A choreographer works with performance artists and coordinates their own acts to blend them in one finished piece. Choreographers are usually former performers themselves and have a first-hand understanding of how the specific act works. A choreographer is responsible for helping each of the performers fine-tune their own act and helping them organize together to work as a team. A choreographer’s job is usually more demanding than those of individual performers, and requires a high level of personal involvement. Additionally, a choreographer is usually the one responsible for holding auditions for the specific act.
Most choreographers come from a a background similar to the performers they’re handling, for example dance choreographers are commonly former dancers themselves. This is usually necessary for the choreographer to better understand the needs and abilities of the different performers, and more closely relate to them. Strong people skills are absolutely necessary, as is the ability to remain calm and unaffected under the pressure of long working hours and problematic performers.
A choreographer, despite having a more demanding job than actual performers, will usually earn less than the majority of them. The median salary for choreographers in 2009 was $33,000, and most choreographers earn between $29,000 and $42,000 a year. The combination of the low pay rate and demanding working conditions are usually very stressful on choreographers, and not many remain in the position for long for these reasons. On the other hand, this has lead to a high demand for the position in the job market, so finding employment isn’t difficult.