Career Development With a Twist: How to Make the Most of A Cattle Call Audition

Hello misguided youths, and welcome back to Career Development With a Twist, the career development service that just wants to keep things business-casual.

This week’s edition is for dancers hoping to stand out in those jam-packed open-call auditions. Sure, the chances of being hired on the spot from cattle calls are slim. But can they be an opportunity to make an impression, build connections, and strengthen your audition skills for next time? Unclear. Try these tips anyway.

  • Don’t miss an opportunity to network! Start conversation by going up to someone who looks vaguely familiar and trying to figure out what you know each other from. Compare the auditions and workshops you’ve each attended recently and find no overlap. Agree that it was probably just some class at Peridance. Realize halfway through the audition that it was actually Tinder.
  • Practice spacial awareness in a crowded studio by pretending that you’re Frogger and all the other dancers are the cars. You’ve got three collisions before you loose.
  • Fake it till you make it! If you can’t really see the choreography demonstration, guess the missing moves by asking yourself  “What would Left Shark do?” 
  • When they say they want to “see more of your personality this time,” take the task seriously and whip out the John Mayer guitar faces you’ve been practicing in your spare time.
  • Really watch the dancers in the other groups. Not to compare or criticize, but to cast a sci-fi soap opera musical in your head. 
  • Notice which dancers are being asked to stay. Notice which numbers they are. Look for patterns and syncronicities. Decide that you need to aim for a 2-digit prime number next audition, and plan your arrival time accordingly.
  • Enjoy dancing or something. Maybe.

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More Coffee Shop Logbook Poetry

 

Let’s call this collection ‘Oat Milk and Stevia.’

The Match:

Car-towed and phone-dead
You stumbled cold inside
Searching for a place to charge
So you could call a ride.
You couldn’t reach the taxi
But somehow, by mistake you
Came across some car-owners
Offering to take you.

You came looking for power
But upon further inspection
It wasn’t power that saved you
But rather, some connection.

A Haiku About Writing Over Sharpie Marks With Dry-Erase Markers So You Can Wipe Them Off (And Other Things):

The temporary
Is so quick to overtake
What seemed permanent

This Can Be The Last Poem Entitled ‘Almond Eyes’ Written:

Her eyes were like almonds
in that they produced a watery substance
that could not accurately be described as ‘milk.’

 

Bad Ideas I Had That I Like

House of NO: an anti-nightclub where people sit on couches, drink tea, eat pretzels, watch TV, and collectively complain about being tired, after they’ve cancelled plans to go out.

Finding Wifi–The Musical: A connection-starved tourist wanders throughout NYC, searching desperately for some publicly accessible-Wifi and meeting various characters along the way. She accidentally finds love when she meets a barista at a cafe with no Wifi. Now she must choose between love and Wifi, as she decides which store to camp out in for the rest of the afternoon. (She eventually leaves and goes to Starbucks.)

Competitive Alexander Technique: Whoever drops the most unnecessary tension the fastest wins. Competitors walk into the room checking out each others’ postural tendencies and making snide comments like “She could stand to loose some neck engagement,” and “Do you even constructively rest, bro?”

Off-the-Book Club: A session where members conduct an in depth analysis of the artistic merit and sociopolitical implications of a book they haven’t read. Like college, but more honest.

Poems I Wrote In the Log Book at My Coffee Shop Job

No More Decaf After 5:

It seems your arrival today was belated
Had you come before 5, you’d see we had made it
There’s tea* if you’d like your buzz more understated
But no more drip coffee that’s decaffeinated

*(Also: Decaf Americanos and other expresso drinks)


No More Music:

There once lived Alexa the bot
She liked to play music–or not
Because sometimes mid-shift
Her mind goes adrift
She’s silently lost in her thought


No More Chocolate Croissants:

There once was a Brooklyn-based BIT [Barista in Training]
Sometimes her customer throws a fit
If the one last croissant
Isn’t the type they want
But she smiles and she nods through that sh*t

 

Just Hear Me Out: Why I Chose A Career In Devil’s Advocacy

I want to clear up some misconceptions amongst you smug Human Decency Warriors: yes, I work as a Devil’s Advocate. But no, that doesn’t mean you can make assumptions about my personal beliefs and values.

Sure, I spend my days defending and supporting racists, rapists, corrupt politicians, and the occasional drunk driver, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I am personally in favor of those causes. After all, do you think the people who sort your recycling actually like polar bears? Polar bears are ugly, but we all have to do our jobs.

Now I do understand where the stigma surrounding this field comes from–I was once quite skeptical of the profession of Evil myself, and didn’t enter it without hesitation. Upon graduation, I initially looked at work in other areas–nonprofit management, research, public education–I  even briefly considered putting my excellent argumentation skills to work in defense of Good.

But let’s be real, Good is not a financially stable field in today’s economy, and I had student loans to pay off. When the Office of the Devil offered me a $10k signing bonus for a two-year commitment and my soul, I had to accept.

Still, I tried not to think of my decision as “selling out.” I rationalized that the best way to address Evil was to reform the system from the inside: perhaps they would be open to shifting their brand from straight-up-bad to morally-ambiguous-in-a-cool-and-edgy-way.

But while my youthful ideals were admirable, I would soon discover that Evil is a complex and  deeply established institution with operations in areas ranging from lawmaking and criminal justice to entertainment and global trade. When I realized just how much I had to learn, it became clear that I should focus my energies on becoming the best team member that I could before trying to shake anything up.

And I have come to respect certain aspects of the work we do. For instance, the profession of Devil’s Advocacy carries a standard of transparency that the business of Misguided-Do-Gooders could really learn from. At least when we Devil’s Advocates announce our presence, everyone knows what’s coming. It’s not like we would advertise ourselves as saviors, only to swamp communities with a bunch of incompetent, overgrown college kids looking for a brief experiment in employment. We do have ethical limits, and we draw the line at creating false hope.

So yes, I may be a Devil’s Advocate but God, please stop judging me: there are worse things I could be doing, right?

Things I Would Have Written in My One-Sentence Journal if I Was Still Keeping Up With That

Knee-deep one-liners from my life:

  • Most of being an adult is just sitting on different types of transportation.
  • You can’t have shade without light.
  • I like my guys like I like my fries: on occasion.
  • I deal with feelings like I deal with laundry: probably later, when there’s not so much going on.
  • Reclaiming is when you go through the garbage that’s been hurled at you and notice that some of it is actually recyclable.
  • If you don’t understand high art, sober art might be more your thing.
  • This is probably difficult for you to hear, but more difficult for me to not say.