Can you make a career out of musical theatre?

I'm a school careers adviser and am asking a question on behalf of a year 11 pupil who wants to pursue a career in musical theatre. She understands that it is highly competitive and that, even if she finds work, she'll also have long periods of unemployment.

Despite this she wants to go ahead but has asked me what other areas of work this training could lead to. Other than coaching or teaching, I'm not sure and am struggling to find any advice or information on the internet. Any suggestions? 

Also, any suggestions for work inbetween contracts, other than the obvious hospitality or temping jobs? Thanks very much!

— Sarah

Expert answers

Natasha Graham's reply:

Hi Sarah, yes it is a difficult one, I work in the back end and I presume your student wants to perform? Well there is a career to be had but as you know it is very competitive, but that is the challenge. Your student needs to be realistic with regards to her talent and whether or not she will be going to performing arts school. She will also need to consider getting an agent later on in her career.

Many actors also become stage managers so that they can really hone their craft on stage, so this is an option. Many also look for jobs in theatres themselves in administration. Others also take up directing as another resort again to hone their creativity. Your student needs to go out and see lots of productions and see stand out performances. It is also important not to just narrow options in just musical theatre and look to all types of theatre performances that will challenge and hone their creativity.  

Your student needs to understand that their will be many knock backs and resilience is important. She will get there with her determination and the right people encouraging and supporting her which is also very important. I hope this helps any other questions please fire them at me.


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