, I am currently acting in a play, working on a web series, and working in an office as a notary. Once you are in the unions, you can work as an extra for more cash between auditions, but the good side "jobs" as an actor are the ones where they don't mind if you must slip away for an audition, or take time off for a tour. I've met personal fitness trainers, dog walkers, nannies, receptionists, waiters, real estate agents, and even lawyers who still manage to make it to auditions and take acting classes (because you must always be training). It is a lot but if you have the drive, you'll make the time.


Actors have to hustle, every day, to learn their lines, to rehears, to work three jobs, to eat, and try to sleep. It may seem like a glamorous job, and it can be, but the most successful people I've met don't let on just how hard they had to work to get where they are. Luck is just preparation and timing, but if you love it, you'll find a way.

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Joshua’s Answer

Arts Administration is another avenue that isn't teaching or acting. Theaters need people who can work in fundraising, marketing, budgeting, production planning, executive direction, artistic direction, etc. And having a theatre background gives you an advantage when applying for these jobs because you understand production needs. My wife works as a Production Coordinator at a ballet company; she handles budgeting, permits, shipping for tours, and other office duties for the Production Manager.


And remember theatre isn't just about acting. Maybe you will discover you enjoy working on sets or costumes or lights. You can even look into directing or playwriting. Just know these will have there own set of challenges breaking into.

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