An arts agent/promoter will work to promote their artistic clients work by way of marketing and management. They can work with a variety of clients involved in performing arts, including dancers, singers, presenters, and also extras. They will often specialise in one particular area such as stunt work, but will start out by gaining experience in the performing sector, and then deciding which area is of particular interest.
The typical starting salary is around £12,000 - £15,000, which can increase to £18,000 - £28,000 after acquiring a few years experience. Wages at senior level can be about £25,000 - £50,000, but will depend on the standing of the agent or agency, and their wealth of clients. Being skilled in administrative tasks and IT can also help to improve you salary, as can a good reputation in the industry.
The working day is varied, with no strict time structure in place. This is due to working hours depending on the job at the time, as you can either be working during the day, in the evening, or even at weekends. For example, if a client is involved in artistic performances during the evening you will have to put the hours in.
Travel during work is common as you will have to meet with clients and other agents. Absence from home at night can occur, but overseas travel is a rarity unless your client is of international acclaim. Once you have gained enough experience it is feasible to go into freelance work. Jobs are available throughout the UK.
The most important asset to gaining a job as an arts agent/promoter is through relative experience. However, the following HND degrees may be of advantage:
It is possible to work up from an administrative role, making sure you demonstrate a good work ethic while in this position. Work experience is the key to achieving a position, which can be done through temporary or voluntary work. Relative experience may involve helping a local performing arts group, aiding the organisation of local events such as festivals, or working at local theatres.
The Arts Council offers information on local arts organisations, which will help you to seek out work experience. The Voluntary Arts website is also of use. Keeping up to date with the arts is important, with the British Arts Festivals Association and a-n: The Artists Information Company websites of particular interest. The Agents Association (Great Britain) is also of great use.
Jobs in the performing arts sector are highly competitive. Working your way up from an administrative role, or possibly, from somewhat of a graduate position, it will take several years to move up to a managerial role. You can use this time to improve your skills and build a contact list of clients and agents. If well respected within the industry you can possibly start your own agency. As there is no distinct career path you may choose to specialise in one area, such as extras work, or move into a related area of work.
Further training is available but not typically offered to you as part of a structured programme. It will be down to you to improve your credentials by attending courses. Marketing, administrative, human resources, and accountancy are just some of the skills you will need to be improve and maintain. Courses are offered by organisations including The AMA (Arts Marketing Association), and also The Independent Theatre Council. Courses include: