Monday, June 25, 2007

How do they do it?

Ever wonder how all these belly dance festivals get their performers? Some are by invitation only. Some you find out by word-of-mouth. Others you ask for a performance slot and if you're lucky you're in. One festival wanted a photo and audition video tape. A little much I thought to dance for free. But, the wildest are the "call-ins".

A week before one festival I got a flyer with all the details. Who'd be teaching what workshop, how to purchase booth space, etc. a nice 4-5 page mailer. All this along with info on how to get a slot to perform. The call-in date and phone numbers for either live or taped music. So, like other festivals before, I marked my calendar and put reminder notes in places around my house so I wouldn't forget. I even set up the cell phone to give me reminder ring that morning.

So there I was with 2 cell phones, something to drink and some snacks. I've been here before. You'd be surprised how difficult it is to have one phone on auto redial and the other where you keep redialing manually. About an hour in my sister started dialing as well. After 2 hours straight finally got through. You would think I'd won the lottery. Yeah! After hearing the busy tone all that time when you hear the phone ringing it catches you off guard.

In the end most dancers end up complaining to the organizers that they come up with a better method. Perhaps you should have to mail in a request to perform card and the organizers throw them all in a big spin container and pull out cards until they fill up all the slots. Now, I'm not sure how I'd pull off such huge festivals but for the time being at least once every couple of years I join hundreds in the phone race for a dance space.