Student Blog: O-P-P Opportunity

How to set up and create opportunities for yourself in the industry!

By: Oct. 23, 2023
Student Blog: O-P-P Opportunity
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Recently, I’ve been very blessed to have received a multitude of opportunities in my career life, such being invited to shows, events, being offered gigs, joining playwriting groups, and even just having joined BroadwayWorld’s blogger team earlier this year. Lots of my friends and peers have come to me interested about how I make connections and opportunities for myself, and how they can do the same– this entry is my answer! I’m going to talk about some doors that have recently opened for me and how to kickstart opening them yourself!

Networking and connecting yourself with others, theaters, and organizations is the easiest way to get your foot in the door for future jobs and opportunities– and often people don’t know where to start in doing this. In my personal opinion, there are three steps to getting yourself out there– Put yourself out there, be nice to everyone, and say yes to everything. 

Putting yourself out there may sound like a no-brainer, but lots of people wait for things to fall into their lap, when submitting for things and reaching out to people and places is a big part of getting yourself noticed. A few weeks ago, there was an invite only playwriting event at a regional theater near me that I saw posts about on Instagram. I really wanted to go, but didn’t have an invite. I was wondering how I could possibly get involved, and I saw an email they put for inquiries about attending– so I sent an email,  explaining that I was a young local playwright interested in attending to learn more about writing and to network with people. Within a day, she emailed me back with the invitation, and told me she would put me on the invite list for more events and workshops they would have going forward. I was able to go and meet lots of people who worked at the theater, as well as other playwrights and actors. This is an experience I wouldn’t have got to have if I wasn’t willing to reach out and ask; I wouldn’t have been able to make those connections. 

Another one that feels like a no-brainer: being nice to everyone! This one is often heavily stressed in the industry, as no matter how many credits you have, at the end of the day people won’t want to work with someone they don’t enjoy being around. If you’re already working, this could help you keep your job, and if you want to work somewhere, it could help you get that job. This summer, when I was working as a summer theatre camp counselor, I made good friends with the music director of the older kids theatre camp and we stayed in touch after camp ended. He’s a working musician who often tells me about the work he does for different shows, as well as church and concert gigs. Recently, he texted me that he had a church gig coming up and they were short a soprano singer, and asked if I could come in and sing the part (for generous pay)! I was grateful to do the gig at the church, and open up the window to potentially be invited back to sing in the future. By simply making friends with a coworker, you can put yourself on good terms with someone who can invite you to new chances to perform (plus, you should always treat everyone kindly anyway, because they deserve it)!

My last tip, which I feel like people don’t often consider, is saying yes to everything. I was talking about this recently with a friend of mine, and he said to me “You know you’ve made it when you can say no,” and this really resonated with me. Taking every opportunity you can really is the best way to get connected with as many leads as possible. When I first started writing for BroadwayWorld (which I had to put myself out there to apply for!) I was a bit nervous, as while I’ve always been a writer, I’ve never written blogs before. I knew to say yes and give it a shot anyway, as it was a fantastic opportunity as a writer and theatre worker. I’ve been writing for BroadwayWorld for just over half a year now, and two months ago I received an email from a publicist at The Huntington Theater in Boston, saying she’d read my blogs and wanted to invite me to see Fat Ham at their theater as press! I was shocked and excited at this invitation, and I was nervous, as press was something I’d never done before. Still, SAY YES TO EVERYTHING! I accepted the offer and had the time of my life going to see the show, and promote it online and to those at my school– and I can’t wait to go back and see their production of The Band’s Visit in November. Getting to be on a press list for a regional theater and writing for BroadwayWorld are things I would’ve never imagined being positions available to me, but through a series of saying yes to opportunity after opportunity, I was able to open myself up to greater positions down the road.

There’s lots of pressure to be connected and networking constantly in this field, and while networking is very important and a big step in getting your foot in the door, it doesn’t have to be stressful or seem impossible. When you simplify it down to ways you can get yourself seen and noticed for advocating for yourself, your personality, and your willingness to say yes and take on challenges, you may find more things start to open up for you. My last piece of advice for getting yourself out there is to believe you deserve the opportunities you seek. You have to have enough faith in yourself to reach out and connect with people in search or developing your career life, because when you put out the energy that you can attract the life you want– it comes back to you! So! Now that you’ve learned different ways to set up and create career opportunities for yourself– as well as seeing examples of how they apply in real life, give it a shot! Send the email! Introduce yourself! SAY YES! You never know where it might lead you.


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