The business side of belly dance
Tips on how to get the gigs and the art of shameless self-promotion.
By Shetan Noir
The best marketing tool for getting yourself hire for gigs is your performance resume and promotional package. A performance resume is different then a regular job resume. I remember my older brother, who works in the corporate world looking at my resume and having a meltdown. In his world a resume should only be one page. In the performance world you need to have a fully detailed resume. Mine is now five pages long and according to several talent agents not long enough.
What your performance resume should include besides the basic information.
*Your real name and stage name
*How long you have been performing
*What acts you do
*What props you use
*What styles of belly dance you perform.
*Who you have trained with and how long you have trained with those teachers
*What classes or workshops you have taught
*Where, When and who you have performed with.
This is all important information to promoters and event planners. There are other important additions to add to your resume and promotional package too.
Good quality pictures of you performing. It's one thing to say that you can dance with a sword on your head but when you can give the show promoters pictures of you actually dancing or balancing a sword on your head, it gives them peace of mind knowing that you the performer/dancer they have just hired can perform your act.
Good quality pictures of yourself posed in your best costumes with hair and make-up done.
A good quality dvd three to five minutes long.
You want a brilliant wow-factored start to your dvd. Show your best eye catching clips at the beginning
Follow that up with information about your best signature acts and more clips of your performances.
End with your contact information
Make this dvd as high quality as you can afford, make sure it is labeled with your real name and stage name plus your contact information.
*Keep this in mind! Most people will not watch the whole dvd, if you do not catch their attention in the first 30-45 seconds.
Social media sites such as facebook.com, tublr.com and twitter.com. These are awesome sites for networking and promoting.
Here is some food for thought, It does not matter how good of a performer/dancer you are, If you do not self promote yourself. No one will know who you are.
You can be the best belly dancer in your area but if no one knows it, If no one has seen you perform outside of student showcases, If no one has ever heard of you, Then they don't know you are there waiting and wanting to perform. Simple as that!
As a performer you need to run your career like a business. If you want the local bookings, the out of town gigs,the big stage shows then you need to put in the extra hours promoting yourself and letting people know who you are and what you can do.
The Art of shameless Self promoting!
Self-Promote! Self-Promote! Self-Promote!
Do you see the ads and commercials on tv, Hear them on the radio, Read them in magazines. How many times have you gone and bought something because of that promoting? Lots of times!
Develop an email newsletter that you can send out to other teachers, Show promoters and organizers, Fans, Anyone that you want to keep informed about your shows and career.
Take the time to design and have printed business cards and promotional postcards. Keep these with you all the time. Make it your goal to give out five cards to five different people at each new show.
Act professional at all performance events, including classes and workshops!
After each show, make sure you contact the show promoter and thank them for having you on the show.
So there you have it, I have hopefully pointed you all in the right direction, Now go Break a Nail Ladies!
Shetan Noir is a Michigan based belly dancer and writer. She teaches workshops and seminars on belly dance and Pagan practices.
Her articles have been seen in Shimmy, spirit if the dance magazine, Circle Sanctuary magazine, Lansing Travel examiner, Yahoo.com Associated content articles.
She has also written books on Belly dance and Pagan studies.
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