Sunday, April 21, 2019

TYA Blog: Labor Day and Job Market Response 1

Brian and all,

As a recently graduated graduate student, I feel like I’m getting to know the job market all over again. Here are two thoughts that have come through my head in the last few days, weeks, months:

1. The full time jobs in theatre and education that exist in my dreams involve working alongside/supporting part time teaching artists. Thus, I should probably know what it feels like to be one.

(If I can swing it, I want to be a rockstar TA at the same company I am hoping will hire me full time…)

2. My career is more circular than linear, and that is OK.

For example: I worked as a part time, piece-it-together teaching artist for 5 years before going to grad school. This month, with a certain sense of déjà vu, I’ve landed several part time, piece-it-together gigs. Similar to before grad school? Sure. But not the same. I am a different teacher now– I plan differently, talk differently, and make mistakes differently now. I am learning a TON.

Teaching classes and leading workshops that I could logically dismiss with a “been there, done that” reminds me how much I love what I do– how good teaching and compelling artistry is daily work. Yet, when is the time to raise the bar? To offer new challenges to myself? When is it OK to admit that I am tired of listing 7-10 employers when I do my taxes in the spring? When will I feel ready/qualified to make the move to full time work?

The only answer I’ve been able to come up with so far is “I’ll know the job when I see it.” When I really think about it, expecting the “perfect” job (in the perfect location with the perfect balance of process and product, art and teaching, administration and practical work) to appear before me right now just because I graduated and I’m looking is ridiculous.

So, in the meantime, I’ll part time it, I’ll improve, I’ll improvise. I’ll prioritize what is most important to me. Hopefully, I’ll find a company/colleague/organization that will, over time, let me customize a full time job to feel…. well, perfect. For me.

Talleri McRae

Unviersity of Texas at Austin, MFA graduate 2010

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