//
Working Abroad – Andreea Mincic

Most of my work in Europe was related to festivals, however I tried to find work through the Internet a couple of times and I found it difficult. It might be that I don’t know the European theatre network as well as the American one.

Visas, Health and Tax.

I am originally from Romania and I came to US a couple of years ago. So, I could say that “abroad” means almost everywhere to me. I would have chosen to work in Europe more often, but my student status in US didn’t permit me as much freedom. Now I am a professional designer again, and I hope I can do as I wish.

Trying to get a visa from Romania was never easy, but because theatre and dance are such international arts, I didn’t find it very hard to deal with the authorities. For some of the countries such as U.K and Germany we were required to get health insurance, which was actually very expensive for me at that time. It is still expensive, even here in US, but there are organizations that offer health insurance for artists at reasonable prices, and even paid in art. I intend to look into that, because I would be more than happy to offer my talent and my skills in exchange for a visit to the doctor.

I like being a freelancer. As a designer you have so many opportunities to work with different people. And that’s what I enjoy the most.

[ad#10Article]

Culturally Different?

I like being a freelancer. As a designer you have so many opportunities to work with different people. And that’s what I enjoy the most. I think everybody loves designers, and I have never been to a country/place that would treat me badly, or be ignorant to my needs and necessities. I always had the feeling that Germany is a good place for theatre artists because most money for the arts comes from the state. Artists seem to be protected in Germany, but you cannot find such thing in US. Promoting yourself is the number one skill one you need to have. And if you don’t know how to “be brilliant” you better go somewhere else.

I don’t think US is all about money, or even if it is, there is also a good sense of value and talent appreciation that makes me still be comfortable with who I am. If people like your work and working with you, then they would like to collaborate with you again and again. It is just a matter of “first chance” that you have to make it happen for yourself, after that, it’s a piece of cake, I would say.

Language Barriers

I was never put in the position of not being able to communicate. In most of the countries I worked people spoke English. Of the languages I know, I learned them in order to be able to communicate and read interesting art books.

I am still considered “very talented” here in US because of my “European Aesthetic”. But I feel I gained a lot coming to US, and now I am a better all-round designer and I definitely have more skills than I used to have in Romania.

Advantages of being a foreign designer.

I am still considered “very talented” here in US because of my “European Aesthetic”. But I feel I gained a lot coming to US, and now I am a better all-round designer and I definitely have more skills than I used to have in Romania.
I learned first about lighting design and its possibilities in Germany. I went back to Romania and I started to study. Next, I traveled to U.K. and I found it even more complicated. I went back to my home country and I tried to reproduce and start to design lights. There was neither such good equipment, nor enough access to it. Then I moved to US, where lighting design is totally different, even more complex than geometry.

Benefits

I find it interesting how people think about theatre in different countries. It makes me understand people better and their relationship to the arts. I like to remember places, performances, and people who I worked with.

What I’m doing now

I just finished working for the Production School of The Americas, by Jose Rivera, directed by Mark Wing-Davey, a co-production of LAByrinth Theater Company and The Public Theater. I was the charge artist (Scenic Artist) and the designer for the projection model. I am currently working as assistant scenic designer for two performances: Viva La Vida by Diane Shaffer directed by Susan Tubert at the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor, and Blue Door by Tanya Barfield directed by Leigh Silverman at Playwrights Horizons.

Advice and Recommendations

In my opinion, moving out and experiencing theatre abroad is very useful for designers. Go out and meet theatre people from everywhere and you’ll find yourself being part of a big family. Participate in festivals and watch other people’s work, you’ll learn good and bad things about your own work. Get training in another country if you can, because there are so many different concepts and techniques out there to be learned. You become a more complex person and you start to understand theatre better.

They should start where they think they’ve never been, that has theatre and possibilities for it (e.g. US, Germany, Norway, UK, Romania). Everywhere is interesting, but depending on personal standards, designers should always choose a place open to new challenges.

 

Visit Andreea’s Scenography Portfolio

Top Tips:

  • Research local employment laws before you leave.
  • Finance: make sure you have accounted for currency exchange differences in your budget.
  • Visit sites such as www.on-the-move.org
  • Try to build up a base of contacts before you leave.
  • Be prepared to start from the bottom and build your way up new networks.

Read More:

Discussion

One thought on “Working Abroad – Andreea Mincic

  1. Good Sunday,
    I’m an Italian student of set design. I’m looking for have a job or stage experiences in my field, i’d like to go in new zeland or usa. Someone can advertise me???

    thank you
    Francesca

    Posted by francesca vitulano | September 25, 2011, 4:10 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Archived

This website is now in an archived state
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 40 other followers

%d bloggers like this: