|Is it economically safe to pursue a career in technical theatre? is being discussed in the ControlBooth General Advice forum; Originally Posted by ruinexplorer Great advice. However, since rosabelle is still with us, four years after her original post, I ...|
Leslie (Les) Deal
Licensed Pyrotechnician; SEO
Illumination Fireworks, LLC.
The views and opinions stated in this post don't necessarily reflect those of Illumination Fireworks, LLC.
On The Other Side of the Pastel Green Planet
What use is knowledge if there is no understanding?
if you really want to work in technical theater then you should follow your heart. i started working in the industry in england 20 years ago, working in theater at the start but then went into doing events where there is much more money and you can be paid very well. the entertainment industry is probably the most fun you can have while still earning money. do you really want to be sat in an office in a shirt and tie? i managed to buy my first property when i was 26 and have been mortgage free since i was 29, i have traveled the world with my work and met some really great people including my wife. my advice to you is to work in theater and educate yourself with a view to moving into TV, movies or events. i havent always been paid well but i have never been out of work.
switch now, now that I have already been in theatre for quite a number of years. I literally don't have spare time. And this is more common than I originally thought when I started pursuing theatre. So while I think it's neat that my job permeates all aspects of my life, the reality of it is that I have no friends, I can't go to anything ever (no dinners, no plays, no movies, no concerts, nothing), and I can't pursue anything other than what's immediately happening in my theatre. I won't be able to take music or language classes, I can't practice my guitar, and my significant other (who I live with!) is a stranger to me.
It's fun, but you'd darn well better want this life if you choose to pursue it. I love my job but I'd seriously consider giving it up so that I could have a few nights of sleep.
I would think that the area in which you choose to become proficient at greatly addresses your concerns. Being proficient in lighting and sound (perhaps rigging too) greatly enhance your flexibility in your chosen career path. Are you willing to tour? Do you want to settle down? Do you need good health insurance? Where are you at in your life? these are questions that you should be asking yourself...and then adapt your career path to meet your needs. Touring is good when your younger because it is good (can be great) money, great way to make connections, etc. If you want roots, seek small regional theatres for design work or technical direction or facilities management. If you want a nice balance...go pro young then head to the educational field later. The educational field is the greatest racket around allowing you to work at a moderate pace and then if you want professional do that in the summers. Currently I am working at a small college in the middle of nowhere and have no concerns when it comes to money and I have plenty of time in the year for trips/friends/family or even pro theatre in the summer if I want. The point is there are plenty of options out there. I was listening to a sound tech who moved into the video gaming industry...the world is your C-wrench make of it what you will with no regrets.