Going Pro: Step 1 – The Most Important Decision You’ll Make

MakeupHappy Thursday, Dear Danglers! So many of you have emailed and asked the great, burning question of our times: “How do I know when it’s time to go pro? Should I go pro? What’s the first step?” Let’s take a look-see, shall we?

 

 Get Your Head in the Game

Going pro is, first and foremost, a decision that you make. It informs everything from the way you take care of your body, to your training, to the way you approach your business. Are you one foot in and one foot out? It’s fine if you are, but you probably won’t make much headway anytime soon. Going pro means being all in – heart and soul. You know you’re in that head space when you:

 

  •  Buckle down:  decide to take your training seriously, and show up every day and do the work whether you feel like it or not
  • Commit:  make the decision that no matter what – come hell or high water – you are going to be a professional aerialist. Bring it.
  • Assess: cultivate an accurate assessment of your bodys strengths and weaknesses
  • Nourish: pay attention to what you put in your body (in every sense, people. Step awaaaaaaaaaaaay from the nachos and that guy with the skinny jeans. ESPECIALLY the guy with the skinny jeans.)
  • Protect: begin training with an eye towards injury prevention and longevity. If your body wears out, where are you gonna live? Who’s going to do your act?
  • Invest: shift the focus from, “I want to be a circus star!” to “I am a part of an incredible community!” and aim to structure your future business to support that community rather than undermining it with unhealthy business practices (that make me stabby)
  • Think: begin to see yourself as a (completely amazing) product, requiring marketing, promotion, and industry savvy
  • Connect: seek out reputable mentors, check your ego at the door, and become a sponge for solid career advice. Hint: look for someone living the dream. No, the luscious guy who teaches your Zumba class is probably not an appropriate mentor (but take him to lunch anyway. And when did we start becoming appropriate?)

 

I totally wish the first letter of each of these spelled out someting cool, but I gave up about half way through my morning coffee. Just pretend!

 

Luminosity Duo Lyra

Am I There Yet? Maybe….

When you stop dabbling and really commit yourself to the insanely hard work of becoming the best damned performer you know how to be, you’re on your way.  Try to see the big picture – begin with the end in mind and structure your training accordingly. When you hit the “sweet spot” of this internal shift, suddenly everything becomes inspiration for your work, and ideas are everywhere. You will be en fuego!!! Here’s to you being unstoppable, Dear Dangler! Get to work! Love and pull-ups, Laura

 
 

 

As always, if you like this post, share it on your blog, the F-books, Twitter, and wherever else you crazy kids are sharing things these days.

 

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7 comments on “Going Pro: Step 1 – The Most Important Decision You’ll Make”

  1. Kristen Reply

    Great advice. Especially the “business practices” that make you stabby…glad I’m not the only one. 😉

  2. Marina Martam Reply

    Dear Laura, this article got sent to my inbox along with a link to a youtube video of a wonderful performance by ImaginAerial in my hometown JAKARTA!! So this is a crazy phenomenon I’ve been pulling my hair about for almost 2 years now…
    How is it that Indonesian event sponsors prefer to hire performers that requires to be transported in by a plane… logded in a few nights at a hotel… driven around everywhere etc. while there are just enough amount of local artists who can do the same thing?? Is it because I is black??? (No, seriously though… I get this excuse a lot from entertainment people… that we don’t get gigs coz we’re not blonde, white, etc… Hell??) What’s the wisest strategy to face this?

    • Lewitwer Reply

      Hi Marina! Event companies in NYC fly artists in from across the country all the time – seems crazy, doesn’t it? Here’s what you need to understand about the business: producers will always go with what/who they know. They go with casting agencies they have a relationship with, who hire the talent THEY have a relationship with, and so on. Often, as in this case, they need something very specific in a short amount of time, and don’t want to shop around – they want to go with the performers who have video of exactly what they’re looking for. You need to make sure that casting agencies and event producers around the world know that you exist! If you have a company, make sure they have current promotional materials, and that your website is competetive and up to date. You need to make sure you have a strong internet presence since that’s the first place these companies go when they want aerialists. Good luck to you! 🙂

      • Marina Reply

        Thank you for your reply, Laura. It makes absolute sense! 🙂 And by “going pro” on your term, does it mean you leave any other “day job” you might previously have and dedicate all your time to aerial arts? Where’s the best place to look for gigs? Do you prepare your promotional kit in other forms than website? Is a website necessary or will a channel on youtube be sufficient? What do you think about staying in a long-term contract with, say, a theme park to do aerial shows for them…? What do you think of performing for TV events?

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