The Pulse #1 – The truth about being a Performer.
The Pulse is a monthly article written by Tash Thomas (Managing Editor) to help inspire this community.
Issue #1 – The audition world can sometimes feel like a lonely place, a constant stream of leggings, tube trains, C.V’s and coffee, but do you ever stop and wonder if others are feeling the same as you?
It’s 7:30am and I am leaving the house on my way to another audition with a 9am start time. I board a busy tube, surrounded by city workers dressed head to toe in black, blank expressions on their faces, preparing themselves for a full day of work. I look at them thinking how lucky I am that I get to do a job that I love and as far away from a desk job as possible.
I arrive at the dance studio by 8:30am and there is already a small army of dancers, make up on, suitcases in tow stretching and warming up.
It’s like an impromptu coffee morning, dancers reunited after months away at sea, or touring.
‘Hi!! How are you?’, ‘What have you been up to?’ ‘I’ve just been really busy, lots of castings’ ‘Did you go to the call the other day?’ ‘Yeah I got down to the final cut’ ‘Oh I was just doing this job, it was amazing’
Everyone is all smiles and laughs, socialising, its great. This is the life of a performer. This is what I dreamt of as a child growing up, and this is what I couldn’t wait to be a part of when I was at college.
Ok, but let’s get real!
We all know that the deep down reality isn’t quite like this.
Yes, we all hit the tube at 7:30am, maybe even earlier if you have had to travel from the far reaches of the U.K to make this audition. Your tired and a little over it, sharing the tube with the city workers, maybe with a slight tinge of jealousy that they have a guaranteed income and a job that doesn’t have a perceived age limit.
You arrive at the studio thinking, how the hell are there already sooooo many people here!??? Knowing that over the next hour this number will double, maybe even triple.
You see a “friend” but more an acquaintance, a dancer you either did a previous job with or went to college with all those years ago and you are now forced to make audition small talk. Both of you talking about how well things are going and how busy you have been. When in reality, work has been slow, you hate the ‘normal’ job you have that means you can pay rent. You know that after this audition you either have nothing else planned for the day, or you have a shift at a bar/restaurant/retail store/theatre. Your embarrassed that you don’t have anything new to add to your CV since you finished that job a year ago, and you’re listening to the girl opposite you wondering if she is having the same thoughts as you.
You smash out your 30 seconds of routine and get cut because you don’t have the right colour hair, leave the studio grabbing a coffee as you head to the tube. You’ve stopped letting your parents and friends know when you have an audition because you hate having to text ‘It was a no 😔’ only to receive ‘Don’t worry darling, it will be the next one 👍’.
Now don’t get me wrong I know it’s not like this for everyone and we do love this creative industry otherwise why would we put ourselves through the heart ache and the letdown. However I think we should be more honest with ourselves and with each other. This industry is HARD, it’s competitive and it’s HARD! A room full of 150 dancers all fighting for 1 spot, you have better odds of winning the lottery, but we are all surviving in this industry together, some of us are thriving, but I think its time we have a bit more honesty and reality to the situation.
It’s ok to acknowledge that things aren’t going the way you planned and that you haven’t had that big break you were hoping for, its normal to start doubting yourself and your ability. God knows I have spent many a tube ride home reassessing my life and career choices. I guess what it comes down to, is passion and love. If you still have the passion to be a performer and the love of being in front of an audience, then use that to motivate you. If and when that flame dies out, it’s ok to admit it and move on but only then.
Here at The Hustle we want to give ALL artists a platform, we aren’t just a Facebook group or a website we are a strong and talented community who ultimately all want to succeed. This space is an honest and true space, because it’s only when we are honest with all aspects of our field that we can even begin to try and influence it. Hustle Voice is a place full of articles and posts on varying topics, with contributions from a variety of sources but with one common thread, they are all giving a true and honest perspective. If we can create and maintain a community that is pure in it’s mission, then eventually we can reach the outer circle, and really live the dream.
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