I used to blog to express my feelings, which is really how I got into it all, but I haven’t actually done that on here in a while. (Don’t worry, tomorrow I will be back to my outfit posts.) A few days ago, I decided to let it all out on my personal Facebook page, mainly because many of my friends on there understand exactly what I’m talking about. But I figured I’d share it on here as well. And I apologize in advance for this journalistic tendency of mine to write novels…..
So I’ve been trying to pursue this “dance career” thing for over 5 years now, and if there is one thing I’ve learned during these 5 years, it’s that my training for the last 19 years was not as important as I thought. Although I’ve loved every minute of training to be the dancer that I am today, the entertainment industry really just doesn’t give a crap about how good of a dancer you are. If you’re pretty, then you book the job. Plain and simple. And of course, if you know the casting director or choreographer, then you’ll probably book the job too. I’d say about the first 2 years of this, I was so naive to the fact that looks didn’t matter, and that it was all about how technically trained you are. I would go on auditions where I would look around the room and honestly think I was going to get picked because I was the only one not struggling to keep up with choreography, but that was never the case at all. Sure, you’ll have to have some form of technique, but all those extra hours you spent in a dreaded ballet class? It doesn’t really matter once you leave the dance competition world…. Type casting: when you go to an audition, and all they do is look at you and say “yes” or “no.” I actually prefer this, because then I won’t waste an entire day of my life at an audition when they weren’t even looking for someone who looked like me in the first place. Now NBA/NFL dance auditions. I can’t even explain how frustrated these have made me. I’ve always kept quiet about these auditions, because I just personally don’t like telling people when I try out for them, in case I don’t make it. The texts of “How did it go?!” “Did you make it?!” are incredibly annoying to respond to when you don’t. I’ve tried out 5 different times for these teams, and one specific NFL dance team told me during my interview round with them that I looked pale and washed out because I didn’t have a lot of makeup on. Even though the day prior to this interview, we were specifically told to come with a simple amount of makeup than we did for the dance portion. They wanted to see us in our natural state with minimal makeup. I was then told that I needed to make myself look older, that she didn’t like the way I did my hair because it wasn’t big enough, and that I needed to wear a better push up bra so that my boobs would look bigger… Mind you, Victoria’s Secret has measured me as D. (TMI, forgive me.) Did she want me to get a boob job in one day? Probably. (I’m not planning on ever getting one, so don’t freak out.) And lastly, her parting words with me: “I honestly don’t even remember you from yesterday’s dance audition that well, you only made it through to the finals because of your dance ability. But looks wise, you didn’t stand out to me at all. You’re also pretty short and look really young, so do your best to change that for tomorrow.” Yet after being told of all the things that were “wrong with me,” I still actually believed I was going to make the team because I could honestly say I was the most technically trained dancer in that last round of it. I would watch people and think. “Ok, there’s no way I don’t make it if she can only do 2 turns, and I just did 6.” Now if you can guess, I obviously didn’t make that team. That was 3 years ago, and I still think about it sometimes. This industry is so degrading, and I question everyday why I ever wanted to put myself through so much rejection. It’s gotten to the point where my love for dance has started to fade away, which is a sad realization for me to come to, because it’s something I’ve loved for so long.. but this constant feeling of thinking I’m never good enough is a really sucky feeling. I’ve heard that “yes” word probably 2 times in 5 years, and although I’ve kept a tough face through it all, I can only keep it for so long. I’ve had plenty of people give me their opinion on this countless times, and tell me, “You’ll for sure get it next year” “You have to keep going,” “You’re going to hear a bunch of No’s before you get a Yes.”…. While I completely understand each of those things, and am very appreciative of the support I’ve continued to have from everyone close to me… nobody honestly has any idea until they are the one’s going through it. A wise person once said, “As a dancer, your middle name is rejection,” and that couldn’t be any more accurate.
UPDATE: You can tell I was pretty angry when I wrote this lol, but now about a year later, I have a new agency, after being dropped by my old one. When I was dropped, I was without an agency for about 2 months, and I thought that was my sign to just let it go, but I decided to audition for a new one, and I couldn’t be happier that I did. I am SO much more positive about it and am excited to go on auditions, rather than with the old negative attitude I used to have going into one. I also don’t skip out on auditions anymore if I think it’s going to be a “waste of time” as I used to say. I go to every one I get. This different mind set I have allowed myself to have has made the biggest difference. I honestly cannot stress enough what a positive mindset will do to your situation!