College Admission Scandal and How it Effects Us Backstage

In the midst of the college admission bribery scandal that broke recently, I’m actually pleased that you can’t bribe your way into stagecraft, nor do you even need a college degree in the first place to make a decent – if not – a lucrative living.

I’ve put some links below to help illustrate the point. Here are 2 major points I’d like to make in this short post.

First of all, backstage work is generally based on skill sets. Within the IATSE ranks, skills trump experience and tenure. As an example, a client needs an ETC GIO operator and none of the 20-year veterans know how to run a GIO. Guess who’s getting the work? That’s right. The 20-something-year-old who DOES know how to run a GIO.

Second of all, spending $80k (2019 Full Sail numbers) is unnecessary. Why not start pushing boxes for $35/hour and spend time reviewing YouTube videos on how to run a GIO? Heck – for a tenth of that tuition, you could hire a programmer who would spend a month with you as a personal trainer on the GIO.

Just saying…

In full disclosure, I loved my college education and the technical skills it gave me. I’m also aware that if more people had told me that I could approach the industry without the college degree, I would have been happier NOT to have had student loan payments for as long as I did.


How to Earn Six Figures Without a 4-Year Degree – NPR’s 1A

New York Times’ articles on stagehand salaries in New York

Trevor Noah’s take on the matter

How to Become a Six Figure Artist – Stefanie O’Connell

Comments are welcome…

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