So, you’re a recent graduate and you’re thinking of breaking into musical theatre sound engineering? That’s awesome! It can definitely be a thrilling and fulfilling experience, but we get it – it can also be pretty overwhelming. That’s why we’ve put together this post to help you navigate some of the common challenges you might face and provide you with some practical tips and solutions to overcome them.

1. Finding Work: Network and Research

We totally get it – one of the toughest things about being a recent sound engineering grad is landing a job in the field. The job market can be super competitive and it can feel like everyone is vying for the same opportunities. But don’t worry, there are definitely some things you can do to up your chances of getting hired. One of the biggest things? Networking! Go to industry events, chat with people, and let ’em know who you are and what you’re all about. You should also do your research and reach out to potential employers with a customized application that really showcases your skills and experience. Trust us, a little bit of effort can go a long way!

2. Building a Portfolio: Start Small and Collaborate

Alright, so you know that having a solid portfolio is key when it comes to impressing potential employers and showing off your sound engineering chops. But if you’re a recent grad, it can be tough to build up that portfolio from scratch. So where do you start? We suggest taking things slow and working your way up. Consider teaming up with local theatre groups or getting involved with student productions to start getting some experience under your belt. These smaller gigs can be a great chance to fine-tune your skills and start building a body of work that really showcases what you can do. From there, you’ll be well on your way to having an impressive portfolio that’ll catch the eye of any employer!

3. Balancing Work and Personal Life: Create a Schedule and Set Boundaries

Let’s be real, working in musical theatre can be pretty darn demanding. So it’s super important to make sure you’re taking care of yourself and finding a healthy balance between work and play. One way to do this? Create a schedule that lets you prioritize not only work but also self-care and the things you love to do. And hey, don’t be afraid to set some boundaries and make sure your employer knows when you’re available and when you need some time to recharge. A little bit of balance can go a long way!

4. Financial Strain: Budget and Freelance

Okay, so we get it – finances can be tough when you’re a recent grad trying to make a name for yourself in the musical theatre sound engineering world. It might take a little while to build up a steady income and that can definitely be stressful. But the good news is that there are things you can do to make things a little easier. First up, make sure you’ve got a solid budget in place that you can stick to – this will help you stay on top of your spending and avoid any unnecessary financial strain. And hey, don’t forget about freelancing opportunities! Not only can they help you make some extra cash, but they can also be a great chance to gain experience and build up your portfolio.

5. Lack of Direction: Seek Mentorship and Continued Education

Let’s face it, figuring out where you fit in the musical theatre sound engineering world can be a bit of a challenge when you’re a fresh grad. But don’t worry, there are definitely things you can do to help find your way! One idea? Look for a mentor who’s already been around the block a few times and can offer up some solid advice and guidance. And hey, don’t forget about continuing education and training opportunities – these can be awesome ways to expand your skills and knowledge and maybe even open up some new doors you hadn’t even considered before.

6. Dealing with Clients: Communicate Clearly and Effectively

Working with clients in the musical theatre sound engineering world can be pretty tough sometimes. Maybe you’re not quite on the same page creatively, or maybe they’ve got some expectations that just don’t quite match up with what you know is best. So, how can you handle it all like a pro? Simple: communication is key! Make sure you’re crystal clear in your communication to avoid any misunderstandings. And don’t forget to really listen to what your clients have to say – that way, you can respond in a way that addresses their concerns while still staying true to your expertise and professional boundaries.

7. Limited Job Opportunities: Stay Persistent and Expand Your Reach

Sometimes finding work in the world of musical theatre sound engineering can be tough. But don’t lose hope! If you’re struggling to land a job in your area, consider broadening your search and applying for positions in other locations. Stay motivated and keep your options open – you might just find an opportunity that’s perfect for you!

8. Lack of Experience: Gain Experience through Internships and Volunteer Work

As a recent graduate, it can be tough to get hired without any professional experience. But don’t worry, there are ways to gain experience and build your resume! Look for internships or volunteer opportunities where you can assist more experienced professionals or work on smaller productions. This will help you get practical experience and build your skills, making you more competitive in the job market.

9. Upgrading Tools: Prioritize and Budget

Upgrading your tools can be a major expense when you’re just starting out in musical theatre. But don’t let that hold you back from pursuing your passion. Prioritising the equipment you need most and budgeting accordingly can help you stay competitive without breaking the bank. Don’t be afraid to consider purchasing used equipment or renting as needed to minimize costs while still getting the job done.

10. Networking: Attend Industry Events and Build Relationships

Let’s face it, networking is everything in the musical theatre industry. It’s not just about what you know, but who you know. Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and build relationships with industry professionals. You never know where these connections can take you – they may lead to job opportunities, continued education, mentorship, and even collaboration on projects. So, get out there and start making connections!


In conclusion, starting a career as a musical theatre sound engineer can be both exciting and overwhelming. However, there are ways to navigate common challenges that come with it. Networking, building a portfolio, balancing work and personal life, dealing with financial strain, seeking mentorship and continuing education, communicating effectively with clients, expanding reach for job opportunities, gaining experience through internships and volunteering, prioritizing and budgeting for tool upgrades, are practical tips that can help recent graduates overcome these challenges. By implementing these tips, graduates can increase their chances of success in this highly competitive field.