Roadblocks and shortcuts

 

(c) 2008 tami.vroma, used under CCBY license

(c) 2008 tami.vroma, used under CC-BY license

Learning the conventions of professional practice is not an arbitrary roadblock preventing you from doing cool stuff. Manuscript format, submission deadlines, head shots, resumes, agents, learning sides or monologues or an arbitrary 12 bars of choreography…

For most gigs worth getting, folks have settled on how they do business. The first test of your readiness to do business is whether you know the standards and can work within them. For most gigs worth getting, folks have also settled on some efficient tests of quality for spotting the pros-in-the-making amongst the enthusiastic amateurs. The Stratford Festival can’t afford to watch every actor in the country perform Hamlet before casting, so they consult agents and hold auditions. The second test of your readiness to do business is whether you can produce noteworthy work in test conditions.

Stop thinking of the test conditions as red tape, arbitrary bureaucracy and gatekeepers thwarting your ambition and preventing the Powers That Be from discovering your potential. These aren’t roadblocks, they’re shortcuts, shortcuts that demonstrate to the Powers That Be that you know how things work, and you can deliver a compact proof of your abilities for the occasion.

Everyone’s looking for a shortcut to get around the audition or the submission. Those are the shortcuts.

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