Author Topic: Is an AA degree enough?  (Read 6131 times)

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Katie ~

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Is an AA degree enough?
« on: Aug 18, 2008, 03:04 pm »
I'm graduating with an AA degree in Theatre from Santa Fe College in FL.

Is this enough of a education, or should I be looking into a University Education after?

MatthewShiner

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Re: Is an AA degree enough?
« Reply #1 on: Aug 18, 2008, 04:55 pm »
Enough for what?

I am huge advocate for getting an education for education's sake.

There is no degree requirement to be a stage manager, but, as a human being, you might want to continue your education.

I try to strongly discourage the concept of going to college for a specific job.  It puts tremendous pressure on people to make up their minds what they are going to do for the rest of their life at the age of 17, which makes A LOT of people miserable in their 20's as they TRY to make the career they went to college work for them.

Hell, at 17 (even at 20), I had no idea I wanted to be a stage manager.  I had no idea that was going to do theatre - but I cherish my education because it made me an all around more rounded person.  (I know this sounds a little pollyannaish - but the my entire random, odd and long education experience makes me part of who I am today.)

But, hell, if you are working at the level you want to be working at and you feel you are marketable at the level you want to be working now, and ready to be the business of one - then go for it.
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Katie ~

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Re: Is an AA degree enough?
« Reply #2 on: Aug 18, 2008, 05:13 pm »
Just enough to get a job as a Stage Manager...
I'm sure that its what I want to do.

Would I be at a disadvantage within job interviews if I only had an AA instead of a BA or BFA?

MatthewShiner

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Re: Is an AA degree enough?
« Reply #3 on: Aug 18, 2008, 05:32 pm »
It depends on who is interviewing you.

All things being equal, two identical resumes one with AA and one with BA, I would probably favor the BA.  (I tend to favor MFAs over that as well, but my personal bias.)

When someone hires a stage manager, they are hiring the skill set, but also paying for the education and experience. 

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Jessie_K

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Re: Is an AA degree enough?
« Reply #4 on: Aug 18, 2008, 06:18 pm »
I agree with Matthew.  You have your whole life to hussle for a job.

Take your 4 years, get your full degree.  Change your major or don't.  Take electives, make friends.  Study abroad, do it all.

And be aware that many schools have better equipment and nicer theatres than many "real world" theaters.

And many schools will pay you work study to work in the shop or on tours that come in.  Therefore, more experience, more connections and more real life education.

I see no reason to press yourself to start SMing in the real world as soon as possible.  The jobs you get at that age are low low low end for the most part.  And starting 2 years earlier will not necessarily move you up the professional food chain any faster.

Joshua S.

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Re: Is an AA degree enough?
« Reply #5 on: Aug 18, 2008, 06:26 pm »
While I agree with the above statements and think getting an education is very important, you might also want to consider working in the field for a year or two now that you have your A.A.  If you have the experience to get work as a stage manager, then you might want to give it a try and see if you actually want to do the job.  You might want to look into a few internships as well so you can get a feel for the job.  You can always go back to school to finish up your B.A. or B.F.A.  You might decide you don't want to stage manage for the rest of your life and decide to go back to school for another career, or you might decide that you do want to stage manage for the rest of your life and still decide to go back to school to become a more rounded theatre artist.

Just trying to present the other side of the arguement.  In the end, you need to do what you think is right for you at this point in your life.  No one can tell you what you should or shouldn't do.  It's all up to you.

Meg_23_c2o

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Re: Is an AA degree enough?
« Reply #6 on: Sep 04, 2008, 07:18 pm »
As much as I personally believe that getting a degree is well worth it, I think a lot of it depends on what companies you'll be applying for and who you'll be applying against.  If I was choosing a stage manager strictly off a resume (ie, never having met the person) and my top two choices were someone with a BA or someone with an AA, I would probably choose the person with the BA.  Having the BA makes you a bit more marketable.  However, if you have an in to a certain company who will hire you based on having worked with you before rather than just your resume, that might be an alternative as well.  If not, I would say get your Bachelor's--it may come in handy later on, and you'll probably learn quite a bit more about stage management than you currently do.  Professors and other students are also great resources!  They might be able to help you find jobs or provide references.
Superman can leap tall buildings in a single bound.  Stage managers have to lift up the buildings so everyone else can walk under them.

DeeCap

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Re: Is an AA degree enough?
« Reply #7 on: Sep 05, 2008, 11:40 am »
I agree with Matthew.  You have your whole life to hussle for a job.

Take your 4 years, get your full degree.  Change your major or don't.  Take electives, make friends.  Study abroad, do it all.

And be aware that many schools have better equipment and nicer theatres than many "real world" theaters.

And many schools will pay you work study to work in the shop or on tours that come in.  Therefore, more experience, more connections and more real life education.

I see no reason to press yourself to start SMing in the real world as soon as possible.  The jobs you get at that age are low low low end for the most part.  And starting 2 years earlier will not necessarily move you up the professional food chain any faster.

Couldn't agree more. Work hard, play hard, make mistakes, learn from them.
This business may have it's ups and downs, but it's not going anywhere for awhile. It'll be here for you when you graduate.

SMExtraordinaire

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Re: Is an AA degree enough?
« Reply #8 on: Sep 05, 2008, 01:23 pm »
I will say that I look at experience before degree. I absolutely recommend getting your BA degree, however - I look more at real world experience when truly considering someone for a position. I tend to ignore educational experience because "education gives you the foundation, but real experience builds the house," and that is absolutely true.

I have even considered candidates that have no degree at all, but have years of experience and a good attitude. Hands on is always a plus!
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Re: Is an AA degree enough?
« Reply #9 on: Sep 11, 2008, 04:44 pm »
I am someone who got my Bachelors in SMing. While I loved my bfa experience, I do not think it was a make or break necessity. The degree gave me a 4 year chance to SM in college and PA/intern outside of school while having the backup that an educational setting allows (basically a safety net for being able to sometimes "fail"). If you feel like you need a bit more before entering the "real" world, then a bit more training might be useful, or perhaps work at smaller theatres and you WILL get the training you need.