How to...be a theatre freelancer

There are so many jobs in the arts and with that a number of different pathways to get into an arts career. The 4 main things that opens doors into arts careers are passion, creativity, training and hard work.

How to...be a theatre freelancer

One job that is very popular in the Arts Sector is being a Freelancer. In this short article I will be focussing on being a freelancer in the world of Theatre and Performance. Working Freelance allows you to pick and choose when and where to work and be your own boss. It also means that you can have a variety of different jobs with in the sector and the world of theatre. For example one might be a performer, theatre maker, facilitator, writer and a director within the same working week.

One way to become a Freelancer within Theatre is to get a base level of training that can be built on and expanded upon over the course of a career. College, University and Conservatoire training courses are brilliant ways of getting knowledge, understanding and the technical skills that are needed to work in the world of theatre. In my opinion, the best way to become a freelancer is to just do it, start at the bottom and work your way up.

What I mean by this is, start by assisting Youth Theatre Session and what have you theatre practitioners teach and add it to your practise. Volunteer at your local ammeter dramatics group whether it be performing or directing and see how people work, perform and direct and add it to your practise. Search for Work Placements and Internships on website such as Arts Jobs England, Creative Choices and local Theatres in your area to get as much experience as possible and add everything to your practise. Being a Freelancer within Theatre is kind of being like a massive theatrical sponge, you soak up everything you experience to add to the next job.

A few things to remember:

  • Do not restrict yourself to one job specifically. One job you might think your not very good at might be the best thing that could happen to you.
  • Get as much training as possible both in education and out.
  • Freelance work can be hard to be organised so not be overwhelmed by workloads.
  • To start you might have to work/train for free but it WILL lead to a paid job.
  • You're your own boss so be confident in the choices you make.
  • Be a Theatrical Sponge. Soak up every experience and learn from it.

Image courtesy Alan Cleaver via Flickr.

Author

Lizzy Whynes

Lizzy Whynes Activist

Lizzy is a Graduate from York St John University with a First Class Degree in Theatre. She now works for York Theatre Royal as a Youth Theatre Practitioner, is Artistic Director of Takeover Festival 2015/16, Associate Artist for SixLips Theatre and a freelance Theatre Maker and Performer. In the past Lizzy worked for Konflux Theatre in Education as a Workshop Leader and for Duck Egg Theatre as a Youth Theatre Director/Acting and Musical Theatre Teacher. Lizzy has completed her Discover, Silver and Gold Arts Award and is now an Arts Award Advisor herself.

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