How To Become A Front Of House Person

After my recent post Front Of House Commandments I recieved a fair few questions from theatre fans who want to get involved in the front of house world, so I figured I would publish a little how to.

1) Prepare Your CV
Why should a theatre hire you? Lots of people want these jobs so you need to give yourself the X Factor. Any customer service experience? Experience with crowds? Make sure it’s all on there.
Theatres want people who are friendly, professional and hard working. On any given night you may be doing auditorium duties, bar work, door work or any manner of other things. Highlight cash handling skills. As a note, most West End theatres will only accept applications from those over eighteen because of the bar work and hours involved, but check with the theatre if you are younger.

2) Cover Letters R Us
One of the worst things you can do is just send in a plain old CV. There’s nothing personal about that and it will probably go straight in the “no” pile no matter how much fantastic experience you have. Be personal. Make sure you mention your interest in theatre and the theatrical world, your fantastic customer service skills, your ability to work as part of a team and all those other things that should always be in a cover letter.

3) Research
Right, now your cover letter and CV are up to scratch you need to do your research. Try ad find out the name (and spelling of the name) of the Front of House Manager at the theatre to which you are applying. Then address your cover letter as such – Dear Mr/Ms (Name).
The same should go on the envelope – for example –

Mr Management Buff
Front of House Manager
c/o Apollo Victoria Theatre
17 Wilton Road
London 
SW1V 1LG
Then send first class or simply drop into stage door of your chosen theatre. 
Many theatres don’t advertise that they are hiring, so when it comes to applying what I found is effective is dropping off CVs and covering letters (properly addressed) to any theatres you think you might want to work at. 
Also, research the job itself. Know what you are getting into. Know that the hours are quite unsociable with Front of House shifts finishing generally between 9.30pm and 11pm depending on the length of the show. 
4) Be Yourself
Hopefully after those steps the interviews will come flooding in. When it comes to an interview Lend Me a Tenor gives the best advice – Be Yourself. Highlight YOUR skills and talk about what YOU are good at. In the past I’ve had to do simple maths tests (Linda buys two ice creams for £3, how much change would she have from £10) or sales exercises (sell this programme/T-shirt to me) at Front of House interviews so be prepared for those. Be friendly, be smiley and look professional. 
—————————
So there you go! That’s West End Wendy’s four step guide to getting a job Front of House at a theatre. If you get a job – congratulations. Sometimes it’s stressful, sometimes it’s difficult and sometimes you want to rip your hair out – but working Front of House is like no other job. I loved my time Front of House. Hope you all will too

                                     

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