1. Friendships with a common work interest
Getting to develop further contacts on jobs is also vital; this way your networking facility widens and grows. More opportunities arise. That is why it is so important never to burn bridges in this industry. Recently I was told of an audition for a Bollywood Movie that wanted brunettes for their Dance Scene. A girl from last years pantomime performance emailed me and her agent with my details. I had an amazing time and then met more dancers. One suggested I audition for a teaching agency that employs performers in the Surrey area. Again I was successful and am due to work with them after pantomime. This is a good example of how building up good co-operative networks is vital and can lead to a long successful career.
The Internet has opened many doors for new information. Websites such as; The Stage online, Dance Cast etc all promote new jobs to audition for. Websites such as Spotlight promote you and your CV and portfolio pictures, which is a fantastic way for agents or casting directors to see you. Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter have also become an incredible way to find out about auditions and different agencies to join. They are also a fantastic way to keep up to date with friend’s lives and ask about how they got their jobs etc. you will never come across a brain as big as Web 2.0! It’s powers are endless. I recently had a successful Skype Interview which I had got through applying to a job advertised on Facebook!
I have always found auditions to be a fantastic way of networking. It is a huge ‘Community of Practice’; getting together with a shared purpose of wanting that job! Again this is an invaluable experience. Talking to the other people in the audition is a great way of networking. It is also a great way of making new friendships. You also get to know the panel of judges and what they like. This may lead to future jobs. Learning and gaining new information will help you to become successful.
Class is always fun and challenging to attend. But what you get out of it in terms of networking is incredible. There is always something going on and always something you don’t know about. Generally the teachers are fairly up to date with future opportunities and tell you about them. There is information displayed on the boards about the most recent auditions and future classes. Again, the people attending the class may know something you don’t, which is also a great source of information.
It is so important to have a good relationship with your agents. They know important casting directors and can get you those precious closed auditions which you cannot necessarily access yourself. With agents I feel it is important to keep your options open and go to as many as they recommend. There might be someone there who could recommend you to one of their colleagues from their professional network that will lead to future success.
These are 5 sources of information I find most invaluable. I made a spider diagram (task 3A) and could not believe how many networking facilities I use. The Performing Arts Industry is like no other. There are very few ‘jobs for life’ in this industry. Contracts are extremely short and highly competitive. Without a strong Professional Network, promotion and development within this industry would be very hard to achieve and success virtually impossible.