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Culture, Music & Performing Arts careers

Comedy, Cabaret & Other Performing Arts

A bit of an icebreaker…

It’d be rude if we didn’t tell you a joke in this article. We’ll start off with the question and then we’ll give you the punch line at the end. Don’t get your hopes up though and start skipping ahead. It’s really not funny at all.

What do you call a sleepwalking nun?

How to break into comedy, cabaret or another sector of performing arts…

This area of performing arts certainly attracts a specific type of person. All eyes will be on you and the audience will be expecting to be entertained or have their ribs tickled until they are texting their friends saying ROTFL, LMAO or PMSL. You will need to be brimming with confidence (or at least be able to trick everyone else into thinking that) and be able to perform well under pressure.

Every week, millions of people spend time in theatres, pubs and clubs, or in their living rooms watching television, with the hope of being entertained by comedians, cabaret acts and other random entertainers. If you’ve seen Britain’s Got Talent, then you’ll know that if you work in this area, you are likely to either sink or swim.

You might be a comedian, a magician, a contortionist, a singer or a dancer. This area of entertainment is extremely competitive and cut-throat. Few people are able to progress to the top, but for those who do the rewards are worth the sustained effort and hard work.

If you’re a performer, you will need lots of determination and motivation. You may face rejection and have to dig deep to continue practising, improving and hunting for employment. Most performers are self-employed, which has its clear advantages in terms of flexibility, but this kind of work may not offer the security that can be found in other industries.

What would my schedule be like as someone in this area of performing arts?

During busy periods, you could be working for several weeks without a break, sometimes even performing more than once in a day. Alternatively, you might go for weeks or months on end without working.

You will need lot of commitment, discipline and self-belief. It can be hard to make it to the top, but if you do the rewards can be very handsome.

What other roles make up this branch of performing arts?

The range of career options in this area of performing arts is huge. A plethora of positions are available, including:

You are likely to have to work anti-social hours, as you will be working when most other people are relaxing. You will mainly be working in the evening, at weekends and sometimes during celebratory times of the year like Christmas or New Year’s Eve.

Are there opportunities for career progression?

In some instances, there can be a limited career span, so you will need to plan ahead and consider your career progression carefully. However, once you have given up the performance game, there is a lot of scope for you to move into teaching or other support roles in the industry.

A roamin’ Catholic…I knew you would skip ahead!