Why You Should Hire a Theatre Person

Jennifer Butler

  • Massachusetts Columnist

Lately I have been torn between doing what I want to do and what I need to do. I want to write blog posts and other things but I need to be looking for a full time job. I know that I should be writing cover letters and searching online to find the perfect job, or at this point, any job that will be full time status and give me benefits. But instead, I am calming my anxiety about finding a job by writing. The anxiety of finding that full time job comes when I read the job description and find that I am either over qualified or under qualified. I feel like Goldilocks trying to find something that is just right.  Most of the time I have the qualifications that they are looking for but not the experience or subject knowledge for the job. 

I know how to write and edit. I am organized, hardworking, and dedicated. I have goals and I want to achieve them.  At a recent interview they asked if I would give up theater if I was hired and I politely answered “no”. Theater made me who I am and has helped to shape me into the person who sat at that interview.

What I felt like doing was screaming out “You need to hire a theater person! The person you are looking for is sitting right across from you”.  Sure, I may not have the experience but that can be learned. I already have the skills that are hard to teach someone and I can learn the terminology and the computer program that I would use. 

If they want someone hardworking, hire someone who has worked in theater. They work tirelessly for hours upon end, for months, to make sure that the lighting and sound effects are timed to the second and that each prop has their own spot; that everything is perfect. 
If they want someone who can multi-task, well here I am. Theater people are required to balance their time and they do it well due to the frequently demanding rehearsal schedule. 

You want someone who is committed, dedicated and loyal?  Well look no further! Who is more committed to something than a theater person?  As theater people, we commit to the rehearsal, tech and performance dates, months in advance, and not only are we committed to the work but take pride in what we do. The theater people that I know give one hundred percent, both to their craft and their work, all of the time. Now that is the type of person you want working for your company.

You want someone who is organized?  Well here we are, for 3-4 months at a time, balancing rehearsals, day jobs, meetings and family commitments. Keeping balance and managing time comes in handy, especially during tech week. We keep lines, blocking, prop and costume notes all written on the same script, yet we can keep them separated. And with calendars. (Yes, those things are our best friends.) We are not only organized on the set but we know how to manage time well. Especially during tech week and in making sure that we are meeting work and show deadlines simultaneously. 

So, yes, in an office setting your employees may not have to figure out where to hang a spot light or make sure that the door closes at the right time. But if you are looking for someone who is hardworking, dedicated, committed, and knowledgeable then look no further than your local community theater. You can teach a subject but you can’t teach dedication and hard work. So when you’re down to a few candidates and one of them is in involved in theater give them a chance, they may turn out to be exactly what you are looking for.