My Thesis (lol)

Did you know that, in addition to having assorted feelings on the internet, I have also been going to college for the past four years? Well, the one true motivation behind my education was to be on lolmythesis.com. I can leave now.

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Screenshoted from here!

Actual thesis here.

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.)

 

Academia: a Fairy Tale

Once upon a time there was a princess who lived in a shiny white tower which stretched above a big forest called The Real World. She had entered the tower when she was young so that she could escape from the scary market forces and tax monsters in forest.

 

Of course not everyone could get into the tower. To get through the gates, she had answer a very long set of riddles sent from voices higher up.

Every so often, she would have the opportunity to climb one story higher in the tower if she followed the rules. And she did. She would answer more long sets of riddles. She would do a special kind of magic, turning very small ideas into very big books. She would create perfect illusions, appearing to know everything when she didn’t. She would learn to speak in peculiar tongues so that no one below her could understand. And of course, she would worship the voices above her. And so, over the years, she steadily rose higher and higher.

Each story of the tower was narrower and narrower, and fewer and fewer people would rise each time. Sometimes, people wouldn’t pass the tests, or the magic drained all their energy. And some would choose to leave. Either way, they would be sent tumbling down, scraping their skin as they brushed the thorny treetops of The Real World and bruising their bones as they found themselves at the very bottom.

But those who rose had their eyes on the tower’s tiny top floor. If you made it to that level, the prize was that you got to stay there forever and never leave.

The towers had windows where the princess could look down upon the people in The Real World. With each level she rose, the people became smaller and more distant. The higher voices said that the further away you were from people, the better you could understand them. This seemed true enough: she could see wider and farther than ever, noticing their numbers and patterns in ways she never did before. But most of all, she could see how small and faceless these people were, and feel bigger herself.

columbia princess

But one day, as she looked out the window, she could no longer see people, only a mass of tiny dots. She thought about the floors above her with fewer people around and tinier people below. She was starting to miss seeing faces.

She began to sit on the windowsill, thinking about what it might be like to live outside. One of the voices above warned her: “When you’re down there, you’ll be just as small as all those people. They won’t care about your crown or your magic tricks, and they won’t listen to your funny words. But if you stay here and keep climbing, I think you can make it all the way to the top.”

But as she imagined getting higher, lonelier, and further from the ground, she wondered if she should make the jump before it got too far.

Epilogue:

She hit the bottom and it hurt. The market forces blew away her crown and the tax monsters chased after her. She started crying “Take me back to my ivory tower!”



Yeah, I guess I’m feeling kind of cynical right now.