Monday, April 13, 2009

Competition Lowdown

I know those of you playing along at home want to know how the Boston competition went. Neither of us Los Angelenos brought home a prize. However, it was a great learning experience. Here's what I learned, in hopes that my experiences will help others be more prepared:
  • Focus more on the love of performing than the competition. I was more concerned about making a good impression for my city than I was just having fun. I know I'm a better performer when I just play. The act was the tightest it's ever been and I'm proud of my performance, but it wasn't the same kind of joy as hitting the local stage and that's because I had attention on being judged. Fellow performers, if you take this point to heart and apply it fully to your own lives then your competition performances will be more fulfilling.
  • Watch as much of the show as possible. The venue was a little strange -- the green room was a partitioned part of the ballroom and we had to walk through the kitchen hallway to get backstage to enter the ballroom to perform. It was a great venue, but it was tricky for me to watch most of the show. I wound up checking off performers on the lineup so we all knew where we were in the show since we couldn't hear terribly well in the green room. I'd pop out to watch a number or part of a number but I didn't get to see many of my competitors. We had to be backstage and ready to go on three numbers before our own and we couldn't watch from backstage. I saw a few things in dress rehearsal, maybe three complete acts and a handful of glances at other acts.
  • Be cordial and helpful to everyone. I didn't have a problem here, but I did see a little crabbiness at fellow performers. You never know where the next job will come from, and you don't want to look like a suck up when you're crabby with someone before they win and fawning over them after they win.
  • Celebrate the wins of the competition -- those of others and your own. A really delightful troupe that invited me to perform in their own festival won. I was so happy for them because their number was great. (I saw that one in dress rehearsal.) Another act I saw in dress rehearsal and got to see in the show won a title, and I was sure to congratulate them. I didn't get to see all of the winning acts but what I did see was great. I also had my own wins. I performed for a nice-sized crowd in a non-bar setting with real lighting on a real stage. I did my first competition and didn't screw up. I got to dance for a beloved teacher from New York and a dear friend from college. And I got to dance for a whole group of potential new fans.
All in all, it was a good competition experience for me. While it would've been nice to come home with a prize, I still had some good wins and realizations.

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