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How the hell do you get into theatres !

Jimbo The Wiz

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Right, What are peoples views on getting into the theatre. I live in leeds and an trying to get into one of the venues as a casual electrician. I am still at university but am often back at weekends and really need some work. I have sent my cv in and rang them once and will be going into the theatres again to see if anything has happened so I am trying but I have heard that it is notoriously difficult to get into these places and was wondering if anyone has any advice on the first step in. I have done work in other places but only for short periods of time because of uni but do really want to work.


So what are peoples views on the topic. any insider tips you can give me.

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Persistence is the key - but not to the point of becoming a pain!!


Certainly all the bigger venues in the Leeds/Bradford area (Grand, Alhambra, WYP, etc.) will have a list of 'first-call' casuals, as bigger venues tend to do. These will be people who've been around for a while, and who know the building, equipment and procedures inside out. But that's not to say that there won't be an opportunity - the time will come when they're one electrician short for a big call, and your CV might just be lying around on the chief's desk ...


Bide your time, keep reminding these people that you exist, and be prepared to start on the bottom rung. When you do get the call, go in with the right attitude (no-one likes a 'know-it-all'!) and work hard, and you'll do OK.

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Guest lightnix

The system I evolved to punt for work goes a bit like this...


1. Establish contact with client (venue / hire co / prod co, etc.) and find out who books the crew. Try to speak to them, but don't push it if they're busy.

2. Whether you have spoken to them or not, send CV your with a covering letter and brief details of recent gigs.

3. 'Phone up a fortnight later, try to fix a meeting (but again don't push it).

4. Even if a meeting is not forthcoming, ask if they mind you adding them to your "Availability List" - most will say OK. Do speak to them personally to ask this, be patient and call back later (but not too often) if they are not free immediately.

5. E-mail your Availability List list once a month or so with your free dates and brief details of recent gigs. E-mail is probably the most powerful tool around for keeping in touch in a non-intrusive fashion. Add your full contact details to the bottom of each e-mail.

6. Keep in touch by 'phone every 1-2 months to start with, 2-3 after about six months.

7. Twiddle thumbs and get on with studying / life, Rome wasn't built in a day.


Eventually a gap will open up in somebody's crew list, usually at ten seconds notice and you will have a chance to prove yourself.


As gareth hinted, just be a helpful, hard-working pair of hands to begin with. Watch, learn and show initiative, but not too much ambition ;)


Best of luck :)

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List the places you wish to work at in preference order, then apply to the least favoured first then you dont upset the people you really most want to work for by overly pestering them.


Any work offered will be at slightly less notice than you need to get there, no-one uses new unknown help till every known person has been called.

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