How To Audition In Vegas – The Audition Manifesto Q&A with @GinaJPero & @Monson_Krista

QA Feature Audition Manifesto

To earn your spot on the big stage, under the bright lights of Las Vegas, every professional entertainer will tell you it takes hard work, dedication, and a thick skin. Countless hours in the rehearsal studio and gym, eating and living healthy, networking, researching, and plenty of practice is just the beginning. And when it comes to the audition process, you’ve got to be prepared for plenty of “no thank you” and “we’ll call you” responses before you get the green light to join the cast of your dream job.

The audition process can be taxing and confusing, but rewarding at the same time. To learn more about the process and the new program called The Audition Manifesto, Vegas Report interviewed founders Gina Pero and Krista Monson to discuss their goals with the program, how to audition, and some basic guidelines about the audition process.

How To Audition - Gina PeroGina Pero is originally from Batavia, NY and graduated with a BFA from the University at Buffalo. She’s has an impressive career spanning film, tv and the Las Vegas stage. Highlights of her performing career including the Radio City Rockettes, dancer and assistant choreographer in Rocktellz and Cocktails starring Meatloaf, lead dancer and dance captain in Iron Beats, female tap lead in NY Rhythm House, Charo, and modeling and acting for top brands including MTV, BEBE, guess, lucky, Nike, and Paul Mitchell. Gina is also a certified Simonson technique dance teacher, educating artists worldwide for the past 12 years including local dance studios, universities, and resident shows for Cirque du Soleil.She is currently a certified performance and life coach here in Las Vegas.

How To Audition - Krista MonsonKrista Monson is originally from Canada where she was a choreographer and producer/director for her own dance company as well as Broadway-style theater. She’s been in the US for 14 years—12 of those with Cirque du Soleil—as an Artistic Director (for “O”), Casting Director (for Resident shows, Worldwide), and most recently Writer/Stage Director. Monson’s most recent project was writing and directing a Cirque du Soleil show in Milan, Italy for World Expo, produced by Cirque’s special events branch, 45Degrees.

VEGAS REPORT:
Give us the big picture about The Audition Manifesto. What was your inspiration for creating this program?

GINA PERO:
My inspiration came from seeing many individuals give up their talent and gift because they didn’t know how to proceed in the industry successfully. Some people were quitting due to fears, feelings of inadequacies, not having proper information/skills, and not knowing the logistics of the business. The Audition Manifesto includes everything you need to know to become successful in the dance industry and offers honest feedback at industry standards. Many individuals have not been given a realistic perspective on who they are and the talent they have, this leads to many performers auditioning for shows that do not fit them. I say this at every clinic we have, “Find opportunities that fit who you are, not jobs that you think you fit.” It is an approach that keeps you as the dancer in alignment with who you are.

KRISTA MONSON:
As a casting director, I was in contact with hundreds of performing artists who were clearly hungry to succeed but were lacking in fundamental audition skills. On a deeper level, it was evident that some of those fundamental skills stem from simple yet complex ideas of confidence, anxiety, and managing their own expectations of themselves.  Put together, we had a vision to give those tools to performing artists to help them reduce the gap between themselves and success. The audition is THE hurdle to overcome in order to achieve dreams for a professional dancer.

VEGAS REPORT:
What is the most important part of an audition?

GINA PERO:
Showing up and owning who you are and your talents. Allowing yourself to be seen, heard, and loved for being you and the many hours you have dedicated into your craft.

KRISTA MONSON:
Walking in with confidence, knowing who you are and owning your talent.

HOW TO AUDITION

VEGAS REPORT:
How can someone best prepare for an audition in general?

GINA PERO:
Research your client—this includes the show, choreographer, director. Ask others if they have worked for this production or person, gather every factual detail you can before you attend. Never get an opinion. Meaning… do not get information from someone who has not worked with that person or show before. Get the facts, know the truth.

KRISTA MONSON:
Adopt the philosophy that you are the CEO to your own business.  I like the 5 P’s: Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.  Know your client and believe you are the solution to what they are looking for.

VEGAS REPORT:
What is the biggest mistake people make when auditioning?

GINA PERO:
Walking in with an attitude of “I need this job.” versus “I am the solution to their problem, they need me.” Also, dancing from a place of “I think this is what they are looking for” versus being in ownership of who you are and your talent.

KRISTA MONSON:
Assuming they know what the casting director is looking for.

VEGAS REPORT:
How old is too old for a headshot? When is the right time for a new headshot?

GINA PERO:
If the headshot does not accurately represent you, time for a new one! Headshots are a part of your business …how do you as the CEO of your company want to be represented each and every time you audition?

KRISTA MONSON:
When it does not accurately represent who you are.

Details for the January 6th Audition Manifesto Here

Pero and Monson’s audition clinics allow emerging and dance professionals to go through the steps of an industry standard audition while giving plenty of honest, one-on-one feedback to optimize success at auditions and careers.  In fact, they cap their clinics at a maximum of 15 performing artists to allow for this.  The next clinic in Las Vegas is January 6th at Backstage Dance Studios.  Further information is on vegasauditions.com.

VEGAS REPORT:
One piece of advice for new performers entering the professional job scene?

GINA PERO:
Know how you want to represent your company. This is your business, you are now an entrepreneur and a CEO…your talent is one part of this process. Know what jobs fit you, your body type, pay scales, agents, logistics, health insurance, your look, union vs. non–union, where to look for auditions, what companies are legit, a strategy (where will this lead you next), have a realistic vision, list goes on….Come to The Audition Manifesto!

KRISTA MONSON:
Listen – really listen.  Every audition is a success when you can define the take-away and apply it to your next day “at work” (whether that be another audition, a day in the ‘office’ networking, rehearsal for a job).

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