A workshop on “Building a Career in Theatre” was held at the Alberta College Campus of MacEwan University, hosted by CBC personalities and stars of The Irrelevant Show, Jana O’Connor and Dave Clarke.
Distinguished types of individuals gathered to learn about ways to attain credibility in the acting world. The significant take away message from this event was mainly learning how simple, middle-class individuals can turn their life’s efforts of getting noticed by the big important influences in the world into themselves.
They hand over some major pointers to help entry level actors:
- Stay creative, but still have enough time to make money
- Find like minded people and link up with them
- Social media expansion, it’s a legitimate hobby
- Be Persistent with potential employers
- Get a Youtube channel going and display your talents
- Find your niche, what motivates you?
- Being open with your colleagues is a building block for success
They cautioned the eager young amateur actors to partake in volunteer opportunities, but to ensure that they are not losing consciousness of their primary end goal. It can be easy to lose track of what the initial goal was when volunteering for a non-profit organization or another acting opportunity according to Clarke and O’Connor.
Discussing the various theatre productions in the sea, a couple of familiar names popped up. We heard about the Fringe Festival, Art’s Council, and Jubilation’s Dinner Theatre, where all genres of acting and talents are invited to come show off their skills, whether that is musical performance, or street shows. While some of them may be more informal, others are much more catered to a different kind of audience. They emphasized that young actors should not “lose hope” in their everyday journey to being successful, and that it takes some time.
O’connor teaches improv on her down time at Rapid Fire while Clarke freelances on the side. They both encourage for young actors to participate in opportunities that provide them with experience with skills in their field of interest. It helps grow the technical skills as an actor that employers are looking for in higher positions for theatre productions.
“How do you find the time to balance paid work and volunteering?”
The “free gig” O’Connor found to be advantageous for networking, and building a strong back bone of credibility to her name in the theatre.
“Had I not done that, Peter Brown had never met me or seen me perform… If you’re really passionate about a company volunteering is a great way to get started” says O’connor.
Overall, both Clarke and O’Connor agree that it is imperative to know when the time comes to step back from volunteer opportunities and start hunting for a more profitable oppurtunity.