A Career in the Theatre

 

Does an undergraduate Drama degree lead to a career in theatre or film? Sometimes, yes, of course: two-time Tony Award winner Bob Gunton, Tony-winning Utah Shakespearean Festival artistic director Cam Harvey, award-winning film producer Scott Kroopf, and popular Broadway/film/TV star Jon Lovitz all got their starts as UCI undergraduates, while literally hundreds of more recent UCI undergraduate alumni have become well-known professional actors, directors, designers, playwrights, producers, and film or theatre professors.

Such careers, however, are extremely difficult to achieve – and even harder to sustain. Artistic careers of any kind demand, at the very minimum, extraordinary levels of talent, training, dedication, resourcefulness, stick-to-it-iveness, and, yes, luck; success in your undergraduate – or even graduate - studies does not automatically guarantee you a professional life in theatre or film. But you should also realize, as Daniel Pink says in his new book, A Whole New Mind, that those who “make it in the emerging economy will have to satisfy the growing consumer demand for products and services infused with emotion, spirituality and artistry.” “Doing what you love,” Pink says, turns out to be not mere idealism but practical career advice, as “more Americans already work in art, entertainment and design than work as lawyers, accountants and auditors.” These findings are reassuring to anyone who seeks personally-satisfying career opportunities rather than mere fame or stardom.