I wanted to share some of the websites I use or have used to find jobs as a props artisan in theatre.
ArtSearch – ArtSearch has the most jobs listings for educational, regional, and non-profit theatres across the United States. You need a subscription to access it. If you attend school, they might have a subscription you can use. Otherwise, it’s well worth it to buy your own.
BackstageJobs – BackstageJobs has similar postings as ArtSearch, but also more commercial, temporary, and overhire gigs. They have sections for Chicago, LA, and NYC, but their job postings are from all over the country.
Playbill – Playbill’s listings can be more show-specific, meaning short-term employment for a single show, but they also list internships and full-time positions. It’s also fairly NYC-centric, but a small percentage of their listings are from elsewhere.
Craigslist – The helpfulness of using Craigslist to find work depends on where you live. While searching for prop jobs in Guam may be fairly fruitless, the New York City Craigslist is so active you can spend your entire year finding short-term gigs from it. Note that almost all the job listings are for immediate or near-immediate positions, and a large percentage are freelance or temporary work. Still, it can do a good job helping you pay the bills in between larger gigs, and you may even find other industries where your skills come in handy.
USITT – Their job listings can be annoyingly meager at times. For the most part, they advertise positions in educational theatre. More helpful is actually attending the annual USITT conference, which just ended this last weekend. They also have local chapters throughout the country, which may have more frequent events and networking opportunities.
SETC – The South Eastern Theatre Conference’s job listings are also focused primarily on positions in educational theatre and internships. Like USITT, their yearly conference, which has also passed for this year, is a great place to find jobs. They hold a job fair, which is a major recruiting ground for summer work in many theatres, large and small.
I’ve found work from most of these sites, as both a young beginner, and as a more experienced artisan. I should also mention that job listings are only a portion of the job search experience. I wouldn’t be surprised if over half of my jobs and gigs were from word-of-mouth, or through someone I know.
There are a number of more local sites as well. When I was living in Philadelphia, I checked the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia for job listings. Your town, city, or region may have something similar.
If anyone knows of any other sites for finding prop job listings, feel free to share.