TYA BLOG: Labor Day and the Current Job Market for Teaching Artists
As part of my final evaluation with my teaching artist and theater education interns, I discuss possible future opportunities with our company with the interns that are a good fit. For our company, that usually means contract work: part time work as an actor and teaching artist. Sometimes we are able to offer them a contract for several months to act on a national tour, but usually it would be a show here and there as well as some workshops and classes.
In the last year, I had two interns initially dismiss that possibility. They both were interested in full time work as a teaching artist with a resident professional TYA company. Of course I understand the security and comfort and desire to have a full time position. (My father’s practical voice never leaves my head and that voice was screaming at me about security when I left graduate school). But are there full time teaching artist positions?
I know many companies that hire teaching artists for several months for their touring programs. Most full time salaried jobs I am familiar with, though, are education director or artistic director positions. While my company does have some full time teaching artists, on the rare occasions we have a full time opening, I almost always am able to hire a candidate with a Master’s degree and at least 5 years of working experience.
So this Labor Day week, I am thinking….What is the job market like in the TYA field? What are the entry level positions for young people passionate about this work? Feel free to comment to this entry and add your experience as someone who is looking for work or looking for new employees. I’m also going to solicit blog entries from recent TYA graduate students about their journey into our professional field.