16
   

Career change to something more sensible with an arts degree, am I totally screwed?

 
 
Reply Fri 1 Jan, 2016 03:33 pm
Hello,
If anyone could offer any advice for me on this one I would be super grateful.
I have recently realised I might have completely fucked myself over for life by getting into a profession (opera) where there is literally NO MONEY. (Contrary to the public image of opera being all opulent and stuff, honestly, not at all true the whole thing runs off philantrhopy).
I think previously I might have been slightly naive but recently now aged 27 I have made the realisation that I might never be able to live comfortably. I will always be slightly on edge for money, won't be able to buy a house and raising a kid will be very hard (unless I just marry into wealth but I'm not going to do that deliberately). I used to think I wouldn't care but clearly that was just me being 20 and an idiot.
I have three music degrees, including one from Cambridge and one from a top conservatoire, but I don't think these actually carry any weight in the 'real world'. I have run my own opera company since 2012, and recently got on an incubation programme from a conservatoire, in association with a development charity to expand the company and give me business skills. I took this opportunity because I do want to see the company grow and realise projects, but I also thought the skill set of running my own company would be transferable if everything goes to **** and I decide I need something else. Does anyone know if these do count as real transferable skills?
Does anyone have any actual advice about how to change career? I have made a realistic list of things I might like to do and the kind of 'job conditions' I would like, and I am going to mull these over whilst I complete the business/entrepreneurship course and see if the opera takes off any further.
Any advice would be super useful.
pq
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Question • Score: 16 • Views: 2,913 • Replies: 64

 
ehBeth
 
  4  
Reply Fri 1 Jan, 2016 03:39 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
There seems to be quite a call for people who can manage/direct and/or fund-raise for arts organizations.

I've noticed that a lot of the g.m's and directors of arts organizations are people who originally went to school for music and then did master's level programs in arts administration. Comparatively decent money there.

Given the competition - the arts admin degrees seem to make a difference. Some also do mba's if they want to get into some of the bigger arts organizations.

This woman http://www.theisabel.ca/about/baldwin is an example of what we see here. Tricia is a tremendous musician and a true leader in the arts in Canada.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Fri 1 Jan, 2016 03:42 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
The Pentacle Queen wrote:
Contrary to the public image of opera being all opulent and stuff, honestly, not at all true the whole thing runs off philantrhopy.


I've been a follower of Opera Atelier for decades - went to their first shows - Marshall and Jeannette are just now starting to do not badly - but it was literally decades of relying on donations and income they got from "real" jobs.

People think they live much more luxurious lives than they really do.
0 Replies
 
glitterbag
 
  2  
Reply Fri 1 Jan, 2016 03:49 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
I don't think you are screwed, Your organizational skills alone would make you a good fit for many non-profits. Your question is really interesting to me. and I have a few suggestions, but we are going to see a movie later and Ill get back when I've organized my thoughts.

One important thing, don't assume you will have to return to school for additional degrees, that probably won't be necessary.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Jan, 2016 04:22 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
Stick with what you love to do. That's what I told my children when they were young. Go into a career that'll make you happy.
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Jan, 2016 04:49 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Yeah that's true but honestly currently I am working 14 hours a day just to stay alive. I don't mind doing that for something i love but I can't do it forever. I think, maybe there is something else I might like more?
This job is 5% dream, 95% bullshit. Maybe there might be another job that is might be 50% interesting 50% bullshit and that would be a better ratio?
0 Replies
 
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Jan, 2016 04:52 pm
@glitterbag,
thank you!

yes, i don't want to jump in and get another (fourth) degree, not only because I can't afford to but because universities are basically money making machines currently and try and sell you courses to that lead nowhere.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Jan, 2016 05:00 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
Our son works at the reference library at UOT, and he enjoys it. It doesn't pay a whole lot, but he gets credit towards his retirement that's added to his USAF time. He seems to be okay with that.
0 Replies
 
glitterbag
 
  2  
Reply Fri 1 Jan, 2016 08:22 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
Can I ask you where you live? Are you in the US, GB or Austrailia. I don't want to give you advice that's not usable or doesn't connect. We had to skip the movie, finally realized I have bronchitis so I called my doctor. Personally, I think you have many skills you can use, the trick is to convince yourself you are capable. And you really are capable, you need to know that. I'll be back later.
FBM
 
  2  
Reply Fri 1 Jan, 2016 08:31 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
If you're adventurous, you could probably find a music teaching position overseas somewhere, like in a third world country. Just a thought.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Fri 1 Jan, 2016 11:49 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
The Pentacle Queen wrote:
Career change to something more sensible with an arts degree, am I totally screwed? [. . .] Any advice would be super useful.
pq

Have you considered hooking? (Well you did say that any advice would be helpful. You're welcome, and happy new year!)
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Fri 1 Jan, 2016 11:54 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
Seriously now, I would have thought that plenty of musicians, orchestras, opera houses etc need people who can manage them, and your experience seems perfect for this line of work. And on the issue of universities being money-making enterprises, I once met a dude who got an MBA-like degree in music management from a public university in Vienna. That shouldn't be too bad money-wise.

Speaking of Vienna: Given your past work in Germany and other foreign countries, don't forget to explore careers based on your foreign-language skills. (I noticed you didn't mention them back in your original post. Don't sell them short!)
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 Jan, 2016 01:47 pm
Hi, PQ, I'm just listening here. I did change fields, from being a research lab tech who took 30 sets of art classes over the years at night school, to landscape architecture (4 more years of classes, so that's a difficulty right there) - I didn't make a lot more money after all that but I was hugely happier and am still not sorry I did that. I was 40 when I started those landarch classes (and worked in the new field at the same time and yes, I was tired). Design turned out to be a lot of long time fun for me and I kept up my painting too, and that did bring in money when I showed.

Wishing you luck and enjoyment with your changes, whatever they turn out to be.
Seems to me you have gotten some good replies so far.
engineer
 
  3  
Reply Sat 2 Jan, 2016 02:38 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
I'm going to assume you still love what you do, you just want to make money. I have observed over the years that people who won't spend a dime on themselves will spend anything for their children. My brother's best man is a professional singer and he's built a moderately successful business running camps for teens who are interested in the arts. In his program a group of students progress from nothing to a complete play over the course of a week with the students doing all parts from stage hand to lead. From the base of your opera company, you could expand out to education programs (for profit of course), day programs, summer programs that teach voice, set design, music, etc. "Summer Opera Camp sponsored by the Pentacle Opera!" Around here, these type of programs do pretty well appealing to the upper middle class looking to both occupy and teach children and teens. It sounds like you have the skills to pull something like this off. I don't want to soft sell this, it is a boatload of work, but hopefully it is work doing something you like, you can build contacts in the community and you are training the next generation of opera lovers. Don't forget to film the final production and sell DVD's to the parents for $20 a pop and give the kids free tickets to your next opera performance (while the parents have to pay full price.)
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 Jan, 2016 04:19 pm
@engineer,
My ex spends part of his time now teaching theater/acting to seniors. Not his main thing but I think it's good for all of them, including him, and I don't mean that in a supercilious way - he loves it, just hates the drive.
0 Replies
 
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jan, 2016 06:10 am
@ossobuco,
Hi Osso,
Thanks for posting. I remember you giving me advice on this a while back actually and I remember at the time not being in the right place to fully understand your perspective, but now I realise it is completely the right way to go about things.
I have made a list of skills I have, ways I like working, which includes the lifestyle I want and not just the 'identity' I want.

It's really inspiring you retrained in your 40's, and totally worth it if you are happier. I figure maybe if I have to retrain I have to retrain, and would have to just save up in whatever job I could get to pay for it I guess. I can work very very hard, but I find it hard to work very hard when there is no hope. If I knew I was going into an industry where there were jobs I wanted then I wouldn't find it so hard. I think the reason I am finding it so hard at the minute is that I have realised that this industry is probably always going to be this way, and i can't see a stable path for myself where I'm not constantly just working 14/16 hours a day, teaching on the side.

I think if I retrain it will have to be in an industry that 'unlocks' my current creative and management skills and gives them a new purpose, perhaps say for example if I learned web design I could work for a creative design or marketing agency? My friend made that transition and seems happy.

Incidentally. I thought of you the other day because I ate ossobuco for the first time, I never realised it was a dish!! Smile
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jan, 2016 06:12 am
@glitterbag,
Oh no! Hope you get better soon!

I live in the UK, in London, which as far as I can gather is one of the most ridiculously competitive places to try and work, excluding maybe New York?
0 Replies
 
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jan, 2016 06:14 am
@engineer,
I COULD do this, you are totally right. Only thing is I feel like if it would be so much effort to do something that is almost what I want to do but not quite, I might as well just do the thing I actually want to do. Do you know what I mean?
The Pentacle Queen
 
  2  
Reply Sun 3 Jan, 2016 06:20 am
@Thomas,
That is true, forgotten about free study on the continent!
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  3  
Reply Sun 3 Jan, 2016 09:21 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
There are always part of a profession that strike you as menial labor, that distract from the really cool parts. How much of being an astronaut is just training, pushing paperwork, etc? You still do what you actually want to do, you just do the related stuff to make the entire package work for you.
 

Related Topics

 
  1. Forums
  2. » Career change to something more sensible with an arts degree, am I totally screwed?
Copyright © 2017 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 11/23/2017 at 09:04:30