It’s the season of student showcases, writes Jo Eames, The Stage’s Head of Events. Performers in their final year at drama school, university or college are taking their talent into the marketplace, demonstrating the skills they’ve acquired over years of training that’s pushed them to their physical and emotional limits.
Make-or-break relationships with agents, casting directors and other industry professionals are being developed. It’s a critical time for anyone embarking on their career as a professional performer.
At The Stage Events, we understand the challenges that a graduate faces as they enter this highly competitive industry. Our next session, Graduate essentials: how to launch your career, has been developed to help graduates get their career off to a flying start.
It was fascinating to read the results of research conducted among 8,500 Equity members, and reported in The Stage, which found that 71% of respondents had worked outside the industry for at least half of the preceding year. Although the report dates back to 2006, it is difficult to believe that the situation has changed significantly since then. In fact, according to Jennifer Reischel, the expert leading our session for graduates, it’s even more challenging for graduates now:
A new graduate has to be more proactive than ever before to get a foot in the door… People have to make a real stand about entering the industry, know who they are, their niche, know why they should be chosen.
It goes to show how challenging life in the industry can be for a performer, balancing the pursuit of their career goals with the equally important skills of staying financially solvent and retaining a positive outlook. In Graduate essentials: how to launch your career, Jennifer will be sharing the benefits of her unique insight into the industry, covering the five key aspects of graduate life; finding your niche, agents, castings, in between jobs and finances. In addition to these topics, Jennifer will exclusively share the results of a survey she has conducted among casting directors and industry professionals.
As a drama school graduate - Jennifer studied musical theatre at Mountview Academy - she has first-hand experience of the challenges of entering the profession, which she has used as a basis for her book ‘So You Want to Tread the Boards’. Jennifer is also a student showcase reviewer for The Stage, watching hundreds of performers every year. The showcases give her an understanding of what industry professionals are looking for in a new graduate.
Although this session can’t give you the secret to success, it will provide you with a roadmap to help you along the journey. I hope you’ll join The Stage Events for this invaluable session.