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.


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.


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.


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.\


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.

Joe Tremaine

Structure Your Life for Success

By Joe Tremaine

You have chosen a career in the Arts, as an Actor, a Singer, a Dancer, or whatever, and you want to be a success.
Where do you start?

You and only you can take charge of your life, your career! If you want to win, train yourself to win. If you want to be successful, train yourself to be successful.
How do I do that?
You Structure your Life for Success!

Make a detailed daily schedule of all the things you want to accomplish and stick to it! Be sure to include all of the mundane things that you need to get done as well as the important career moves you need to accomplish on any particular day.

Write each thing down and then make it happen! You will be amazed at the number of things you can accomplish in a day. Soon you will feel the satisfaction of those accomplishments as you check off the completed tasks! The satisfaction of accomplishment is enormous and sets you free to enjoy your life and advance your career!

This is YOUR Life! YOUR Career! Be hard on Yourself! No Slacking! You ARE the Product!
You want to SELL what you do?
Then you better PROVE IT!

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

Joe Tremaine

You’ll Never Make It in This Town?

by: Joe Tremaine

Years ago in New York City, I auditioned for a choreographer from Los Angeles who was casting a series of variety shows to be shot in Amsterdam.  I booked the job!  The choreographer liked my work and when that job was done, he told me he would be choreographing a new TV variety series at NBC in “beautiful downtown Burbank” starring Jerry Lewis.  This choreographer offered me a job on the project.  I took it immediately and moved to Los Angeles one month later.
A couple of weeks into the Jerry Lewis TV show, another choreographer was watching our rehearsal.  He later approached and informed me, “You will never make it in this town!” 
Needless to say I was stunned by his frankness. 

Is that what it was, frankness?  Or was it jealousy?  Stupidity?  Bitterness? 
I didn’t really know what his intent was, nor did I care because that statement “put me over the edge”!  His simple statement, whatever the intent, may have been the thing that catapulted me into a very successful career in Los Angeles!  Which, I may add, has lasted for over FOUR DECADES and is still going STRONG! 
I am a hard worker and always have been. But somehow his single statement caused me to push a little harder and a little longer toward each thing I wanted in my career.  I am now thankful for his input, whatever the intent.
Always remember, especially in this day and age, that people can say/text/post the “damnedest things,” but you must rise above them and continue on your positive path.  Don’t let ANYONE derail your dreams in any way!  Stick to your “love” of this business and GO FOR IT no matter what crazy things “they” may say or do!

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

Joe Tremaine

Audition and Move On!

Auditions are the mainstay of the way performers get jobs.

I know many people dislike auditions, but they are “the way business is done.” You have to show what you can do – “Show me what ya got kid!”


A performer should be ready to audition at a moments notice!

You should be in classes, in training, working out, etc., as often as you possibly can – preferably several times a week. One must “keep one’s instrument tuned” at all times.

As a dancer you should always have everything ready for an audition – jazz shoes, heels for the ladies, sneakers for hip hop, tap shoes, pointe shoes, etc. Also, a change of clothes/outfits should be kept in your car.

*Preparation is the key to success!

At the Audition:


Focus on the person(s) conducting the audition. Make eye contact with those in charge.

Do not be distracted by others auditioning!

Is your body language showing that you are the Choreographers / Directors dream cast member? Are you showing that you are easy to work with and competent?

After the Audition:

Possibly the most important thing I can tell you about auditioning is… MOVE ON!
Move on after the audition knowing that you did the best you could do at that point in time.

I had a roommate in New York once who was the “champ” at beating himself up after an audition from which he was cut. He would go into a depression and keep asking over and over “What did I do wrong? I thought I did great!” ….What a negative waste of energy. My response to him was “Shut up! Move on! Focus your energies on THE NEXT AUDITION!

Trying to analyze an audition can drive you crazy! You never know what the Choreographer, Producer or Director is thinking. Just know that they did not choose you at that time for whatever reason and then move forward.

Certainly if you realize at a certain point that you are lacking in any area of your training, then you must work on that area! Take classes and work on that weakness!

Be prepared so that when you walk into the audition you are confident and ready to “show ‘em what ya got!”

“Over prepare and then go with the flow!”

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.