Monday, 19 November 2012

Task 3C- My 5 Main Sources of Networking.

After researching and considering all the theories about professional networking, I have thought carefully about the 5 main sources of networking in my own professional practice and the impact they have had on my career to date.

1. Friendships with a common work interest  
My absolute favourite source of networking  is through my friends and contacts I have made throughout my performing career. From many of my blogs you should know by now I love my social life. I work best surrounded by people. I hate being alone and isolated. I need to share my thoughts/ ideas/ exploits/ activities with others and expect them to do the same with me. I need this co-operative network structure and enjoy the benefits from these affiliations. I always find out about upcoming auditions and great classes to attend. Not only this but you keep up- to- date with the ever changing job scene of the Performing Art Industry.

Getting to develop further contacts on jobs is also vital; this way your networking facility widens and grows. More opportunities arise. That is why it is so important never to burn bridges in this industry. Recently I was told of an audition for a Bollywood Movie that wanted brunettes for their Dance Scene. A girl from last years pantomime performance emailed me and her agent with my details. I had an amazing time and then met more dancers. One suggested I audition for a teaching agency that employs performers in the Surrey area. Again I was successful and am due to work with them after pantomime. This is a good example of how building up good co-operative networks is vital and can lead to a long successful career.

2. Internet (Web 2.0)
The Internet has opened many doors for new information. Websites such as; The Stage online, Dance Cast etc all promote new jobs to audition for. Websites such as Spotlight promote you and your CV and portfolio pictures, which is a fantastic way for agents or casting directors to see you. Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter have also become an incredible way to find out about auditions and different agencies to join. They are also a fantastic way to keep up to date with friend’s lives and ask about how they got their jobs etc. you will never come across a brain as big as Web 2.0! It’s powers are endless. I recently had a successful Skype Interview which I had got through applying to a job advertised on Facebook!

3. Auditions
I have always found auditions to be a fantastic way of networking. It is a huge ‘Community of Practice’; getting together with a shared purpose of wanting that job! Again this is an invaluable experience. Talking to the other people in the audition is a great way of networking. It is also a great way of making new friendships. You also get to know the panel of judges and what they like. This may lead to future jobs. Learning and gaining new information will help you to become successful.

4. Class
Class is always fun and challenging to attend. But what you get out of it in terms of networking is incredible. There is always something going on and always something you don’t know about. Generally the teachers are fairly up to date with future opportunities and tell you about them. There is information displayed on the boards about the most recent auditions and future classes. Again, the people attending the class may know something you don’t, which is also a great source of information.

5. Agencies
It is so important to have a good relationship with your agents. They know important casting directors and can get you those precious closed auditions which you cannot necessarily access yourself. With agents I feel it is important to keep your options open and go to as many as they recommend. There might be someone there who could recommend you to one of their colleagues from their professional network that will lead to future success.

These are 5 sources of information I find most invaluable. I made a spider diagram (task 3A) and could not believe how many networking facilities I use. The Performing Arts Industry is like no other. There are very few ‘jobs for life’ in this industry. Contracts are extremely short and highly competitive. Without a strong Professional Network, promotion and development within this industry would be very hard to achieve and success virtually impossible.


  1. Hi Katy,
    It is good to see that we both have some similar thoughts on sources of information. For me, now that I am out of the 'dance world' with auditions etc, I can relate to the idea of meeting people and discussing other opportunities through interviews. Which, is the same process only not in dance! I like that you are able to give examples of when some of these sources have come into play for your own professional practice.
    I too think that Web 2.0 is a great source of connecting people. I think facebook works well with networking those of us with similar interests. Do you agree that joining facebook 'groups' allows us to discuss and share our interests as well as learn about new opportunities within our area of practice?
    I suppose as dancers, the sources of friends in the business, class and auditions all link into one as we are always surrounded by and constantly connecting with those following the same professional practice. You may meet some one in class every week, attend some of the same auditions together and then become friends through it all. It is excellent how networking and connecting works.

  2. Hi Emily!
    Yes I agree, facebook helps a lot with networking. Facebook groups are a great source to keep up to date with new opportunities within our practice. Class and auditions are great for getting together with people of the same interests and gaining knowledge from. Interviews are something I am not familiar of as of yet but maybe throughout my career I will come across this type of network.

  3. Katy. You seem to have a really successfully functioning range of networks. They are all well geared up for you roll as a performer. Do you ever think beyond this stage of your career to what comes next and maybe how you could extent your current networks to facilitate things you may do in the future. I'm imbruing on a new career and wish id ha the insight this course has now given me sooner to help me be a little bit more prepared.