Internships in the Arts Industry

Hello Dear Readers,

This is the first of many backdated posts on the Arts website I used to own. This particular one is about breaking into the arts industry. Enjoy.

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I can’t talk about the entirety of the UK, but London is a great centre of arts and culture and there are a variety of places that are offering internships. Paid, unpaid or expenses paid work is provided all over the city and just outside its centre. After having done three internships, all of them either unpaid or expenses paid, it is time to stop working for free. There are other ways to perfect your skills, but I believe they were the best thing for me at the time because all of them differed in areas of expertise and allowed me to decide on what I would like to build my career in. There are THOUSANDS of people applying for internships all over the country and aiming to come to London. It is your responsibility as applicants to make sure you stand out from all the other people applying. So I am going to share my little bit of knowledge and experience with you:

Applying for internships can be an extremely daunting experience. Out of the hundreds of options, there will be something out there that is ideal for you. Perseverance pays off. Here is a simple guide to successful applications.

Firstly, you have to determine whether or not you know the sort of work you would like to do. If you do, brilliant, you are halfway there. Find internships that closely resemble the sort of role you imagine working in and apply. If like me you had no clue, that’s okay too. The key to applying to internships is not being shy about your successes and the work you have done so far. Boast about it as much as you can in your cover letters, but make sure they are reared towards the specific role and company you are applying for.

Cover letters can be intimidating to write, but once you have written one, you can write thousands. Start by acknowledging the employer, stating what the role you are applying for is and why their work interests you. Remember what it was like to write personal statements for University? This is similar. You have to demonstrate that your academic, professional and extra curricular achievements suit the position you are applying for, and that you can offer them something different to every other applicant. Remember to also express why working with them would benefit you in the long run. Similar to cover letters, CV’s need to be catered to each employer, as all roles will vary the slightest bit.

In terms of arts internships specifically, there are a lot of opportunities, but even more people applying. You have to be very patient, but eventually someone will want you and once you get your first one, opportunities keep appearing. I am currently working in the 3rd internship at the V&A museum in the Theatre collection, and it is by far the best experience. Also, you have to bear in mind that a lot of internships are unpaid. Some of them pay for expenses and very few (which are extremely sought after!) are paid. Make sure you have some money to help with travel expenses and food.

It is tough to get started in the Arts industry, and out of the various ways there are, internships are designed to point you in the right direction. Be patient, and give yourself the chance to figure out what you want to do. Good luck.

It has been a long 11 months trying to figure out my life and what sort of career path to follow. Like so many other people, I left University clueless as to what I wanted to do. Creative industries are, let’s face it, a BITCH to get into sometimes. Especially from a creative point of view, people don’t agree with your vision, they want to change the trajectory of your project or they simply do not think you are suited for the type of work. It takes a lot of courage and self belief to invest in a creative career. Writers, performers, directors and so many others are scrutinized daily, but it can be rewarding! Realistically and statistically it is very difficult to make it in the creative industry. They say Actors are most likely to reach fame when younger, especially if they succeed under the age of 30. Writers are most likely to reach fame in their forties! And apparently, outside of the creative industry, politicians reach their highest peak on their 50s. At least, as a struggling and striving writer, I know I have twenty years to reach my alluded peak. Still, it is more than likely that to work as a performer or any type of creator, you will most likely work as something else too. Internships and traineeships give you the opportunity to work within the industry and learn about it in another capacity. They will also extend your skills and it will help you get another type of part-time job rather than simply working in a bar or store. It is a difficult and competitive world and it will always be a challenge, but if you are passionate and dedicated to your dreams, you will do anything to make it happen. Including working alongside it in any other form to fund it. You might find something else you are in love with, you’d be surprised.

Happy Reading guys! And let me know if this helps or if you need any advice.
The Lava Monster

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