How To Become a Stagehand (With Skills and Steps)

Having a career in stagehand is a great job for anyone looking for an exciting, creative, and rewarding career in the performing arts or the entertainment industry. As a stagehand, you have the opportunity to work on sets and backdrops, build props, and help set the stage for some of the most amazing productions in movies, television, concerts, and theater. If you are considering a career as a stagehand, there are some important steps you can take to prepare for the job and make yourself more likely to land the job in a competitive field. In this blog post, we will explore how to become a stagehand, from understanding the job and the qualifications needed to get started in the field, to researching potential employers and creating a great resume.

How to become a stagehand
  1. Join an apprenticeship program or local drama society. …
  2. Apply for stagehand jobs at small production companies and theaters. …
  3. Join a union. …
  4. Specialize in an aspect of stagehand work.

What does a stagehand do?

Stagehands typically carry out a wide range of duties and take on any additional responsibilities to ensure the show runs smoothly. Some of their most common job duties include:

What is a stagehand?

An employee known as a stagehand works in theaters, concerts, film and television sets, and other similar places, carrying out a variety of duties necessary to run a live or recorded act. They are indispensable for any performance and work on all technical aspects necessary for a show’s success, such as those relating to sound, light, and stage equipment, both before and during the performance. They are also referred to as stage technicians.

Stagehand work environment

The type of show a stagehand works for greatly affects their specific work environment. Some performances only take place in a single location, so the stagehands working there can remain in the same region, whereas other performances are tours and take place in various venues throughout a region, so the stagehands would need to travel in order to carry out their duties.

The majority of stagehands put in a lot of overtime in the days leading up to the show because they have to be present for all rehearsals, practices, and the show itself. Stagehands typically need to work erratic hours because most performances take place when other people have the time to attend them, such as weekends, evenings, and holidays.

Stagehand skills

Stagehands need a variety of skills to carry out their responsibilities. Some of the most common ones are:

How to become a stagehand

To increase your chances of becoming a stagehand, take the following actions:

1. Join an apprenticeship program or local drama society

Having first-hand experience with any of the components needed for art production is likely to increase your chances of employment in the field, even though there is no formal educational prerequisite or qualification for becoming a stagehand. Join a theater group in your area and help them plan plays; learn how to use the carpentry, electrical, and other theater-related equipment; or inquire about stagehand apprenticeship programs with your local Department of Labor.

2. Apply for stagehand jobs at small production companies and theaters

You can begin applying for entry-level stagehand jobs once you acquire some pertinent knowledge and experience. Utilizing a job search engine or getting in touch with local production companies and venues are some of the best ways to find positions that fit your level of experience.

3. Join a union

You can join the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees once you’ve held entry-level stagehand jobs for at least three years. After joining this union, you can apply for prestigious stagehand positions, such as those in Broadway theaters.

4. Specialize in an aspect of stagehand work

One of the best ways to increase your chances of being chosen for a major production after investing a few years honing your abilities and gaining relevant experience is to specialize in a single area. Gaining experience in a specialized role, such as stage electrician, carpenter, scenic designer, production assistant, or any other, can help you stand out from other applicants and land a high-level job in the field.

Please note that Indeed is not affiliated with any of the businesses mentioned in this article.

10 Stagehand Commandments


What qualifications do I need to be a stagehand?

There are no set qualifications needed to become a stagehand. The most crucial prerequisite for admission is a genuine interest in theater, film, or television. Many people start their careers by participating in amateur productions or by taking on temporary backstage positions at a nearby theatre.

Is it hard to be a stagehand?

During rehearsals and a performance’s run, a stagehand must be ready to do a little bit of everything and put in a lot of work. It is a demanding job that necessitates a lot of physical stamina and laborious work. But for many stagehands, the satisfaction of watching a performance move an audience makes all the effort worthwhile.

Is being a stagehand a good job?

It’s a fantastic entry-level position for someone who is eager to put in a lot of effort and wants to work in the concert or theater industry. The majority of stagehands will go through initial training for the position, which may last for three weeks to several months.

What do you do as a stagehand?

Stagehands are crew members who assist on sets; they are also referred to as stage technicians. They provide lighting, sound, props, and general scenery assistance in television, movies, and theater productions. Stagehands also set up gear and assist performers with costume changes. Depending on the size and type of the production, duties may change.

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