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Work Placements in London, asap.

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I’m looking for advice and help on finding a work placement in London, sometime between April (ish) and the beginning of September.


<edit> personal info removed </edit>


My problem is, my knowledge of London’s theatre amounts to knowing there are many of them in the West End! I’d like to get a placement on Mary Poppins or The Producers (wouldn’t everybody??), but although I can find Google links to the Prince Edward and the Theatre Royal, they don’t have email addresses listed.


I’ve been allocated two four-week work placements, one of which I’d like to do in London, so if anyone can offer me advice, suggestions, or even knows which theatres I should be applying to, all help will be gratefully received. I've JUST found out (yesterday) that they've been scheduled back-to-back after Easter (3 weeks), so am very much in at the deep end and looking to email (rather than post) CVs left, right and centre as soon as possible, if not sooner.


Thanks in advance,


Jordan R.A. Mills

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Firstly, find a copy of the Performing Arts Yearbook or the British Theatre Directory. Addresses and phone numbers for every theatre in the country (including London) are contained within - call any theatres you fancy and see if any of them are offering placements. I don't think you'll find it very easy to get hold of e-mail addresses that will connect you directly with the people that you need to talk to - far better to phone, I think.


Secondly, I'd have thought that you'd get much more benefit out of a work experience placement if you were able to find a producing house that would take you for a couple of months. That way, you'd (hopefully) get to be involved in a show right the way through the production process, unlike a West End venue where you'd just be doing the same show over and over and over again for the whole two months. Yes, the first week or so might be interesting while you find out about how it all works - but I'd imagine that once you've seen the show 16 times over the course of a fortnight, and realise that if you've got another 6 weeks of placement left you're going to have to endure it another 48 times, it might start to lose its edge a bit ...

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Cool, thanks.


My plan, as it stands and subject to much groundwork in little time, is:


To work full time for the next two months, to raise funds.


To then go and do a four week placement in London and


To follow that up with a four week placement in New York or surrounding area.


Then arrive back at uni after summer with two months experience in two completely different theatre environments - different to each other and to the one I'm presently in.


Just found the name of that Theatre Directory online, still to Google it and check nearby libraries (live next to a reference library).


I appreciate what you say, I know that shows other than the two listed are more likely to let me work on get-ins and fit-ups etc.


Will look for both those books now or first thing tomorrow, cheers.


Other replies still very welcome!




EDIT: I've since discovered that I was given the wrong information, I am scheduled to do two placements, but one between now and October, and one this time next year.


So I'm looking at internships in the US this summer, with the plan of going to London next Feb/March. Gives me a little more time to sort something!!

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I think the plan to do a placement in NY might be a bit hard to achieve.


There are several reasons, reasons that I came up against when I was looking to do the same thing 7 years ago, but I was coming from the UK to NY, it sounds like you might be doing this the other way round?...


1) Visa, you will need one even if you are working for free.

2) Insurances, you will need to be full covered for any conceivable risk as well as personal health etc, it is America.

3) Cost of living, the cheapest hotel I found was $90 a night, then add food, beer transport etc.

4) You need to be a member of a Union to work in most venues, they call it getting your Card. That can take several years, unless you have several strong nominations.

5) Internships (work experience) are tough to get in American Theatres, most of these are offered directly to the Universities that deal with theatre in the area and get taken very quickly.


I found all of this prevented me from doing this. However if you have an in road, try it. I do not want to dissuade you from trying just giving you my experience.


I have to say however that several years later I did go to NY to do some work but that was for a very large Corporate entity that has some ears and has a show with some cats in it, and they dealt with all the paperwork.


Good Luck.



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Hi, thanks for the info.


Firstly, I'm also going to NY from the UK, I'm a Weegie born and bred - partly why I'm looking for placements as far from Glasgow as possible, for a new experience.


I'm looking at internships purely because they largely pay stipends of some sort ($100 dollars a week isn't a lot but it's much better than a kick in the...teeth, and every little helps), and often provide housing. Financially, it's the more viable option in this respect.


I've emailed maybe 15 theatres so far, and had one reply, which - as you mentioned - stipulates the need to have a visa. I'm now trying to get that ball rolling, as they now want you to fly to London to be fingerprinted and all sorts of stuff. America, where you're free to do what your told!


Don't know how hopeful to be about getting an internship, but its encouraging that the first reply expressed a definite interest, providing I get the paperwork. Less encouraging is that no one else has even replied... still, it's only been 24-hours so I'm naively assuming they are mulling over the idea and slowly coming to terms with it, before deciding that yes, by jiminy, a Scottish intern would be a boon to their theatre...



<edit> I do have one contact in America (Massachusetts), who's trying a friend of a friend for possibilities as well.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I Went to LAMDA and as part of the course we had 2 placement stints these I would say are the best time to spread your face about and get a chance of a job when you graduate, due to my placement with Orbital (In the warehouse) I managed to learn almost every bit of kit that is available in the UK. I am now warehouse supervisor for DELTA Sound in Kingston London and would like to help people get a foot in the door the same way I did. So if your either looking for a placement in sound, or are about to graduate and are looking for a job then email me:




with any CV's.


Thanks Kindly


Alex L

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  • 3 weeks later...

To update:


I searched www.playbill.com/jobs/find/ and www.backstagejobs.com looking for internships in the US, as they generally offer housing and/or food and/or a stipend (token money). Placements vary greatly from a few weeks to a few months to nearer a year.


I emailed maybe 20 places looking for scenic carpentry/run crew positions. Of these I had about 8 replies, of which only two were in any way helpful. One needed me to gain a visa (no time to do so before they'd need me).


The other doesn't require a visa (other than a normal tourist visa, see here or here), as they aren't paying me. They ARE providing housing however, so that's very helpful from a financial point of view.


I still have to book my flights, but yesterday I verbally accepted a nine-week carpentry/crew placement at New York Stage and Film, based at Vassar College in New York State. All going well, I start on June 6th and come back in early August. Apparently they don't allow critics to see their shows, so last year they had Mia Farrow and Lucy Liu performing, amongst others.


Nine weeks, three venues, 15-20 shows/workshops/readings. Can't wait to get my flights sorted and head off. So if anyone else is looking to do the same, now you know where to look.

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