How to become a front of house usher: Aisha's story

Meet Aisha, 24, from London. She works at the Young Vic Theatre as a theatre attendant. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.

Aisha with a programme at the Young Vic Theatre
"My job makes theatre-goers feel welcome and it makes me so happy!"

What is your job?

I work at the Young Vic Theatre. I’m an usher, also known as front of house assistant. This involves showing people to their seats and if they’ve got a problem, I try to help. I talk a lot to the theatre-goers and sell programmes.

What was your educational career path?

I did three years of Performing Arts.

How did you get the job?

I had to do a five-week course with Mencap to get the job. I did a group interview, then a one-to-one interview. Then I got the job.

Was it a smooth ride?

When I was younger I had meningitis, so I take longer to do things than other people, but I get there. One of my big struggles was my maths, but it’s got a lot better. Sometimes I see letters backwards. My reading and writing skills are not the best, but it’s OK. I like it when people write things down, so I know how to process it.

What is it like to work with Aisha?

Claudia, support worker: I started work with Aisha in May. She has dyslexia and dyscalculia, so we needed to work together to improve her communication, maths, and writing skills. One of the best things of working with Aisha is that you know what you get, because she will be open with you. We always say it’s not about your qualifications, but your commitment to the job. Aisha’s definitely given us that commitment.

Aisha speaking to a theatregoer.
Aisha speaking to a theatregoer.

Top tips

  • Just go for your dreams. Don’t let anyone stop you and say you can’t do it

  • You can be anything you want to be. If you don’t know something, just ask

  • We’re not perfect - we’re all finding out things about ourselves and that's OK.

What to expect if you want to become an usher or theatre attendant

  • Theatre attendant salary: Variable
  • Theatre attendant hours: 23 to 25 hours per week
  • Typical entry requirements: You can apply directly to vacancies advertised by theatres and cinemas. Experience of dealing with the public, for example in retail or hospitality, may give you an advantage, though it's not always essential. An interest in film or the arts would be helpful. You can find out more about working in cinemas from Creative Choices.

This information is a guide (sources: LMI for All, National Careers Service)

For careers advice in all parts of the UK visit: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

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