This Tuesday Impact Dance Productions is featuring a blog post by Toronto based dancer and choreographer Alexandra Crenian! She has worked in the dance industry for many years and has great knowledge of the audition process. Alexandra crushes her competition by not only being fierce but also by being humble, which has lead her to perform with idols such as the one and only Lady Gaga!
Confessions from an Audition by Alexandra Crenian
Let’s start with what happened…I walked in the door to the theatre and immediately asked one of the auditionees, “Could you tell me what room the casting is in?” The Auditionee looked me up and down, put her hand on her hip, scoffed loudly and walked away, laughing (she was muttering some sort of rude sentence that I can’t even remember.) Luckily, a happier, more polite human being showed me the correct room. I can only assume that she thought I was a ‘competitor.’ Unfortunately for her, I was not only on the casting panel, I was also the choreographer. Not only was it incredibly embarrassing for her when she realized her error, it was uncomfortable for everyone in the room who witnessed it. Needless to say, she didn’t get the part.
If that auditionee had truly believed in herself, she wouldn’t have felt the need to be rude, nor the need to compare herself to a stranger. She had demonstrated a form of bullying to psych out her competition. Not only can a bad attitude ruin your opportunities before you even get in the audition room, but it simultaneously lowers your own self-esteem. There is no need to compare yourself to anyone else. Chances are, even if you don’t book that particular job, you will at some point book something with other people in that very room. If you are rude to everyone, no one will want to work alongside you. When a person is hired for a job, they spend 8 or more hours a day with the same people. No person would knowingly hire anyone who brings an air of negativity with them, that energy is contagious. It brings down the group.
How can a performer (or anyone) help themselves from becoming bitter and negative in professional situations? Work on yourself. Don’t compare yourself to others, there are many qualified, talented people out there… someone else’s talent doesn’t discredit yours. Truly confident, happy people are more willing to help others, collaborate and keep a positive energy in the room. It’s such a small world, chances are if a person is hired once and represents themselves professionally, with a great attitude, they will continue to be hired by the same choreographer/director. The goal shouldn’t be booking the one job, it should be creating a professional relationship by showcasing yourself and how you treat others well. Thus ensuring you will be rehired in the future. It is also important to realize, you never know who anyone is or who they’ll become: don’t judge them. Most of the time, we aren’t aware of anyone’s story but our own. The reality is everyone has had, or will have, multiple difficulties in their lifetime. To feel like the universe owes you something because you’ve had a hard time will lead to disappointment. Preparation, research and hard work is the key. There is no short-cut. The person you are competing against for a role today may end up being a person that hires you tomorrow, or vice versa. Kindness and honesty is rare, but is very much appreciated and remembered.
Have hobbies outside of your career, when your art form becomes your income, you’ll need other outlets. Reading, knitting, sewing, yoga, playing a musical instrument, writing… all of these are examples of creative outlets that leave you feeling accomplished. Staying committed to your goals, no matter how small (i.e. setting your alarm for a certain time, and actually waking up at that time) build your self confidence. A personal favourite of mine, is to make lists: lists of goals, short and long term, grocery lists, to do lists. The small act of crossing off what I’ve accomplished leaves me feeling exactly that, accomplished.
The next time you’re at an audition, know that the only thing you have control over is yourself. Your actions define who you are, how you feel about yourself, and how you regard others. Remember the reason you love what you do and that we are truly fortunate to have the opportunity to do it.
Blog made possible by Danielle Gardner, Impact Dance Productions and Alexandra Crenien.
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