In Need of Business Advice

So here’s the latest news: I heard back from the last company I auditioned for here in St. Louis- no job but they did offer me a scholarship for free classes. I’m supposed to have another audition coming up this Sunday for a company with a more balletic focus.  So the good news is that even if I do not get a job or any offer whatsoever with this next company, there is a great studio/group of artists close by that I can practice the craft with- and for free never hurts.

The trouble is that I need money coming in, so I’m kind of holding out to hear from this next audition, if they would offer me a JOB I would take that over an opportunity to train- I think. I’m not sure if I wouldn’t rather disregard the dreaded pointe shoes in favor of the more jazz-based company. I don’t know what to do, and I have to call back the director to discuss my scholarship soon. What the heck am I supposed to say in that conversation? “Hi, I loved your company and really wish I had gotten a job with you and since I need to make mulah, I can’t arrange a schedule of classes with you until I hear back from these other guys- but I want to say I’m interested, and if nothing paing turns up, I’ll take you up on the offer!”

Somehow that seems tacky to me. I don’t know how to word it, but I want to communicate before they think I’m not flattered and interested, or worse, retract the offer.

If I do end up just taking classes, I’ll have to find some other kind of work and I’ll probably lean towards teaching. Maybe I’ll have to take some kind of office or service industry job too, to stay afloat. I guess that would leave my creative reserves more intact, because I’m trying to mount a performance sometime before Christmas/ dip my hand more into choreography. I have zero shortage of ideas but researching how to get a grant/funding stinks.

I’m hoping this upcoming work will be the continuation of a project I started a few years ago- a multi-media performance focused on personal stories of people with juvenile diabetes. OBviously, this is a little self-serving- my hope is not to ‘educate about the statistics’ but to show an insider perspective of what it’s really like for people with and friends/family of those with diabetes. My objective is to present an ugly subject matter in a more beautiful and touching way- I think art is supposed to serve as a window to seeing ourselves, the world with a fresh perspective, creating resonance of everyday matters in a non-everday medium. Plus, I think a pas de deux between a dancig syringe and vial of insulin would be so charming! (kidding)

Trying to coordinate support (I may even apply to Oprah) and timing with advertising around the walk for diabetes, and figuring out how may dancers, where to perform, all the business end of it is realy challenging for me. Someday I hope I’m the kind of artist that doesn’t even have to submit work as a freelancer- companies will just call me up and say ‘I have 12 professional dancers, a theater, rehearsal space, costumer, designers, etc. Please make me a spectacular fifteen minute piece.” done. (Don’t we all want this? I HATE trying to sell myself, esp. through businessy lingo- I think everyone just wants their ‘genius’ recognized and to be asked)

that being said, I’m asking for opinions.

How do I handle this phone call, or decision with regards to dance opportunities?

Also, how do I even begin to start my own..gulp…company?

Lastly, I have an idea for a short movement in the piece about how having diabetes as a kid forces you to grow up faster (I was diagnosed when I was 15 and I will never forget lying in my shared hospital room in Boston next to a BABY and his poor terrified parents. Can you imagine being 8 and not having the free-for-all of Halloween candy? Not to mention..well, I won’t go on a medical trip here. For anyone who reads the Post Secrets book- as I do- there’s a post in one that says ‘I want my childhood back from diabetes’. I’m so lucky to have made it to the teenage years without it, and I’m very curious, maybe in a morbid way?, to see what the impact is for a younger child) Which is a more unsettling image: a child forcibly at work surrounded by other working adults, or a child forcibly at work surrounded by other playing children?

I think  I read those post secret books for the same reasons as everyone- they are hilarious,gross, sad, inspiring- in the most exposed and yet, ambiguous kind of way. I want to be a choreographer because I like the idea of exploring the human condition in a spectacular yet untouchable way. Ugh, I could throw up listening to myself- man do I sound like a douche! Well, what are blogs for?

For extra good measure, let me throw out my favorite douchey-dance descriptions:

I want it FIERCE  and I want it ORGANIC

2 thoughts on “In Need of Business Advice

  1. Hi Jessica,

    How are you?

    Your blog was on my Facebook feed today. I’m not a dancer (I was visual art @ IAA) but I’ve worked with some friends/dancers that use “http://www.dance-tech.net” to organize creative projects. It seems like a good place to find collaborators in dance, design, music, ect. — I don’t know, maybe you’ve already heard of it? And good luck realizing those ideas.

    Best,
    Alice

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