By Brian Henninger
By now if you are an unsigned dancer in NYC you have heard about Bloc Agency’s open auditions coming up on Saturday February 8th. For more info check out Nyc.BlocAgency.com. Agency auditions can be nerve wracking for many new and older dancers alike. I believe that most of this anxiety around agency auditions is due to 1. Lack of preparedness, and 2. an overwhelming amount of pressure put on your performance by yourself. Lets go over some easy ways to approach your next agency audition in a much more healthy way so you can avoid all of that unneeded anxiety on audition day.
Step 1. Fight lack of preparedness with…actually being prepared!
I can’t tell you how many times I have either been auditioning or at an audition assisting, where it seemed like half of the dancers in the room either didn’t have a proper resume/headshot or looked like they were headed to the gym instead of a commercial dance audition. We have to always remember that we make first impressions that last in the dance industry, but also in life. These first impressions are important because they affect the way potential agents, colleagues, and employers feel about our merit as dancers and professionals. Yes its true that you shouldn’t “Judge a book by it’s cover”, however this is simply not the way that the entertainment industry has ever worked on the surface. You’ve always had to prove yourself, and making an amazing first impression can help. Make sure you have your resume and headshot stapled together, 4 corners stapled neatly with your resume in three column format ( there are several resumes available to review for formatting on NYC.BLOCAGENCY.COM). Make sure you are dressed for an audition! Form fitting clothes that are flattering, and NO SWEATS. People still try and get away with coming to auditions looking like they rolled out of bed, and while sometimes it works ( for incredible strong, and talented dancers), most of the time it will get you cut, or looked over. Come prepared, speak confidently, be attentive and receptive, then leave it all on the floor!
Step 2. “Its just dance not cancer”
I in no way am trivializing the horrible disease of cancer by comparing it to dance, but I am saying that many of us take these auditions way to seriously. We build these experiences up in our minds to mean so much more to our lives than they really do. Yes, it is important to visualize what you want, and be connected to that, and hungry for it. Yes, you have to “Burn The Boats” metaphorically and really dive in after your dream if your ever going to make it happen. However you should never put much thought into worrying about NOT getting something. You should never EVER put your personal worth to the side and believe that booking a job or agent will somehow fulfill you. This is what turns dancers who are so in love with what they do into jaded, washed up, and bitter people who let the cutthroat aspect of this industry affect their self worth. I have seen this industry chew people up and spit them out time and time again, and its my hope that it never happens to you. Remember that you are you and your life will continue regardless of what happens on audition day. Go in that room focused and ready to fight for everything you want, but also be centered and calm in knowing that all you can ever do is leave your best on that floor, and then wash your hands of any outcome.
*SERIOUS SIDE NOTE.
Remember that while an agent is a tremendous help to a professional dancer, they are not going to magically get you every dream gig you want. Agents work for you, but they are only there to get your foot in the door. It is always up to you to deliver what the client wants, if you can’t do that then the job isn’t going to be yours regardless of who your agent is. Best of luck to everyone auditioning on February 8th!
Leave it all out on the floor and be #FullOutSinceBirth!