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Job Roles & Responsibilities in the Performing Arts Industry

Job Roles and Responsibilities in the Performing Arts Industry

Chloe Morton

on 8 January 2013

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Transcript of Job Roles & Responsibilities in the Performing Arts Industry

Extras Extras are the people in the backgrounds of films, television shows and advertisements. An extra doesn't speak, sing or dance, they just stand in the background of a scene to make it look busy and more realistic, this is why they're called Extras. It's not necessary for there to be Extras in every scene as sometimes a scene will only need the main characters in; They're mainly needed in a busy street or beach scene etc.

Anyone can be an Extra, most of them don't have any particular qualifications and haven't been to any acting classes. You just need to have a particular look for a certain scene to be chosen. It is also vital that you are very patient, as being an extra you may be required to repeatedly do the same thing over an over, and there also can be long intervals between takes in which all you can do is wait. Although anyone can be an Extra, it does take a little time and you have to be persistent in trying to get into the career as there are so many Extras in the world and it is quite difficult to individually get yourself acknowledged. But the way most people get themselves into the occupation is by looking online for Extras directories and casting agencies, going to walk-in-on-the-spot castings, or looking through newspapers for ads that demand Extras.

There are many benefits of being an Extra as firstly they don't actually have to remember any lines since they don't have any lines to say. Another advantage of being one of the Extras is that you get the chance to meet countless stars who feature in big name movies and television series etc. Many of these celebrities in fact started out as Extras themselves and then progressed their occupations into becoming famous actors and actresses, for example Bruce Willis started off his career as an Extra which developed his skills which then attained him an acting contract. Like Bruce Willis, people have started their careers as an Extra mainly because it is one of the most easiest ways to enter yourself into show-business as you gain skills, experience and knowledge of the Performing Arts industry to progress your career onto bigger and better businesses. Assistant Stage Manager (ASM) Bibliography http://www.getintotheatre.org/careers-in-theatre/technical-theatre-jobs/assistant-stage-manager-asm







Stage Management: The Essential Handbook (Gail Pallin) Actor An actor is a job role that can bring characters to life on stage using speech, movement, body language and expression to act a script or improvise their role. As actors they are expected to work across theatre, film, radio and TV although these areas require the actor to work in different ways.
One of the main roles of an actor is to interpret the work of a writer under the instruction and support of a director, however some work may require the actor to improvise the actions of a character in a situation. No matter what job you have as an actor, whether you're a film star or presenter, or you specialise in theatre, you are there to provide entertainment to an audience.

Many actors specialise in theatre work, this requires them to do large-scale ensemble work for companies such as the National Theatre, theatre-in-education projects such as workshops for schools, seasonal work such as pantomime or festivals, touring productions, West End theatre, or community or youth theatre projects.
There are also many actors that work in the film industry, they are also known as film stars. All of the big film stars of today for example Johnny Depp or Channing Tatum are the actors that make the most money out of all other working actors.
In TV there are many different types of acting jobs, for example the characters in soaps are the actors that are required to play a character which may be different to themselves, however a presenter for a reality TV show or quiz show is still an actor with a script, but has the freedom to improvise or act more like themselves on TV. Radio presenters are also free to do the same thing.

One bad thing about being an actor is that acting jobs tend to be only short-term contracts. This is because once a performance has finished, there won't be another one until most probably the next year in which the actor will have to then audition again. Because of the short term contact, it is ideal for the actor to have additional work to support them between successful auditions. Additional work needs to be flexible in order to take time off in case an unexpected audition or acting role comes up.
Also the hours of an actor working in theatre may be irregular. Most performances take place in the evenings, but there are also daytime shows, rehearsals and auditions.

In order to become a working actor the main aspects you need are talent, confidence, determination and commitment. It is better to start an acting career with some sort of evidence that you are skilled and have had education and guidance in the performing arts industry, most professional actors spend time training and building up performance experience before they find paid work. This preparation may include a full-time drama course or part-time classes. They also may have attended a summer, stage or performing arts school when they were young. Another good source of evidence to kick start your career would be a degree in drama that you may have studied at university. If you don't have these then you will still need to develop your knowledge and experience in the theatre, ways of doing this include getting involved with amateur, community or youth theatre or taking part in student festivals and competitions.
It is quite hard to find work for an actor as there are so many applicants for auditions, that's why it's good to sign up for an agent as they help find work. Agents put actors forward for auditions and castings, but take a fee of about 10-25% of the job's earnings.
There is also no career progression if you become an actor, some actors spend their whole career moving from one acting contract to another. The only progression you will get out of being an actor are the skills and knowledge of the career. Costume Designer in the Performing Arts Industry Job Roles & Responsibilities An ASM is part of the Stage Management team and therefore plays an important part of a production as the whole point of this team is to make sure the show reaches it's full potential by facilitating all the departments with the best possible conditions.

The job of an ASM requires for them to be in the rehearsal room as much as they possibly can be incase they are needed to take over the Deputy Stage Manager's (DSM) job at any time; No matter how inconvenient or short notice it may be, the ASM must always be ready to take on a job they have been given in order to keep a production's process running smoothly.

The main roles and responsibilities of an ASM is to assist with auditions and the preparation of the rehearsal room, set up props and make sure they are obtained and returned safely along with furniture and set dressing. An ASM works backstage during a performance and keeps track of all the props, furniture and set dressing as they do in rehearsal. An important responsibility the ASM has is to learn something what is called 'The Book'. The Book is a journal kept by the SM which holds the rehearsal schedule, production calendar, contact sheets, pre-show check list and all the cuing notations for the performance. In case the SM is absent, it is handy that the ASM has mesmerized The Book so they can then take the SM's place and run the show.

In order to become an ASM you need to have confidence and good communication and organisation skills as the job requires communicating with everyone who is working on the production. You also have to own the ability to stay calm in times of crisis, have patience, be able to work under pressure and be able to think on your feet as the production will rely on you a lot of the time if they come across any complications. As well as having these personal assets, it is essential to have qualifications too. To be an ASM you can have graduated in any subject, but to higher your chances of getting the job you should have a degree or diploma in performing arts, drama/theatre studies or music. An ASM also possesses a high level of theatre knowledge and experience so having this will also raise your chances of getting the job. Some ASM's never had any qualifications and yet still got the job; They done this by starting off at a junior level as a member of the stage crew, this is where they get their experience and knowledge and gain the theatrical skills needed so they can progress and become an ASM.

Once you've been working as an ASM for a while, you've gained experience, boosted your confidence and reached your full potential within the job, therefore you are overall satisfied with your years of commitment, you'll soon realize that you can progress your career to a higher level within the industry. Being an ASM is a great position to start in if you're looking to develop and exceed your career as it has many opportunities. ASM's may progress to be DSM's and then further on to SM's and it doesn't stop there! A Stage Manager can even progress their career to become a Company Stage Manager (CSM). But not all ASM's take the path of the Stage Managers, they can be more ambitious and become Theatre Managers or even Producers and Directors. But not all ASM's choose to progress their careers, some of them love their job so much that they'd stay working as an ASM for the rest of their employment lifetime. A costume designer is a very important job for theatre production, television or film as the workers are in charge of designing, creating and buying all of the costumes for the cast. It is essential that all of these costumes are deeply thought out, accurately designed and carefully bought or made in order to meet the standards and requirements of the performance. So for all of this to take place there has to be someone behind it all, someone with a high knowledge of fashion, exceptional organisation skills and also a steady hand, that someone would be no one else but the costume designer.

As a costume designer it would be your duty to work with other departments of the film or production. People like the director is someone you'd have to be quite close to for the project you'd be working on as being the costume designer you have to help the audience understand the production better, and you'd only know what the production is all about through the director.

It's not too easy to become a costume designer but it also isn't too hard. All you really need is to have interest and skills in the art and design department but also interest and knowledge of the theatre. Also an understanding of costume history is vital as remember it is the costume designer's job to design and create all the costumes the cast will wear, and if someone's character was a Viking, they'd look a bit odd in Modern day style and material. Also to get into the costume designing industry it would be easier if you finish school and complete a study of art and design or maybe even have yourself attend a fashion design college, as this is what most successful costume designers have done themselves. To give yourself a better chance of achieving a job in costume design, it is an idea to do some training at a well known business like the BBC as they also offer some work experience days. But whether it be a big business or amateur voluntary work, work experience is what it is and the more experience you have the more successful you'll be in achieving your goal.
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