06 Apr The Perks of (Not) Being A Wallflower
I’m no Emma Watson, but I can argue for the perks of not being a wallflower.
If “We accept the love we think we deserve.” then do we not also accept the attention we think we deserve?
By being a wallflower you commit yourself to invisibility. You commit yourself to being small; you don’t get the solo, you’re easily forgotten, you’re ignored, and you definitely don’t get the opportunity to catch plastic eggs filled with money.
If you’ve been following my Instagram stories, you might’ve seen that last week, I managed to flee the unforgiving tundra of NYC for sunny San Diego, where money filled plastic eggs rain down from the heavens.
If you’ve never been to San Diego, I HIGHLY encourage it.
I was out there for the “Fitness Business Summit.” Basically, a gathering of about 1000 meatheads (and me) to discuss the best strategies for getting our clients the best results.
The days were long, starting at 8 am and going until 5:30 pm, with about 15 speakers per day.
By following the DWL blog, you’re well aware of the fact that I’m 4’11”.
There are two significant drawbacks to this. The first is that anything on the top shelf may as well not exist. The second is that it makes catching the aforementioned plastic eggs filled with cash A LOT harder.
I experienced this struggle when I found myself sitting in the last freaking row at this convention.
From where I sat, the speakers looked like ants. During Q&A’s after each ant-sized speaker, they would hurl cashed filled eggs into the crowd.
But being super short and planted in the very back, there was no way in hell I was catching an egg.
So, you know that thing you do in you mind where you scheme up what you would say to someone if you ever got the chance?
I did that during our lunch break the first day.
“If I ever saw Bedros, the owner/ egg thrower, I’d tell him to give me and egg!” I confidently proclaimed to my comrades.
Well, as fate would have it, just after lunch, I ran into Bedros.
His 6’4″, 250lbs frame was towering outside the main entrance, taking pictures with eager convention goers.
My face was already pink from spending the last half hour in the sun, so I’m pretty sure no one but me noticed when I turned a darker shade of chartreuse from nervousness.
“C-c-can I have a p-picture?” I awkwardly stuttered.
“Of course!” he replied because he’s a super nice guy.
He put one giant arm on my shoulder. I delicately wrapped an arm around his tree-trunk like waist, trying not to ruffle his custom suit.
I feigned a smile and hit a half-bevel-half-reaching-for-my-gun pose. (Seriously, wtf am I doing?)
“Th-th-thanks so much.” *Awkward Amber smile.* I turned to leave.
“JUST ASK THE MAN!” Dominick, the instigator in blue, exclaimed.
Bedros raised an eyebrow. I caught my breath. I was put on the spot. I had no choice step away from my wallflower ways.
I inhaled sharply then blurted out, “I’m sitting in the way back. I’m really short. Will you give me an egg?”
He smiled kindly, took a deep breath and said…
My heart sank. Instantly, I was mortified.
“But,” he continued, “I’ll find you a seat up front, so you have the opportunity to catch an egg.”
That’s when the actual terror began and I wished I had never stepped away from my wall…
Bedros personally escorted me to the front row of the auditorium.
I felt the eyes of 1000 strangers on me. “Everyone is staring. God, my hair is so frizzy. Why did I wear these stupid heels today? These high waisted jeans make my ass look so flat.”
Before the turmoil that was my inner dialog could spiral any deeper, I was yanked back to reality by Bedros’s booming voice making people move out of their seats and announcing how admirable it was that I, “Amber Tacy, all the way from New York,” would take such action.
He pulled out my chair, I plopped down, trembling, only half listening to the speaker whose speech my entrance had interrupted. Before I could turn to say thank you, the gentle giant had slipped away.
Within a matter of minutes, an egg flew in my direction… but fumbled to the floor.
The meatheads surrounding me, surprisingly agile for their size, sprang to life but, luckily, a nearby friend dove onto the egg like a soldier diving atop a grenade.
And just as the prince slid on Cinderella’s glass slipper, Julio slid the recovered plastic egg across the table.
I “caught” the egg. (By the way, thanks, Julio.)
I cracked it open. $10 and 2 mini Reese’s cups.
I smiled to myself, still shaking, I guess it was worth it. I could at least see the speaker and I had chocolate now.
And I thought that was it.
I spent the next few minutes ignoring the speaker and reflecting on what seemed like the fastest 8 minutes of my life.
I had taken a leap of faith, stepped out of my comfort zone, and achieved what I wanted. Just because I asked.
But here’s the craziest part.
Later that evening, I received a message.
From who else than my new friend, and powerful influencer, Bedros.
From our 5 minute interaction earlier that day, he decided I had a ” great look” and invited me to come back to LA in a month and model for his multi-million dollar company.
I booked a job without even trying.
I didn’t get this modeling job because of my talent. This guy doesn’t follow my IG and has never seen my reel or modeling portfolio.
SureI’ m attractive, and he wouldn’t have offered unless I was physically qualified to model, but guess what? That room was filled with super hot girls and guys. Literally 1000 people. They all fit the bill.
I didn’t get this offer because I’m superior to the other hundred girls who could have gotten it.
I got it because the person responsible for hiring had a pleasant interaction with me, saw my energy and potential, and bonded with me.
I booked a job because I asked a question and had a conversation. Simple as that.
I got the job because I wasn’t a wallflower, and I got noticed.
I accepted the attention I thought I deserved. That is the perk of not being a wallflower.
Here’s a potentially uncomfortable truth that I had to come to terms with and I think many dancers need to hear…
Everyone you’re competing against, everyone who wants the same gigs that you’re trying to book–they’re all talented.
Everyone can do a triple pirouette. Everyone has a “trick.” They’ve all been training just as long, if not longer than you. The all can pick up choreography. They can fit the costume. They can look the part. And they can perform the hell out of it.
An even more uncomfortable truth is this: Most of the time, people don’t get the job because they’re exponentially more talented than the people they audition against.
Sometimes, yes, there’s a standout in the audition room.
But more often than not, it’s just some small x-factor that resonated with casting director. Some interaction, some peek into that dancer’s character as a person, that made them memorable.
Because when all other things are equal, when everyone is equally skilled, it’s your personality that sets you apart.
I learned A LOT last week at this seminar.
My clients will see some changes in their programming and coaching because of it, but the number one thing I walked away with, the one thing I want you to do today…
Stop being a wallflower.
Our industry demands that we be outgoing and forward. But it’s scary and it’s uncomfortable and it literally sent me into tremors for 15 minutes, but it was worth it because it opened doors, got me a job, and expanded my network without meaning to.
Acting confident, even when you aren’t, is a huge part of this industry. It’s a huge part of life.
But if your body is physically ready by training, and your head is clear, all you have to do is show up and be yourself.
More and more of my clients are finding this to be true.
They can walk into the audition room, turn heads, and book the job.
They can hold their own in a weight room filled with “bros.”
#DancersWhoLift are benefiting from the perks of not being a wallflower because they’re beautiful people who are training like no one else.
So, get out there, talk to people, be memorable.
Take classes and stick behind to ask the instructor for feedback.
Follow your favorite choreographers and engage with their social media.
Be nice to the monitor and the assistants at an audition.
Smile at and be kind to other dancers, these are your potential castmates!
And, when you get the chance, visit San Diego.