CriticalDance Forum

Careers backstage
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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Fri Aug 27, 2004 2:51 am ]
Post subject:  Careers backstage

From The Stage

You probably chose to work in the theatre. In spite of an absence of informed careers advice and opposition from well-meaning family, there was something about the lifestyle or the perceived excitement that led you to persist.

If you are reading Backstage you probably knew that you didn’t want to be an actor. You might have been sure that you wanted to be a sound designer or a lighting designer. You may have thought that if you didn’t act then the only thing you could do was stage management. You may have thought that you would be a director.

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Author:  salzberg [ Tue Aug 31, 2004 7:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Careers backstage

Somewhere down the line, chance or Lady Luck got involved and you were offered a placement which just happened to mean that you had to build some scenery, for example, and found that that was what you were good at - or what you wanted to do. You may have been forced to give up your ambitions to be a designer because you were not the risk-taking type or because you were offered too much money as a prop-maker or scene-painter. Or maybe you just thought you were not good enough.
One of the mistakes being made in higher education here in the US is that most programs are teaching students that being a stagehand is somehow inferior to being a designer. I had the head of the design progam at a Major Theatre Conservatory tell me, "We don't teach stagehands here."

In truth, some people are happier (and more suited to being) craftspeople -- the people who realize the designs -- and we do these people a diservice by pushing them into being designers.

Author:  kurinuku [ Sun Sep 12, 2004 10:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Careers backstage

Brittle Lives

The Salt Lake Tribune

When her back began to hurt, Ruth Roll Hance chalked it up to hard work.

She spent years as a nurse before becoming a costume supervisor for Ballet West, a job that required a lot of heavy lifting -- washing and sewing costumes, hauling them from here to there.

Hance, then in her 60s, sought relief with afternoon naps and pain pills. But as time went on she found it difficult to sit or stand, let alone walk or engage in most other physical activities. Everything hurt too much.
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