As I mentioned in my last post, you may find yourself needing to freelance your dance skills to supplement your income as well as your calendar. Here are the remaining 5 tips.
5: Save your money: “I’m temporarily between engagements.” can mean you are out of work for six months or more! To quote Marilyn Monroe as a struggling performer in “There’s No Business Like Show Business.” We all hit dry spells. Really, REALLY try to take a percentage out of your paycheck, put it in the bank and don’t touch it!! It’s called Savings because it can save your life down the road when you are in-between shows.
4: Diversify your education: With today’s economic climate it’s getting to the point where B.A.’s are the equivalent of a high school diploma. Due to the poor economy people are upping their skill levels and going to Graduate School. Wherever you are in your dance career and wherever you plan on going with it know that investing (time and money) in an education is very worthy in the unpredictable profession of dance.
3: Have Some Class: You may find yourself in a class or rehearsal with someone you either disagree with, not a fan of artistically speaking or just don’t like at all. If this person is the teacher of your open class just stick through it, the class will be over soon enough. Do all the exercises the way they want and don’t change steps or choreography because you “prefer” to dance in a different style.
2: Get Organized: Chances are, as a freelance dancer, you have a “rent paying” job as well. I know what you are thinking- because I’ve used the same excuse myself; “I’m an artist. I don’t know how to be organized and it stifles my creativity!” Or ‘my brain doesn’t work like that.” If you are a proficient dancer you are naturally disciplined due to the nature of our discipline. The more organized your days and months are, the easier it will be to find more time in your schedule to plan ahead for auditions, classes, rehearsals etc. without sacrificing either job. As much as I hate to admit it, my militantly organized dad was right all those years while I was in high school; organization is the key to success.
1: Sometimes You Have To Be Sneaky- I’m not saying be sketchy and screw people over. But you have to be on the gun about booking jobs and getting connections. If you meet someone that seem interested in helping you or hiring you and expresses interest in contacting you. GET THEIR EMAIL or phone number (the latter is better). Don’t wait for a middleman (friend, teacher whatever) to get to them for you. For example…one gig I booked because I wrote down the phone number of the producer (even though it wasn’t meant for me) someone else was supposed to connect us but I didn’t want to risk them forgetting or passing that job along to someone else. I saw the producer’s number written down on a note pad and quickly typed it into my phone. When you’re in my position you do what you gotta do. Work in your best interest.