No Singing? No Acting? No Problem: 9 Entertainment Jobs Outside The Spotlight

February 21, 2013  |  
Kelly Clarkson performing at the inauguration. AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File

Do you secretly dream of stardom but can’t put the “p” in pitch? Lucky for you, you don’t have to be prolific actress or soul-shaking vocalist to make it in the show business. Plenty of work goes into making stars shine. There are countless jobs just off the stage and beyond the spotlight. If you want to be a part of creating entertainment, but know center stage isn’t for you, consider job options that play on other strengths.

Award-winning costume designer Jacqueline Duran next to a dress from the film "Anna Karenina." Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP

Costume Designers

Fashionistas with a flare for the dramatic should consider costume design. Costume designers are avid seamstresses and good drawers that can convey an idea to creative teams for approval and bring it to life. This field requires knowing a more what’s fashionable. Costume designers work with directors, set and light designers, and even the sound guy to create looks that meet all departments’ goals.

"Producer" is one of the many hats that Tyler Perry wears. (Photo by Terrence Jennings/Picturegroup) via AP IMAGES

Producers

A producer can be a lot of different things including an investor, writer, creative director, and manager. In music, the producer makes sure the sound and goals of a musical project adhere to a vision. Vision is also important in the film industry, where producers oversee the filmmaking process from pre- to post-production.

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Agents

An agent is responsible for getting work for talent. Booking agents in particular are in control of coordinating live performances for musical acts, including working with venues and promotors to organize tours. This position demands confidence. Some education in business or liberal arts could be applied to this position. Agents work on a commission basis, receiving a portion of sales from contracts and shows.

Photo: Creatas

Teachers

Child stars aren’t exempt from getting an education. Certified elementary and secondary school teachers are needed as studio teachers. This position is similar to a traditional classroom teacher, but with a a few extra perks like traveling to exotic locations.

Cee Lo Green gives it a try at an LA music studio. AP Photo/Matt Sayles

Audio Engineers

Audio engineers work in the studio editing and mixing sound.  Everyone involved in the recording process – singers, producers, arrangers, musicians, artists management – work with audio engineers to create the best sound. This position is a little more technical than that of a producer, and requires knowledge both music and equipment.

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Lawyers

The entertainment industry is notoriously cutthroat. And everyone who’s smart has a good lawyer. Lawyers who deal with transactions specialize in drafting, negotiating, and upholding contracts. While litigation law focuses on defending, filing, and pursuing lawsuits. Naturally, success in this position requires graduating from law school, passing the bar, and completing an internship with a good firm.

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Set Medics

Nurses, EMTs, and paramedics are a necessary part of a movie set. These individuals are the first responders to all medical issues on set. Set Medics usually work for an on-set medical provider and have three years of experience before working in the entertainment industry.

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Culinary Arts

The craft service department on a film, television or video production provides food and beverages to the other departments. The culinary arts includes cooks in studio commissaries and caterers hired for movie sets. A culinary degree may be helpful but isn’t required.

Tom Hanks with the crew on the set of "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close." AP Photo/ Donald Traill

Crew Workers

Crew workers – from grips, gaffers, and property managers in film, to stage managers, road managers, and monitor engineers in the music industry – are responsible for physically putting on a show. This includes assembling the sets, capturing sound, lighting sets and stages, and more. Production assistant is the entry-level position on film sets and provides the opportunity to learn about all facets of production. Road crews in music are more nuanced and require networking with artists, DJ’s, and industry insiders.

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  • M$. LI$@

    very good article. i have always had aspirations 2 b a music producer. i just graduated with a degree in music and i am stuggling to find work.