Think it's impossible to get a job in theater? Sure, it's competitive and difficult, but that's only because it can be glorious to make a living living your dream. It's the Year of Chicago Theatre, so let's look at some titles that aren't about the glitz and glamour of a life on (or near) the stage, but are about the plan for a paycheck and the logistics of doing it for a living.
To get a thorough overview of the state of American theater as an employment industry, check out the aptly titled Working in American Theatre. Full of lists and directories, it'll give you the specific information you need to make your career plan a reality. Footlight Dreams is a guide with an education focus, giving specifics for teachers and students.
If you're looking for a life in the spotlight, here are a few good recent titles.
In Breaking and Entering, a successful manager and agent gives proven advice for working actors.
You may know her as Pam from The Office, but Jenna Fischer was once a young woman from St. Louis with a theater degree. She's a great writer, and The Actor's Life is a realistic guide to the working world of acting.
Author Tim Federle has been a back-up dancer and on Broadway, and he uses his experiences brilliantly in Life Is Like A Musical, which is so inspirational you might consider it a self-help title.
Want to be in the theater, but you'd rather be running the spotlight than standing in it? There are a number of good guides for backstage careers, but it may be best to start with the straightforward Theater Careers.
Brush up on your theatrical make-up application skills with The Makeup Artist Handbook.
Is design more your thing? Check out Starting your Career as A Theatrical Designer.
Break a leg on your job hunt!