Job as an Entertainment manager

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David Preston is entertainment manager at a holiday village in the centre of the Lake District. He has managerial responsibilities for organising all the entertainment at the centre and making sure the costs remain within budget for the year.

What are your main responsibilities?

As stage and production manager, I am responsible for the entertainment operation at the centre. This is an important feature of life in a holiday village and entertainment and activity is available to all residents throughout the year. We run five in-house professional production shows for which I do the directing, writing and full production. In addition, there are two cinemas and a box office that I manage.

What managerial skills do you need to be an entertainment manager?

There is a lot of staff management involved – hiring of performers and organising productions. In addition, I have a yearly budget of £1 million, which I need to cover all the performers' fees; costs of the various shows we put on, and all the other initiatives we stage to provide entertainment for the centre. As a manager, I need to co-ordinate all these activities and delegate, organise and supervise the work, as well as deal with any problems that arise.

Do you have a typical day?

Not really. Every day throws up new problems and challenges such as artists becoming ill and having to be replaced at short notice, or rehearsals for new productions being delayed. A lot of my time is spent talking to the entertainment team, briefing individual members and checking that they understand fully what their aim is for the day. I always try and make time to speak to every member of the team, offering words of encouragement and helping them to understand the process and procedure of what it is they are doing. Ultimately my role is managing people, and people need a wide range of input to realise their true potential.

What equipment do you use?

It is mainly equipment associated with theatre production such as lighting, sound and costumes. Much of this has to be portable as the entertainment is often moved into different parts of the village. A range of business computer programmes, such as databases and project management software is used too, in order to track all the performances.

How did you get into this job?

I started as a disc jockey and then became part of an entertainment team for a large holiday centre. During this time I got involved in the production and management side of putting on entertainment. I moved here to take up my current role as a manager. This has been a totally new experience as I have needed to learn new skills involving projects and human resources, for instance.

Do you work regular hours?

No. In the entertainment industry I need to work for as long as it takes to produce what the customer wants. There is a lot of evening and weekend work as I am providing entertainment for the times when we all enjoy our leisure time. However, it generally works out as a six-day week during the peak periods but eases during the winter when I get a six-week break.

What are the pros and cons of your job as an entertainment manager?

I am very lucky in that I get paid for doing something that I really love and enjoy, although it can get quite stressful being a manager.

What skills and qualities are needed?

I believe it is essential that you actually have 'shop floor' experience of the tasks you expect your team members to do, in order to manage and understand their issues and concerns.

David's route to his job as an entertainment manager

  • GCSEs
  • Theatre Arts certificate
  • NVQ level 1 in Travel and Tourism

David's entertainment manager tips

  • Always try to do a good job because if you don't there is always someone else who will.
  • Enjoy your work – it then becomes more natural.

Entertainment manager related jobs

  • Holiday centre worker/manager
  • Hotel manager
  • Leisure centre assistant
  • Leisure centre manager
  • Theatre director

Salary of an entertainment manager

  • Salaries vary enormously depending on the size of the holiday village or centre and the type of entertainment offered.
  • Experienced managers can expect to earn between £20,000 and £35,000 per annum plus living-in benefits in some cases.

How to become a entertainment manager

  • There are no formal academic requirements, although experience of the entertainment industry is an important part of the job. Some entertainment managers have studied music, acting or dancing from an early age, performing or working backstage in school shows and amateur productions.
  • Different routes into the profession include degree courses in performing arts, management or event management and performing art schools/colleges and stage schools, which offer a variety of courses, certificates and diplomas according to the school, art form and entrant's skills.

Modified: 16 June 2013

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