Andrew Dixon, Chief Executive of Creative Scotland – the national leader for Scotland’s arts, screen and creative industries – shares with us his first five jobs.

I got my first pay packet at the age of 13 as a stand-in film actor, then various teenage jobs as potato picker, milkman, bar musician and ironmonger’s assistant where my first payslip was a massive £1.25 for 5 hours work.  My first real jobs were as a Youth Theatre Director, Rock Music Promoter and administrator of Major Road Theatre Company. I then went on to be a local authority arts officer in Hull also running film theatres and festivals before moving to Newcastle as Assistant Director of Northern Arts.

As a rock promoter in Bradford I was booking new talent like U2, Annie Lennox, Dire Straits and Elvis Costello and our gigs were renowned for never being more than £1 on a Wednesday and £2 on a Saturday.

With Major Road we took shows to teenage audiences and ran summer residencies building shows in parks and outdoor venues.

I was a local authority arts officer at an amazing time when Hull Truck Theatre Company was selling out Edinburgh with its shows Bouncers and Up and Under. I’ll be best remembered in Hull for the film festival that brought John Cleese, Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam to town.

At Northern Arts where I went on to be Chief Executive I was the ‘missionary’ for selling the arts to places that had no venues. I also developed the major capital strategy and went on to help projects such as the Angel of the North, The Sage Gateshead and Baltic. The hardest job by far was being a milkman which I did with a mate called Peter Gibbs, now the BBC’s weatherman.


We’ve asked professionals in creative industries what jobs they have had in the past to get their foot through the door (or at least pay the rent). For more in the “My First 5 Jobs” series look here.