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How to Sabotage Your Career and Training – A Users Guide

Oh Dear Danglers, there is an epidemic sweeping our nation. It’s a plague of the worst kind, because it’s victims are generally oblivious to it.This insidious pestilence, which has caused thousands of circus performers to lose work, and hundreds of students to forfeit their spot in class, has reached an all-time high. What is this vile contagion? Flakiness, Dear Dangler, flakiness.

How to Ruin Your Career Before it Starts

 I can think of at least five performers, this very second, whom I would love to use in shows and events, but won’t. I refuse to put myself through the endless work, drama, and general pain-in-the-ass-ness these performers put me though. Want to join their ranks? Do this:

1. Don’t get back to me quickly when I call or email you about an event.

This one is the biggie, folks! Most producers and casting directors have an A List, B List, and a C List when casting (HINT: you want to be on the A List!). Our A List performers are not only wildly talented, but they make my life SO MUCH EASIER by getting back to me as soon as they get my email with a “yes”, “no”, or “let me get back to you by _______”. I have a client waiting for answers; if you’re slow answering my email or phone call, we will pass you by, or not use you again. True dat.

2. Play coy.

If your standard rate for your act is $1000, but you’re willing to negotiate if an event is right around the corner from your house, super easy, offers sweet perks, involves luscious male models, etc., then say so! If you tell me $1000 is your absolute minimum, I will not call you for less. Say what you mean, and mean what you say; be forthright, candid, and up-front so I know when to call you.

3. Show up at my event without crucial equipment or accessories.

It’s one thing to forget your eye-pencil sharpener, it’s something quite different to forget your costume. Make a standard packing list for events, then add gig-specific items as you’re notified about them. Three days before your event, do your pack, ensuring that everything is in working order, clean, and in good repair. You don’t want to find out mid-show that the small hole in the crotch of your unitard has gotten A LOT bigger! Ain’t nobody wants to see all that.

Why Flaky Students Get Last Pick of Classes and Pay More

Do you wait until the last second to try to get into your preferred class? Do you routinely email your instructor asking for a private this afternoon? Does your teacher make money without ever seeing your face because you’re a no-show for classes? Then you, Dear Dangler, are being flaky. Quit it! If your classes are important, schedule them at least several days in advance. Got a wildly unpredictable schedule? No worries! Chat with your teacher – most of us are used to accommodating wonky schedules if we know your situation in advance, and are happy to do so.
Also? Come to class in proper clothing, get there with a bit of time to spare, and use that time to warm up. Anything less means YOU lose out – and that is no fun!!!

At The End of the Day…

Flakiness is rarely localized – it tends to bleed into every area of our lives.We all have our flaky bits here and there, but you REALLY don’t want to be known as the performer who never calls back, or the student who’s more likely to cancel an hour before the lesson than show up – it makes others take you less seriously. Flakiness may yield success for the Paris Hiltons of the world, but you and me ain’t Paris Hilton. Give yourself the edge of being really “on it” – you would be amazed at how far it goes! Love and pull-ups, Laura

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1 comment on “How to Sabotage Your Career and Training – A Users Guide”

  1. Laurie Allen Reply


    A list, has own equipment and knows how to rig it.
    Also include aeralists who talk about their own company when on your gig.
    Performers who don’t think costume sexy enough, or show enough cleavage, or substitute their own for your themed costume event.

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