Acquiring blog readers is hard. Simple as that. At times, the vast technological universe that many of us partake in can make it difficult to attract those that are the target audience you are searching for. However, that involves you actively trying to attract an audience. When I started this blog back in January of 2011 it was for me to share experiences that were taking place at work, at home and within my day-to-day structure. I’ve blogged about my divorce, my job changes, working with other managers, fashion, sewing, dating, dancing, running and living with Fibromyalgia just to name a few of the most popular topics.
I started the blog as a way for me to get things off my chest that I wasn’t able to openly talk about until people started mentioning my blog. Placing links to my blog on my personal Facebook was a way for me to share with my friends and family what I was going though. During my marriage I lost touch with many people and have been trying to rebuild those relationships ever since. I thought that maybe if people had an opportunity to see all the pandemonium that was going on in my brain they would understand what had been going on when we lost touch.
Outside of my circle of friends it never occurred to me that there might be others out there that are interested in hearing about my sewing projects or management techniques. Who knew that my stories of being a 21st Century Gal would be that interesting to others? Oh yes, that’s right…my mother! Even at 29 it is still hard to admit that my mother is almost always right. See what I did there with the “almost” part? I’m sure there is something out there she might not be right about; such as biomechanical engineering or space travel.
It was my mother who started blogging before me and has shared her tips and tricks, so I guess I haven’t acquired these readers all on my own. I might make management sound amusing, but you should see what my mom can do with the topic of cancer. Never thought I could be laughing about cancer, but that’s how things work under her roof. Anything and everything has the potential of being funny. I’ll tell you what, it is rough knowing that as a teenager but quite amusing when you finally grow up and realize your parents aren’t as uncool as you once thought.
Thanks mom for sharing yet another life lesson with me. Check out her blog, The World According to Alexandra, if you’re looking for a good laugh. She even makes bodily functions funny instead of shamefully disgusting. Thank you to my readers who stop back regularly. For those of you who are just lurkers I invite you to subscribe to my blog and stick around for a bit. There are some big changes on the horizon and I can be you won’t want to miss out on them.
Back in the day I posted about the “Coffee Compatibility” I have with my boyfriend. Over the last two and a half years I’ve learned there is much more that we share then just our coffee and ice cream preference. What I most treasure is our shared love for the performing arts. Although we’ve only once done a show together in our teenage years, I’ve had the pleasure of being able to watch him continue his love for being on the stage.
In the last handful of years I have kind of navigated away from performing myself and turned towards the behind the scenes production side of things and it has been fun to see him taking on more projects in that regard as well. Although he does still grace the stage every once in a while, his skills in show production seem to grow more and more every year and it has been exciting to watch his journey. Since I switched jobs last June I haven’t taken on that many side projects myself so it has been exciting to start putting myself out there again in the last few weeks.
In formatting my resumes, and yes most performers have two, I’ve come to find that I really do have a crazy background that has come together to get me to the point I am at today. Now I’m looking towards the future with the excitement that we might actually get to work on a project together in the coming year. Last time we were both a part of a show it was on stage, so it will be exciting to now be working together behind the scenes.
It’s been a massive transition as I moved away from someone who had no involvement in my passion for the arts to someone who shares it with me in every way possible. We can talk shop without worrying about having to explain everything. We can go see productions together and evaluate them as not just patrons, but those who have been on the other side as well. It is a pleasure to respectfully bump heads with another person’s creative vision because I’m just happy that he has one! I think our strengths and weaknesses really compliment each other and that is why I hope we continue teaming together in the future on projects since we’re already teaming together in life.
Moving into the new house in a few months will be stressful with all the projects we’re looking at tackling within the performing arts, but I’m so thankful we’ll have more floor space to rehearse in. Coda will finally be safe when we are staging numbers without having to hide on the couch to stay out from under our feet. It seems like each day I learn more and more about our compatibility and it makes me happy that he so persistently stuck it out with me. He always seemed to know that this would work, but I’m elated that I’ve had the opportunity to now see it myself on so many levels.
Filed under Dance, Dating
SkillCloud? No, I didn’t just slam my head on my keyboard and have auto-correct decide my opening line. I meant to write exactly that. I thought iCloud was awesome until I heard about SkillCloud. For those of us who wish there was a platform for companies to appreciate us beyond our resumes, our ramblings have been heard by a team who competed in a two-day “hackathon.” I didn’t even know there was such a thing, but thank goodness there is as it has produced this awesome creation.
SkillCloud is similar to a social network platform, but it’s reason for existence is so that employees can broadcast their talents to their employer. I’ll use my last job in the theme park world as an example. I was hired as a Stage Manager. Three months after I began with the theme park a perfect storm occurred and we were without a performer for the show that I had been managing each day. The problem in this situation was that the show could not be performed without someone in this role. Immediately I stepped up and said I would do it as I could be replaced as the manager, but no one else who was available knew the role that was empty that day. My suggestion was faced by three of my senior managers staring at me like I had three heads.
When I was hired my dance ability was never really discussed and my performance background wasn’t elaborated upon. As someone who had been present at every rehearsal since the show was created and then watched it every day for a living, I knew the show like the back of my hand. It was true I had never been on that stage and or even done the show, but I was confident that with a run through I could make it happen as that is what needed to happen so we didn’t have to cancel a whole day of shows. Three minutes into the on-stage run through my management realized I had more than just a loose knowledge of dance.
It was only three months after this that my Supervisor realized that we were going to have to re-mount the first show I worked on for a temporary two-week run. However, since the show was new we never had anyone else stage it except for the choreographer who created it. As I sat in a meeting watching people scratch their heads about how to pull things together so quickly I stepped up and said I would do it. You would have thought I grew those extra heads again as it hadn’t even been a consideration of the team that I would be able to do it. My background in choreography and show staging didn’t exactly come up in my interview, so I’m not surprised they didn’t know about it.
Once my secrets were out in the open my choreography and staging talents were put to use for our shows on a regular basis. It was the best way to combine my management and performance experience into one fun-filled position that I so passionately enjoyed day in and day out. However, my hidden talents were only put to use because I was bold enough to step forward and offer up my services. I know I tend to be more daring to do things like this than most are and that is where SkillCloud comes in handy. If your company utilized SkillCloud would you admit your hidden skills and talents? There is always the chance that you’re opening a door which makes you more valuable to your company.
During my years as a dancer and performer I spent more than my fair share of time in auditions. After all, that’s what you do if you want to get a gig. You prepare the best that you can and going into the room to battle your nerves, the views of the audition panel and the looks you’ll get from those auditioning with you. It’s a lot like interviewing but with more movement. In interviews you still have to battle your nerves, the views of the panel and the looks you’ll get from those who just interviewed as they pass you in the hall. Both situations spark memories of sweaty palms, extreme smiling and strategic clothing choices. Why on earth do we put ourselves through this torture? Oh yeah, to get a job.
Another similarity I have found over the years between auditions and interviews is that in both situations you rarely find out why you didn’t get the job. That makes it tough to work on weaknesses before you go out for another opportunity, but you can’t let it keep you from walking through the door and trying it all over again. In the last 5 years I have begun to see interviews as a positive challenge and it all came from an audition experience I had back in my teenage years.
As a teenager I was fixated on attending the Broadway Theater Project summer intensive if it killed me. The first time I auditioned I signed in, gave them my paperwork and received a number that put me all the way at the bottom of the list. I was there all day just waiting, listening to the other auditionees, and panicking about my turn. When my chance finally came I did the best that I could for a kid with desperation oozing out of every pore. To my amazement I didn’t get accepted that first year. I huffed and puffed and sobbed when the letter came announcing that I would spend another summer without BTP in my life.
A year later, and several more auditions under my belt, I went back to audition again. This time I was the first person to arrive at the audition and I actually waited for another attendee to arrive and sign in before me just so I wouldn’t be the very first. Before I even walked in the door I decided that the audition wasn’t going to be the end of my world. I auditioned the year before and my getting in was their loss. Although it was cocky at the time, my plan of attack was to go in there and show them what they missed out on. They laughed at my comedic monologue, smiled at my song and passed my resume along during the dance portion. In my mind I had decided that I wouldn’t have another audition where I left the smell of desperation behind me when I exited the room.
Years later I did the same thing when I interviewed for a job. I already had a job at the time, so in my mind I told myself it would be their loss if they went with a different candidate. I landed the job. Now I know many people who would walk into a room with this thought pattern and come off as a disrespectfully self-indulgent applicant. However for someone like me, who tends to be a bit more reserved and less confident in some situations, this is just the push I need. It is my own mental reminder that I am an amazing candidate that has so much to offer. If you’re oozing desperation at your next interview, feel free to pull this page right out of my book and see how it works for you. This tactic keeps me cool, calm and collected so my game face is on when I need it the most. Give it a try and see how it works for you.
Here’s a sneak peek at what dancers and other performers go through when we step into auditions:
The music of the holiday season always puts me in such a cheerful mood with so many of the songs bringing back joyous memories of my life as a performer. Listening to Pandora while at my desk generally strikes an urge to want to jump up and dance, but I’ve done my best this holiday season to not let myself jump up and bust a move. Those at my current job know me as a dedicated professional and not one who used to wear ball gowns or pointe shoes. However, all it takes are a few notes of The Nutcracker to make me want to waltz and leap down the aisle of cubicles with all I can muster up from inside.
I’ve only had the pleasure of performing in the Nutcracker twice in my life. Once as a dancer who was just starting her journey and then later as one who was lucky enough to be featured. Both occasions left such a lasting impact and deeply etched memories into my mind. As other dancers know, each year you often have a yearly performance or recital and there are many of those that I have no memories of so it is a good thing my mom purchased the VHS. However, I’m sure that both Nutcracker experiences will remain with me for many years to come.
I was hoping to be able to see a staging of The Nutcracker this year while I was traveling in Washington D.C. for work, but there just wasn’t enough time around my conference schedule. Being in Florida has limited the Christmas shows that are on my “must see” list. When I lived in New York during my younger years my mom would take me to see the New York City Ballet’s staging of The Nutcracker or The Radio City Christmas Spectacular so that I could see my favorite high kicking ladies. It’s funny how even as a child I greatly appreciated clean choreography and precision. I guess in the back of my mind my future calling was there all along.
During one of my first holiday season’s back in Florida my mom and step-dad took me all the way to Miami so that I could see the Miami City Ballet present their version of The Nutcracker. Compared to the NYCB staging that I treasured as a child, Miami sure knows how to infuse the production with color and flair! I think this is a tradition I might need to put back on my calendar during the 2012 holiday season as I have slowly spent the last 2 years returning to the things that mean the most to me.
It’s almost time to write those New Year’s resolutions, so start brainstorming now. I’ve done quite well with my resolutions from 2011, so I think I’ll continue my trend of attainable and motivating resolutions for 2012. Time to strap on my running shoes and get in a few last half marathon training sessions before the holiday festivities take over. I’ve got a mere two weeks left until our 5K run and then the half marathon will be hot on my heels a handful of weeks later. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season filled with glorious music, sumptuous sweets, and those that they love the most!