The creative arts are among the most collaborative but competitive professions. Careers in these fields focus on performance (actors, dancers, musicians, singer-songwriters), direction and composition (choreographers, composers, directors, writers), technical aspects (sets, lighting, sound), or visual design (graphic designers, title designers, photographers, animators). There is often overlap, e.g. costume designers work in both visual design and technical areas, writer-directors are common, and many choreographers are also performers.
Internships and apprenticeships are extremely important in the creative arts, providing the opportunity to develop relevant skills and an insider understanding of how the arts industries work as well as contacts that could help you land that future employment. Some areas of the performance arts such as acting, music, and dance, offer apprenticeships or special festivals during the summer. For actors, summer can also be a good time to take additional acting classes and submit tapes for open casting calls. Other creative arts fields, such as film and design, offer year-round internships. For those interested in the entertainment industry, the alumni-created and run organization Harvardwood is extremely helpful.
Performers are hired through auditions, and visual artists primarily on the strength of their portfolio. Technicians and arts administrators are hired through a more traditional interviewing process. In the film and music industries, your chances of finding a job will be greatly improved if you’ve completed at least one internship; film and music are industries where networking is everything, and the contacts you’ll make during your internships will be vital to breaking into these fields. Learning to network successfully and comfortably will make your job search much easier.
Graduate and Professional Programs
It’s not necessary to obtain a graduate degree in the creative arts to be able to find work. Performers may find it helpful, though, particularly if they want to build their technical skills to compete with students who’ve attended Conservatory or MFA programs. Students interested in film may also find a graduate program beneficial for both the training and as an excellent source of industry contacts.
Harvard College encourages undergraduates to take time during the Winterbreak to refresh and recharge. MCS is one of numerous Harvard centers and departments that offer some limited programming during the Winterbreak and Wintersession periods.
Undergraduate students who wish to …
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