Author Topic: Finding work: broadway/off broadway and summer theatre  (Read 5563 times)

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youngthespian

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Does anyone know good sites to look for summer jobs/internships(paid)? Also is it possible to be involved in a broadway/off-broadway show being a college student if your resume can really sell you and if so could you get paid for doing what you did if it be production asst, asm, sm, light/sound ops etc etc.???

thanks really any info is grately appreciated.
« Last Edit: Feb 11, 2008, 12:40 pm by PSMKay »

Mac Calder

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Re: broadway/off broadway and summer theatre
« Reply #1 on: Dec 13, 2005, 02:31 am »
Quote from: "youngthespian"
Does anyone know good sites to look for summer jobs/internships(paid)? Also is it possible to be involved in a broadway/off-broadway show being a college student if your resume can really sell you and if so could you get paid for doing what you did if it be production asst, asm, sm, light/sound ops etc etc.???

thanks really any info is grately appreciated.


Firstly: You are MUCH better approaching companies personally, many do not advertise internships.

Second: Dont expect anything close to a decent pay - they are doing YOU a service by allowing you to intern. I have taken on interns, and often it means more work for me, rather than an easing of the work load. So paying them any more than (AU)$50 a week really impacts on the budget.

I have often (whilst worrking on a show) been handed a pile of applications for internships (the theatre would not 'employ' them, instead they were interned under me... papper work was a mess) and I have basically had to balance the books and see how much of my budget I could afford to put towards teaching an intern - $50 a week, over 3 months, is $600, when you have a $1200 budget for stage management, it is quite a dent.

Even if your resume can sell you, can you back it up? It is not impossible to be involved in a pro show whilst you are in college. My first pro show was at age 16, whilst I was still in high school. It takes a hell of a lot of dedication and balancing though. And of course you are paid.

However - Do not expect to get a job easily. There are many many many SM's out there with years of experiance who try and get into broadway, hell, if I was in the US, I would attempt to apply.

Mac Calder

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broadway/off broadway and summer theatre
« Reply #2 on: Dec 14, 2005, 07:24 am »
Another thing I forgot to add, and I have seen it far too many times (and remember I am an Aussy, so it is a Uni degree, not college).

These are basic paraphrases of real interviews I gave last year.

Interview with Uni Grad.

MC: Why should you get the internship?
C1: I have a degree in Stage Management.
MC: Yes, so why should you get the internship?
C1: I already told you, I have a degree in Stage Management.
MC: So if I asked you to completely repatch LX for me, would you do it?
C1: Isn't that LX's job
MC: Now, if I was sick, and you were required to call the show, would you be confident in doing it?
C1: Yes, no question.
MC: Have you ever called a show before?
C1: We practiced it in Uni.

Interview with non Uni Grad.

MC: Why should you get the internship?
C2: I am dedicated, I have experiance on x,y,z, I am passionate about theatre, I work hard.
MC: If I asjed you to completely repatch LX for me, would you do it?
C2: Why wouldnt I?
MC: If I was ill and you were required to call the show, would you be confident in doing it?
C2: How well do I know the show? Have I attended the techs etc?
MC: Well, so yes, you attended techs, you were beside me on the prompt desk,
C2: THen yes.
MC: Have you ever called a show before.
C2: Not professionally, but I have done amdram shows.

Now, I am sure there are a number of Uni grads who are great, but there are soo many who are so sure their piece of paper means they are gods gift to the position. RUBBISH!!! That piece of paper indicates you have had some basic instruction pft. Candidate 2 got the position, she was great, I was really impressed with her. Candidate 1 was chosen by someone else for my next job, and I will never EVER work with her again. Because she had a degree, she assumed she knew more about stage management than me, and overruled a number of my decisions, one of which resulted in injury to a chorus member and she was sumarily dismissed.

So that whole "I have been/am going/am currently in College" thing, means NOTHING to me, except that you are one step up from someone with no idea, or who has only done one job before. RL experiance is the MOST valuable thing in this profession.

nook

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« Reply #3 on: Dec 21, 2005, 01:47 am »
does that apply to those that have SMed and called many shows at school?

Is it real life AND professional experience that you think all SMs have to have or experience period?

I guess I'm asking because I think that as in most cases there is no black and white.  There are a lot of graduates that think they know everything and don't need any reality based learning, but that may be more on the line of ~40% of those graduate.  And even in those cases the scale is pretty wide in terms of how militant they are in "knowing the right way" to do this job.

Most recent college graduates I know (and I'm one of them to expose my bias) are still sponges that have been shoked into the reality of getting paid almost nothing to do twice as much as they had to do in school.   That does depend on the job they've taken and the school they went to.  Taught correctly, your typical college grad will still have an open mind about the real world.  Not only that, but they will be genetically (or whatever you want to call it) predisposed to gaining knowledge and applying it to thier craft.  If anything, the passion to refine the method of doing the job exists more readily in a student and someone in "the real world" is locked into what has worked in the past and may be more resistant to adapt when a new challange arises.  Again though, that is not a black and white thing and I'm sort of playing devil's advocate by saying it.

It sounds like you've had a really bad experience with a college/young intern.  Believe me, they (we) aren't all like that.  My plan of action is to observe and soak in as much as I can from any job I take on and continue to learn from the people above and around me.

It seems to me that that leads to another question about stage management that is probably on another forum topic:

Is there one correct method of stage managing?  How much should/can the job change based on a SM's personal background and experience?

Mac Calder

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broadway/off broadway and summer theatre
« Reply #4 on: Dec 21, 2005, 08:46 am »
Real life experience.

SMing in schools is often not very good indication of how they SM in the real world - in the real world, you do not have scheduled times when you are on the job in the real world.

I have had great experiances with interns and shite ones. It is like a barrel of apples.

The main problem, I believe, is that I do not have formal qualifications, so many of them have assumed they know more than me. Most I have quickly disabused of that notion.

I am of course going to rectify the qualification problem when NIDA takes applications for '07.

As for the 'right and wrong' ways to SM, there are effective methods, but there is no true 'wrong' way, provided the job gets done effectively and with efficiency.

Debo123

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« Reply #5 on: Dec 21, 2005, 07:13 pm »
Youngthespian, I have a little bit of advice about getting a summer job just out of a year or two of university, since I've attempted it several times, and succeded. It depends on your experience-- are you ready to be an intern? Stage management, or do you want something where you rotate between departments? Are you ready to be an ASM? I don't know what your experience is, but think about this when you consider where to apply and for what jobs. A prof at school who works with SMs or tech crews might be really helpful in pointing you in the right direction. Look at theaters in your hometown (if you want to be at home). I think you're in the Bay Area, right? There are a handful of small companies in the area that might be helpful, although if I remember correctly, most of them dont run during the summer.  But look in to it - see what's available nearby. If you can get your hands on the TCG (Theatre communications group) book that has a listing of theaters by state in it, do so. Look them up and see what you can find that's open and looking. http://www.summertheater.com/Region/Southwest/california.html is info on summer theaters in CA. Also, www.backstagejobs.com is an excellent info source (and has a separate section for internships) as is www.tcg.org 's Artsearch, but you can only look at thier stuff if you have an account and password-- check with your school because they might have a username for their students (especially if you have graduate design students, you might want to urge your school dept. to buy this membership if they dont have it as it's a valuable resource for lots of people).
That's my two pennies.

Hope it was helpful :-) good luck!

SingingPixie

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« Reply #6 on: Mar 16, 2006, 03:35 pm »
It is definitely helpful to start getting real world experience before finishing college- that way you can get some of the really low-paying stuff out of the way so you can focus on theater work after graduation instead of trying to work for almost free somewhere and waiting tables full-time. For me, what worked was getting work for places however I could- in my case, having skills in electrics and sound has helped. Starting as an overhire electrician/stagehand led to a season-long ASM gig at a 2000-seat road house in less than a year once they got to know me-  applying directly as an ASM probably wouldn't have worked because my resume at the time was still pretty sparce. I board-oped a show over the summer at an equity house, which led to another show there as a board op and now I'm ASMing. Both of these gigs helped me land a PA job at an even bigger equity house. It's all about getting your foot in the door any way you can, so they can get to know you as a person and not just another resume saying you have 3/4 of a degree. Just make sure they know from day one that you're an aspiring SM and not just another spot op, otherwise they may never start to look at you that way. And remember that every day you work you're meeting new people who can get you jobs.

JenniferEver

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Re: broadway/off broadway and summer theatre
« Reply #7 on: Jun 30, 2006, 12:22 pm »
I also found some jobs on http://www.playbill.com

GL!

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