Intro: Welcome to Words That Move Me, the podcast where movers and shakers, like you, get the information and inspiration you need to navigate your creative career with clarity and confidence. I am your host, Dana Wilson, and I move people. I am all about the tools and techniques that empower tomorrow's leaders to make the work of their dreams and live a full life while doing it. So whether you're new to the game or transitioning to your next echelon of greatness, you're in the right place.
Dana: Good day. Good friend. How are you? Hello? <laugh> I'm Dana. Welcome to words that move me and welcome to August. If you are listening to this on the day of its release, um, I am, I am deeming this month audition August, because if you are like me, you have noticed an uptick in audition opportunities and castings, etc. ect. but I do not want to pass up an opportunity to offer a little bit of history your way.
Um, so back way, way back in September of 2020, when we were still in lockdown, but productions with bigger budgets could afford being in production <laugh> and hiring people. Uh, I, I saw an opportunity. See, I have a fondness and a system for self tapes, uh, that really seemed to work for me. So I thought I would share all of those tips, tricks and techniques. And I offered what I called audition August an online zoom workshop. And I got so much feedback from that. Y'all I actually can't believe I've never done an episode on it. So whatever here we are two years later, and I'm finding that, although in person auditions are definitely picking back up most of, or, or dare I say all of, because I don't think self tapes will ever completely go away. So I, I will say most of almost all of what I taught way back in 2020 is still applicable and hopefully very useful today.
So I am going to share some of that Intel, uh, in today's episode, but first wins in true audition, August fashion. I'm going on theme. I am celebrating five in person castings and two callbacks in the last 12 days. And I think that's a pretty good ratio. So I'm gonna celebrate that, uh, hopefully more future winning on that front to come. Um, but I, I honestly, I consider auditions money in the bank. I'll talk a little bit about that more in a second, but callbacks are great feedback to let me know that something I'm doing is working. When I don't book the gig, I don't make it mean I'm bad. <laugh> um, or that my techniques don't work again. We'll talk about that in a second, but I think this is a really happy, if not lucky ratio five auditions, two callbacks, I am celebrating. How about you? What's going well in your world. Tell me about it. Say it out loud. Really helps.
Yay. All right. Congrats. My friend, I am celebrating you and I'm hoping for all of the callbacks and bookings in your future, actually not all of the bookings. It's an interesting philosophical conundrum that if you booked all of the gigs, then no one else ever would. So I would not wish that upon you. Um, but I would wish that you book the gigs that you are right for anyways, moving on <laugh> I am gonna spend the next several minutes, many minutes talking about how to audition and self tape for various projects, but I want to put an emphasis on the commercial industry. I define the commercial industry as any work that is designed to sell something, even tours. I consider commercial work. Those are designed to sell the album. Obviously televised commercials are designed to sell products. Um, whether you're selling an album or a cheeseburger, it's all the same.
<laugh> in the eyes of a casting agent. So, uh, that is what we're gonna talk about today. Specifically the commercial industry, um, where do we begin? Oh, we should begin with a disclaimer, I guess please know that listening to this episode and even following these recommendations to a T is not a guarantee that you'll book your next audition. Actually, my goal is not to teach you how to book work. My goal is to teach you how to become an empowered type of auditioner. I want to teach you how to make the kind of impressions and the kind of work that get you more work. That's my goal. No small order, however <laugh> um, alright. Although I, I have had more in person castings than self-tapes in the past 12 days. Self-tapes are still, um, very frequent. They're not something that I think will ever fully go away.
And the perspectives in this episode will certainly come into play no matter what mode of auditioning or even if you're, you're not auditioning for something commercial, maybe it's more classical or company style work. Don't stop listening. This, this information, these offerings definitely still apply. I would go as far as a say, even if you are not a dance type or a creative type in general, this might help you with interviews. Um, all sorts of what are kind of typically, Ugh, dare I say, cringy experiences. Um, I hope to DEC cringe them for you. So let's begin with my UN cringy. Oh, that is cringy itself. Let's begin with my audition ethos. Um, kind of my, my worldview, if auditions were the world is built around the idea of the empowered auditioner does not beg they do not bend or contort to fit the mold. Um, they do not try to persuade anyone or convince anyone that they're right for the job.
They simply know that they aren't wasting anyone's time, especially their own. They know that the time in the room and in front of a camera is money in the bank. Even if there's no check in the mail <laugh> so the empowered auditioner knows that in order to have a successful business, you must not only make stuff, but also sell stuff, honestly, not like in a smarmy kind of way, but in an honest, um, win-win transaction type of way. And unfortunately, too many of us have had negative experiences with sales people to really get past that part, to really, to really get to the win-win transactional salesperson that helps so much in an audition. I think we've all experienced that pushy salesperson that kind of like icky car salesman, um, or, or the scene on TV, um, as seen on TV type of sales people where we're like, yo, that is too good to be true.
There's no way that's gotta be a piece of crap. Like we're already doubting the product. Now imagine a room full of that person. And you basically have a cattle call, but hear me now you do not have to be a pushy or untrustworthy sales person. You don't. I want you to take a second think real hard right now about the last time you experienced a helpful salesperson or even a waitress or waitress, wait person at a restaurant who pointed you in the direction of a really tasty meal, somebody who understands what you might like or what the menu has to offer. Um, think of the last time you had a helpful salesperson. Someone who knows the product listens to your needs and honestly knows when it's not a good fit. And when to release you like a person that is totally okay with letting the buyer go a different direction.
That is it for me. And that in, in your time as a working dancer or choreographer or creative type is 100% what you can be and what you can offer in all of your work opportunities, you probably will actually <laugh>. You certainly will see the customer go a different direction and what you do next determines. So in my view, the empowered auditioner is a maker and a good, useful, trustworthy salesperson in their salesperson role. They have three jobs and this is important. Number one, to introduce the unaware number two, to inspire the curious and number three, to reassure those who are already engaged, let's get a little deeper there. Introduce the unaware. In other words, know th self know your features, make clear your strengths and understand your weaknesses in, in any audition. Every moment is an opportunity to introduce yourself, how you stand, how you dress, how you learn, how you communicate, certainly how you perform all introductions to you and your values to you and your value like that step is crucial.
So at least start there. Honestly, you could take the entire audition as an introduction, and you'd be better off than trying to fit the role description. Right? Simply introduce those who might be unaware. Step one. If you've got that down, if you can implement that at the beginning, middle and the end work, let's move on to step two, inspire the curious invite the viewer on a test drive. In other words, help them imagine their life with you in the spot. That's what test drives are for anyways. It's for you, the, um, consumer to imagine yourself behind the wheel of this car, to imagine getting in it every morning, driving up the street, like that's what the test drive is for. You can, with a little imagination, <laugh> do this same thing in an audition or a casting note in order to do this step, it is very helpful for you to be able to see yourself in the spot first, before you try to show you in the spot to someone else, imagine yourself there.
I love a visualization station. If you can see it, there's a chance that they can too. Now I'm gonna sidestep because I am famous for saying things like the person on the other side of the table, or on the other side of the casting couch has almost imagination. Seriously, a paralyzing lack of imagination. I've said that so many times <laugh> and now that I am frequently on that side of castings, I know that to be true, <laugh> we slash they rarely have exactly the person we need in mind. It's very rarely crystal in like, we very rarely know who they are or can see it. If we did, we'd a direct book, that person we're waiting to meet that person we're waiting to be inspired. Some of my favorite advice is to audition as if it was your first day on set. You've already booked. This is a rehearsal and a shoot. Use your imagination. That is how you inspire the curious, and once you've done that, finally once, once that person becomes more than curious, they become engaged. It's time to reassure those who are engaged. How do you do that? You demonstrate with absolute consistency and confidence that you are the person for the job.
<laugh> okay. Flu fi flu fi flu, flu flu, especially in a podcast. Like how exactly do you do that? You can say those words. Yes. Those words make sense. But how do you freaking do that? How do you actually simply by being consistent for an hour and a half, and like carrying yourself with confidence for that amount of time, how do you actually reassure someone that you are the person for the job in this phase? I personally focus on one thought three words that are, are the same words I focus on while I am free styling. And those three words are show and proof. I bring show and proof with me into every single audition that I go in that I go in that I go to <laugh> every single audition that I go to. I focus on showing my skills, showing that I am capable, showing that I can listen, showing that I know what I'm selling and proving that I love it.
Proving that I actually enjoy what I do notice how different that idea is. Show, improve, show your skill, prove that you like what you're doing that is so different from be perfect, which is honestly kind of the default thought with an unmanaged mind. When you enter an audition, I have to be perfect. I have to be right. I've gotta be on. I have to be on point. Like that type of thinking might be useful, but I find thinking, uh, um, in some ways, lowering the bar from perfect to show improve helps to unlock some ease, calm, um, quiet that will allow you to see the room, to see the people on the other side of the couch. As human, maybe get new ideas, maybe, maybe show up more fully than even a confident person. Who's at a 12 for this audition. I really think that showing improving is better than being perfect.
I believe in my bones that it is better to be memorable than it is to be perfect. Here's the thing about perfect. <laugh> in most casting processes, most things are out of your control, right? The time that you've seen the day of the week, the number of people they've seen before you, um, your number in the sign in sheet, what they're actually looking for most of that stuff is out of your control, but in a self taped situation, although all of that is out of your control. So very much is in your control, which can be liberating or overwhelming depending on how you think about it. <laugh>, here's what I would like to offer today. Professionalism is controlling the things you can control, be professional release, perfect, and practice show, and prove. That is how you reassure the engaged. You have three jobs. My friend introduced the unaware, inspire the curious and reassure the engaged and all the while you have the one thought I am here to show and prove, at least that is what works for me.
Most of you know that I am not a big fan of dues and don'ts, I'm not a big fan of absolutes. You will rarely hear me say you should always, um, shake the casting director's hand or always look straight down the barrel. I just don't believe in always. And I certainly don't believe in never do that. Um, I'm I'm never going to tell you to never disobey, for example, wardrobe specifications at an audition, I have deliberately disobeyed wardrobe requests and been rewarded. I've gotten booked for actually breaking the rules. Honestly, show me a do or a don't. And I will show you an exception to those rules. I'll show you the person who did the opposite and still got the job. And honestly, that is part of the beauty of what we do, that there is no one clear cut way to book. Imagine how awful that would be.
Everybody would just do that. And the first people to show up would get the gig. We we're, we're glad that there are no rules to auditioning, although we will continue to look for them or will at least continue to ways to look to do it better. And that's okay. But, um, I, I suppose along my journey as not only an auditioning person, but someone who auditions people <laugh>, um, I have learned a lot about what works for me, what catches my eye. And I have put more of my tips and tricks for self tapes and in person auditions into a monthly lesson. So if you sign up for the words that move me community, AKA whi com, if you sign up ASAP, as in, if you're listening to this episode on the day of its release, sign up within the next seven days, like first week of August, 2022, you will get access to that video.
Um, I'm giving almost all of my personal tips and tricks. Uh, you won't get that full list until I retire, of course, because I am no fool. So visit words that move me.com and click on whi com, or you can simply enter words that move me.com/community. That is what the com stands for by the way. And I really hope to see you there and give you almost all of my secrets along with a whole lot of other great career coaching and a truly exceptional group of movers and shakers. Um, I love the whi com. I love what all of you bring. I truly hope to see you there. And I hope that this episode was, uh, useful. I would love to hear your wins. If you find any of these, um, insights effective, functional applicable in your audition life, or especially successful in your audition life, I would love to hear about it.
Please leave a review or a rating on this episode. I think it is so, so important that we as a workforce dancers in general approach auditions as empowered it's so, so, so important. Um, alright. I think that is it for me. Um, head out into the world, y'all head into your next audition and keep it very, very funky. I'll talk to you soon. Bye.
Outro: This podcast was produced by me with the help of many music by Max Winney logo and brand design by Bree reets and a big thanks to Riley Higgins, our executive assistant and editor, and also a massive thanks to you. The mover, who is no stranger to taking action, I will not stand in the way of you taking action. I will not cannot stop you from downloading episodes or leaving a review and a rating. I cannot keep you from visiting thedanawilson.com to join our mailing list. I will not ban you from my online store for spending your hard earned money on the cool merch and awesome programs. That'll await you there. And of course, if you want to talk with me, work with me and make moves with the rest of the words that move me community, I will 100% not stop you. Visit thedanawilson.com to become a member and get a peak at everything else I do that is not a weekly podcast. Keep it funky, everyone.