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Units: 3 – Performing Arts Business. Assignment Title: Career Research

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Danielle Field

on 2 July 2014

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Transcript of Units: 3 – Performing Arts Business. Assignment Title: Career Research

Career Research
Forced Entertainment
How long have they been in existence?
How they are funded
Forced Entertainment Theatre Company (Sheffield uk)
Forced Entertainment
15 Paternoster Row
S1 2BX
Started in 1984, 25 years the organization has been established. The company is made up of six Peculiar artistes who make non-realistic and abstract performances, pushing the boundaries of modern art and drama.
The things they actually do?
‘The work we make is always a kind of conversation or negotiation. We’re interested in making performances that excite, frustrate, challenge, question and entertain. We’re interested in confusion as well as laughter’


They perform plays which they write and produce themselves, which can be analyzed and interperated in the contemporary life, the six of them start in the rehearsal room with various stimulus, raiding there costume and prop box, brain storming ideas, listening to soundtracks, running a line of dialogue and other rehearsal systems to create individual character and plot line, slowly piecing together a project. When that have blocked it, they will find the music to suit it and light it, using money from ‘The Arts Council-England’ to fund the project, they will costume and prop it, run it, film it, edit it all before showing it to a live audience.

With this company they can be hired to perform and play, for instance, they do not put of a show in there own theater, they currently touring in places like ‘Dublin theatre festival’ ‘festival-automne’ ‘Sheffield theatres’ and for these, you can book tickets and come to see the show
The arts council England (public) and Lottery good causes fund, which they have applied for, the money going into lottery and small percentage goes to small companies like so.
Performer: (Wendy Houstoun)
There are set Six performers within the company, there job is to help devise the play/ script. They help develop their own and other characters. There is one director but they all collectively structure ideas (collectively write develop and produce the play) to be a part of their performances you will need to be auditioned, that is if they are doing a show which involves more than six characters otherwise they usually don't take people on.
Lighting Design:(Nigel Edwards)
These people will talk to the directors to understand what lighting is wanted and where, to get this sort of job, training is needed and you would more probably have to email them to arranged a day where you could meet up to interview and maybe test there lighting skills.
(publicity) Manager: (Sarah Cockburn)
A marketing managers cover various things, for instance, to promoting the company, to selling tickets, or book out halls for the performances, they will monitor campaigns, and advertising the organization, like making posters, updating websites...
Identify three specific jobs within or related to the organization
The things an actor in 'Forced Entertainment' would do on an average day would depend on where they are with rehearsals,
for example
first off they would start off by devising their own script as the don’t like to use pre written ones, this could take weeks or maybe months of devising, (website usually work best at night)
Talking to other performers, there director, and maybe even using lighting and music for stimulus.
They would spend the upcoming rehearsal times getting into character and learning there script, working with the director and other performers to block the show.
A few weeks before their performance an average day might include dress rehearsals, and finalizing ideas and interpretations with the director.
This would mean, talking to the lighting technician and running through cues for example, saying all lighting and sounds cues and establishing the details of each cue. This is important as to make sure that nothing on the night of performance goes wrong, so throughout the day they will be in close connection with the directors (lighting, costume stage..ect)

Then they will do a full run through on stage and have the director instruct them on scenes(last minuet changes), like weather to turn a certain way, or even how to present a line, to ensure that the play runs smooth and everyone is on the same page.
Training path...
To get into this sort of job, it would be best if you knew someone on ‘the inside’ or some who ‘has connections’ to people who can get you in. For example when casting for Harry Potter, Daniel Radcliff’s mother was the casting agent, ergo, he got the main role.
you could then take in on in sixth form for a further two years( take in mind that if you took it on in sixth form you would have to pick 3 other course to take on, therefore meaning your not 100% focused on the course you desire),whether it be ‘Theatre studies’ ‘Performing arts’ or just ‘drama’
you could even take it on at college (take into mind that by taking the drama course under the age of 18 its free, but above it could cost you, depending on the course), depending on your qualifications, if you did not exceed well you could take the level 2 course in performing arts which is a year, you could then proceed to do the level 3 course for a further two years. By then are you older and more experienced so drama school are more willing to take you on if entry requirements.
Although this does help, having talent really does count, so you would need training in the performing arts department. This would start off at school with GCSE which you would do for 5 years starting at the age of 12
Taking performing arts rather than just a drama course is more advisable as you not only have skills in acting, but also dancing and singing, which would give you an edge onto these things. Another way to get into the industry would be to go to a drama school straight away, although it is more expensive you are more likely to get jobs from a younger age and therefore be more wildly known, making it easy to get into the industry, this would also get an agent which will find perfect roles for you even if it is just small productions, it’s good to add to your CV which would make you more appealing to the acting industry.

You could also look into drama schools or universities which specialize in the performing arts.An example just one of the ways to get into the industry of acting would be to attend RADA(Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts) this is a drama school biased in London which gives you the opportunity to get a (BA HONS) in acting, a foundation course in acting and even an MA in theatre directing, so there are many different course you can take from many different schools or universities.
In relation to Forced Entrainment they state that they don’t have any formal program for internships or experience within the company as they don’t actually let any other people audition to become part of the six, they do state that if there be any production that has more than six characters that you can audition. You can subscribe to their new letter to see if any upcoming shows are available to public auditions, and they do arrange workshops for schools or individuals that are interested in the arts
Looking at the industry for actors and actresses, they seem to have sexual, cultural and racial issues, for example, looking at the romantic genre, there are hardly any popular films where the two main characters are either from different cultural backgrounds, race or even gender. Most protagonists in films are usual white Americans. So there is a slight disadvantage, Furthermore when plays were first performed only white males where allowed on stage, so men would dress as women or paint their face brown to interpret an African American.
Furthermore in the theatre industry crosses plays genre characters are usually eliminated now women are allowed into the industry, there are still some seen in pantomimes and abstract work like ‘Forced Entertainment’ but not as often.
The average pay for an actor depends on what type of job it is, for instance, a commercial/advert would get paid less than a movie production and theatre actors would also get paid less, depending on their experience in the industry. For example, if a movie start was to perform in a stage production of ‘death and the maiden’ he/she would get paid more than the other actors in the production.

"The Equity minimum rate for theatre performers is set at £372 per week. Subsistence-level rates usually depend on whether the performer has to relocate. Performers in London's West End are guaranteed a minimum salary per week of £470. Minimum rates for television, film and radio work vary widely."

So basically your pay deviates of weather you get relocated. No matter what London west End performers are ensure that they will get £470 per week, this will vary, depending on role they are given for instance lead roles are bound to get more money than course lines or one liners.
The job of the lighting director is to understand and rehears all lighting cues, then perform them on the nights of the show, this would involve listen to the performers ideas and take note from the director on what lighting needs to be where, they would most probably run through a cue sheet on a dress rehearsal and have the directors run through and ask for maybe a profile angle lighting for a certain part, or maybe a strobe light for a different atmosphere.
They not only have to work with the actors and directors but also choreographer, set designer, costume designer, and sound designer all to create the perfect lighting
The lighting designer on a theatre, although hardly ever seen is very important. Which means these people will be in constant conversation with the director as they cant use any lighting until the directors as chosen what type light they want (gobo, portrait, tinted) and what type of atmosphere they are expecting.
There is only one lighting designer involved with the forced entertainment, meaning he would have to tour with the show where ever they are performing to do the cues. It also means that he has to teach another lighting designer the cues for pre-written shows just in case the night of performance he is ill, some one is available to do the lights for the show.

The lighting designer has to be in close connection with the director, the actors and depending on how big the set is, he might also be in charge of other technicians.
Another thing the lighting designer has to worry about is visibility and health and safety. The designer has to take into consideration that the lighting rig is secure, it is not damaging to the performers or audiences eyes, and furthermore if a member of the audience suffers from photosensitive epilepsy this all has to be taken into concideration before the night of the show, which means the ligting designer would have to work close with the stage manger
There is a training root involved with lighting designers, for example, you could take up theatre studies and focus on the lighting aspect of it, e.g when the criteria for coursework and final exams, when others are rehearsing for play extracts your course and rehearsals would be based on the lighting of it all, how it would effect the atmosphere, what type of lighting would give off certain effect ect. You could also do this in College for performing arts or a drama course.

Lighting designers are not just for theatres, colleges, school or small productions like 'Forced Entertainment' Lighting designers can work on rock or pop festivals, celebrations, tv shows and even movies.

All of these different jobs require a certain amount of training required. You can take up a lighting designer course form university or a drama school like RADA for 2 years which help for the more professional jobs in the lighting industry,

But for any professional production you must be a fully-qualified electrician to be able to work for the production for health and safety reasons, other training needed would be...
There are other ways of getting into the lighting technician side of theatre without the proper training requiered, if you are lucky to be involved with a show and there is a lighting designer needed, you could volunteer, this would therefore look good on your CV, even if it was for an ammeter production, other productions would see it as experience and would be more likely to higher you, adding more and more to your CV, therefore making you look more appealing.
In the theatre industry there are stereotypes of lighting technicians, people picture the big hairy grumpy fellow with the cap and the band t-shirt on or the manly looking female. Then than isn't always true, anyone with either luck or the right training could be a lighting designer, male, female. Anyone from any cultural background or ethnicity can be a lighting designer.

Although it was more often than not the average white male doing the lights, now everyone has a more even chance as its now more based on the skills and experience you have in the industry, which I believe is more fair.
On the other hand the reason the lighting designers tend to be male is because of having to lift the heavy lighting rigs and set up on high plat forms, then unpack, especially if the production is touring.
The working hours of a lighting designer are unpredictable, whilst daytime theatre they are expected to be there so set up the lighting and run for rehearsals, night time shows they will stay late and are more likely the last ones to leave.

They are also expected to travel along is the production is touring and travel to and from the venues.

Working conditions of a lighting desginer would be hot cramped and dusty as being on walkaways above of back stage of the show, they are under alot of pressure to hear the cue and give the correct lighting. (bad reviews from press if lighting makes actors corpse)
The average pay for a lighting desinger would depend on the job, as they are used for concerts, festivals, tv shows and of course Theatre, they would all get a different amount. For theatres I've read up they can earn around £9,500 a year as a trainee(This could be negotiated with the manager, so they is no set pay). They are usually self-employed and work on short term contracts with the production (this means they have a defined date that the contract will end this could be within a few months to a year, and they can take up another short- term contract with the production if allowed) For example, Forced Entertainment would have their lighting designers on a long-term contract as is a small production which has a constant show running, whether they are devising a new show or performing and old one, whereas pantomime shows which would tour and end after a few months would only hire there lighting designers on a short-term contract.
City & Guilds Certificate in electrotechnical technology and electrical installation (entry requirements for both qualifications are usually three or four GCSE's (A*-C), including English, maths and science).

NVQ at Level 3 in film and television lighting (lighting technician).

Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards for Stage Electrics accredited by the
Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT).

These are just a few, but it would help if you took up a class in media, television or theatre as the lighting designers must have a working knowledge of the work surroundings.
Here is an image from the Forced Entertainment website, page shows the past and current reviews from press, talking about there opinions and ratings on there performances.
The Marketing manager would have first had to have overseen this product and got a venure, then distributed fliers and newsletters, updated the website advertising the show and selling tickets got press to watch and review the show then record the information on there website for others to read.
Without the Marketing manager, no one would watch, or even know about the show.
The things a marketing manager would do in an average day would depend on what the origination is doing at that particular point, for example if they are in the middle of rehearsals and need a vacation to perform in, the market manager would phone up a hall or festival that would be interested in them performing there.

They would then update their website telling people when and where they are performing, and advise on how to get tickets, they would then help design posters, newsletters, brochures and fliers to advertise upcoming shows, review all the content then help arrange distribution of all printed material.

The marketing manager would also oversee all productions and try and get local new papers and press to watch the show to give reviews and rating on there show, all for more publicity.

It's all one big circle... for example
Mainly because they weird smart clothing but also because they have a 'boring or next to no personality', they are simply 'work-bots'
When that is not the case... It can be, but no always....

Its the same as the directors being seen as 'mean' or 'scary' they are just dedicated to there job, its nothing more than passion.

To get into the world of marketing for a theatre company this is the root you would need to peruse ...
What people don't understand about theatre and productions, even if they are small or big, the company is not just the artists performing a show on stage, it is all of the cogs working backstage to get the show up and running, so jobs like marketing management are overlooked as they are deemed as 'boring' 'monotonous' jobs. But some people actually enjoy these jobs, and you would think that the people that do this job are known as 'suits'
The marketing manager would need to stay in touch with all of the theatre managers, so to stay up to date with developments and new productions.
When and what to publish.
This means you can start training as a manager whilst you are still in secondary education, this means you have an easy and direct root into the industry with a qualification at young age. This can be good, but on the other hand companys might not employ you as you are young, so I suggest shadowing a current marketing manager for extra experience.
Here is an extract from the SMA course
SMA E Student Membership

"E Student Membership is open to:
Anyone in full-time education.
What does this mean in practise? This means you may currently be training as a stage manager on a degree course (or post grad course) or on a vocational technical theatre course, or it could mean you are still in full time secondary education - or any other type of education not mentioned here...."
First off, id like to point out that this root is biased more on business aspect, so again taking a theatre class would help with your knowledge on the work surroundings, there is no point marketing for something you know nothing about.

There is a training course you can take provided by the Stage Management Association (SMA) that allows people with existing skills to further develop themselves and for people who wish to become part of the production management side of theatre.

This course is good for building contacts, networking and keeping up to date within the industry.
As you can see from the SMA website they have various courses that you can take depending on current situation and status within the industry.

For example
Highlighted we have spoken about, the one above it is if you are a graduate of a previous stage management course that is in association with the Conference of Drama Schools (CDS) or it is a further course if you are a graduate from the student membership.

Its is a six month course and after which you have completed you hen have the opportunity to better your self by taking on the professional membership...
f course if you are well trained you can go straight into the course you desire.

You do have to subscribe which has a fee of £30 a month, and that is part of there funding, so the course does cost, but you can do a 1 month trail for just £2
This course could open doors to direct roots into the industry, you could start of small with independent production company's like 'Forced Entertainment' and work you way up... as the course offers management in ears like marketing and stage managing you could find yourself volunteering to be a stage manager, therefore broadening your horizon.
Working conditions of a marketing manager for Forced Entertainment or in general, would usually be in an office over looking advertisement material
Updating the companies website with new information for there audience.
They would also be researching festivals and various other opportunity's that might be interested in seeing the production.
They might also be on the phone to press or a local newspaper to gt them to write reviews on there upcoming shows. They could also be on the phone trying to book potential venues for there next show
Unlike working on stage, like performers or lighting and sound, and even directors, the marketing manager would most probably have a set time to work during the day, 7 days a week, and would work alongside the progress of the show rather than day by day rehearsal.
In conclusion
Those were a few of the different jobs that work within the Forced Entertainment and other general theatre companies, some are dependent on luck, and others on hard work and dedication.
Shows that there are many paths that can be taken to many different jobs within the theatre industry, so its not just acting, and even small companies like Forced Entertainment need these cogs to make the end product.
Thank you for


Here is an image from one of there many projects called 'The Coming Storm'
Full transcript