What I wish I had known...
Whenever I'm interviewed, the question always pops up...."What do you wish you would have known when you first came into the industry?"
Business, Business, Business
I wish I would have known more about the business aspect of the industry. Taking the time to learn more about SAG, AFTRA, Dancers Alliance, and contracts for starters. I would have also become more involved in my union and helping to shape our industry.
Your voice needs to be heard!
When one educates themselves about the business side of the industry you are able to take the personal side out as well. To me we are in the hardest industry! We literally go on job interviews daily! No other industry works like that. Most people apply, go on interviews, and then accept a job that they stay with for numerous years.... not dancers. Our jobs may only last a day, sometimes a week, and if we are lucky a year.
Not just signing papers you are given, but knowing what you are signing! Learning the ins & outs of contracts! Keeping track of your hours, if you used your own clothes, and if hazard pay is warranted to name a few. The difference between union and non union work. Who your SAG rep is on each job, along with who your contact is in production.
How long to stay working non union gigs.
Now that you are union, what does that mean... what are the dues like, what benefits do you get, and what programs & education does the union provide.
Business sticks in my head so much that I even wish I would have taken more business courses in high school & college.
And lastly would be inquiring about the arts field in general, what programs, grants, and mentors that are available.
Mentors truly make your career path so much brighter!
The other thing I wish I had known is the gravity of commercial work!! I'll talk more on that later :)