Surviving LA: My Professional Development Journey

I have been paid minimum wage twice in my life, the first job I ever had ($5.15/hour in Florida) and the first job I was offered after finishing graduate school in the middle of the recession ($8/hour in California). Needless to say, I was desperate. I had just moved to LA, and I knew no one in this city. I had applied for over 200 jobs that summer. It was a difficult time, but honestly, I would not change a thing. Something I learned from the experience is that you can struggle at any point in time in your career.

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The Constant Need for Professional Development. How EALLA gave me the support I needed to develop my career

Professional development is one of the most visible aspects of Emerging Arts Leaders/Los Angeles’s mission. We offer workshops and networking events to promote skill and relationship development. One of the less obvious ways EALLA offers professional development is by serving on the Leadership Council.

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Kristen Klehr's Professional Development Scholarship Blog

Photo Credit: Francesco Desmaele​

Passionate about innovative concert design and production, I used my stipend to travel up to San Francisco and help produce One Found Sound's gala, entitled "3.0 LUX." With the theme set simply as "light" and a collaboration with Symmetry Labs strong, I loved what OFS was after, and wanted every bit of their funding to focus on the musicians and the unique light installation. I felt that this was my creative way of still making something happen, while not weighing on their focused budget line items. Here's a quick clip showcasing the final result, where the "Sugar Cubes" respond and interweave with the live orchestra music in real time:



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Funding on the Fringe: A Professional Development Blog by Olivia Cordell

The current graphic design for my show


A little less than a year ago, I wrote a play while traveling through Europe. Inspired by the amazing and fresh new works I saw while studying theatre in London, it only took me about three days to come up with a working first draft.


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Sold Out Crowd, a Professional Development Scholarship Blog


Yay, site-specific theatre!


As my inaugural dip into my professional development fund, I used $65 on a subscription to Sold Out Crowd, something I had been interested in joining for about a year now.

As an independent theatre producer/artist, when I'm not working on one of my own shows or working at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, I try to see AS MUCH THEATRE AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE. Someday I will be an excellent dog lady/retired theatre patron. On top of that, I try to see as much of this theatre for free as I can, which usually works out as I have been fortunate to make friends in a number of theatre community circles. And I have my ways.

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Four days at the Alliance of Artist Communities - A Professional Development Scholarship Blog


My four days at the Alliance of Artist Communities was incredibly valuable. I met, listened to, spoke with, and witnessed a diverse range of people and organizations talk about their work, their organizational challenges and their victories. I returned home with pages of notes, ideas, new contacts and to-dos, but there were three workshops that were particularly illuminating.


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An Insider Perspective on EAL/LA - A Professional Development Blog


I joined Emerging Arts Leaders/Los Angeles (EAL/LA) three years ago and after having attended my first committee meeting, I knew this was the group for me. The dedication, talent and drive of the other volunteer members energized and pushed me to want to achieve more for myself professionally and for the arts nonprofit field in Los Angeles.

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“Lift and Lift and Lift...” Jill Mamey's Professional Development Scholarship Blog


I want to talk about high school for a moment.


During my freshman year, I was on the Cross Country team, took Modern Dance and gym daily, and spent a solid portion of time changing from school uniform to gym clothes to dance and movement attire. I was constantly on the run (literally), and, though 70% of the time I was at a desk in a classroom prepping for the SATs, the other 30% was spent exerting energy, allowing me to process the pains of high school in a healthy manner, focusing on my physical being while building both my mind and mindset.

Fast forward ten years to 2015. I’m in my mid- to late 20s, on my fourth job since college, and I’m stuck at a desk.

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Funding Dramatist Play Service Performance Rights



With $150 of my professional development, I paid for a portion of the amateur theatrical rights to the play I recently put on, Recent Tragic Events by Craig Wright.

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Self-Care Kit for Creatives, a Professional Development Blog

If you’re anything like me, you like to be busy. Down time almost feels wrong. If you’re anything like me, you also don’t realize just how much of a toll a lack of down-time can have on you… until it’s too late. I’ve taken the past six months to become acutely aware of my own burn-out signals to better take care of myself before a burn-out happens. Working full-time on top of pursuing outside passions and an actively job searching can be stressful, but there are ways to make your experience much more fruitful and enjoyable.

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