If you are passionate about performing arts as a career, there are many disciplines that you can choose from. They include disciplines that are associated with music, theater and film. Generally, there are several careers under this category but the most common of them are playing music, composing music, dancing, choreography, acting, producing and directing. Basically, this field comprises of different forms of entertainment and expression.

Although the activities of performing artists vary depending on their career, this field mostly involves a specific skill or talent that the artists use to entertain remote and live audiences. Artists perform in live concerts, televised and filmed shows as well as musical recordings.

Becoming a performing artist

Educational requirement

Performing artists have different requirements on the basis of the disciplines that they choose. For instance, to become a musician or an actor, you may not require formal training. However, you may have to attend classes or pursue a degree course in musicology or theater arts to become a classical or thespians composer. A singer can also pursue this training to advance his or her singing skills. Directors and producers also require a degree in film or cinema studies and experience as well. Dancers, like ballet specialists, start their training at the elementary school level. Usually, choreographers start their performing arts career as dancers.


There is a specific set of skills for every discipline. However, every performing artist should be persistent, creative and excellent in establishing interpersonal relationships. Teamwork and physical stamina are also important for dancers and actors. Memorization, writing and reading skills of dramatic artists should be good. Apart from musical talent and discipline, singers and musicians should have the ability to promote their brands. If you want to become a director or a producer, start developing your management and communication skills early because these are important for this discipline.

Working as a performing artists

Training to become a performing artist will equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills to combine with your creative talents, management and self-promotion ability to develop your brand as an artist. As a performing artist, you should supplement your training with talents to generate opportunities while enhancing your creative knowledge through work experience and voluntary projects.

Performing artists can be self-employed, offering their services or performing at corporate events, theaters, cabaret and festivals. These artists can seek the jobs themselves or work with agencies. They can also work as announcers. Some announcers work with television and radio stations while others are disc jockeys. They report sports, relay news, interview guests and introduce songs or music. Disc jockeys offer services at weddings, parties, clubs and other places and events.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the United States, most artists work in music, film, dance and theater fields. The number of performing artists working in these areas is expected to increase by a percentage of between 3 and 6 percent from 2012 to 2022. As of May 2012, the average hourly wages for dancers and actors were $14.16 and $20.26 respectively. The hourly wages for singers and musicians was $23.50 while choreographers’ hourly earnings were $18.33. Directors and producers hourly earnings were $34.31. Announcers working at public address positions earned a yearly median income of $26,230 while those working with televisions earned a yearly median salary of $28.020.

Success in performing arts

The success of a performing artist is largely dependent on their ability to woo the audience. Patience is also important because as an artist you have to take time to establish a repertoire before your name becomes known. Do not be overly precious with your art. You have to prepare yourself for some jobs that may not be necessarily enjoyable to you before you become known. Such jobs, though not enjoyable will enable you to survive financially. Although maintaining artistic integrity might be hard, networking will help you in making your career successful. Build an experience portfolio while establishing good contacts to get yourself known and stop taking up roles that you do not like.

Remember that performing arts as a career is mostly about the way the audiences perceive you. Therefore, education is as important as your talents because you need to combine both to present yourself in a more acceptable manner to a wider audience and to pursue and sign rewarding contracts.