Can I pursue a career in prop-making?

Andrea is studying a BTEC in Production Management and would like to make props, but has heard it's hard to get into.

I am currently studying a BTEC in production management. Whilst studying this, I’ve set my heart on going into prop=making, because it allows me to be really creative. 

Although my heart is in it, I’ve done some research and various people have all told me how difficult this career path is. They say it’s all freelance work, not very well paid, and not a viable career path. 

I was wondering if you could help me by possibly giving me some more information.

— Andrea

Expert answers

Di Spalding's reply:

​If your main aim in life is to make lots of money, then no, this is probably not the career for you. Yes, prop making is mostly freelance and (like scenic art) work can be unpredictable and erratic and not brilliantly well paid. But if you want the satisfaction of earning a living by making weird and wonderful things and seeing those things on stage or screen, then go for it. If you are keen, don’t mind long days occasionally, work hard, and are reliable and enthusiastic then you will find work. Good luck!

Tim Marston's reply:

​Yes, its very possible. You will have to work hard and the chance of you being well-paid are very slim, but you can do it if you want too.

Freelance work can be great, but you need to find a wide range of clients that cover as many different types of theatre/prop requirements as possible.

Networking is good for that.

Good luck.

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