Working in the arts – the day job!


Working in the arts really does have massive ups and downs. You can be performing on stage in front of 2,000 people one night and literally the following day be back in your day job washing dishes to pay the bills.

So many people have messaged us about doubting their own talent, saying that they have given up on their dream because it can never happen and feeling like they have failed – an opinion exasperated by the fact they now have a very unglamorous day job.

The stereotype of the aspiring actress, working nights in a restaurant is well-known. What is less known is that many of today’s leading men and women have to take on such work in between shows. And it’s REALLY hard. The world of musical theatre is tough. Not helped by the fact many of the general public can’t appreciate that it is possible to be highly talented and work in Starbucks. The culture of Britain’s Got Talent has given the idea that such talent hanging around behind the counter of Gregg’s is a rarity and must be plucked out of obscurity. But it really is not. Amazing talent surrounds us every day and should never be underestimated.
For example in 2007, internationally acclaimed virtuoso violinist, Joshua Bell went and played in a D.C Metro Station. See for yourself how much interest people paid him: Money wise he earnt $32 for his 45 minute performance.

For four and half years I worked for the Wales Millennium Centre which is an incredible theatre in Wales. I have some very memorable times and something that I will never forget is the incredible talent that existed amongst the theatre staff. On any given night the front of house team alone consisted of writers, actors, singers, comedians and musicians. Some of who, have gone on to be very successful in their fields whilst others are waiting patiently for their next opportunity.

Every night whilst working as a Front of House Manager, part of my job was to go down to the stage and give clearance for the show to start. As I did that, I never felt so far away from my dream – being stood literally a few feet away from where the performance was taking place and yet having had no part in the creative process of that show.

All of us have had to or continue to hold down second jobs and pursue our dreams as and when we can – but this in no way makes anyone less talented. Luck has so much to do with it but hardwork gives you the best possible chance. Never ever doubt that you are good enough and give it everything you have. It is never to late and you can do it!