the journey to paid professional performing artist

business cards

You might think these are only for businessmen, but think again.

Show business is about the connections you make and your staying power in the minds of directors.  The more they see you and hear your name, the better.

In the Rockettes, often you hear of girls auditioning over and over before getting the job.  I’ve even heard of 13 times before.  It takes perseverance.

Last time I posted about the need for a thank you note post-audition.  I haven’t always done this.  The idea came to me when I forgot to mention that I can do split jumps when they asked if anyone has acrobatic tricks.  I don’t know if this counts, but it’s worth a try.  The director knows what she is looking for, I shouldn’t try to double guess.

So I wrote a thank you note, adding that information and the link to the You Tube file that shows me performing it on stage.  As I was writing I got the thought that it would be good of the me include my business card so she has all my information right there.  Then I looked at my business cards, which are at the moment kind of generic.  I decided a re-design was in order, especially since I have a great headshot to put on them now.  This is what I’m thinking of using:

I Googled dancer business cards and thank you note etiquette, and found the suggestion to add a picture with the note.  I think I’ve got two my two birds here with including pictures of me on my business card, along with my information.  Hopefully I will spring back into the directors head!

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Going the extra mile: how to follow up after an audition

Dance Magazine, Feb, 2009 by Rachel Leigh Dolan

When you’re done with an audition–whether or not you got the job–your chance to leave a good impression isn’t over There are ways to stay on auditioners” minds without appearing pushy. Experts from the Broadway, modern, ballet, and commercial dance scenes tell how it’s tactfully done.

Strengthen your connections (politely).

If you’ve had a strong audition, a director may be interested in you for future jobs, says Laura Stanczyk, casting director for Dirty Dancing. Keep in touch by sending a postcard or personal note to their office: For people with inboxes stuffed to the brim, snail-mail speaks louder than e-mail. If you’d like feedback, Stanczyk says, a phone call to a casting director (work line, not cell phone) is OK, but always be complimentary, and never ask why you weren’t cast. Instead, inquire what you might do to improve your auditioning.

“If you really want to follow up,” Stanczyk advises, “go to open calls to stay in our minds.” Face-to-face time with casting directors and choreographers is the best way to remind them of your talent.

The good old-fashioned thank-you note.

Modern choreographer David Parsons, artistic director of Parsons Dance Company in NYC, appreciates a handwritten post-audition thank-you note. Say that you enjoyed the process, or share what you thought of the work. “Giving auditions is part of who we are, so we like to hear feedback,” Parsons says. He recommends sending a note as soon as possible after the audition, and always with a picture.

Don’t overdo it.

William Whitener, artistic director of Kansas City Ballet, also welcomes a thank-you note but cautions against sending e-mails and calling too much. “If we say that we will get in touch with you, we mean it,” he says. When writing to a director, he adds, be informed about the company; you don’t want to get caught not having done your research.

Show them you’re ready.

For dancers on the commercial scene, Lisa Coppola, an agent with McDonald Selznick Associates in L.A., recommends following up after submitting your materials for representation. It shows that you’re proactive, Coppola says, and will be that way if you’re signed. “Anyone would want to hear that you had an enjoyable audition or working experience and that you’d like to work together in the future.”

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