job opportunities in performing arts

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What is the work like?

An arts administrator is in charge of administration for the creative industries: this may include the visual and performing arts. The job involves promoting, supporting and any managing jobs.

An arts administrator's job can vary, it all depends on who they work for, for example, if they worked in a small theatre they can get involved in a big range of tasks, but if they worked within a big theatre, they will tend to have a specified area that they would work within.

Responsibilities may include:

* Planning a programme, securing dates and venues

* Booking artists and performers

* Organising accommodation and transport

* Dealing with internal and external correspondence

* Event management

* General management

* Overseeing the maintenance

* Looking after visitors, this includes directors, producers and artists

* Coordinating front of house

* PR activities

* Identifying fund raising opportunities

* Advising on contracts and terms of employment

* Managing a budget

* Filling out grant applications

* Briefing on health and safety requirements

* Dealing with performing rights and other legal requirements.

Hours and environment

Hours can vary depending on what job you are doing, for example administrators that are working on exhibitions or performances may need to work evenings and weekends, but other may work more regular hours, part time work is available.

Many jobs are based in an office and larger owns, this may then involve a lot of travel. It is hard to say specifically what the working conditions are like, but it isn't the most glamorous. Part time work is available, most arts organisations offer support for worker with family commitments.

Travel is frequent, absence from home is also likely, and overseas travel is not that common, unless the organisation take regular tours abroad.

Salary and other benefits

The below figures are only an estimate, because the actual pay rates can vary on the employer and also on where they live.

* Arts administrators may start at around 13,000 to 18,000 pounds a year

* With experience, salaries may be around 20,000 to 30,000 pounds a year

* For some senior positions, salaries may be over 50,000 pounds a year

I am now going to go more in depth.

* Salary on entry may begin at around 11,000 for trainees and assistants

* Experienced arts administrators could get a salary ranging from 18,500 to 28,000 a year

* Salaries for a senior management or a chief executive level could be anything from 25,000 to 50,000 pounds a year

* Freelance consultants can earn higher than that, but it all depends on their contracts

* They can command a higher salary, if they can offer specialised skills.

Skills and personal qualities

Arts administrators need:

* Strong communication skills

* Orgainisational skills

* To be able to work to a deadline

* And manage several projects at once

* The ability to prioritise their workload

* Flexibility and adaptability

* Negotiation skills

* To be able to use their initiative

* The ability to work with numbers and manage a budget

* Technical skills and computer literacy.

Getting in

The below information is a rough guide based on the information from the jobs4you website.

There are over 500,000 people that work in the creative and cultural skills area of work, there are over 62,000 creative businesses in the UK, and 94% of the businesses only employ 10 people a year, so being an arts administrator is a very competitive area of work to get into.

There are opportunities throughout the whole of the UK, in public and private organisations. You can get a job in theatre, concert halls, galleries, museums, exhibitions and festivals, etc.

Jobs for admin are advertised in the local and national press, and through magazines such as the Arts Professional and The Stage.


Most of the employers ask for GCSEs at A-C in English and Maths, also it helps to have some relevant work experience. Some arts administrators have gone on to complete a degree, there are many degrees that offer relevant experience, for example business studies, arts management, music, drama or visual arts. The degrees normally last for 3 years, entry for a degree is normally at least two A levels.

Entry for adults is a bit harder, so relevant work experience is required, for example:

Administration or secretarial work, marketing or public relations, finance, performing arts, for example as a dancer or performer.

Access courses are available for people that don't have the relevant qualifications, and who would like to study a degree.


In this job, many people train on the job, but they can take short courses to help develop or to produce new skills.

There are many NVQs and SVQs that are relevant, these include:

* NVQ/SVQ levels 3 and 4 in business and administration

* NVQ/SVQ levels 2,3,4 and 5 in cultural heritage.

A promotions manager in the music industry is specialised in finding any opportunities in publicity, this can be for all types of artists, for example a singer or instrumentalist.

promotions managers may work with record labels and individual musicians or bands.

Their role may involve tasks like:

* Creating a list of contacts from the music industry, this will help them promote their clients

* Publicising their clients work

* Arranging publicity events

* Going with clients to publicity events

* Promoting clients work

* Organising tours

* Advising clients on things like the best time to release their album or single

* Listening to new performers and deciding if they have the right sound for their organisation.

In the larger companies, the promotions managers may specialise in a certain area of work, for example marketing.

Some promotional managers may also work for live music venues, their roles may involve:

* Getting acts and artists to perform at the venue

* Contacting performers or their agents and booking them

* Making sure that each venue can offer everything they need, for example a full programme of performers for each night

* Checking that there isnt any double bookings

* Organising the design, printing and distribution of the marketing material

* Having replacement acts, in case an act cant make it on the night

* Checking that all equiptment is in working order

* Making sure that all health and safety is right.

Hours and environment

There isnt really any certain fixed hours for promotions managers. The job may have early mornings, late nights and they may have to work weekends.

They are normally based in an office, but may find that they need to travel to accompany their clients to promotional events. This may meen staying away from home, they most likely will have to spend time at music venues, this can be loud and noisy. Having A driving licence will help in this job.

Salary and other benefits

The below figures are only an estimate, pay rates will vary, it all depends on the employer.

* New entrants may earn from 10,000 to 15,000 a year

* More established people may earn from 21,000 to 42,000 a year

* The highest salaries may reach 100,000 pounds and year.

Skills and personal qualities

a promotions manager should:

* Know about music and have a talent for spotting new talent

* Commumication skills

* To be able to work under pressure

* To be persuasive and good at negotiating

* Enjoy working with people

* Understant the audience

* Organisational skills

* Computer literate.

It is important to:

* be interested in the media and marketing

* be interested in music and popular culture.

Getting in

The music industry in the UK, employ around 125,000 people, so there is always competition to get the vancanies for the job. The larger the city the better chance they will have at getting a job within this area of work. The jobs arnt always advertised conventionally, most people tend to here through word of mouth, but some may be found in local and national newspapers, also in the music press.

There isnt a specific route into this career choice, many promotions managers don't have releveny or specific qualifications.

Getting work experience is a good way of learning about the job, and also it helps to gain basic training. Networkings is a must for a successful career.

Many universities offer relevent courses for example:

* BA (Hons) International Music Management

* BA (Hons) Music Entertainment and Arts Management

* BA (Hons) Music Industry Management and Marketing

* HND Music Industry Management

* HND Music Industry Management and Marketing.

A background in the music industry can be an advantage, but experience in sales, marketing, public relations, advertising or events organisation may also be useful.


Most of the training is given on the job.

The bristish phonographic industry offer a few courses relating to management in the music industry.

MMF Training also offers a range of relevant short courses.

Getting on in the job

With experience it is possible to move onto larger organisations, these may pay better and will give you more responsibility. They can also specify in a particular area. They can work freelance or even move onto relevent careers such as an agent or manager.

What is work like?

An actor has to be able to take a character and to then bring it to life. The actors then have to interpret the character, with help from the director, and then perform it to an audience, maybe in the theatre or TV, radio or film.

the difference between performing for a film, radio or TV compared to performing on a stage, is that to do it on stage is live, so if they go wrong they cont go back and redo it, they have to get as accurate as they can every time, unlike pre recorded stuff, which they can be redone in many takes. Work can vary from live stage performances and community theatre to soap operas, radio work and film parts. An actor may also get involved in education, training and therapy, as well as performing.

When an actor is at work, they spend a lot of time rehearsing and preparing for a performance. If they work in a theatre the actor may have to perform the same role for weeks. In all acting jobs they have to research the character, learn the lines and prepare and go to auditions. If they get the part they will spend a lot of time in costume fittings and also in make up.

To be an actor you have to be able to work as a team, an actor has to be able to work well with the other actors and crew.
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Many actors have to spend time out of work, whilst they are out they are looking for new jobs, it is important to be versatile, skills like singing and dancing will help actors to get a job. Some actors may also get involved in administration and production.

Work activities

Even though acting is the most obvious activity, it is normally only a portion of what they have to do. On average an actor can spend at most 80% of their time resting, so during this time it is important to focus on the important activities. ...

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