Top Non-Entertainment Careers In Entertainment

You don't have to sing, act or dance to be in showbiz


Television buys for 30-second national and syndicated commercials can vary. At an ad firm, an individual buyer usually gets a salary rather than a percentage of the buy and, most likely, a commission.

A bachelor’s degree in mass communications with a focus on public relations is desirable. Internships in the media industry (e.g., PR or advertising firm, TV or radio
station) will help.

Entry level: $17,500-$30,000 (assistant media buyer)
Midlevel: $45,000-$90,000 (media director)
Executive: $70,000 and more; can also make between $70,000-$100,000 in commissions
American Association of Advertising Agencies
c/o Martha Brown, Communications Manager
405 Lexington Ave., 18th Floor
New York, NY 10174-1801

In the music business, publicity can make or break an artist. Luckily, record labels can hire a media buyer like Sibrena Stowe to negotiate with networks and radio stations for optimal commercial time. Stowe Communications, a three-year-old media buying and public relations firm, was incorporated after an injury forced Stowe to leave her job as an independent contractor with Gellwick Advertising in New York. “I didn’t want to be employed by somebody and have them put a cap on how much money I could make. [Working independently] I make my own hours, get my own accounts and am my own boss,” says the 30-year-old. She secured her first accounts from Universal Records and Kedar Entertainment, and has been buying media placements for record labels ever since, generating sales of $500,000 to $2.5 million quarterly. “I know the urban market,” says the Philadelphia native.

Head of the wardrobe department, a costume designer acquires and/or designs clothing for the cast members of a film, television or theatrical production. Besides setting a budget for the project, the designer reads drafts of the script, meets with directors and producers, and is on the set during production to handle any last-minute changes. A costume designer can easily work 12-hour days. It is highly desirable-and, in some instances, mandatory-to be a member of one of the costumer’s unions to get wor
k as a designer.

A bachelor’s degree in textiles, fashion or merchandising is helpful but not necessary with equivalent work experience. The easiest way to obtain experience while making yourself eligible to join a union is to work as an assistant to a costumer on a union production.

$1,679/week minimum; higher salaries negotiated
Motion Picture Costumer’s Local 705
1427 N. LaBrea St.
Hollywood, CA 90028

Costumer Designers Guild Local 892
13949 Ventura Blvd., Suite 309
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
–Additional reporting by Dawn M. Baskerville and Marjorie Whigham-Désir

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