5 Things You Learn When You Work In Theatre For The First Time

freddyWorking in a theatre setting that doesn’t take place in an educational environment teaches you a lot about theatre that you would have never known unless you do it in a professional environment.  It’s fast paced and wasted time is wasted money, but it’s one of the most rewarding jobs out there that’s priceless.

Here are five things you learn when you work in a professional theatre for the first time:

Getting along with your coworkers is important!

You spend countless hours with them everyday working on the production currently going up or being performed. You and your coworkers always feel when there’s tension going on between you all and it’s best to resolve that as soon as possible. You get to know your coworkers very well, very quickly and sometimes being friends with them isn’t the worst thing! If you live with them, that’s a totally different story. They become sort of a family to you.

Take advantage of sleeping in.

You’re going to have some very nice relaxing days and you’re going to have some very very long days. You’re going to have some very late nights and some very early mornings. You’ll have a lot of downtime or no time at all. Sleep is so important when it comes to being able to function properly in the workplace especially if you’re working high off the ground. There will be weeks that you get on average ten hours of sleep a night and other weeks where it will be five. Make use of your free time wisely.

Meet People. Talk to People.

You’re going to come across some people that have worked in theatre for most of their lives and they have some very interesting stories to tell. Introduce yourself to them and start up a conversation or two. You’ll find that you have so much in common with them as well as some things you thought you would never come across. Share your work and passion with others that share that same love that you do!

Communication is key.

Communication is the most important thing when you work in theatre. If there’s not a flow of communication from the higher up down, things will not get done in time. Good communication makes for great progress.

You have to really really love theatre to work in theatre, not feel obligated to work in theatre.

It’s a passion that’s not something that’s driven by receiving a paycheck or stipend every week. You want to be working in a theatre, an environment that provides you with some very rewarding work or work that’s not meant to be forced. It’s an environment that provides an experience to you that allows you to say that you love the work that you do. It’s not work, it’s love.


Lisa Hornick, OnStage New York Columnist