At ICTheatre you’ll not only build on your talent and gain the specialist skills to become a great performer, but you’ll also learn the life skills that will enhance your employability.
We understand what the industry needs, and that’s not just talented people but also people with the right outlook – organised, entrepreneurial and creative team players with a multiplicity of skills who know how to make opportunities, as well as take them.
Most students who join us will do so initially because they want to hone and professionalise their skills as performers through their degree.
However, whether you want to work for a company or create your own, whether you’re interested in stage or screen, whether you want to devise your work or follow the direction of others, we’re here to help you discover who you are as a creative artist and ensure you have a sustainable career.
There are many other areas you might explore alongside your life on the stage or screen:
Most students who join us will do so initially because they want to hone and professionalise their skills as performers through their degree, whether they’re on our Musical Theatre, Dance or Acting pathway. But these disciplines can be used as a springboard to a whole world of associated careers.
Many people aspire to a career on the West End stage. With talent, skill, determination (and a certain amount of luck!) it’s an achievable goal. ICTheatre will help you be your best not only by equipping you with the skills you need but also by supporting you with the networking opportunities, contacts and the right industry approach to prepare you for following your dream.
If you’re full of original ideas and enjoy a good story, you may want to devise your work or produce scripts and plays for other performers. Writing is hugely satisfying, especially if you then get to see your piece performed on stage. There may also be opportunities to use your skills to write for television, radio or film, not just for live theatre.
Producers need to be unflappable diplomats and require a wide range of skills. They must be able to manage and lead a team, and work with actors and creatives. Having a very strong commercial and business sense is also vital to ensure that a show can make money and will attract good audiences and critical reviews.
Directors need to be creative and extremely organised. Being able to inspire and lead a team is essential, as well as having the stamina to cope with long days of pre-production and production. Being creatively flexible and possessing the capacity to make quick decisions is also an advantage.
Closely aligned with choreography and fight choreography, a Movement Director works closely with the Director and Performers to help devise and train specialist physical styles and skills. It’s a relatively modern role that involves knowledge of, and the ability to teach, body postures and gestures appropriate to a character, for example, old age, pregnancy, drunkenness, period dancing and so on.
Coming up with story ideas, devising plots and scenarios, and even entire shows, requires hard work, determination and imagination. Often these roles are freelance, so good business skills and the ability to manage your finances are also essential.
You’ll need a strong eye for detail and will work closely with directors, the art department and construction teams to realise the vision for a production. Planning, budgeting and research, for example for historic dramas, are essential as well as good connections with props suppliers and location scouts.
Presenting and voicing for TV and Radio, along with Radio’s close cousin Podcasting, requires voice training and studio skills. Additionally, you’ll need technical studio experience and the ability to multi-task whilst presenting, especially in a live environment. An aptitude for self-promotion is a bonus if you’re aiming for a freelance career.
Community theatres are generally innovative and often collaborate with Performing Arts professionals to produce pieces that are written and performed by local people in community arts centres and other sites, including in the open air. They tend to be hugely passionate, creative and resourceful and can be a rewarding first step towards a professional career as well as a great experience on your CV.
As with Radio and TV, you’ll need a certain amount of technical knowledge to embark on a career in Podcasting. Podcasts are relatively simple and cheap to produce and can become a steady source of income especially if they attract sponsorship and advertising. Being able to think of original and popular ideas and realise them in gripping fiction, factual or live shows is a must.
By breaking down the barrier, or ‘fourth wall’, between performers and the audience, immersive theatre aims to heighten emotional engagement by using audience participation and by blurring the lines of reality. Often staged in ‘real’ locations such as empty offices, factories or warehouses, practitioners aim to take the audience out of their comfort zone, whilst also steering the story and plot. Virtual reality is one future direction that has the potential to enhance the experience.
Fringe theatre offers great opportunities to preview shows and try them out before heading to the mainstream. Festivals such as the Edinburgh Fringe and the Brighton Fringe are ‘open access, meaning there’s no selection process, anyone with an idea for a show can put it on, usually at a very low cost. Venues are often small with limited lighting, set and scenery. Performing at a fringe festival can get you noticed and prove to be a useful springboard for your career.
Working as a performer on a cruise ship is often seen as highly desirable employment and the competition for roles can be tough. The stamina to put on up to ten shows a week for months at a time is a necessity. Show standards are high and in return, you’ll get basic accommodation, usually sharing, and an appreciative audience. Being part of a ship’s company, you’ll be given crew safety training, be required to take part in strict safety drills and follow strict rules. But it’s a great way to cut your teeth before heading on to bigger things.
Think of the Eurovision Song Contest or the Brit Awards and you’ll instantly conjure up a picture of a singer surrounded by a team of dancers. These Backup Dancers add excitement and rhythm to the visual performance. Many enjoy successful careers and are well respected in their chosen field. Teamwork, flexibility, and a hectic rehearsal schedule can be expected, but the role can be a stepping stone to leadership positions as Dance Captain or even Choreographer.
Written blogs and vlogging (video blogging) are close relatives of podcasting. They can be written, photographic (for example on Instagram and Snapchat) or video (such as TikTok and YouTube). There are many examples of bloggers and vloggers becoming ‘influencers’, gaining sponsorship and consequently making a very good living. At its most basic, blogging and vlogging can add impetus to your career as a performer. Originality and creativity are a must.
Social media influencing requires great ideas and an aptitude for self-publicity. As an internet celebrity who has captivated audiences and captured thousands or even millions of followers on Twitch, Snapchat, Instagram or YouTube, you can make a sizeable income from endorsements and product promotion. Like blogging and vlogging, you’ll need to develop good on-camera skills and unique identity.
Production Assistants in theatre, film and TV need excellent organisational, problem- solving and multi-tasking skills as they can be liaising with all the team members and handle many operational issues simultaneously. Production Assistants can move on to be Production Managers through dedication and the development of their all-around knowledge base and skills.
As well as strong physicality, stunt work also requires basic knowledge of the filming environment through, for example, extras work. You’ll also need further professional qualifications and skills across a variety of areas including driving, riding, falling and fighting.
Good, all-round knowledge of the theatre is essential for a career as a Stage Manager. As a great communicator, you’ll be able to liaise, often simultaneously, with Directors, Producers, Performers, and crew and technicians. Organisational skills will also help you juggle the demanding requirements of supervising live productions.
Creative flair and technical skills combine in these roles, as does an excellent ability to liaise and communicate with Directors and crew. Strong knowledge of and/or qualifications in electrical engineering and electronics and health and safety will be an advantage. The work can also be quite demanding physically during rigging and de-e-rigging, but the reward is helping to transform a space into a world which will transport the audience.
Stage crews are responsible for preparing the stage for actors to perform on, checking health and safety, making any necessary adjustments such as set changes during performances, and clearing everything away once the show is over. Sometimes stage crew members are involved in the actual design and construction of the set, for example using carpentry or metalwork skills.
There are additional skills that the modern performing arts industry encourages actors to learn in addition to traditional techniques. Aerial skills, immersive theatre techniques, acting for video games and acting for motion capture are all essential tools for the modern performer. Agility, precision, expression, the ability to take detailed direction and a basic grounding in the techniques of motion capture such as green screens and motion capture suits are becoming a necessity.
Promoting shows requires excellent verbal and written communication skills. Creating and designing campaigns, researching how and where to deliver them, a good eye for detail and IT skills are all in the mix. The ability to understand different audiences, analyse, research and translate the results into exciting and engaging copy is a must.
A passion and ability for dance, often in a specialist form such as hip-hop, ballet or freestyle, combined with the talent to direct and deliver it creatively are requirements for this role. Liaising with dancers as well as other creative professionals on music choice, costumes and sets will also be required. You’ll probably also be in demand for TV, videos, adverts and film.
For these roles, translating your concepts from the interpretation and design stage to reality requires a whole range of skills from drawing, pattern cutting and working with textiles, make-up, hair and jewellery. Patience and attention to detail are also in the mix, but you can expect to be rewarded with work not only in live theatre but also in TV, film and other screen industries.
You’ll need a very strong grasp of business management for this role, as well as a creative streak. Experience is the key as you’ll be drafting and managing budgets, booking programmes, and leading an entire team of staff. Leadership skills and the ability to create partnerships, foster contacts and build networks are essential.
Drama Therapy is a highly specialised career which generally requires additional professional training following graduation. Clients can be of all ages with a wide range of psychological and/or physical difficulties. Using drama and other Performing Arts in a therapeutic setting can be a very rewarding experience.
Being part of a talent agency requires teamwork and persistence. You’ll be booking artists and performers, as well as promoting them. A good grasp of business practice and a strong ability to network with artists and producers, along with the stamina to socialise, are essential.
You’ll need additional qualifications to work in Performing Arts education, but passing on your skills to the next generation can be very satisfying. You’ll need patience and organisation, along with good interpersonal and communication skills. An ability to cope with stress whilst also providing positive feedback and support is crucial. At ICTheatre you will have an opportunity to explore your aptitude for teaching.
Looking after all aspects of the audience, such as selling and checking tickets, guiding audience members, hospitality and making sure that all are prepared for a successful and uninterrupted performance takes organisational and customer-facing skills. In small theatre groups and touring companies, performers may take on some of both front of house roles and admin roles, as well as being in the show.
For questions on how you can be part of the ICTheatre movement, please contact our Enquiries Team on 01273 840 346 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.