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Marketing Assistant: Inspire Me

By UCL Careers, on 29 October 2015

As part of our #UCLInspireMe series, Nadia Newstead, Marketing Assistant at Soho Theatre, talks to us about how she got this role and shares some tips for UCL students who want to get into the sector. For more insights from recent graduates working for smaller organisations, search #SMEProfile.Nadia Newstead

How did you get into your role?

I did Drama and English at university where I threw myself into Stage Managing various productions. I did an internship as part of my degree which was my first taste of administration work. I did various box office/front of house/stage managing jobs until I got my first job as an administrator, then marketing trainee at The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury and then Marketing Assistant at Soho Theatre.

What are the best things about working in your role?

I like that although it is an admin role, it is also a creative role as you get to have input on photo shoots for show images and do filming for trailers as well as coming up with fun content for the web and social media. I like helping small companies reaching the best audience possible. Marketing great shows is my way of sharing my love of theatre with others.

What are the biggest challenges you face in your work?

The amount of shows we have on here at Soho Theatre! All the shows require the same basic  amount of attention whether they are on for one night or 7 weeks. A lot of the shows also have very small budgets so you have to try and maximise what they have to reach the most amount of people.

What top tips would you pass on to a student interested in this type of work?

Have a go! If you’ve got an upcoming show, exhibition, reading or know someone who has then offer to help them with marketing. With social media it’s very easy to get started – just know how much you have to spend and stick to it and always evaluate what did and didn’t work.

Soho Theatre currently have an opportunity to join them as a Marketing Assistant, visit UCL JobOnline to apply.

To find our more about working in a Marketing, either come in an speak to a Careers Consultant or visit Careers Tagged.

Careers in Theatre Round up

By UCL Careers, on 28 April 2015

As part of University of London’s Careers in the Creative Industries webinar series, we invited Jethro Compton – a writer, director and independent theatre producer – to come in and answer your questions.  Jethro

Jethro had five top tips to share with aspiring theatre professionals:


  1. Don’t talk about doing it – just do it!

When you’re networking with people in the industry, it helps if you can talk about work you have actually done, rather than saying you ‘haven’t got started yet’.  Jethro pointed out that lots of people starting out are too scared of failure to take their first steps into the industry – but he stressed how important it was to start doing something, and not to be put off by the few people who find success in the industry with little struggle.  For example, whilst Jethro was an undergraduate at the University of York, he started his network at the Drama Society.  Your college may have one, and maybe even a separate society for technical theatre folk!


  1. Let your work speak for itself (and you).

Jethro is an advocate for concentrating more on making good work that makes an impact, rather than worrying too much about promoting your professional self.  But he recognises it’s also important to build contacts and network – even if this doesn’t come naturally to you.


  1. Aim high – don’t be afraid of failure.

Tied into the above points, don’t be afraid to have goals that push you outside of your comfort zone.  The important thing is not to get disheartened if things don’t go to plan immediately!  Measuring yourself against others is a waste of time – set your own realistic goals and use them to evaluate your progress – that might just mean asking yourself at the end of a long week: am I happy?  Have I made it through the week?  A positive mental attitude is extremely important – it shows…


  1. Always be nice!  Never feel entitled.

The theatre industry is a small world and word gets around if you have a bad attitude, making you difficult to work with.  Like any industry, it is important to nurture positive relationships by being enthusiastic, willing and happy to help.  Recognise that everyone in the industry is struggling, and remember that you never know when you might need this person on side.  Obviously you should never be so willing as to be exploited – but use your judgement and avoid sounding like the world owes you a favour.  This means making your own opportunities rather than wondering why the phone isn’t ringing with offers of work.


  1. Be patient – it’s all about the long-game. 

When you’re networking (and networking can happen by email or even Twitter – it’s not all about schmoozing at drinks receptions), try to treat it more like a connection between two like-minded people, rather than immediately assessing who is going to ‘get something out of it’.  Jethro told us about cups of coffee he’s had with people in the industry that are initially just about sharing what you do – and then, a few months down the line, these connections can turn into them helping you out with last minute props, them coming to see your show, or more.  Try to see the long-game when you’re making these connections and nurture them over time.

The financial struggles of the industry

Although he now runs his own independent production company, Jethro has worked with a lot of freelancers.  His tip for those of you who are considering freelancing, particularly if you are looking at acting or writing, where it can be difficult to get longer-term freelance jobs, is try to supplement these by using your skills in the technical aspects of theatre.  Lighting technicians and stage managers etc are always in short supply in the industry, so if you can develop skills in this area you can diversify your offering.

On the flip side, Jethro has also had a salaried role working for a West End producer – in some areas like production, one year salaried posts are more common.  Obviously whilst this was more financially secure, Jethro didn’t have so much time or freedom to pursue his own creative agenda.


Jethro’s pick of resources:

For aspiring producers: Stage One awarded Jethro his first bursary and, if you’re interested in the technical side of theatre, they offer paid apprenticeships , workshops and seminars.

The Stage

Twitter – Producers, directors, agents and casting directors will put out the majority of their calls for actors and other staff on Twitter.  Twitter is a legitimate networking tool in the theatre industry, so use it well (and wisely)!


Look out for Jethro’s productions, as well as his workshops and seminars, at the Edinburgh Festival 2015.  More webinars from the Careers in Creative Industries group are coming soon.


See also: Wannabe Creatives – Have You Considered the ‘Passion’ vs ‘Security’ Trade-off?


Careers in the Creative Industries Webinar: 22nd April 1-2pm

By UCL Careers, on 14 April 2015

Ever considered going freelance?  Getting a job in the arts?  Working in theatre?

Join our webinar to listen and contribute to a Q&A session with Jethro Compton, Writer, Director, Independent Theatre Producer and co-Artistic Director.  Jethro will be taking your career questions.

When? Wednesday, 22nd April, 1-2pm

How? Register using this link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3226718446927832322

More about Jethro…

Jethro Compton is a writer, director and independent theatre producer. His most notable productions to date have been the world premiere of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance in London and the internationally acclaimed WWI triptych, The Bunker Trilogy.

As the Producer and co-Artistic Director of Belt Up Theatre, Jethro has worked on The Boy James, Outland, A Little Princess, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Metamorphosis, The Tartuffe and The Trial.

In 2010 Jethro received a bursary from Stage One to support his development as a commercial producer. He was Associate Producer of Southwark Playhouse for three years from the start of 2011.

Organised by the Careers in the Creative Industries team for students from across the University of London, this webinar will give you the chance to learn about careers in theatre, including advice for writers and actors, and will give you insight into the world of work in the creative industries.


Interested in Theatre Design, Theatre Production and Art Directing?

By UCL Careers, on 1 April 2015

Rhiannon Newman Brown talks about life as a freelance Theatre Designer, Producer and Art Director.

How did you get your job?

I’m a freelance Theatre Designer, Producer and Art Director. I have built up 10 years of experience and contacts enabling me now to thrive as a freelancer. I have always tried to take jobs which really interest me, be it the story, the company or the type of production, each project has to build on the last and develop my CV. It is hard work so if you are not really interested in a project or know why you are doing it, it is very hard to achieve it.

How did you decide what you wanted to do?197128_4547883917_7584_n

From way back when I took my A-levels I knew I wanted to do something arty for a living but was not sure what. I chose a history of art degree because I thought it would give me a solid, broad base from which I could specialise once I had figured out what I was going to do. Then while at university I did work experience with an interior design company to see if that was for me and I also got involved in the stage musical company at university. It turned out that theatre was the thing for me, and when I left university I got a job as an assistant stage manager for an opera company so that I could learn more about how a theatre worked and all the roles. I then applied for and did a 1-year postgraduate course (using my mostly unspent student loan to fund it) in theatre design. Following that year I worked on as many projects as I could, often small scale and not very well paid, but I built up quickly a good network of contacts and a number of directors with whom I worked repeatedly.

How relevant is your degree to your job and how do you use your degree within your job?

My degree is still very relevant to my work. Part of my degree was about the theory of aesthetics and how people interact with an art work. This theory is something I apply to every visual output I create, and it also applies to any audience experience of a production of many different kinds. I also have a great collection of books that I built up during my degree which I use regularly.

What are your main work activities?

When designing a show I spend slot of time researching ideas and the context of the piece. I spend time drawing and model making as well as consulting on how the sets are built and costumes made. When production managing and producing there is a lot of emphasis on budgets and schedules and lots of meetings with the various different parties involved in the production.

What are the most challenging parts of your job?

Juggling many projects at the same time and diary management to fit it all in, giving me enough space to be creative.

Career highlights and best moments?

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London 2012 ceremonies as a props Production Manager. Opening ceremony being on the field of play as part of such a massive show. The opening of Secret Cinema presents Back to the Future, a huge outdoor production that I produced.

Where do you want to be in 5 years time ?

Have my own successful creative consultancy and production company.

Rhiannon is Founder and Creative Production Director of Ninth House Creative