The 5th Avenue Theatre

Summer Casting Assistant

May - August 2018 • Seattle, WA

What I liked

I was given "real" work that I could easily tell was actively contributing to the casting department of this theatre company's summer projects. I was not filing random things or making copies. I was the point person for an entire section of auditions and callbacks the company was holding during the summer! This company is also an artistic institution whose work I have always admired and still do admire. The 5th is a place I had interned with (their internships being unpaid, I might add) somewhat regularly from the time I was a junior in high school at age 16 through my college career when I would come home for various breaks during the academic year and during my summers. It was nice to see that the efforts I made at the company and the time I put in with them building relationships and showing them my skills had the power to turn into a real paid job - even if it was only for a short-term project. They also reached out to me to offer me this job upon hearing I was graduating and returning to Seattle. That was an unexpected benefit of not having to go through a lengthy application and interview process! The references I have from working here also (at least, I believe) helped land me the full time job I have at Seattle Children's Theatre now.

What I wish was different

I wish it had been a bit more consistent in terms of hours, but so is the nature of theatre! Some weeks I was working very much part-time and other weeks it was full weeks and/or full days. I also wish that they had been able to offer me a full time permanent position after this stint because I loved the company and the people I worked for and with, but the company was not hiring at the time or planning to in this department for a while beyond occasional project-by-project/seasonal assistance. In any case, I was essentially told if something full time ever came up they would keep me in mind.


When it comes to arts administration work in theatre companies, it's good to be flexible and always a team player. Just as the art form itself is collaborative at heart, theatre companies also very much tend that way in the way they function. I would also add that you should not go into casting if you're an actor or director with the intention of using this job as a means to get your name out there and get your "big break" and you're not genuinely interested in arts admin. There is also a surprising element of "customer service" or at the very least "people skills" that go into this job, so be prepared for that.
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