Steal From an Artist with an Agent: Advice from APAP Pros on Artist Representation - CircusTalk

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Steal From an Artist with an Agent: Advice from APAP Pros on Artist Representation

The Association of Performing Arts Professionals conference, affectionately known as APAP, annually floods the midtown Hilton for a weekend in January. Anyone who has participated in the conference knows it’s an exhausting tornado of chit chat, business cards and handshakes. Privately, fingers are crossed on all sides. Artists hope that the expensive endeavor of purchasing time and space will result in a season of bookings that allows them to do what they do best: perform. Agents work tirelessly to promote the artists on their roster, and presenters hope they find just the right shows to pack houses and please audiences. Despite the corporate hustle, it’s all done in the name of the beautiful human to human exchange of live art.
Photo by Christy Kissick for APAP A nice perk of the pre-conference days are free panel discussions and informational sessions. I attended a panel titled Are you Ready for an Agent? You would expect the answer to this titular question to be based on experience. Once you’ve accomplished x, you’re ready for an agent. Yet, actual experience in the field was never spoken about. The words resume, CV or anything akin to “paying your dues” were never mentioned. The conversation solely focused on marketability rather than personal know how. I listened with a circus artist’s ear for any hints or advice that might be directly applicable for those of us with specialty skills and o...
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Madeline Hoak

Madeline Hoak is an artist and academic who creates with, through, and about circus. She is a Writer for CircusTalk, Adjunct Professor of Aerial Arts and American Circus History at Pace University, Editor and Curatorial Director of TELEPHONE: an international arts game, and curator and director of Cirkus Moxie, a weekly contemporary circus show at Brooklyn Art Haus. Madeline has performed, coached, produced, and choreographed at elite regional and international venues. Her background in dance and physical theater is infiltrated into her coaching and creation style. She is passionate about providing her students holistic circus education that includes physical, historical, theoretical resources. Madeline initiated the Aerial Acrobatics program at her alma mater, Muhlenberg College, where she taught from 2012-2017. She is also a regular contributor to Cirkus Syd's Circus Thinkers international reading group. Her circus research has been supported by Pace, NYU, and Concordia University. Recent publications include "Teaching the Mind-Body: Integrating Knowledges through Circus Arts'' (with Alisan Funk, Dan Berkley), a chapter in Art as an Agent for Social Change, "expanding in(finite) between," a multimedia essay in Circus Thinks: Reflections, 2020, and "Digital Dance & TELEPHONE: A Unique Spectator Experience." Madeline has presented academic papers at numerous conferences including Circus and its Others (UC Davis), International Federation for Theatre Research (University of Reykjavík), the Popular Culture Association, Gallatin (NYU), and McGill University. Madeline earned an MA from Gallatin, New York University’s School of Independent Study, where she designed a Circus Studies curriculum with a focus on spectatorship.