Travis Preston works as the Dean, Artistic Director, and theater director at CalArts, a prestigious performing arts program in the US. In the following article, Travis Preston reviews the career pathways for theater arts majors so that those nearing graduation can discover just what rewards may await them in their future career-related adventures.
The theater is rewarding in terms of building and expanding one’s contact with their inner self and giving form to passionate expression! However, theater arts majors who find themselves close to graduation can often feel lost. Travis Preston of CalArts explains that students tend to seek advice for looking into the career pathways that are available for theater arts majors.
Some of the most successful options in terms of career pathways for theater arts include actor positions, voiceover artistry, musician positions, television broadcasting, and dancing performer positions. Each of these is a lucrative profession that a degree in theater arts will create opportunities for entering.
Five Popular Careers in the Arts
Below, Travis lists some of the popular career pathways that theater arts majors often pursue:
- Actor Positions
2. Voiceover Artistry Positions
3. Musician Positions
4. Television Broadcasting
5. Professional Dancer
Travis Preston of CalArts takes a closer look at each one of these expressive and varied positions so that any theater arts major hunting for their ideal career can move forward in confidence!
This is commonly the first position that comes to mind when thinking of the career paths that are open to graduating theater arts majors. However, acting as a whole is more varied in its career choices than it may seem.
For starters, actors nationally make an average salary per year of $22,500, but this greatly varies based on the type of acting that a theater major chooses. For example, while acting in major motion pictures is admirable, there are many other opportunities for an actor to use their skills, explains Travis Preston of CalArts. A few examples might be performing on-stage, acting for commercials to promote a product, starring in television shows, or even promoting safety in employee instructive videos produced by chain corporations.
Travis Preston of CalArts explains that a voiceover artist gets to flex not only their acting ability, but the skill set required for complex vocal ranges and the communication of often quirky characters too. After all, a character that is heard but not necessarily seen must be that much more interesting and have more genuine emotion imbued into the one trait a theater arts’ major brings to the role: their voice.
Niches for voiceover artistry abound in the industry: one can take up commercial voiceovers, a role in the booming video game acting field, or even narrating audiobooks or dramas. The average yearly salary for voiceover artistry positions reaches upwards of $80,000 – $100,000.
Theater majors typically receive some training in musical skills, which are easily translated over into career opportunities post-graduation. For example, Travis Preston of CalArts explains that someone might become a musical artist, or a performer of songs. This is not limited to live performances; the recording industry is rife with opportunity thanks to streaming and open-sourced marketing. Oftentimes, those who work behind the scenes are very successful. Without the song writer or sound technician, there would be no performance.
Besides this, all of the above-mentioned industries need musicians, such as those in video game production or commercial recording. The average yearly salary for musicians at a professional level is roughly $50,000 yearly.
Travis Preston of CalArts says that television broadcasting offers opportunities to up-and-coming theater arts major graduates in the form of television host positions. One must maintain the attention of an audience, be able to gloss over potentially slow or awkward moments during the broadcast, and be presentable as the face or identity of a particular show.
This sometimes entails interacting with audiences who are actually live or interviewing superstar guests. It could also include expanding knowledge in specific fields, such as that of a sports announcer or even newsreader.
Finally, one of the more expressive and rewarding skills that a theater arts major learns during their formal education is the art of dance. Travis Preston says that dance positions often involve telling stories and communicating emotions through movement, and can include performing in ballet recitals, entertaining cruise and theme park guests, or even starring in music videos for popular artists.
The industry is always in need of music video dancers and extras.
In summary, Travis Preston of CalArts explains that the opportunities have never been richer for theater arts majors in terms of careers. These can include commonly thought-of positions like acting in commercials, informative videos, or even with one’s voice as a voiceover artist. However, it can also include marketing one’s personality for television broadcasts or expression through dance.
Regardless of the choice made in one’s career pathway, it is easily proven that theater arts majors have all the world open for them, thanks to the wide range of adaptable skills their education gives them!