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Got the training, now get the job!

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I am sure this subject has been covered a billion times over. But hey, I'll try again.


I just need some advice to see If I am swimming up the right river.


Here goes...


I am a Lighting Technician and I have been out of work for about four months now. My last place of work was at one of London's largest theatres, if not the largest. So I thought to myself I could find work easily by telling my prospective employers about my recent top ventures in London and the south east.


Big mistake. I sat on my laurels thinking my phone will ring...or not as the case may be.

I need to get off my arse and physically see people, but here lies my problem. This costs money to travel up to London. Money I don't have.


My strategy is to go around the West End trying to get people's names, numbers and drop off CV's and if I am lucky I get to see them at the same time. Effing hard that is!


Okay now I have my contacts even though I have practically seen no Chief LX; it's either their too busy, not in, or probably the most hard to swallow, not interested.

But when I get back home I try to follow-up my leg-work by making phone calls to people who are never in!! I am starting to think that; (a) they get these phone calls all the time and don't care; (b) or is it because of me! I.e not good enough.


Though I have had some success and (mostly) bad luck. I did get offered followspotting work but the chief LX at the time said I was too good for the job, because my level of pay expectation is greater than they can muster although they were very nice about it. "They" said try the larger venues.


Back to square one


Picking up the phone is THE hardest thing for me, I think it sounds presumptuous and rude and probably annoying for the other party. "giz a job". But I do have to keep telling myself thats how I got my last job by speaking to the head of LX!


Now I am trying to find work in film and TV. I do have some good contacts. One is in NZ filming Castaway and the other is busy with music videos. But neither is saying anything positive about getting work.


NETWORKING, NETWORKING and more bloody NETWORKING is the answer! I am a member of BECTU and thought about attending meetings and I thought (well actually going) to lighting control seminars to prey on some unwilling folk with money!



I am sure I am not the only one who has a confidence thing or self doubt




Any criticism will do, maybe reassurance :)


Thanks for reading



Edit. this might be in the wrong forum, so I do apologise

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Hmmmm (leans back in chair), Been there myself plenty of times, in London and elsewhere. My strategy has always been to look at the listings and see when venues have a busy period coming up, then a couple of weeks before it all kicks off walk around the stage doors asking to see either the chief LX or Tech Manager and just ask for some work, never voluntarily produce a CV, seems a bit too pleady and desperate for my liking. Then just continue to badger away at the stage doors, your persistence will get more work than your CV. Next thing you know your in a venue and showing what you are made of!!!!!


Good luck and don't give up.

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Though I have had some success and (mostly) bad luck. I did get offered followspotting work but the chief LX at the time said I was too good for the job, because my level of pay expectation is greater than they can muster although they were very nice about it. "They" said try the larger venues.

Though I am not a professional chief LX or anything, what I am about to suggest applies to virtually ANY possibility for new employment.

If you go in with limited experience (You haven't told us what level you're at) and limited direct contacts then you almost have to start at the bottom. Or near it. ( I read your situation as a recently qualified tech??


If you've had 2 or 3 years training and experience in a college environment, then that will stand you in SOME good stead, but is unlikely to get you into a full time pro venue as an LD. Life's just not like that!


So if your tack has been "I'm an LD, employ me please" then it's no surprise you're getting nowhere.


You need to get into the venue first, then get to know the people there. They will likely have worked in other theatres in the WE, and also know the staffs as well. So go in as a gopher, or spot op, or even something menial backstage - but that way at least you'd be IN the door.


Once there you then need to establish any credentials and credibility with the house team. DON'T neglect the job you're being paid for, but at the same time make it known that you do have other interests/skills and would be keen to explore new avenues.


Once on the 'circuit' I'm sure it will get easier.


Of course, if I've misread your position, my apologies.

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I would recommend having a chat to your ex-Chief LX and asking what he thinks would be the best way for you to get work. He might know a job you could go for, he might say "look you're good at what you do so just keep going and you'll get work", he may say "you've got this annoying habit which stops people wanting to employ you - just lose it and you'll get work" or he may say "look I'm really sorry but you just weren't any good and the job's not for you". Chances are that any advice he gives will be good, practical and helpful.


That second job is always the hardest. After that it gets easier as your cv starts to glow a bit more!


Keep going - I'm sure you'll get something soon if you keep at it.

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