Live Q&A: Career options for performing arts and drama graduates

For Daniel Day-Lewis, it all began at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Sir Anthony Hopkins started his climb to fame with a scholarship to ever-prestigious RADA. Many of the famous drama schools boast a star-studded alumni list as long as your arm.

So, if you’ve been lucky enough to tread the boards in these hallowed halls, or other leading drama schools, what awaits the budding performer with a degree in their pocket?

Unfortunately, the tradition of the struggling actor is as true as ever, as performers apparently work professionally for an average of just 11.3 weeks of the year.

The good news (for the determined at least) is perfecting your craft at drama school definitely puts you on the right path to getting your big break, as 86% of working performers have been professionally trained, reported freelance writer Susan Elkin in The Stage.

And if you’ve taken the academic – rather than vocational – approach in to your studies? Professor Carole-Anne Upton pointed out in a Guardian Education article how studying drama allows students to keep their options open – after all, many a university graduate has gone on to act professionally. The university route gives students a taste of other areas of the profession such as set design, stage management, writing, prop making or theatre sound.

So, whatever your burning ambition is, be it on the stage or in other arts-related careers, we’ve decided to take a closer look at the career options available to you. Whether you’ve gone down the drama studies route or you’ve studied a vocational performing arts course, join our experts to look at the next steps to finding work once you’ve qualified and the employers who value your skills on 2 June from 1pm until 4pm.

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