Knowing YOUR aesthetic, challenging “the aesthetic”. Ryanair, Emirates or G6 baby!!!!!
Who am I? This is the fundamental question when it comes to deciding how you're gonna make your freelance shit work. Reason being how the hell are you going to create visibility and success for yourself if don't know what you're selling? How do you know what's going to get you work? Understanding your aesthetic could be your ticket to your very own private jet (lol I don't have one...yet!).
The hardest step is always the first.....
Step one is knowing yourself. The more detailed the better. What do you look like and where are you from? What are your likes and dislikes. What's your favourite colour, personal item? What does your dream home look like? Sure, these things seem silly and mundane but just hear me out. Knowing these small things will help you to unpack the big stuff. Big stuff in fly girl world is these two points: what do you want to put out and what are you already subconsciously putting out into the world. Understanding what you like will more than likely illustrate your strengths and really, you want to lead with your strongest foot to ensure a solid journey to the skies.
Do you fall under a stereotype?
Unfortunately this world is based on stereotypes. I say unfortunately but actually you can use this to your advantage if you research and explore how these ideas came to form, which you then have the opportunity to embellish, exploit or subvert them completely. Anyone or anything that existed prior to your existence has impacted your life and the lives of those around you. Let's now become aware that we have the power to change these stereotypes if we want to. Or play up to them.
How the hell do I research this shit?
Information is at your feet babes :) Chat to people. Even in general conversation you can begin to decipher and understand ideas about how people perceive culture, society and how they sit within their own constituencies. There's libraries full of manifestos, novels and thesis' that can give you ideas about how people perceive ethnicity, religion and culture. Go to art galleries. Watch tv, go to the cinema. Hit parties. Every moment is a opportunity for education. Also don't forget about your own experience because this is just as valid if not more than the knowledge you sort for. But it's good to look and acquire shit.
Well fly friend, now that you have all this info, decide how you will now put your foot forward. My advice will always be rooted in honesty. You don't have to express and show the world every side of yourself but make sure the side that you do present is authentic. That way you will spend less time trying to please everyone and everything asked of you (in theory!) should feel easy. People will be interested in YOU and no other tiring creation that you'd have to upkeep in order to stay in the loop. You have the knowledge of what people are likely to think about when they lay their eyes on you teamed with a confidence that you can always deliver because you can always be yourself.
See stereotypes (especially negative ones) as a challenge for you to champion. You don't have to give into what society thinks of you. Living in this knowledge and strength can bring you exactly the kind of work you want. Also stay open to change. Things influence you everyday. Be aware of what you're drawn to. See how it can help you to evolve and stay relevant. You don't have to be rigid in your stance or super free flowing and loose. You have to find the happy medium and glide. This is easy when you're open to listen but know already what you like and where you want to take it.
In the beginning.....how to grow wings
Hey freelance kids! So I have always had the creative eye of the tiger. Some people think this is something that one is born with. Whether its true or not I don't know however training and educating yourself doesn't hurt. I decided before I could even remember that I wanted to dance. My sister told me about a time when I was two or three that I ran on stage at her ballet recital. I also went to my very first dress up day at school as ballerina so I think it was safe to say that I always had the bug. I didn't start my training until I was 18 at Lewisham College. Lewisham definitely raised me. Still to this day it was the best dancing and years of my life. I fought, stretched, sweated every single day to prove that I could achieve my dreams of being a professional dancer. I would stay after class to stretch and would often be the last person to leave at 9pm at night. From there I got into my dream school: London Contemporary Dance School. Once I was there I realised it was everything other than my dream. My dad had passed away two thirds into my first year and the school just didn't agree with me. Still to this day I have trouble picking up material quickly and wasn't the strongest, most dynamic or flexible. I ended my three years with a 2.1, a heart filled anger and undying will and passion to prove everyone wrong and so I did what they don't teach you at school. Use your wits. Three years on I dance for 5 different dance companies as well as write for a magazine and model. It's safe to say that anyone who doubted me should think again about doubting a girl on a mission. Here's some tips every graduate needs to know to get you on your way to becoming a bad bitch.
1. NEVER GIVE UP: this is the most important tip. If you want something go and get it. No one is gonna hand it to you and it may not always be easy but if you want it bad enough you will hang in there and find a way
2. Figure out what you're good at and do it quickly: the quicker you figure your shit out, the quicker you can make money from it which can ultimately lead you to what you wanna do if the thing that you're good at isn't what you want. Money isn't everything but it helps.
3. Find your tribe: find the people that get you and stick with them especially if they're making movements. Align yourself with them.
4. Do your research: if you wanna work for a company research the people that they work with, their shows and their style that way when you turn up to the audition you're prepared. You never know what you may be asked and that can be the difference between getting the job and staying unemployed
5. Audition Audition Audition. Oh yeah did I say audition? Go to as many auditions as you can but be wise. Audition for the projects or companies that interest you. Don't do any that doesn't because you're wasting time that you could be training or auditioning for other things. This is called opportunity cost. Weigh up your options so you're making the best decisions with your resources
6. Believe. There is no point in any of this if you don't believe that you can do it. Don't listen to any dickhead that tells you that its not possible. They probably saying that to you because some other dickhead told them the same. If I had listened to people then I wouldn't be where I am now. So now is the time to believe that you have what it takes to achieve what you want. Bet on yourself. It's not cheese. It is fact.
7. Network. Don't lick ass but make sure you're in the loop. Just chat to people, ask questions and keep up to date with whats going on in your field. Social media is great for this kind of stuff. You will be surprised how much work and coverage you can get just by chatting to the right person or being at the right event.
8. Be intelligent. Ultimately this is basis of all of these tips. Talent can get you far but if you have a degree like everyone else what separates you from anyone else? Use your wits and figure out what you have to stand out from the crowd.
9. Trust- trust that in time it will happen. Not everyone's journey's are the same. Celebrate your friends and even your enemies achieving greatness and trust that your time is coming. It's hard but again its the way forward. Don't be bitter just be better.