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Tips for Future Broadway League Fellows

Posted by:  Sydni Jean, 2019 Broadway League Fellow on June 26, 2019

Throughout my fellowship at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts under The Broadway League, I’ve been able to create experiences for our guests, network with professionals on the job, and develop my professional skills. As I am closing on my six-month journey, I can confidently say that I am ready to take this industry by storm. I am more confident in what I actually want to do and will continue to pursue it after the fellowship. 

Stepping into Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.

As the first Broadway League fellow outside of New York City, I had no idea what to expect! If you’re interested in a Broadway League Fellowship, here’s what you can look forward to:

Once you are accepted into a company/market, you will be working closely with the Broadwaysupervisor and their team closely. You will be treated as a full-time employee, with special perks such as being invited to networking events with the theatre community. You will be challenged with responsibility and success. You will be discouraged by failure or lack of time. However, you will learn so much about the performing arts industry that I hope you are already passionate about. You will be enlightened with determination and joy. 

Here are my top tips for future Broadway League Fellows located outside of NYC to help them prepare for what is to come:

1. Network

Networking has really helped me grow professionally. I am realizing more and more each day that knowing someone within a company will heavily increase your chances of getting hired. I read an article on Forbes about the Broadway industry and how they mostly hire those they know because of trust. I know that this is in most industries in Corporate America but do your best with networking with everyone. You never know what doors even a chance encounter with someone will open for you.

2. Pay attention

Pay attention to the office work environment and how they deal with failures and success. This will show you what work environment you can tackle in the future. It is extremely important to understand what you can tolerate at a place that you will spend most of your day. For example, how do employees deal with not meeting their financial goals, how do they deal with compromising on a disagreement, how they operate when there is a PR crisis- whether on social media or when the company is on the hotspot in the public eye. Kimmel Center does an amazing job with compromising and making things work.

 3. Ask questions.

Ask as many questions as possible- my team, luckily, put me through a lot of training so that I could understand all rules, jargon, and systems of the office early since this environment is heavily independent and moves very quickly.

 4. Be present and engaged.

Make yourself known and present in the office. Voice your opinions and do not be afraid to show the staff different ideas or suggest a different direction.

The wonderful team I worked with enjoying our 2019-20 Broadway Philadelphia season announce party. 

 5. Take advantage of opportunity.

The opportunities during this fellowship have been absolutely incredible. Take advantage of all the opportunities to attend conferences, free shows and events at your company. Doing this will help you learn the performing arts/theatre industry and allow to fully experience the breadth of events that your theatre company/center presents.

 6. Stay linked to The Broadway League.

Get connected to the Broadway League as much as possible. Especially as a Fellow outside of NYC, it is imperative to reach out to the people who actually hired you at the League and thought we were fit for the position. It also gives you a direct link to the industry in New York.

 7. Don’t be afraid to expand your skills.

If your fellowship is more specialized in a certain department and you’re interested in learning skills in another department, don’t be afraid to ask your supervisor if you can work on a project with those in that department. These departments are like a moving machine. You need each one to operate smoothly to accomplish the main goal of the show or company. Learn the ins and outs of each department and to gain a better understanding of how your company operates.

 8. Learn your audience.

To make an impact with your audience, you must first think about the audience and who you are working to entertain. Learning this skill quickly will give you the opportunity to understand why some shows succeed and others fail. It shows who is interested in certain genres and how you can target them for similar shows.

Overall, my experience has been eye-opening. I have been able to work in a place that not only serves my purpose but drives my passion. I am so glad that the Kimmel Center of the Performing Arts and The Broadway League opened this door to me to further my career and gave me a chance.

My supervisor Ashley Ryan (Broadway Manager) and I! Thank you Ashley for everything! 

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