Through our student employment program, we professionally involve students in every aspect of our organization here at TPA. However, we know that the professional arts world is so much bigger.
To help our students break into that wider world, we take a select group of students to New York each year to attend the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) Conference and connect with our growing network of TPA alumni. We hope that their blog entries reflect their experiences and inspire them to become the next generation of arts leaders.
–Tim Rogers, Assistant Director of Student Engagement
After taking a job with Texas Performing Arts, I took an interest in theater. I really didn’t know anything about it, but as soon as I started working in ticketing, I loved it. I wanted to grow and learn about different areas in TPA, so I joined the Student Employee Council with Assistant Director of Student Engagement Tim Rogers and met a lot of new people who work in the Scene Shop or Hook ’em Arts.
When learned about APAP, I was really interested in learning more about booking shows and the business side of the arts. I was extremely happy that my first time traveling would be to New York. Volunteering for the APAP Conference connected me to a lot of people from different backgrounds. I met business founders who started with nothing and went on to have their own arts company because they loved it so much.
I also sat-in on professional development sessions about stress and burnout. I learned that although stress management is a struggle in life, we don’t need to push ourselves to our breaking point for someone else.
Additionally, I received a lot of comforting advice about pursuing a job in the arts. In the past, I’ve panicked about being able to find a job in the arts as many people have told me that job availability is low. Conference speakers acknowledged this perspective but also stressed that I’ll find a path in doing something I love.
By looking at the number of conference attendees, I realized that there are many possible jobs in the arts. The conference helped me gain confidence as I move forward in my college career.
As the conference went on, I attended several showcases. As I was waiting to see a Scottish drag queen, I saw the British band The Britpack perform classic rock/pop songs. It was so fun and energetic! Accidentally stumbling upon new artists is what exploring the arts is all about.
Outside of the conference, I saw two different Broadway shows: Beetlejuice and Phantom of the Opera. It was an amazing experience to see the effort and stage production put into a Broadway musical, and to see the original Broadway cast on Broadway.
I also visited the Museum of Modern Art and the Natural History Museum, which are both filled with beautiful and amazing things. Lastly, I tried New York dollar pizza and giant milkshakes. You can’t skip trying the local food! Overall, I now feel comfortable in the theater and I’m not as worried about finding a job in the arts or meeting new people.