Archive for October, 2013

Werk! What it Takes to Become a Working Professional – Part 2

October 28, 2013 Comments Off on Werk! What it Takes to Become a Working Professional – Part 2 Working in Circus

Last week we discussed “how well do you play in the sand with others”? Now the question is how hard are you willing to work… really? Badassness is not just judged by the length of your foot hang. Everyone likes to talk about how they can outwork other people, but when the shit actually hits the fan, they instinctually duck. Hard work isn’t just how hard you train physically, but how you see yourself in relationship to the whole show or event that you are one part of.

Working Through Difficulty

Pouring champagne for hours ain't all fun and games

Pouring champagne for hours ain’t all fun and games

Circus people are pretty damn tough. You aren’t in this business if you can’t take pain. So a high pain tolerance is basically a job prerequisite. That said, some things are still going to still push you a bit; oddly, especially ambient work. There is chafing, constant pressure etc. Then there is the sheer boredom of being up there for long periods of time, when five martinis in, no one in the hall gives a crap about what you are doing. The thing is if you can endure all that and still have a smile on your face, you will impress the people you work for.

Come Early
When we have a call time or rehearsal, show up a little earlier and be ready to go. Don’t make us worry if you are coming or if you are going to make the plane. We don’t need the stress and we don’t need to pay for space we aren’t using until you get there.

Leave Late
“Come early, leave late” is not just a cheeky suggestion from “How to Succeed in Business.”  If we are putting on a show, do you offer to help clean up? Do you stay until everything is done or are you only concerned about your own stuff, bailing ASAP?

Pitch In

Look boring, sorting through costume pieces, but it will affect your career.

Looks boring, sorting through costume pieces, but it will affect your career.

It’s much nicer to work with people when it feels like everyone is all one team. People that clean the dressing room or put their heads together to solve a problem really make us want to bend backward to hire them again. We like people who are just generally ready to see what needs to happen for the show outside their own act and then do it.

Call or Write us Back as Soon as Possible
Don’t make us chase you because we won’t do it more than once. Many times we have to know who is available the same day, so we favor people who we know will get back to us immediately. Check your email often. We know you are busy, but it’s the performers who are the busiest that usually get back to us the soonest.
Also, look at THE WHOLE EMAIL of group emails and respond. I’m bad about this too. It is human nature to want to skim a lot of text especially when it is not specifically just for you. But I don’t want to have to ask 20 different people for their passport info twice each. Or answer questions I already answered. Exhausting.

Be Decisive
Do not string us along. If you can do a gig, great. If not, all good. But do not tell us you will call us about it by a certain date and then don’t call us. Sometimes you have to decide about one gig over another and sometimes the one you chose falls through. Shit happens, but don’t straddle the fence hoping to keep both on a leash. I will be 100 percent more likely to call you again if you tell me clearly, no you have a gig (hey you’re working!) than if you tell me maybe. That puts you squarely in the “only call if totally desperate” list.

Proneness to Illness and Injury
Okay, this one is a toughie, because if you get sick or injured a lot, sometimes there just isn’t a lot you can do. Some people just have that tendency. The problem is it will affect getting hired. We just don’t usually have the budget for subs and every rehearsal is important. Do what you can to take care of yourself, and do not say yes to something if you know you are battling tendinitis or some prolonged illness. Just be honest and let us know when you are healed up. We will understand and trust you more in the future.

Finally, do your Pull-ups
We might get hired for something that requires 3 shows a day for several days in a row. You will need the endurance to get through that, so train at least a couple of times a week to work longer in the air than you would need for a single performance. There is no way to cram for endurance when you need it. So store up more strength than you need for when you do.

Of course circus work is not all drudgery, but the more aware you are about everything it encompasses (and what actually matters to the people that hire you), the more you will get hired. Dare to imagine! Angela

 

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ImaginAerial at OAPN!

October 24, 2013 Comments Off on ImaginAerial at OAPN! New Offerings!, Uncategorized, Updates!
Our booth at OAPN!

Our booth at OAPN!

 

 

Where have WE been for the past few days? The Ohio Arts Presenters Network conference! We are excited about getting the word out about The Bizarre and Curious Quest of Killian Cog, and drove to Newark, Ohio to meet up with folks who can make that happen. We made some great connections, and had a lot of interest in the show! Dare to imagine, Laura

 

 

Click here for more info on The Bizarre and Curious Quest of Killian Cog

 

And away we go!

And away we go!

Longerberger basket

Here is a building in the shape of a basket!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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What they don’t teach you in Circus School: Part 1

October 14, 2013 Comments Off on What they don’t teach you in Circus School: Part 1 Uncategorized, Working in Circus

Just like college gives you zero skills for learning how to operate in real adult life, most circus schools don’t tell you what you really need to get a job in the circus. It ain’t just the big tricks or the slick video (those are just prerequisites). We will be sharing a four part series on what it takes to actually get work consistently.

The first biggie is: do not audition before you are ready. To quote Eminem, “you’ve got one shot”. If we see someone once and his/her technique wasn’t there, we aren’t going to bother again. That said, the audition or the video is the easy part. Once you do get your foot in the door, you want to jam it in there. Getting hired again and again is what you are aiming for. In this series we will discuss what you need in terms of personality, on the artistic level, as your work ethic and in terms of flexibility.

Today we discuss your personality.  Given that there are plenty of people with the basic skills to do aerial work, how do you distinguish yourself? First, it is important to know that no matter how great a performer you are, if you are a diva (especially you guys, no offense,  but statistically speaking we see more male divas than female) then you aren’t coming back. Beyond that extreme, there are more subtle personality traits that are important to know about or develop.

Be someone I want to sit next to on a 12 hour plane ride.

Laura and I spend many rehearsals cracking ourselves up.

Laura and I spend many rehearsals cracking ourselves up.

If you get hired, chances are we will have to spend a lot of down time together. Even just between rigging and performance, there is a lot of time to discuss whether The Expendibles 1 or 2 was the better movie. Not that you should run to Netflix and go see the Schwarzenegger/Stallone oeuvre, but if you can make the person who is hiring you laugh or smile, it is a big plus. Just don’t be overly serious, it’s circus.

If aerial bartending, can you engage a crowd?

Start with a few upside down cocktails!

Start with a few upside down cocktails!

Along the lines above, are you good with strangers? Aerial bartending is very often included as part of our packages. It means you are up close and personal with people. Can you make them laugh and keep coming back for more champagne even if they don’t actually want to drink it? If you can, it makes everyone look good, meaning we get more work and so will you.

 

Quit yer bitchin’

If you aren’t crazy about the food on offer or you are feeling tired or you are annoyed about the rehearsal schedule, or your lyra is slightly higher or lower than you like it; keep it to yourself. We are honestly doing the very best we can. We try to honor as many requests as possible, so we don’t like to hear complaints. If someone seems chronically unhappy, they bring everyone down and we can’t have that. A positive working environment has become very important to us. Debbie downers have got to go.  Also, if you are positive most of the time, chances are we will really listen if there is something wrong.

Keep pestering to a minimum

Do not email us every five minutes for information. We will tell you what we know when we know it. We are glad you are on it, but bugging us will only annoy us as we probably won’t have the info you seek or we would have told you already. That said, if there is info you absolutely need because say, you got another possible gig, or the height is going to make a big difference in your act, let us know the one thing that is really important to you and we will try to bug the client to get it. We will not, however, bug them about five different things.

At least pretend you love to work with us

There are some people we have called about a gig and they always act like it is an inconvenience or like they are doing us some huge favor even though we pay pretty well. We hate that. We only like to work with people that seemed psyched for every gig we get them. We always thank our clients after every gig and although we don’t expect it, it’s nice to be thanked as well. We like knowing that we are appreciated just like we will tell you how much we appreciate you. We all love that, don’t we?

 

People we love to work with!

People we love to work with!

Here is the take-away. Be positive and sociable. Even if you are an introvert or don’t know quite what to say, make an effort or make up for it by working hard and being easy going. We realize nobody’s perfect, least of all the people who hire you, but it’s often the effort that counts.

 

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Sunday in Saratoga – a Magical Event!

October 9, 2013 Comments Off on Sunday in Saratoga – a Magical Event! Corporate Events, Photos and Video

Aerial champagne serving!

 

 

I don’t know what YOU do on a Sunday night, but here at ImaginAerial, we BRING THE AWESOME! Here’s some fun footage from an event we did this past Sunday for the NYS Council of Superintendents conference in Saratoga Springs, NY. I have no words to express what a joy they were to work with and perform for – what an incredible group of people! Check it out! Dare to imagine, Laura

 

 
 

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