Explore Your Options

Performing Arts

The field of performing arts focuses on using body or voice to convey artistic expression through theatre and dance, often live or on film. Positions in this field spend time studying and rehearsing roles, training, exercising, and collaborating with other performing artists.

Learn About the Field

Career exploration is all about research. Use the the following information to learn if a career in performing arts is for you.

Latest News in the Field

Keep informed about what´s happening in this field by reading what the professionals read. Visit the following sites regularly!

Musical America Worldwide
Arts Journal
Performing Arts News (PAN)
Dance Magazine
NPR Performing Arts
Americans for the Arts
National Endowment for the Arts

Meet People

Now that you've done a little research about the performing arts field, it's time to start meeting with industry professionals. It's an easy way to learn more about what your future career path might look like. It's also a great way to network with people who may know about internship or full-time job opportunities.

Networking Resources

IUB Alumni LinkedIn – You can connect with over 186,000 IUB alumni from various programs after you create a LinkedIn profile. Search for alumni based on location, company, industry, and what they studied. To learn more about how to set-up your profile and use this tool, visit these resources.

IU Alumni Directory—Request an account and use it to search for IU Alumni who have graduated from our performing arts programs. You can see where they’re working now and email them directly from the site. Contact a dozen people to start with and see where you end up. You may need to contact more in order to get some helpful responses.

Informational Interviewing Guide—Once you know who you’re interested in talking with, use this guide to request and conduct an informational interview.

Social Media Networking

Use social media to network with professionals and their organizations. LinkedIn, a professional networking site, is a great way to connect. Here are a few organizations that have a strong social presence.

Join a Professional Association

National professional associations are valuable sources for a variety of career information. You can learn about certification requirements, job leads, internships, educational opportunities, and more. Many associations offer discounted membership rates for students.

Get Experience
Build Your Skills

Having career-relevant work experience on your resume will give you a big head start when it comes time to landing your post-grad dream job. Now that you’ve researched your career options, take advantage of the opportunities below to build the skills you need to be competitive. Remember: employers also like to see plenty of leadership exerience listed.

Join Student Organizations

There are more than 700 student organizations at IU—which means there are more than 700 ways you can get some really impressive job experience. Below are some groups specific to performing arts. Check out BeINvolved to learn about even more student organizations through IU Student Life and Learning.

Get a Part Time Job

Use myJobs to learn about part- and full-time job opportunities. Here are career-relevant jobs that students have participated in.

*Jobs with asterisks are within walking distance from campus.

Volunteer Opportunities

Put your talents to good use and build experience along the way! Off-campus volunteer opportunities exist around every corner. Below are some volunteer opportunities within about an hour’s drive of Bloomington.

Find a job or internship

You've done your research, created a network, and beefed up your resume. Now it's time to hit the job market. The list below shows some organizations that often recruit IU graduates from performing arts majors. This list also shows some organizations where recent performing arts graduates have gone to work. Remember that an education in these majors can prepare you for a number of careers.

Job Search Sites

These sites post jobs that relate directly to performing arts. Remember to use these sites in addition to your network of people to maximize your chance of finding good opportunities. Many of the professional associations listed in the Meet People tab will post industry-specific jobs. Look for a page titled "careers," "jobs," "employment," or "opportunities."

Keywords for Job Searches

As you use the web to search for more opportunities, get creative with the search terms you use. Try the list below to maximize your results.

  • Performance
  • Apprentice
  • Creative
  • Theatre
  • Acting
  • Musical Theatre
  • Voice
  • Instrumental Music
  • Dance
  • Film
Organization & Company Research Resources

When you’re preparing for a job interview, it pays to do your research. Use the resources here to learn about an organization’s history, business, and culture. Once you have a good understanding of what the company’s about, formulate a list of questions to ask during your interview. This will show your interviewer that you’re genuinely interested in the job and give you a deeper understanding of what to expect if you’re hired.

Common Interview Questions

Interviews can vary from one industry to another. Remember, interviewers are trying to assess your experience and your fit for a specific position, so depending on the position, your questions will vary greatly. This is a small sample of questions designed to help you understand the kind of field-specific questions you might be asked.

  • What roles/positions appeal to you most?
  • What experiences have you had working “behind the scenes”?
  • Describe a time that you had to work to meet a deadline (for a production, event, etc.) and how you worked with others to accomplish a successful outcome.
  • What do you feel distinguishes you as an artist? And why?
  • What past or current performer has influenced or inspired you most? And why?
Insider Tips
  • Diversify your training! Take classes in other areas of the performing arts, such as in theatre, dance, or music.
  • Are you a double or triple threat? Be prepared to showcase your ability to sing, dance, and act.
  • The entire audition process is an interview. Arrive early, be kind to others, and demonstrate your ability to be a strong team player.
  • Have professional headshots or performance reels made prior to starting the audition process.