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Dancers - How to Get an Agent, Part 2

Professional Dance Training: Dance Agents, Part 2

Part 2: “It’s gotten really competitive since the onslaught of the So You Think You Can Dancers,” said Tim O’Brien, dance agent and President of Clear Talent Group, of the current reality facing professional dancers in Los Angeles. When Master Dance Teacher Joe Tremaine recently sat down with Tim, and Shelli Margheritis of McDonald Selznick & Associates, two of the city’s top dance agencies, each of them opened up on what else dancers need to know when seeking representation and what the agents expect of them.


MAKING THE MOVE TO A LARGE MARKET

Agents recognize that making the move to Los Angeles or any large market, is a tough decision. They also admit that sometimes the only way for you to realize if it’s the right decision for you, is for you to make that move. If you plan to take that step, be prepared. Understand that this industry comes with a lot of rejection. It can be a lot of fun and it can be a great career, but it’s definitely not easy. Then, once you’re in that city, be sure to take class and get a feel for the flavor in that particular city, as each market has a different vibe.

MOVING TO L.A. / GETTING REPRESENTATION

Once you make the move, especially to Los Angeles, you will want to seek representation. Having an agent helps you hear about the best jobs, gets you in for agency auditions and helps protect you once you have booked the job. Each agency has their own guidelines for finding talent and receiving submissions from prospective talent. Some hold their auditions once or twice each year, you can find out the dates of those auditions by contacting them directly. Most talent agencies also accept submissions either electronically through e-mail or in hard copy format, but the role of digital media cannot be ignored. Due to the demands on each agent’s time, they usually prefer receiving links to performance reels posted to online sites such as YouTube, as this allows them to quickly review the dancers look and technique and efficiently share that link with the other agents in their office.

WHAT AGENTS LOOK FOR

Contrary to popular belief, agents have a wide range of what they seek in a dancer they want to represent, but a great look and that indescribable “it” factor always top the list. Remember that each and every project has different requirements, whether it be a niche forte or good, well-rounded dancers, and the agents goal is to fill those roles. They do warn however, to be on top of your game, especially if you are specialized. For instance, if you’re a b-boy, you better be the best b-boy and know all your tricks. They also stress the importance of technique. The more technique you have the farther your dance career will take you.

AGENT’S JOB / YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES

An agent’s job is to represent talent and help guide their career. They do this by helping you choose the right headshots, helping craft your resume, getting your electronic breakdowns posted and prepping you for castings, which they then submit for projects that are being produced. Next steps include securing the audition, following up on the call back, finalizing the compensation negotiations for the dancer and the follow through for the rest of that production. In the meantime, they are already preparing you for the next project that will help progress your career. Shelli and Tim both stress that good communication is the biggest factor in having a successful relationship with your agent. It is your responsibility to keep them updated on your availability, the choreographers you have worked with, what your dream jobs are, etc., so they can pitch you for those projects and know that you will be available when they do. Always remember, you are your product, and your product is only as strong as the re-investment you make in it. Your agent is there to sell that product and the better they know your product, the better their rate of success.

Dancers - How to Get an Agent, Part 1

Professional Dance Training: Dance Agents, Part 1

“It’s gotten really competitive since the onslaught of the So You Think You Can Dancers,” said Tim O’Brien, dance agent and President of Clear Talent Group, of the current reality facing professional dancers in Los Angeles. When Master Dance Teacher Joe Tremaine recently sat down with Tim, and Shelli Margheritis of McDonald Selznick & Associates, two of the city’s top dance agencies, each of them opened up on what else dancers need to know when seeking representation and what the agents expect of them.


MAKING THE MOVE TO A LARGE MARKET

Agents recognize that making the move to Los Angeles or any large market, is a tough decision. They also admit that sometimes the only way for you to realize if it’s the right decision for you, is for you to make that move. If you plan to take that step, be prepared. Understand that this industry comes with a lot of rejection. It can be a lot of fun and it can be a great career, but it’s definitely not easy. Then, once you’re in that city, be sure to take class and get a feel for the flavor in that particular city, as each market has a different vibe.

MOVING TO L.A. / GETTING REPRESENTATION

Once you make the move, especially to Los Angeles, you will want to seek representation. Having an agent helps you hear about the best jobs, gets you in for agency auditions and helps protect you once you have booked the job. Each agency has their own guidelines for finding talent and receiving submissions from prospective talent. Some hold their auditions once or twice each year, you can find out the dates of those auditions by contacting them directly. Most talent agencies also accept submissions either electronically through e-mail or in hard copy format, but the role of digital media cannot be ignored. Due to the demands on each agent’s time, they usually prefer receiving links to performance reels posted to online sites such as YouTube, as this allows them to quickly review the dancers look and technique and efficiently share that link with the other agents in their office.

WHAT AGENTS LOOK FOR

Contrary to popular belief, agents have a wide range of what they seek in a dancer they want to represent, but a great look and that indescribable “it” factor always top the list. Remember that each and every project has different requirements, whether it be a niche forte or good, well-rounded dancers, and the agents goal is to fill those roles. They do warn however, to be on top of your game, especially if you are specialized. For instance, if you’re a b-boy, you better be the best b-boy and know all your tricks. They also stress the importance of technique. The more technique you have the farther your dance career will take you.\

AGENT’S JOB / YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES

An agent’s job is to represent talent and help guide their career. They do this by helping you choose the right headshots, helping craft your resume, getting your electronic breakdowns posted and prepping you for castings, which they then submit for projects that are being produced. Next steps include securing the audition, following up on the call back, finalizing the compensation negotiations for the dancer and the follow through for the rest of that production. In the meantime, they are already preparing you for the next project that will help progress your career. Shelli and Tim both stress that good communication is the biggest factor in having a successful relationship with your agent. It is your responsibility to keep them updated on your availability, the choreographers you have worked with, what your dream jobs are, etc., so they can pitch you for those projects and know that you will be available when they do. Always remember, you are your product, and your product is only as strong as the re-investment you make in it. Your agent is there to sell that product and the better they know your product, the better their rate of success.

Dancer Meghan Sanett

Advice & Career Tips from Dancer and Social Media Personality Meghan Sanett

Meghan Sanett – Dancer, Choreographer, Teacher & Social Media Personality – shares some insight on taking classes, coming to LA, getting and working with an agent and more!

Conversation with Tiffany Maher Part 4

Conversation with Tiffany Maher, Part 4

Master Talent Teacher Joe Tremaine has a conversation with the recent LA transplant, Tiffany Maher, about her already blossoming dance career and the move to LA. Part 4

Conversation with Tiffany Maher pt 3

Conversation with Tiffany Maher, Part 3

Master Talent Teacher Joe Tremaine has a conversation with the recent LA transplant, Tiffany Maher, about her already blossoming dance career and the move to LA. Part 3 / 3

Tiffany Maher

Conversation with Tiffany Maher, Part 2

Master Talent Teacher Joe Tremaine has a conversation with the recent LA transplant, Tiffany Maher, about her already blossoming dance career and the move to LA.

video_Zach_Woodlee

Interview with GLEE Choreographer Zach Woodlee

The choreographer of the FOX hit series Glee, Zach Woodlee, sat down with Master Talent Teacher Joe Tremaine to discuss how his path led him from Texas to Los Angeles and on to become the choreographer of the insanely popular television series. Zach talks about what he looks for and expects from dancers when auditioning and hiring for Glee, and offers his advice to dancers in the entertainment industry.

Growing up with a mother who owned a dance studio, Zach’s childhood was immersed in dance. Later, after studying geriatrics in college, he worked with many area nursing homes to keep movement as the main focus of their recreational programs. However, fate would soon move him to Los Angeles in the pursuit of a dance career. Zach’s mornings began at 4:15 a.m., when he got up, put on all of his ballet gear and topped that with his barista uniform. His shift at Starbucks stretched from 5:15 a.m. until 10:15 a.m., which gave him just enough time to make it to his 10:30 ballet class, tearing off his apron and barista gear as he entered.

Zach got his first break dancing for LeAnn Rimes, then on to movies, joined SAG and began working union jobs. While dancing on tour with Madonna, the realization that an ongoing back condition would prevent him from dancing for much longer. He later made the transition into choreography. Zack=s Glee experience began with meeting show creator Ryan Murphy and realizing he had an innate understanding of the script. The pilot became a passion project for all those involved. Once they were satisfied it was packaged perfectly, they gave it to the world and the rest is history.

Regarding the dance industry, Zach reveals what he looks for and relies upon when casting dancers for Glee. Discussing the importance of keeping your photos and resumes updated, he emphasizes how your work ethic will inevitably make or break you. He also feels that younger dancers need to understand the importance of performing in a group, instead of just as a soloist with specialty tricks. Proper training and a technical background play an important role for him as a choreographer in creating the proper lines. He closes by saying that there is no reason to ever stop training or supporting your dance community. In his words,” If you don’t keep pushing yourself, you will become stale, and you will lose a little bit of your luster”.

Interview with Tiffany Maher

Conversation With Tiffany Maher, Part 1

Master Talent Teacher Joe Tremaine has a conversation with the recent LA transplant, Tiffany Maher, about her already blossoming dance career and the move to LA.

Joe Tremaine Interview Rihanna Dancer Tony Bellissimo

Master Dance Teacher Joe Tremaine sat down with first year professional dancer Tony Bellissimo, who was recently a dancer for Rihanna on The Loud Tour 2011, to discuss his move to Los Angeles, his experience on So You Think You Can Dance, auditioning for the Academy Awards, Glee and his advice for dancers who are moving toward a professional career.


Tony began dancing with his Mom when he was two, hip hop classes began at six, and at age 13, a discussion with Joe Tremaine convinced him of the need for technical classes such as ballet, jazz and tap.  By his senior year of high school, he had cut out varsity sports to focus exclusively on dance.  Then, at the age of 18, he found himself in the top 20 on season 5 of So You Think You Can Dance.  Even though he was the first to go home, his time spent on the sound stages of Los Angeles proved to be the catalyst he needed.  That January he made the move from frigid Buffalo, New York, to the warmth of Los Angeles.

Days after arriving in L.A., Tony’s first audition, and first professional job, was for the 82nd Annual Academy Awards, an audition process which he easily compares to his  SYTYCD experience.  Since that time, he has worked on other award shows including The Kids Choice Awards, the TV Land Awards and the Univision Awards.  He has also appeared on multiple episodes of Nick Jr’s The Fresh Beat Band and the Fox hit series Glee, including their “Thriller” themed episode which aired after the Super Bowl.  Other credits include Step Up 3D with director Jon M. Chu, a Radio Shack commercial and various music videos.

Based on his experience, Tony’s recommends pushing yourself outside your comfort zone so as not to limit yourself as a performer or your ability to compete with other dancers.  He discusses the need to be comfortable freestyling at auditions, saying, “Everyone in L.A. can dance.  It’s what you do after those two counts of eight that will set you apart.”  Tony’s other advice includes, the importance of communication with your agent, knowing and being confident in who you are as a dancer and the fact that you must eat, sleep and breathe dance if you want this as your career.

Movement for Actors, part 3

Dance: Movement for Actors – Part 3