Careers in Focus: Performing Arts

By Welke, Deb | Career Planning and Adult Development Journal, Spring 2008 | Go to article overview

Careers in Focus: Performing Arts


Welke, Deb, Career Planning and Adult Development Journal


Careers in Focus: Performing Arts 2006. New York, NY: Ferguson Infobase Publishing 218 pages, $29.95, Hardback

Intended Audience(s): A, B, C, E, F, G, H, I, K

Major Headings from the Table of Contents:

Actors; Circus Performers; Comedians; Composers and Arrangers; Dancers and Choreographers; Disc Jockeys; Film and Television Directors; Film and Television Extras; Magicians; Musical Instrument Repairers and Tuners; Music Conductors and Directors; Musicians; Music Journalists; Music Video Directors and Producers; Pop/Rock Musicians; Screenwriters; Singers; Songwriters; Stage Production Workers; Stunt Performers

How Is the Book Most Useful for Its Intended Audience?

Careers in Focus: Performing Arts is one of a series of 61 reference books targeted toward audiences of grade six and above who are interested in careers in various fields. This book provides a comprehensive, well-organized discussion of training requirements, employers, career progression, work environment, and occupational outlook for careers in the performing arts.

The Top Five Things You Learned from Reading this Book:

There is an online resume service, called StuntNET [go to www.stuntnet.com] that is used by casting directors.

Many stage production workers belong to unions and union membership may be required to get a job.

There are increased opportunities for songwriters due to the growth of the cable industry in advertising and original programming.

The Assistant Directors Training Program of the Directors Guild of America accepts 20 or fewer trainees from among 800-1,200 applicants per year.

Dancers have a highly unpredictable employment pattern, with long stretches between contracts and uncertain contract length.

Careers in Focus: Performing Arts is an excellent resource for individuals contemplating or planning a career in the performing arts, and the counselors and other professionals who advise them. It is a highly readable and accessible book for young people who need to ensure they get the proper education and experiences for entry in the performing arts field.

Twenty career paths are defined and a chapter is devoted to each, with a comprehensive and detailed examination of the history of the profession, current and future employment patterns, training requirements, and employer resources. Each chapter has a Quick Facts sidebar which includes salary ranges, certification and education, work environment, and outlook with references to specific pages of the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT), the Guide for Occupational Education (GOE), the National Occupational Classification (NOC) index, and the Occupational Information Network [O*NET Standard Occupational Classification System (SOC) index]. Chapters conclude with a helpful section which lists professional associations, societies, and guilds for the profession, thus providing the reader with resources for connecting with professionals in a particular career field. This second edition of the text is enhanced with interviews with professionals in the field, which enables the readers to see the field through the words of a passionate, accomplished professional.

The book is written in an authoritative, yet approachable, style to convey a realistic and balanced view of what professional life and prospects are like for individuals in the performing arts. For example, the chapter on Musical Instrument Repairers and Tuners makes the point that repair work entails precision, a conscientious nature, and extreme care of the instrument, while mediating the owner's expectation of an expedient return of their prized possession. Further, the Occupational Outlook sections note that job opportunities for instrument repairers and tuners are expected to grow more slowly than average through 2014, with most job openings due to replacement of professionals leaving or retiring from the field. …

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