The Actors Centre

Working as a freelance drama teacher

8 July 2016


If you’re an actor wanting to work as a freelance drama teacher, here’s what you should do.

Actors tend to make great drama teachers; charisma, good people skills and an ability to improvise are all assets in the classroom. Many part time theatre schools are specifically looking for actors to inspire their students. Stagecoach, Razzmatazz, The Pauline Quirke Academy, Perform, Bigfoot, Theatre Bugs, the list goes on, are always on the look-out for performers who have the ability to teach. If you have trained in drama either at drama school or university and you like children, then you can be a freelance drama teacher. You do not need prior experience with children; however, you will need to learn about teaching and develop some good classroom management techniques. Bigfoot offers some particularly inspiring short courses on teaching drama. You can also read about how to teach drama in my book, ‘How to make a living as a freelance drama teacher.’ 

Making money alongside auditioning can be tricky. But I’d choose freelance drama teaching over service or telecoms jobs any day. Not only is teaching rewarding, but also the pay is great: on average £25 an hour. Most part time theatre schools run classes during evenings and weekends, therefore teaching hours don’t generally clash with auditions. When I was a freelance drama teacher in London I taught on a Wednesday and Friday evening and all day on Saturday and Sunday and I earned enough money to live on - meaning nearly all my time during the week was completely free. Yes, my friends were envious! 

Sometimes of course acting jobs can clash with your teaching commitments, so I suggest getting a pool of three or four actor friends who also teach, to call on if you need someone to cover your class.

 

If you’re an actor wanting to work as a freelance drama teacher, here’s what you should do.

  • Send all the theatre schools and youth theatres in your area your head shot and CV. If you have nothing about teaching drama on your CV, add something, even if it’s just a bit about why you’d like to teach. More here about how to contact theatre schools for teaching work.
  •  Perhaps go on a short teaching course. Bigfoot, Drama Resource and Stagecoach all offer great drama teaching courses.
  • Get hold of my book, ‘How to make a living as a freelance drama teacher.’ In it I will show you how to generate work, teach a class and keep students disciplined. It comes out on September 19th 2016. 

 

Written by actor and teacher Sam Marsden  

Members of the Actors Centre get 30% off the launch price of my book, ‘How to make a living as a freelance drama teacher.’ Sign up now to get your discount.