A project I’m involved in (of which you will hear more in due course) is necessitating my finding out about a wide range of theatre jobs — beyond performing — and how you train for them. And it’s fascinating.
I am, obviously given my own work area, pretty well steeped in training, what it involves and where you go to get it. A kind person even observed the other day that there aren’t many others, if any, linking and writing about education and performing arts in quite the way I do it. But even I hadn’t realised quite what a wide range of access points there are for some of these jobs. So it’s hardly surprising that teenagers, parents, teachers and careers advisers are at best a bit confused and at worst lost in a murky sea of ignorance.
For example, I’ve visited drama schools and talked to costume and wardrobe staff and students. I’ve seen them pattern cutting, chatted to them about their designs, hopes and aspirations. I’ve met apprentices in the workshops of big companies and strolled round almost as many costume repositories as I’ve had Sunday dinners.
But it had never occurred to me that the best basic training for all this, especially if you’re going to specialise, may not be drama school or college — but art school.