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          Helping you find a career in the performing arts industry

          The performing arts industry stretches far and wide, offering many opportunities for those with creative talent. It also requires a reliable team to be behind the scenes to make sure the shows run perfectly and are the best they can be.

          You could be showcasing your creative talents through performing as a dancer, actor, singer, musician or even a magician. Alternatively, you may be a talented creative who works backstage doing stage makeup or costume design.

          The performing arts is an incredibly difficult industry to crack, so you really must be passionate about what you do. Although it is painted as a very glamourous career, it still requires a lot of graft and hard work.

          Performers usually work on a short-term contract basis until the particular show they are working on is over and then they will have to source another show. If you are self-employed, your money will be made through the ticket profits on your performances. It does not offer much job security in comparison to other industries.

          There are pros and cons to working in the performing arts. It will almost definitely require you to work the evenings and weekends, but it could also allow you to travel the globe if you wish. Most cruise ships require a whole team of performers for the evening entertainment.

          Within this industry, no two days will be the same. It's an exciting area to work in, and has numerous opportunities - the sky really is the limit.

          Find out more
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          Skills & interests required for a career in Performing Arts

          The specific skills that you need to work in the performing arts will depend upon what kind of job you want. If you've got your heart set on being on the stage, you'll need confidence and to be talented in either acting, singing, dancing, acrobatics, or whatever it is you're pursuing.

          Many stage performers have more than one skill to make them versatile. If you know you want to be a West End performer, for example, it's likely that you'll need to be able to act, sing and dance.

          As a performer you'll probably also need a good memory to deliver a flawless show.

          The performing arts industry is largely built on connections, so it's important to have strong communication skills and build relationships with people quickly.

          Perhaps most importantly, you should be passionate about what you do. Most people are driven to the performing arts by a sheer love for the industry and the buzz that comes from a show finally coming together, or an audience applauding a performance.

          It's still a profession, though, and some other soft skills that will help you to be successful are:

          Performing Arts apprenticeships & other career progress routes for school leavers

          There is no typical progression route for this one! That's the beauty of this industry - you can follow your passions and no two career paths with look the same.

          Tips for getting into the field

          A lot of the work at the beginning of your career might be for free, but make sure you still utilise these opportunities to network and keep up to date with what is going on in the industry.

          Use social media. Get involved in the online community, follow industry professionals and people who inspire you and engage in conversations.

          What do Performing Arts professionals get paid?

          For those who go on to become famous, the earning potential in this industry is very high, as you probably already know.

          However, it's helpful to stay grounded. According to the National Careers Service, a performer in theatre can expect to earn around £420 a week. Established actors who work in film and TV will be paid much more.

          What qualifications do I need for a career in Performing Arts?

          There are no formal education requirements for a career in the performing arts. For some roles, like a costume designer, it may be helpful to have a textiles qualification. However, what is most likely to get you the job is a portfolio of work.

          For some of the more technical roles, like lighting technicians, you may need to have an NVQ qualification.

          Although no formal qualifications are required to be a performer, many will have had professional coaching to help them to develop their talents.

          Also, many drama schools are connected to agents and casting directors, which can be helpful to break into the industry. However, there are plenty of successful performers who did not go to drama school.

          Read more about the Performing Arts industry

          Creative Industries Council
          Creative England
          Creative and Cultural Skills
          Creative Skillset
          Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
          Design Council