Drama, and as an extension, the arts, is an interesting domain of society, as it’s a discipline that people either love and adore or hate and despise. For many, drama is considered as a hobby, a pointless pastime that has no value, or crucially to them, career advancements. However, that viewpoint is extremely shortsighted, and in fact, absolutely wrong as drama, and the wider arts as a whole, is a booming industry, being despite being in a slight decline.
This is because the arts, and drama in particular, plays a huge part in the country’s nightlife and entertainment industry. There is no indication that drama has none to little economic worth, as the creative industry generated 4.5% of the gross domestic production in the country, which is greater than what the construction, transportation, tourism, mining, and even agricultural industries did.
Starting a career in drama can become one that is very lucrative, especially if you end up in Hollywood or Broadway as an actor or director, however getting to those upper echelons can be an exceedingly difficult and arduous process. For many aspiring dramatists, the harsh reality is that no matter how hard you try, you will remain amateur actors due to the competitiveness of the industry. However, there is nothing wrong with that, as drama has a lot of personal benefits that can enhance the life of the person engaged with it.
There are many benefits to drama and how the practice can improve an individual, such as how partaking in live performance can improve confidence, and how the demands of learning a script can aid in focus, concentration, and discipline. In addition, drama is great for helping people develop communication and language skills, and big productions with a lot of people and roles can instill teamwork. These skills that are being developed through practicing the arts means that even if a drama student doesn’t go on to be a success in the industry, they still have desirable traits that can help them get further in other aspects of life. These are desirable business traits that would be ideal for a person studying online MBA programs.
Despite that, for those that are determined to make it and become a success in the realm of drama and the arts, here’s everything you need to increase your chances of success.
Skills Needed to Start a Drama Career
Drama is an incredibly unique thing to master, and because of that, requires a very distinct set of skills to be successful. Here are some of the key skills students and professionals alike need to master to increase their chances of becoming a theatrical success.
The arts are a very collective industry, especially drama, which means that no one person is often successful without the help and support of others. It’s very hard to be an isolated individual who doesn’t work well with others when involved in drama, due to the nature of most of the work available. Productions usually have an army of personnel involved such as directors, sound engineers, costume designers, lighting experts, showrunners, and a whole lot more, and everyone needs to be in unison to make sure everything goes smoothly. Thankfully, most educational qualifications are great at instilling teamwork into students, be it a drama-oriented degree, or online MBA programs.
There are a lot of professions within the drama that requires sufficient physical fitness to succeed in. A lot of aspects of drama are physically demanding and you need to be able to deal with that demand. To have more chances of being successful in drama you need to have great stamina, to ensure you can last an entire production; good agility, especially if you want to dance; and strength is also important.
When working in a role within drama, there are a lot of spinning plates, so professionals need to be able to manage their time effectively so that they can complete tasks in a timely manner as well as being able to manage deadlines. A lot of drama projects are time sensitive and going over these deadlines could increase the cost of these projects, making them less profitable. It’s also worth mentioning that impeccable timing is needed when performing a production or operating the lighting to make sure everything goes smoothly.
With how much that can be going on at once when working in drama, being organized is vital as it keeps you from losing control. Depending on the specific role you find yourself in, you may have to juggle auditions, multiple scripts, rehearsals and even travel, and if you find yourself in a senior role, you’ll also have to look after and direct other people too. It’s a good idea to use schedules and calendars and learn how to prioritize tasks by importance and deadline, which is taught on online MBA programs.
Communication is perhaps one of the most important and wide-reaching skills that people working in the arts need to possess. This is because not only does communication help dramatists in their performances, communication is also needed to precisely convey ideas and instructions and makes it far easier when working on collaborative projects. Communication isn’t all about talking though, as a good communicator will also be a good listener, have the ability to negotiate, and be persuasive. These last two points are extremely important when trying to win funding and government support. Studying online MBA programs will be able to teach you these vital communication skills to give you a better chance in progressing in the creative industry.
At the end of the day, the majority of roles within drama engages with an audience or member of the public in some way and are offering a service to them, meaning that workers in this industry need a good public persona. Gaining good customer service skills such as always being welcoming, polite, and generous can go a long way due to how most jobs require contact with customers and the wider public.
When working in drama, there’s going to be a lot asked from you, and it’s important that you match these expectations and don’t let anyone down. Good discipline will help in this, as it will make sure that you’re well organized, timely, and perhaps most crucially, responsible. Some tasks in this domain also require strict procedures to be followed, meaning good discipline is required to ensure that these aren’t deviated from.
As well as a particular set of skills needed to be successful within drama, there are also qualifications out there that can benefit dramatic professionals further. These forms of education can instill knowledge and practical experience that can help individuals flourish in the field.
One of the most obvious qualifications people need for this is some sort of dramatic education, with a degree in drama being one of the most beneficial. This degree gives students the appropriate acting skills and knowledge so that they can nail auditions and land roles in the professional landscape. The degree also helps them better understand the industry and makes them aware of the different types of roles they can get into. A dramatic degree can open the door to obvious roles such as an actor, but it can also make more obscure jobs accessible such as becoming a broadcast presenter, drama therapist and media researcher. The degree also gives students the skills to better analyse and interpret scripts and plays, giving them vital critical thinking skills.
Another great qualification that drama students should consider obtaining is a Master’s in Business Administration through online MBA programs. This is because, this qualification will teach students some vital skills to help them market themselves more effectively and also gives them a sufficient knowledge in business operations which can be used to aid them opening dramatic institutions such as theatrical schools and can also aid them in more administrative roles such as an arts administrator. What’s great about an MBA is that they can be studied around your schedule through online MBA programs. Studying online allows students to accelerate through their course quicker and allows them to work at their own pace when it suits them, making it perfect for the busy lives of actors and dramatists.
There are plenty of roles within drama for people to stick their teeth into and make a career, with some being more obvious than others. Here are some of the most common roles and what they entail to perhaps inspire your own journey into the creative industry.
Being an actor is the most well-known profession within the drama industry and is perhaps the role that most eager-eyed students thrive to become. Actors are present in the majority of modern-day media and entertainment, be it in television, film, and on stage. The job of an actor is to bring a role to life, using their brilliant skills to convey complex emotions as well as manipulating their voice and facial expressions to bring nuance to a character.
Actors are usually employed freelance from a contract to contract basis, and because of this, isn’t the most secure and stable of professions. It means that as much effort is put into finding roles and working opportunities as is actually in performing. Actors need to be very good marketers and have the needed skills to turn themselves into an attractive brand, which can be learnt on online MBA programs, to be able to attract talent scouts and directors. A key part of any actor’s professional life is auditions, and to be successful, many actors need to be able to research and find suitable roles to audition for and then attend them, competing against many others wanting the same role. To make this process a little easier, actors can get agents who seek out auditions and roles on behalf of the actor and help spread their brand across the industry. Agents are hard to obtain however, as actors need a back catalog of work to persuade an agent that they’re worth supporting. Plus, as agents usually take a cut of an actors earnings, known as commission, it’s important that actors are also savvy with legal documents and negotiating, to ensure that they don’t get taken advantage of and to help them get the best deal. This is something that online MBA programs can teach as well.
Run a Drama School
Running a drama school and passing on your knowledge to developing actors is a rewarding thing to do that really benefits the local community and a child’s life as well. Drama schools can become a highly successful business venture for dramatists and is a good option for those who no longer want to seek acting roles and are tired of the relentless schedule of auditions, rehearsals and performances.
However, despite saying that, running a drama school is no walk in the park. It requires dedication, impeccable planning and organization skills, not to mention communication and authority if you plan to be one of the individuals teaching the students. Managing a drama school is very much business first, drama second, so requires good knowledge in business and staff management, which can easily be obtained through online MBA programs.
As most drama schools will be working with youngsters, all members of staff including the manager and the teachers that you may hire need to be background checked, to ensure that they are suitable for leading children. As well as this, there are also a few other legal legislations that needs to be sorted out before a drama school can operate legally, so make sure to be aware to avoid getting caught out. Online MBA programs can help you learn the vital business law to make your school eligible to trade legally.
A stage manager is a much more senior role within drama and is one that is usually earnt after spending years grinding as an actor or director. A stage manager is the individual responsible for how a production is going to look on stage, and have a say in both the choreography, costume design, prop design, and lighting. It’s a role as important as the director as they lead the creative direction of the production.
As it’s a role in a leadership position, organizing many different areas of a production, impeccable communication skills are required as well as organization. Managing a stage is very much like managing a business, therefore online MBA programs may be a beneficial qualification with transferable skills to help people in this role excel.