Circus News

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.

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 often rigging or unusual technical needs. Manuel Prestamo of Performance Management International, a veteran in the industry, moderated the conversation. Sharing wisdom from her twenty years of experience as a presenter turned agent was Laurel Canan of Siegle Arts Management. Ron DeStefano and...

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Madeline Hoak

Madeline is a NYC based performer, producer, professor, and choreographer specializing in aerial, acrobatics, dance and movement direction. She is an adjunct professor of Aerial Arts at Pace University, on staff at Aerial Arts NYC and The Muse Brooklyn and initiated the Aerial program at Muhlenberg College where she taught from 2011 - 2017. Her movement direction contributed to Circle Theater NYC’s production of The Mountain winning Outstanding Original Choreography/Movement, 2015. She co-choreographed The Battles, a musical voted by Broadway producer Ken Davenport one of the top 10 new scripts of 2016. Madeline's choreography has been presented at Dixon Place, Circus Warehouse, BAX, The House of Yes, Abron Arts Center, Times Square, The Flea, STREB, Galapagos, and The Muse. She received BAs in Dance and Theater from Muhlenberg College and is currently studying at NYU’s Gallatin school of Individualized Study where she is designing a master’s degree in circus studies with a focus on dramaturgy and creative processes. madelinehoak.com.