Paid summer acting jobs for college students?

<p>On another thread, several members were telling me that there are lots of performance opportunities for college students in the summertime.....and that some of them pay pretty well. </p>

<p>My question is whether most of these paid gigs are in musical theatre, or whether there are significant opportunities for paid work in straight plays as well.</p>

<p>Soozievt says: </p>

<li><p>"Some summer stock indeed includes plays/dramas. The Straw Hat auditions include auditions for actors who do not sing." </p></li>
<li><p>"But there is a lot of OTHER summer jobs in theater that is not summer stock. My D doesn't choose to do summer stock but is paid to work in her field. Many of her peers work in jobs in the theater world for pay, and these are not all acting jobs. While summer stock often doesn't pay that well (some do, but most do not), a lot of other jobs in theater can pay well and my D has been paid quite well for other jobs, not summer stock ones."</p></li>

<p>Does anybody out there have additional comments or stories? I am heartened to know that such opportunities exist, because I thought summer stock was all there was, and that it was mostly for older people, or at least for people with super strong MT chops.</p>

<p>Yes, well, soozievt's D is a very accomplished pianist who has been paid to be an accompanist and as a music director. Being able to get those types of jobs is wonderful, but requires that a young actor also have those kinds of specific skills.</p>

<p>Maybe my son's very modest abilities in lighting design would come in handy somewhere, lol.
No.....probably not. The talented tech majors would get those jobs. :-)</p>

<p>Well, you never know! But I do know that not that many kids have the same amazing musicianship skills that soozievt's daughter has! I find myself wishing I had forced my MT daughter to continue taking piano lessons years ago. If only I had known .... But alas, alack (is that how you spell "alack?" <g>)</g></p>

<p>There is a guy in our area who supports himself by working as an accompanist and musical director at a couple of regional theatres. What he does for fun in his spare time is participate in amateur theatre productions as both an actor and MT performer.</p>

<p>We first saw him in "Laramie Project," and he was awesome in it. Then my son had a small role in a production of "Urinetown" in which this fellow played Bobby Strong.</p>

<p>Partly because of knowing this multitalented young man, my son decided he'd really better start learning to play the piano without wasting any more time. He's progressing reasonably well, but age 16 is not the ideal time to start!</p>

<p>NJTheatreMom, there are jobs besides acting ones in theater. As NMR wrote, sometimes having additional skills can pay off. My D has been paid at a professional rate to musically direct, arrange, and accompany and some of her jobs have been in that aspect, and she was in musicals at the same time, making for a nice summer and she supported herself and netted money as well. But for instance, she has had friends do paid internships in theater companies or casting agencies and the like. And then there is summer stock, which definitely can include straight plays. Or a kid could get a non-theater related job to earn money, and do a non-paying theater gig as well. </p>

<p>My D started playing piano at age seven (both my kids did) and also played a second instrument (both girls did). I would have never known she would earn money playing piano but she does. It has been a great skill to have, not only as a singing actress (it helps with that), but also in terms of other work......she has singer/songwriter gigs in the city (writes her own songs and accompanies self in clubs), gets paid to accompany or arrange music, musically direct shows, and so on. She could always accompany at auditions for casting agencies. She has been an accompanist in the pre-college program at Tisch and likely could be one on their college level if she asks. Your son doesn't have to know piano but having additional related theater skills can help. My D doesn't plan to waitress to earn money when she graduates and needs a job while she hits the audition circuit. I am pretty sure she can work in her field, off stage. She'd like to perform on stage and that part is always chancy. I forgot to say she has also taught in MT programs for kids. Right now, she doesn't want to do that but she has earned good money doing that too. She even created her own MT youth program in our area in which she earned a lot of money. Sometimes you can create your own jobs.</p>

<p>Soozievt, your daughter sounds awesome! I like the idea of teaching MT to kids and also the idea of obtaining paid summer internships (how does one find out about the latter?).</p>

<p>My son is learning piano because it is so useful for a person interested in MT as well as straight acting. Depending on how his presumed professional career goes after college, he can imagine at some point teaching drama at perhaps the h.s. level, and that would almost inevitably involve MT shows and the teacher having piano proficiency.</p>

<p>He has studied violin on and off since third grade and is in a string ensemble at his high school. He played his violin in-character as Old Green Grasshopper in a production of James and the Giant Peach. In addition, in a recent production of West Side Story, the music director (the same guy I mentioned above!) had the idea of a cast member playing an instrument in the show, and he used my son. </p>

<p>During the "There's a Place for Us" number after Riff and Bernardo have been killed, my son appeared behind a gauzy scrim at the side of the stage, with his back to the audience (the lighting in that part of the stage was dim, but he was recognizable as the "dead" Bernardo), playing the theme from "There's a Place for Us" on his violin. It was cool!</p>