dfp_header_hidden_string

Get our free email newsletter with just one click

Lighting technician Chloe Anne James on her first theatre job: ‘I was in the right place at the right time’

Chloe Anne James Chloe Anne James
by -

My first theatre job was as assistant stage manager on Peter Pan, at Bromley’s Churchill Theatre, in 2007. As the winter holidays approached during my first year at ALRA, I wrote to my local theatres looking for work experience on their pantomimes. The production manager responsible for Bromley arranged for me to shadow the stage management department towards the end of their rehearsal period and into their technical rehearsals. I made props, put together lots of song-sheet goody bags and tried to make myself as useful as possible.

During tech, it became apparent that, at points, their assistant stage manager needed to be in two places at once and the crew needed a bit of extra help to make scene changes swifter. I was lucky to have made a good enough impression to be asked if I was available to join them for the run of shows. I gladly accepted. It was definitely a case of being in the right place at the right time.

It was quite daunting at first, but everyone I was working with was friendly, took me under their wing and made me part of the team. I loved how the scene changes went from being slightly frantic to becoming a well-oiled machine. It was a great environment to start my career in, even if I did end up specialising in lighting later on in my course.

From that job, I learned that it’s important to have a good understanding of what other departments do and how they work, so you are able to support them, even if only to sympathise when they’re having a rubbish day.

If I could offer any advice, it would be to seek out as much work experience across as many different disciplines as you can. It’s a good way to make yourself known to potential employers. I have certainly found that experience invaluable and it has led to temporary and even permanent employment.


CV Chloe Anne James

Age: 29
Training: Stage management and technical theatre at ALRA
Current role: Production electrician at Leeds Playhouse
Work includes: Deputy chief electrician, Annie and Barnum UK tours; tech swing, Happy Days UK tour; LX no 3, Hairspray and Sister Act UK tours; stage electrician and followspot operator, Lion King (West End); followspot operator, Legally Blonde (West End)


Chloe Anne James was talking to John Byrne

Look for technical theatre roles on The Stage Jobs

Almeida technical manager Jason Wescombe: ‘I never thought it would be a job. It was just a good Friday night out’

We need your help…

When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.

The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.

We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.

Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.

loading...
^