At CircusTalk, the international circus community’s online professional network and resource, a large percentage of our email is from circus artists, troupes and companies around the world asking for a job. Many find us through social media, and even sign up to become members, but often they have missed a few steps in the process of completing their profile and they don’t know how to use their brand new CircusTalk profile to look for work. I’d like to help you simplify that process with an easy check point system to make your profile complete– and your search for a job more successful.
Step 1: Complete Your ProfileOne 30 minute time commitment, update as needed, two times a year recommended
I visit the “Who’s Who” feature every day on CircusTalk and follow individuals and companies with a photo that indicates they are involved with circus, and a profile that includes all of the necessary information should I want to see more of their work. This is what an agency, venue, festival or presenter with an affinity towards your work would expect of an artist or company as well. If your profile only has a sentence describing your mission but doesn’t list your previous work, doesn’t have photos or contact information, what would entice an employer to reach out to you? How will they know if your work is what they are looking for?
Before you start following other organizations, make sure your profile or company photo is complete and that it shows your professional side and artistic discipline, complete the bio information, your website and contact information. Consider the profile to be your online CV for the circus industry that will be browsed by many professionals in their search for artists, acts and shows. The most valuable piece of information you can supply after that is your trailers, teaser videos, and professional photos. If you don’t have highly professional videos to upload, your latest training video or your act will do as well, because it will give an honest indication of your expertise level. Bonus tip: If you have been in the cast of a show (that is listed on CircusTalk), there is a feature for you to add yourself to the existing cast and once you do it will also appear in your profile as part of your CV.
Step 2: Hunt for Jobs Recommend 5-10 minutes a week
Once your profile is complete, it is time to look for opportunities. Not every opportunity is a job, of course. You can also apply to attend a residency program in order to develop your show, or you can apply for a circus-related non-performing job. By visiting the Jobs Board (Auditions, Residencies, Performing Jobs, Non-performing Jobs, Grants and Open Calls), and Events Calendar (Festivals, Conferences, Workshops) you will have access to multiple opportunities around the world, and searchable by your region. These pages are updated daily by the individuals who have the opportunities– which leads me to my next tip…
Step 3: Visit OftenRecommend 5-10 minutes a day
Dashing off a profile, not completing it and not looking for opportunities will not get you a job in the industry, and neither will not visiting the website often. As I said, new opportunities arrive daily, and only by checking in frequently will you be able to keep abreast of them before they expire. Besides looking at the Jobs Board, you can visit the CircusTalk wall (by clicking on the home button or the logo on top) which will list the latest opportunities for work, connection or collaboration. Often, users just log in to add their newest video or event, and neglect to visit the wall, which is the hub of CircusTalk discussions and full of news about industry happenings and events.
Step 4: Engage with PeopleRecommend 5-15 minutes weekly
As with any business, you don’t simply get work by showing up. You have to play a part in the community. Answering questions from newbies, commenting on someone’s video that resonates with you, sharing a post with a friend who might be interested in an opportunity–these are all activities that will connect you to more people and show your level of engagement, expertise and professionalism as well. Creating that web of connections around you can only lead to more potential for employment. The circus world used to be small and insular, but now it is a large international web where everyone is connected one way or another and the more information we share with each other about our work, safety, and the industry, the stronger we will be as a community. Playing the Six Degrees of Cirque du Soleil game (see how long it takes you to come up with a friend you both know on the same Cirque du Soleil tour) will often lead to a common link.
Step 5: Share Your NewsRecommend minimum once a month status update
If you have a new show, a new event, a crowdfunding campaign, a tour, or a trailer that you just put together, it is time to get the word out and ask others to join you. Don’t just put it on social media networks that don’t specialize in circus. Put it on the social media network that is all circus, and you will guarantee powerful eyes outside of your limited personal network of followers will have access to it. The best way to do this is to make CircusTalk a part of your social media strategy and make it a policy that anything you post elsewhere must also be posted on CircusTalk. Bonus tip: CircusTalk has an icon you can embed on your website that will lead anyone who clicks on it to your profile there.
Step 6: Ask for FeedbackRecommend as needed
As an artist, you know how important it is to be vulnerable. How much more vulnerable can you be than asking your peers for advice on your next step, feedback on your work, etc? Showing your process and development can engage your fellow artists and give them an opening to reach out to you. Showing your performances can indicate what skill areas you excel in. At CircusTalk, you have the largest audience of circus industry professionals from around the world. It may be the only place other than a conference where reaching out to peers, agents or programmers for their wisdom is possible. By engaging others in your career as an artist and doing the same for your fellow artists, you are also making connections that might someday lead to opportunities.
Step 7: Know Where You Are AtRecommend bi-annual check in as goals have been achieved
Are you a prospective circus student? Do you want to work corporate gigs or on a cruise ship? Have you been teaching straps for years? Have you finally gotten your budding circus company off the ground and are heading on tour next season? Do you offer some unique insight into the industry because of your work experience in a parallel art form? Having a goal and an idea of your proximity to it will help you know who to follow on CircusTalk and what opportunities to look out for.
If you are able to complete your profile, keep it updated, to share your news,to engage with fellows in the circus world while checking the CircusTalk Jobs Board regularly, you will increase your industry connections and possibly find work as a result. Of course, much of your success depends on the actual circus work you do, but in this age, to simply depend on your act or show to sell itself in the circus industry based on local connections is a risky proposition. Instead, expand your reach and scope in an international business that is booming and expanding its reach through the electronic medium. Please don’t hesitate to consult or FAQ or reach out with questions and comments about how to use the platform, and CircusTalk would like to wish you success in your pursuits!
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