By the Book: Performing Arts

by J. Michael DeAngelis, Career Services Librarian and Information Resources Specialist

Today we’re launching a new feature on Penn & Beyond that will highlight many of the print resources that we have on hand in the Career Services library.  Stop in and browse through these titles and the hundreds of others we have in our catalog.  When classes are in session, library hours are M-W 9am-6pm and TR-F, 9am-5pm.  After classes end, our hours are M-F 9am-5pm. We begin this series with a look at books for students interested in the performing arts.

There’s no set way to enter into a career in the performing arts.  Some people struggle for years to be able to make a living in the field, while others seem to have overnight success or “lucky breaks.” Entering into the performing arts – whether you be an actor, a director, a dancer, a writer, a designer or even an aspiring casting agent – requires a lot of dedication and perseverance.  Luckily, we have several resources in our library that can help you make a game plan.

The Actor Takes a Meeting by Stephen Book (Silman-James Press, 2006).  Book, an acting teacher who felt that many of his students needed training in the art of the interview, developed this fascinating book directly from his workshop’s curriculum.  The book details many different interview scenerios an actor may face including meeting with producers, casting directors, agents and managers.

Included are bits of background information on how meetings like these come about and examples of successful meetings (often laid out in actor-friendly script format).  This is a very unique book that takes a look at a side of the acting business that is sometimes over looked.

Hit the Ground Running: The First Years of Your Acting Career by Carolyne Barry (Carolyne Barry Creative Enterprises, 2010).  Ms. Barry presents herself as a jack-of-all-trades in the performing arts: actor, teacher, casting director, director and producer.  In Hit the Ground Running, Barry lays out some useful advice on planning your expenses, setting timelines, seeking day jobs, joining unions and more.  Along with the standard audition tips and “insider” information on auditioning and branding yourself, this book gives you a good day-to-day glimpse at what it takes to be a working actor.

How to be a Working Actor by Lynne Rogers and Mari Lyn Henry, forward by Joe Mantegna (Back Stage Books, 2008).  The title really says it all.  This is another good book for those specifically looking into going into acting.  It focuses a little more on the craft – auditioning, going to workshops, getting into a union, getting the right headshots, etc, but it also has some specific tips for those who want to work in the theater, where Hit the Ground Running focuses more on film and television careers.   Plus, how can you not love a book with a forward by Fat Tony himself?

We have two directories in the library that will be helpful to those seeking any sort of theater job – from acting to stage management to directing and designing: The Regional Theatre Directory (Theater Directories, 2007) and the Summer Theater Directory (Theater Directories, 2005).  These guides are superb listings of regional theaters that provide contact information for job hunters.  Both directories detail the kind of shows that the theaters put (big, splashy musicals; small scale dramas; children’s theater; etc.) on and supply typical job postings for the season.  Sadly, these directories are a few years old and new editions are not available.  However, these are great starting off points, especially for those seeking summer employment in a theater.  Browse the books and then double check the contact information online.

Finally, a book that examines what you can do with your theater major: Great Jobs for Theater Majors by Jan Goldberg (McGraw-Hill, 2005).  Some of the choices are obvious – actor, acting teacher – but there’s still good advice in here about moving into fields such as casting, theater management and publicity.  The book includes decent resume and cover letter samples as well as profiles of those working in the business, such as respected lighting designer Dennis Parichy.

These are just a few of the books on performing arts careers available in the Career Services library.  Drop by and take a look at these selections and others!  Readers interested in this column may also find an other post of mine useful – “Don’t Quit Your Day Job” – about the importance of finding a job where you are flexible to pursue your dreams and your skills as a theater artist can be put to use.

We’ll be highlighting another career field in a future By The Book column soon!

The Spring Career Fair is Today!

Don’t forget: The Spring Career Fair is today from 11:00am – 3:00pm!  The fair will be in Bodek Lounge and Hall of Flags (both levels!) in Houston Hall.   Remember to swing by with lots of copies of your resume and your PennCard!

Please note that this event is open only to current Penn students and alumni.  For information about who we serve, please click here.

Take a look at the amazing list of employers who will be on hand!

EMPLOYERS BY INDUSTRY & POSITION TYPE (FT: fulltime, I: Internship, PT: Part-time)
The following employers are registered to attend Friday’s career fair.A career fair

CBS Interactive (FT, I)
Insight Global, Inc. (FT)
Initiative (FT, I)
J&L Marketing (FT, PT, I)
Madison Square Garden (I)
MediaCom (FT, I)
Razorfish (FT, PT, I)
Time Inc. (I)
University Directories (I)
Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts (I)
Zipcar (PT, I)

Aon Hewitt (FT, I)
Argus Information & Advisory Services (I)
Corporate Executive Board (I)
Maximus (FT, I)
Navigant Consulting (I)
Opera Solutions (FT)
PriceSpective LLC (FT, I)
Princeton Consultants (FT)
Prudent Infotech (FT)
ZS Associates (FT, I)

Diversity Internship Recruiting

Breakthrough Collaborative (I)
Center for Talented Youth – Johns Hopkins University (PT, I)
China Education Initiative (FT)
EducationWorks (FT, PT)
ESF Summer Camps (FT, I)
ISN International Student Network(FT,I)
MATCH Charter Public School (FT)
Revolution Prep (FT)

Bentley Systems, Incorporated (FT, I)
First Quality Enterprises, Inc. (FT, I)
InterDigital (I)
Schlumberger (FT, I)
Tyco Electronics (FT, I)
Freudenberg North America (FT, I, Fellowship)
Illinois Tool Works (FT)


Environment America (FT)
Green Corps (FT)

Aflac (FT)
Bloomberg (FT, I)
Canon Financial Services (FT, I)
Capital One (FT, I)
Eze Castle Software (FT)
Fredericks Michael & Co. (FT, I)
Harding Loevner LP (FT)
Hudson Housing Capital (FT, I)
Independence Financial Associates (FT)
Jane Street (FT, I)
M&T Bank (FT, I)
Morgan Stanley (FT, I)
Northwestern Mutual Financial Network (FT, I)
Revolution Prep (FT)
SMB Capital (I)
Spot Trading LLC (FT)
Street Solutions Inc. (FT, I)
Two Sigma Investments (FT, I)
Travelers (I)

Government/ Public Administration
Air Force Officer Programs (FT)
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (I)
Concepts & Strategies (Defense) (FT)
Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support (FT,I)
Grassroots Campaigns (FT, I)
Maximus (FT, I)
Peace Corps (FT)
U.S. Department of Labor (FT, PT, I)
U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security (FT, I)
U.S. Navy Officer Programs (FT)
U.S. Marine Corps Officer Selection Station

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (I)
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (FT, Fellowship)
InstaMed Communications (FT, I)
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (FT)

Aflac (FT)
New York Life Insurance Company (FT)
Travelers (I)

China Education Initiative (FT)
Contact Singapore (FT, I)
International SOS (FT, I)
ISN International Student Network(FT,I)

Nonprofit/Public Service
AmeriCorps VISTA (FT)
City Year Greater Philadelphia (FT, I)
Congreso de Latinos Unidos (FT, PT)
Environment America (FT)

Nonprofit/Public Service (continued)
Grassroots Campaigns (FT, I)
Green Corps (FT)
Peace Corps (FT)

Retail/Consumer Products/Hospitality
Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (FT, I)
Apple Inc.  (Apple Store Leader Program) (FT)
Campbell Soup (FT)
General Mills (FT, I)
Hillstone Restaurant Group (FT, I)
Lord & Taylor (FT)
Mars Inc. (FT, I)
The TJX Companies, Inc. (FT, I)

Alcatel-Lucent (FT, I)
Bloomberg (FT, I)
CA Technologies (FT)
CBS Interactive (FT, I)
Comcast Converged Products (FT, I)
comScore Inc. (FT, I)
Eze Castle Software (FT)
First Quality Enterprises, Inc. (FT, I)
Harding Loevner LP (FT)
InterDigital (I)
Microsoft Corporation (FT, I)
Prudent Infotech (FT)
Razorfish (FT, PT, I)
Stone Ridge Technology (FT, I)
Street Solutions Inc. (FT, I)
Tyco Electronics (FT, I)
WANDL, Inc. – Wide Area Network Design Laboratory (FT)
ZL Technologies, Inc. (FT)

P.J. Fitzpatrick, Inc. (PT)
Zipcar (PT, I)

O.C.R. = Overly Confusing Recruiting?!?

It’s that time of year again, when Career Services welcomes recruiters to campus to conduct exclusive interviews with Penn students.

We understand that On Campus Recruiting can be a difficult process.  The anticipation of  getting an interview, figuring out the best things to say during an interview, wondering about second rounds and offers – these things can all be stressful, but what we sincerely hope is that OCR itself is not confusing.

We’ve been getting a lot of questions about the basics of On Campus Recruiting, so now seems like a good time to point out that almost all the information you need can be found on our website.

First and foremost, you should watch the On Campus Recruiting Orientation video. This narrated Power Point will take you step by step through the process of OCR, from logging in to uploading your resume to accepting and scheduling interviews.  This is a NOT TO BE MISSED video!  Think of it as the must see movie of the season!

If you have a very specific questions, the first place to check is the On Campus Recruiting FAQ page, where you can also search for questions by topic.

The OCR section of our website should be a “one stop shop” for your all of your recruiting needs.  Besides the orientation and FAQ, you’ll find printable forms from Add-Ons, our Cancellation Policy, Recruiting and Offer Policies and more.

You can also check out this video where graduating students offer advice on navigating the OCR process:

On Campus Recruiting Advice from Graduating Students from Penn Career Services on Vimeo.

Still have questions?  Stop by and see one of the career counselors for your school during walk-ins or call us to make an appointment!  Good luck!

All the World’s a Stage…(And there’s jobs there to be had!)

Tomorrow, Career Services will be hosting a special Careers in Theater Panel from 12pm-1pm in Bodek Lounge, Houston Hall. A networking hour with refreshments will follow the panel. The details are as follows:

In conjunction with the 10th anniversary of The Underground Shakespeare Company, Career Services is presenting a “Careers in Theater” panel featuring alumni from Penn’s only Shakespearean performance group. Featured on the panel will be:

Akiva Fox (CAS ’02) –
Literary Associate (Dramaturg and Literary Manager), Shakespeare Theatre Company, Washington, D.C.

Akiva, an English major at Penn, completed his MFA in Dramaturgy from American Repertory Theater Institute and previously held a position at the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia. As part of his MFA program, he spent time studying theater in Russia. At the Shakespeare Theater Company, he writes and edits most of the publications that the theatre puts out (newsletter, the program, etc.). He researches the historical and literary background of the plays, and makes sure that the directors, actors, and designers have all the information they need. It his duty to read as many classic plays as possible and recommend the good ones to artistic director Michael Kahn for future seasons. He also works with living playwrights who are adapting classic plays for new productions and he coordinates and leads our audience discussions about the plays.

Dan Fishback (CAS ’03)Writer and Performance Artist, New York, NY

Dan Fishback has been writing and performing in New York City since 2003. His most recent play, You Will Experience Silence (Stephen Brackett, dir.) debuted to critical acclaim in April 2009 at Dixon Place, where Fishback was an Artist-in-Residence. Fishback has performed and developed previous work at Performance Space 122, Joe’s Pub, Galapagos Art Space and various of other venues in New York and abroad. He is currently developing two new theater pieces: The Material World, a pop musical about socialist Jews in the 1920s, and thirtynothing, a solo performance about growing up in the shadow of the AIDS epidemic.

Dan received the Franklin Furnace Fund grant for performance art in 2010 and the Six Points Fellowship for Emerging Jewish Artists in 2007. He is an Artist-in-Residence at Brooklyn Arts Exchange, and has enjoyed previous residencies at Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony.

Maura Krause (CAS ’10) Literary Fellow, Wooly Mammoth Theater Company, Washington, D.C.

Maura was a dual English and East Asian Languages and Cultures major at Penn, with concentrations in Creative Writing and Japanese. Aside from her work at Wooly Mammoth, Maura works with the EMP Collective, a nonprofit organization uniting artists across the country to create provocative, social, multi-media events and previously was a Literary Intern with Samuel French, Inc., the world’s oldest publisher of plays.

J. Michael DeAngelis (Career Services staff) – Playwright and Managing Director, The Porch Room Film & Theater Company, Philadelphia, PA

Moderating the panel will be Michael DeAngelis, Information Resources Manager at Career Services. Michael is a professional actor, director and playwright, who has been twice published by Samuel French, Inc. His plays have been seen at the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, The BRUNCH One Act Festival in New York City, Circle Players Theater and Playwrights Horizons. With his co-writer, Pete Barry, his works have won the 2009 Samuel French Short Play Festival and the 2009 NJACT Perry Award for Outstanding Original Play.

Additional Theaters/Performing Arts related resources be found here:

Career Services Resources by Field: Theater & Performing Arts

In David’s “Humble Opinion”

Our very own David Ross, Associate Director for Wharton Undergraduate career counseling, was recently invited to be a guest blogger of the IMHO: In My Humble Opinion column at the Eye of the Intern blog, part of

Head over there today and enjoy David’s thoughts about using your summer internship to explore alternative career paths.

Read David’s blog at Eye of the Intern.