Networking Tips for Theater Industry Newbies
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 9 min read


Breaking into the theater industry can be a daunting task. But, fear not, because this blog post is here to give you some practical tips for networking in the theater as an entry-level employee. This industry, much like any other, thrives on connections and relationships, so let's get you started on building a network that can help propel your career forward.

Prepare Your Elevator Pitch

First things first: you need a solid elevator pitch. But what is it exactly? An elevator pitch is a brief, persuasive speech that you can use to spark interest in what you do. It's like a business card, but verbal - and way more engaging!

Here's a quick breakdown of an effective elevator pitch in the theater industry:

  • Who are you? Start with your name and your current role. For example, "Hi, I'm Alex, a recent theater arts graduate."
  • What do you do? Explain what you do in simple terms. Are you an aspiring actor? A budding stage manager? Let them know. For example, "I'm looking to start my career as a stage manager."
  • Why are you unique? This is your chance to shine. Mention any unique skills or experiences that set you apart from others. For example, "I've interned at the Broadway Theater and managed two university productions."
  • What's your goal? Lastly, briefly state what you're looking to achieve in your theater career. For example, "My goal is to work in a professional theater production."

Remember, keep it short and sweet — around 30 seconds is ideal. And, most importantly, practice your pitch until it comes out naturally. This is one of the best tips for networking in theater as an entry-level employee because it's your chance to make a memorable first impression.

Research Industry Professionals

Before you step into any networking event or hit that 'connect' button on social media, it's important to know a little about who you're trying to network with. Researching industry professionals is not about digging up dirt or stalking. It's about understanding their career trajectory, their roles, their achievements, and their interests.

A simple Google search can reveal a lot about a professional in the theater industry. You might learn about their past productions, reviews of their work, or interviews they've given. This information can provide valuable talking points when you meet them.

But don't stop at Google. LinkedIn is another great resource for researching theater professionals. You can learn about their career progression, see if you have any mutual connections, and even get an idea of their personality through their posts and comments.

Twitter, too, can offer insights into a professional's thoughts and opinions on the theater industry. This could help you find common ground and start a conversation.

Remember, the goal here is not to invade someone's privacy, but to arm yourself with enough knowledge to have meaningful conversations. This way, you're not just another face in the crowd, but an informed and interested entry-level employee who's serious about making their mark in the theater world.

Attend Industry Events

The theater industry is abuzz with events year-round. It's not just about the big nights like the Tony Awards or the opening night of a Broadway show. There are workshops, readings, seminars, conferences, and yes, even parties. Attending these events is one of the most effective tips for networking in theater as an entry-level employee.

Now, you might be thinking: "But I'm just starting out. I don't get invited to these events!" Don't worry, not all events are invite-only. Many are open to the public, and some even offer discounted tickets for students or young professionals. Be on the lookout for these opportunities.

When you attend an event, don't just be a wallflower. Engage with people. Ask questions during Q&A sessions. Compliment a speaker on their presentation. Discuss your favorite plays with fellow attendees. Remember, networking isn't just about meeting people—it's about connecting with them.

And don't fret if you don't walk out of an event with a pile of business cards or an internship offer. Networking is a long game. The connections you make today might lead to opportunities down the line.

So, get out there, attend events, meet people, and let your passion for theater shine. After all, you never know who you might meet at these events. It could be your future collaborator, mentor, or even your big break.

Connect on Social Media

When it comes to tips for networking in theater as an entry-level employee, don't underestimate the power of social media. It's not just for memes and cute animal videos, it's also a potent tool for networking in the theater industry.

Many theater professionals, from directors to actors to production designers, are active on social media. Platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn are great places to connect with them. You can follow their work, engage with their posts, and even reach out to them directly. Be genuine in your interactions, and remember, a thoughtful comment can make more impact than a hundred likes.

But connecting with professionals is just one aspect of social media networking. You can also join theater groups and forums, where you can discuss the latest shows, share your thoughts, and even showcase your own work. Participating in these online communities can help you meet like-minded individuals, learn from their experiences, and gain exposure to different aspects of the theater world.

However, remember that social media is a public platform. So, be mindful of what you post. Make sure your online presence reflects who you are as a professional. After all, you wouldn't want a cheeky tweet to come back and haunt you during a job interview, would you?

So, log on, reach out, engage, and use social media to your advantage. It's a stage where everyone has a chance to shine.

Follow Up After Meetings

So, you've attended a theater industry event or had a one-on-one meeting with a professional you admire. What next? A key tip for networking in theater as an entry-level employee is to follow up after meetings. This is a simple, yet often overlooked step that can make a significant difference.

It's all about leaving a lasting impression. After the meeting, send a quick thank you message to the person you met. It's a polite gesture that shows you value their time and appreciate their insights. You can also mention something specific from your conversation. This way, they'll know you were attentive and genuinely interested in what they had to say.

But following up doesn't end with a thank you note. Keep the lines of communication open. If you come across an article or a resource that you think they might find interesting, share it with them. If they post about an achievement on social media, congratulate them. Small, thoughtful interactions like these can go a long way in building a solid professional relationship.

Remember, networking is not a one-time event, but a continuous process. By following up, you're nurturing the seeds you've sown, allowing your professional relationships to grow and thrive. And who knows? Today's follow-up could be the first step towards tomorrow's collaboration.

Build Long-Term Relationships

Alright, you've made some connections and you're keeping in touch — great job! But networking in theater as an entry-level employee isn't just about collecting contacts like trading cards. It's all about building and nurturing long-term relationships.

Imagine this: instead of just having a list of names and faces, you have a community of allies who are invested in your success. Sounds pretty amazing, right? That's the power of long-term relationships.

So, how do you foster these relationships? It starts with genuine interactions. Be interested in their work, their ideas, and their career journey. Be a good listener. You'll find that there's a lot to learn from the experiences of others.

Then, keep the conversation going. Regularly engage with their posts on social media, and don't hesitate to share your thoughts and ideas. They'll appreciate your interest and your insights.

And lastly, be there for them. Celebrate their successes. Offer a listening ear when they face challenges. Show them that you're not just interested in what you can get from the relationship, but what you can give.

Building long-term relationships is one of the most rewarding aspects of networking in the theater industry. It's a process, but with patience and persistence, you'll have a strong network of industry professionals who are more than just contacts — they're your allies, your mentors, your friends.

Ask for Introductions

Now, let's talk about expanding your network. One of the most effective ways to meet new people in the theater industry is to ask for introductions. Yes, it might sound a bit intimidating, but trust me, it's a game-changer.

Think about it: you've already started building strong relationships with industry professionals, right? Well, each of those people has their own network of contacts. That's a goldmine of potential connections.

Start by identifying the people you'd like to meet. Maybe they're people who are doing the kind of work you aspire to, or perhaps they're people who have a unique perspective or valuable insights to share. Once you have a shortlist, it's time to ask for introductions.

Reach out to your contacts and ask if they might be willing to introduce you. Be respectful, make it clear why you're interested in meeting the person, and always give them an out — remember, they're doing you a favor.

When you do get an introduction, remember to express your gratitude to both your contact and the person they introduced you to. This not only shows good manners, but it also reinforces the positive impression you're making on your new connection.

Asking for introductions can feel a bit uncomfortable at first, especially if you're new to the theater industry. But remember, everyone starts somewhere. With practice and a respectful approach, you'll soon find that it's a powerful tool for expanding your network.

Stay Informed about Industry News

Staying up-to-date with industry news is another key tip for networking in theater as an entry-level employee. Knowledge is power, as they say, and in the theater world, it's no different. Being informed about the latest happenings not only makes you a more engaging conversationalist but also shows your passion for the field.

So how do you stay informed? Well, the good news is, there are plenty of resources out there. You can subscribe to industry-specific publications, like "The Stage" or "Playbill", which provide updates on theater news, reviews, and job openings. You can also follow theater companies, playwrights, directors, and actors on social media for firsthand updates.

Another great way to stay informed is by joining theater-related forums and groups on platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook. These communities often share news, advice, and opportunities that you might not find elsewhere. Plus, they can be a valuable platform for discussion and networking.

However, remember not to get too caught up in the latest news that you forget to work on your craft. After all, your skills and passion are what will ultimately drive your career in the theater industry. As you balance staying informed with honing your craft, you'll find yourself becoming not just a well-informed professional, but also a more well-rounded artist.

Give Before You Take

Another golden rule among tips for networking in theater as an entry-level employee? Always be ready to give before you take. This might sound like a line from a self-help book, but it's a fundamental truth in any profession—especially in the theater world.

So, how can you give in this context? Well, it could be as simple as offering a word of encouragement, sharing an industry resource, or providing feedback on a colleague's work. You might wonder, 'But I'm just a newbie, what can I contribute?' Don't underestimate yourself. Even as an entry-level employee, you have a unique perspective that others can benefit from.

Showing a willingness to help others not only builds goodwill but also establishes you as someone who is generous and supportive. And guess what? People tend to remember those who've helped them. So, when you need advice or assistance in the future, they'll be more likely to lend a hand.

But remember, the goal isn't to give so you can take later. It's about creating a positive, collaborative environment in which everyone supports each other. That's the kind of attitude that can help you make real connections and progress in your theater career.

Be Patient and Persistent

When it comes to tips for networking in theater as a newbie, patience and persistence are your best friends. Yes, it's a cliché, but it's also a fact. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither will your theater network.

Building relationships takes time. You can't expect to meet someone today and be best buddies tomorrow. It's a process. And sometimes, it's a long one. But rest assured, every conversation, every meeting, every event you attend—it all adds up.

Is it going to be easy? Probably not. There might be times when you feel like you're not making any progress. Or, you might face rejection. But don't let that discourage you. Keep going. Keep reaching out. Keep showing up.

Remember, every successful person in the theater industry was once a newbie, just like you. They didn't get where they are overnight. They worked for it. They were patient. They were persistent. And you can do the same.

So, the next time you feel like giving up, remind yourself why you're doing this. Think about the passion you have for theater. Remember your dreams. And then, keep going. Because, in the end, it's not just about networking. It's about creating a career that you love.

If you're looking to improve your networking skills in the theater industry, don't miss Jessy Moussallem's workshop, 'Breaking Into Acting: 9 Tips for Aspiring Actors.' This workshop will not only provide you with valuable tips on how to break into acting but also help you navigate the complex world of networking and building relationships in the theater industry.