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How To Get Hired As A Stagehand

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In the world of professional music and theater, there's never a dull moment even backstage behind the scenes. With a career as a stagehand, you'll get to experience that. Of course, it's a job that comes with physically demanding work, but it will never be dull and always rewarding. If you love the arts and love to travel, it's a fantastic opportunity to get paid to do what you love. The average stagehand salary is $45,000 per year. Here's how to get hired.

Get Experience Early

Get started early in small scale local stage productions, whether that's your high school tech crew or at a local community theater. You'll get invaluable experience. In particular, you'll learn how to be adaptable and that's an attribute that is as good as gold to a stage crew. One of the great advantages of the job is that it doesn't require formal schooling. Experience is everything to someone hiring a stagehand so consider your work your education.

Be Skilled but Be Likable

Although it's great to have several skills in your back pocket (and to be a good stagehand, you should) the best skill you can have as a stagehand is to try to get along with your co-workers. You'll all be working long and unusual hours. Getting up at 4 in the morning to set up staging or lights isn't unusual. So that means you'll be more prone to fatigue and stress and the accompanying grouchiness. But you're more likely to get ahead if you keep your cool. Lifelong stagehand, Simon Lovelace, related a story, in an article in The Guardian, about a 17-year-old stagehand who was promoted, not because he was more skilled than the others, but because he was skilled and everyone liked working with him. That once 17-year-old is still working in the business.

Safety First

In the past, a stagehand was required to work long and punishing hours in extreme conditions that were often dangerous. But the business has come a long way and now safety is the number one priority on most crews. You need to know how to work safely in the hazardous backstage environment and you need to show your supervisors and co-workers that you take safety seriously.

Use an Agency

Consider adding your name to an agency that specializes in providing skilled stagehands to production companies. When touring companies are budgeting their tours, they sometimes find it's more cost-effective to hire local stagehands rather than paying to bring along their own. To save time, they usually hire a trusted agency to find them. Get your name on agency lists.

For more information, reach out to a stagehand staffing agency in your area.