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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Career Development With a Twist: How to Sell Your Inexperience as “Outsider Status”

Good morning hopeless millennials, and welcome to Career Development With a Twist, the only career development service which “Wow”s its own photos.

In our previous segment, we discussed how to hide inexperience to gain access to entry-level jobs. However, it turns out that in some cases*, a lack of experience and expertise can actually work to your advantage in a securing position that you are seriously unprepared for. Here are some sample lines for a cover letter, to help you spin your severe lack of qualification as a cool and exciting “outsider status:”

  • “Unlike doctors within the medical establishment, I can relate to the average patient–in that neither of us has been to medical school or knows what a spleen actually does.”
  • “With America’s test scores still lagging behind, it’s clear that professional educators are failing us. What we need is someone from the world of poultry production who’s ready to run a classroom like a factory farm.”
  • “It’s no secret that NYC architecture firms are biased towards architects who believe in the theory of gravity. It’s time to shake things up by hiring someone who doesn’t.”
  • “Do I know all those weird pig-Latin-y wordjumbles? No. A good lawyer needs no more words than the ones he can make up himself.”
  • “Anyone can take the time to learn air traffic protocols and standard landing procedures, but what you really need is a pilot who doesn’t need to play by the rules.”
  • America needs a president that–” oh sorry, too real.

*Disclaimer: results may vary, based on factors including but not limited to gender, race, socioeconomic class.

Career Development With a Twist: How to Fudge 3 Years of Professional Dance Experience

Greetings hopeless millennials, and welcome back to Career Development With a Twist, the career development service with no artificial preservatives!

This week’s edition is especially for you aspiring dancers approaching auditions with hopes of getting your foot in the door. If you have yet to book a paid dance job, you may find this door to be an endless revolving door, since everyone seems to want applicants with an elusive “3 years of prior professional dance experience.”

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Breaking into the professional world like…

But have no fear! By making these simple stylistic and philosophical adjustments to your resume, even you can convince auditioners that you have enough professional experience to be allowed gain professional experience!

1. Expand your definition of “paid.”

Sure the common interpretation of a “professional” is someone who receives money for their work, but it can be beneficial to consider other types of performance compensation as equally valid.

Examples:

  • Have you ever been provided with complimentary transportation for a performance? Can an elevator technically be considered a form of transportation?
  • Were there some pretzels or chips left in the dressing room to share? Salt has historically been recognized as a form of currency in many societies, so that’s basically the same as an edible paycheck.

(Disclaimer: A more inclusive definition of the term “paid” may come back to bite you if and when you ever get a job.)

2. Expand your definition of “dance job.”

The world is a stage, so any activity can technically be considered a performance opportunity. Highlight the dance aspect of any paid job you have held, and you might find that you’ve been a “professional dancer” longer than you knew!

Examples:

  • Instead of describing your position as an “Administrative Assistant,” try “Office Party Electric Slide Soloist.”
  • Instead of describing your summer experience as a “Lifeguard,” try “Durational Performance Art Piece: Exploring Stillness and Spectatorship.”

3. Work around the 3-year requirement by highlighting the subjectivity of time. 

How do you measure – measure a year? Include some comments with your date ranges to convince the directors that it’s too confusing to even try!

Examples:

  • XYZ Dance Company 2014-2015 (But like time is relative to the speed of the observer, so don’t read too much into it.)
  • DeathTrap Theme Park Performer June 2016-August 2016 (If you subscribe to the construct of uniform measured time imposed by post-industrial capitalism)
  • Stevie’s Dance Project June 2015 (But it felt like 20 years–those rehearsals were awful.)

 

Career Development with a Twist: How to Answer Job Interview Questions Without Ever Answering the Question

Hello hopeless millennials, and welcome to my new series, Career Development with a Twist, the career development service with the most LinkedIn endorsements for Microsoft Office!

First up, here are some suggestions for answering a few standard job interview questions in a way that lets your evasive contrarian side shine through. Keep in mind that these answers will most likely not result in you being employed, but for some odd reason, they might make you feel like you won anyway!

What is your greatest strength?

They’re all really great–it’s hard to choose.

What is your greatest weakness?

They’re all really great–it’s hard to choose.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Like any individual, I will never be able to truly see myself–we can only piece together images of ourselves from the reflections of others.

What makes you uncomfortable?

Those shoes with the pointy toes.

What have you learned from an uncomfortable situation? 

Toe anatomy.

How do you personally define success?

I don’t. I believe that words are defined collectively by usage.

Is money important to you?

Well my landlord doesn’t like it when I try to pay in happiness, family, or passion.