Dirty Little Secret?

There’s been an interesting and relevant thread on LinkedIn, in the Performing Arts Administrators group.

The question on the table is whether we should downplay our theater experience when interviewing for non-industry jobs.

One of the commenters referred to this article, written by actor and drama professor  Louis E. Catron (1932-2010), pictured at right. It outlines 25 Special Advantages that Theater Majors can bring to a job. And I think that in many ways he’s hit the bullseye, especially when referring to those positions that are less knowledge based (medicine, law, dance, opera) and those which are trait-based (i.e. the employer’s looking for someone with a variety of desirable characteristics).

While the list is obviously geared towards students, I find several good parallels.

My question for you – do you tell people about your arts background, or do you let it emerge? Do you find it an asset or a liability?

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