The theater industry requires having great presentation skills, perseverance/resilience, punctuality, and being highly organized. If you’re trying to be an actor, get involved with your school productions, community and small regional theater, attend as many productions and events as possible and keep auditioning! If you want to work behind the scenes, volunteer or intern on as many productions as you can. Network! Network! Network! Chicago provides opportunities from smaller storefront theaters to larger regional theater. Chicago also offers extensive opportunities of comedy and Improv beyond that of second city. Pick up the reader, newcity, and every possible weekly produced in print and online detailing all the theatre that happens in this city on a weekly basis and get out there. These are the first steps that will get you closer to thinking about the multiple casting and representation agencies that have offices here in Chicago.

What it Takes

  • Your job search arsenal includes resume, headshots (actors), the ability to write a concise and articulate cover letter, and production stills, as well as, video of your work in your portfolio/website.
  • Interview and auditioning skills. You’ll find these opportunities in your curriculum and beyond. Attend workshops and seminars that attend to the interviewing and auditioning process.
  • Time management. There are many tips and strategies and ultimately different things work for different people, but to manage your career as a theatre profession you’ll need to be able to manage your time.
  • Save everything. If you’re on stage or behind the scenes, you need to document your work. Use Talent Pool to source photographers or videographers if you are unable to capture it yourself. Make sure the focus is on you or your work so it is not a dot in the image or video.
  • Experience is crucial. Prove yourself by volunteering or interning for a theater company. This also pays off in many networking opportunities. It is opportunity for you to know people, but they also need to know you and your capability.
  • Volunteer when possible at the theatres you are most interested in. Whether it's in the box office or as an usher, it’s a great way to meet people that work in that theater, as well as the patrons.