Theatre Acting vs. Starting a New Job – One and the Same?

Theatre acting and starting a new job opportunity have a lot in common. In honour of World Theatre Day today we’ve put together a list of stage acting tips that can be applied to anyone (in any industry) entering into a new job opportunity.

A theatre actor gets used to introducing themselves to a new audience every night. Each night a new batch of people feed off of the actor’s energy and come to the theatre expecting on outstanding performance. In order to meet those expectations there a certain things an actor must do to prepare before they step onto the stage and while they are onstage to captivate their audience and make them believe that the story the actors are telling is real.

Upon review of stage acting tips (particularly this great article from The Guardian) it is clear that there is a large amount of overlap in tips and tricks related to performing theatre and starting a new job.

In both instances you are trying to win over a new audience and show them that you are competent in a short amount of time.


Below are 7 theatre acting tips that translate very well to helping you successfully start your new job:

Never go dead for a second on stage. Even if you are doing nothing, do it actively. Listen.

This is the perfect tip if you’re new to the workplace. You may not know the ins and outs of the workplace so you won’t be able to start working on your own right away. Even if you can’t actively participate in completing the task, make sure you listen! Listening to how others work and how the task needs to be done will help you in the future.

Be ambitious. The great actor, director and playwright Ann Jellicoe commissioned writers like Howard Barker and David Edgar, and put on magnificent, large-scale plays in Dorset that involved the whole community.

A new position is the perfect time to do the things you’ve always wanted to do. Find that job that excites you and go do it. Most of us spend the majority of our lives working so if it is possible do work doing something you love then go do it! And once you’re in the job be sure to push your boundaries and make the most of your opportunities!


Try not to worry about embarrassing yourself. That’s a lifetime’s task.

We always hold on to embarrassing moments that happen to us. Chances are no one else is remembering these moments. If you do something embarrassing in your first few days at your new job just know that everyone else has been in that situation and there is plenty of time to redeem yourself. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

theatre acting

Never show off. You can sometimes come to a particular point in a show and think, “I’m really good in this bit.” Never, ever think that.

Never come into a new workplace thinking that you know how everything is done. The way that this company does things may not be the same way things were done at your last job. Take a step back and let your superiors show you how it’s done. If you feel that there are improvements that can be made to the current system consider suggesting them once you have been in the position for a while. No one likes a new employee that thinks they already know how everything should run.

Turn up on time. If you’re going to commit to something, you should see it through with good grace.

Always be on time when starting a new job. Perception is everything when you’re first starting out. Employers will take notice of your punctuality, time management skills, etc as soon as you start. You never want to arrive late and start off on the wrong foot.

People-watch: it’s the best way to develop a character.

Watch how your co-workers conduct themselves in the workplace. They are an amazing source of knowledge and can tell you everything from the dress code to where the best place is to eat lunch. Watching your peers is a great way to learn the ins and outs of your new workplace.


The most important thing is to breathe. If you stop breathing properly, you get a sore throat. And if you stop breathing, you die.

A new job can seem very scary but if you keep calm and remember to breathe then you will be an expert in no time!