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Forums > Social Chat > Auditioning/Interviewing

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:In the coming months I am going to be auditioning/interviewing people to work with me on some new shows.

I know what I want from people, and what I expect, and can be pretty demanding.

I know the pertinence of resumes and professional questioning, but there is such the opportunity for falsification there is is astounding.

So, I want to come up with an a-traditional interview. Of course resume and references but I also know questions of unusual nature about day to day events works well to determine personality..I have seen questions on what you would ask Jesus if you met him, who you would choose to eat lunch with, etc.
What questions would you ask and what do you think it reveals about a person?

What would you expect from me if I were to interview you?

Thanks for all the help!


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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nightsdarkchild


member
Location: relocated to the crowded isola...

Total posts: 84
Posted:Hey Pele,

This post hits on somthing i have been interested in for for some time. Actually spinning with a group. And it you were to interview me i would expect you to be wearing your sexiest, skimpiest, most erotic outfit you could find. This having to do with groups i am going to see pyrosutra perform (some of the members not all of them i think) tomorow. i would like to perform in a group on a theme oriented level and think the expiernce would be very benifacial.
so if you could keep me posted on when and where the auditions and the like will be i will be sure to give you my best in all aspects of my life in regards to the porpose (depending on travel).

thank you
surounded in flames
Child


we could live beside the ocean leave the fire behind
swim out past the breakers watch the world die

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Puk
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

Puk

Sweet talented nutter
Location: Brisbane Oz

Total posts: 2615
Posted:Informal interviews are the best . Put's everybody in a relaxed situation . Where there going to be able to show you there capibilites and experience .

that shrewd and knavish sprite

Called Robin Good Fellow ; are you not he that is frighten of the maidens of the villagery - fairy

I am the merry wander of the night -puk

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Ade
SILVER Member since Mar 2001

Are we there yet?
Location: australia

Total posts: 1897
Posted:Behavioural questions are the best in my opinon.

The "who would you invite to dinner" questions reveal little in my opinion about how they would do the work and how they would fit into the team.

good questions include: if the troupe was experiencing conflict, how would you deal with it?

if you were to get the job, what would be the two most important assests you could bring to the team?

we all have weaknesses that we are working on, can you tell me about a weakness you are working to overcome/deal with?

I would not expect psychological mind games from an interviewer - I'd expect to be asked about my capacity to do the job.

Otherwise - I'd suggest you hand pick people with the personality you want.....



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Rozi
SILVER Member since Jan 2002

100 characters max...
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 2996
Posted:agree with Ade.

Exciting and unusual questions have their place, if part of the role is coming up with weird and unusual ideas. So if you are also expecting the people you are auditioning to have some part in putting together show concepts, go for it!!!

Other than that, it ends up kinda being like when they send office-types on survival weekends to "build teams". How often is an office worker going to need to know how to hunt and forage for food in the wild?

Audition people for what they are going to be doing:

Improvisations if they will need to come up with new stuff on the spotAn exercise to do if they will need to be able to follow instructionsGroup interviews if they are going to have to work in a teamsolo stuff if you are going to expect them to be on their own out there
And design your questions to ask for past experience. It is very easy to lie when asked "what would you do if conflict arose in a team?". However it is harder if you ask "give me an example of when you last had to deal with conflict in a team situation? What did you do about it?". Past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour.


It was a day for screaming at inanimate objects.

What this calls for is a special mix of psychology and extreme violence...

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Dio


Dio

HoP Mechanical Engineer
Location: OK, USA

Total posts: 729
Posted:I think a good one would be:

"Tell me the worst accident you've had occur, why it happened, and what you did to ensure it would never happen again."

Kinda establishes how responsible the person is, which is at the heart of any job like this.


What hits the fan is not evenly distributed.

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ben-ja-men
GOLD Member since Jun 2003

ben-ja-men

just lost .... evil init
Location: Adelaide

Total posts: 2474
Posted:i think for fire twirling getting them to twirl for a small audience so u can see what level they are at and observe how they twirl and if they are considerate of the audience (ie burnoff so they dont flick globs, burnoff at a safe distance, if they twirl fast how close they stand to the audience etc)

i would suggest picking ppl one at a time and building up the show over time, auditioning new ppl once a part has been completed and oking the new auditioners with the other group members as there is nothing worse than personality clashes. also make it very clear outright that it is your troup and that they are part of this show but that doesnt mean they will be part of every show.

mannerisms are important, u want confidence not arogance (sp?) there is a fine line but it is very clear which side a person is on

quote: What questions would you ask and what do you think it reveals about a person i really dont think there are any questions that reveal much about a person without a good knowledge of the persons history. i think the impression you get from them based on your interactions. if they are nice, a good twirler and humble thats your twirler


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?

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Charles
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland

Total posts: 3989
Posted:pretty much what Benjamin said...

Interviews to me are amore of a game than a true assessment of someones ability, especially for such a niche area as performance artists.

Personally, I would rather a lower skill level if the person is easy going, sensible and can deal with crisis well.

As for assessing that in an hour interview, I'm buggered if i could tell!!

Some 'experienced' performers are the worst people in the world to work with and have to depend on. And i do mean the WORST!


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Fire By Riz tm


member
Location: tampa fl usa

Total posts: 212
Posted:I dont take the freudian approch with fire people or perfomers.Most of us are wacked and would fail.
I am a show me the money type of person.I do a informal interveiw telling them what I expect and do. Then I let them the person show me what they can do.For the most part I have to re train the perfomers I hire to perform within my safety guidelines that is the biggest thing I look for
is are they willing to be re trained?
If they have the raw talent I am looking along with the willingness to learn and change/conform
I just dont think a resume or some questions asked will let you know how someone will interact with the rest of your troupe.if the people dont mix good it will show.

these are some of the questions I ask

can you perform with fire without setting yourself or the venue on fire?

are you comfortable performing in front of large groups while nude?

Can you make rehearsals on time ?

If they answer yes to those and have what I am looking for.I give them a a try out .


I have been cursed with the imagination to envision it all

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Charles
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland

Total posts: 3989
Posted:quote: can you perform with fire without setting yourself or the venue on fire?
You actually ask them this? I can't imagine anyone answering "no" to that question, even if they had done it several times before by accident...


HoP Posting Guidelines
* Is it the Truth?
* Is it Fair to all concerned?
* Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
* Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?

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Magnus


member
Location: Bath, UK

Total posts: 279
Posted:What would you do, if you answered the door, to find yourself standing there?

It's not a clone, it's not an evil double, it's you...

Answers range from "I'd punch myself" to "I'd invite myself in and have a good chat" to "I'd give myself the best BJ I'd ever have"


Magnus... pay it forward

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Taniwha


member
Location: Aotearoa

Total posts: 138
Posted:quote: "I'd give myself the best BJ I'd ever have" Magnus.

Magnus i dont think thats what they ment by "pay it forward".

My 2cents :

Pretend to give them a drug test (but dont). And see what reaction you'd get. And then make it clear u dont accept drugs/ alchol while working.

Have tools on site for demonstration. (ie poi/ staff "non fire stuff") and dont let them use their own, cause it will give a true reflection of their skill to be un-fimila with the tools.

quote: u want confidence not arogance Thats a tough 1, its hard to define arrogance, but u would know someone who is obviously a "team player" compaired to the "lone wolf". Often what appears to be arrogance is sometimes just someone who belives in themself, and that person may have good leadership qualities that all groups need. (Depends on how they respect others)
I would expect a professional to be self confident, which is not the "i know everything" type of attitude.

Skill lvl is good but like everyone else has said, they would have to willing to learn, and also listen when you put your foot down.

Self control, skill, passion, commitment, personality, flexability (not psychial) but most of all.. able to fuse with other performers and follow instructions.

Other than that, its really up to what you'd want from them. Blood, sweat and tears... or just trust and commitment.


Its all just smoke and mirrors

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Dentrassi
GOLD Member since Apr 2003

Dentrassi

ZORT!
Location: Brisbane

Total posts: 3044
Posted:you should make it that they have to respond to your questions using only interpretive dance.....

come on! it would be funny!


"Here kitty kitty...." - Schroedinger.

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telic


I don't want a title.


Total posts: 940
Posted:Ask them if they have any questions for you, and then pay attention. If they start asking about sensible stuff like safety procedures, they're probably okay!

E pluribus unum, baby.

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:First I want to thank everyone who has replied, it has given me alot of fodder for thought, which I really appreciate. And I am interested in hearing more!

Next, I prolly should have explained that I am not putting together a fire show, and am, in fact, not looking for anyone with any spinning skills at all. If they have them, that is great for them, but that is not what I am looking for at all. I am trying to put together something of an "old fashioned" variety show..hard to explain...but what I am looking for are skills along the lines of juggling/magic, dance, hand drumming. I also want people who are not afraid to vocalize ideas, etc. I need accomplices for many of the side show arts type stuff that I do. I have a pretty good idea for sets, props, storylines, and am tired of not being able to do these things because they are too complex to do alone.

It also will help if the people can sing, or will learn to, and if they will learn interactive improvisation, or will learn it.

(Looking good in a Pirate or Gypsy costume would most assuredly help as well! lol)

In that scope...I love the idea of handing them "tools for skills" that are not their own. That is most excellent.
I hate the where will you be in 5 years questions, but...

What about in addition to what do you feel you could add to the group, also what do you feel you want from this group?

How long should an interview/audition be do you think?


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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Matthew B-M


Matthew B-M

Lemon-Aware Devilstick-wielding Operative
Location: East London Wilds

Total posts: 605
Posted:A few comments I'd add (this based more on interviewing for tech jobs and what I felt about that, though I think certain things are similar, as reading other people's code told me a lot about them, and was related to what I wanted to see in them):

+ If the interview isn't going well, don't force both yourself and the interviewee to keep going (sometimes they have been put forward for inappropriate positions by their agent, and I imagine this goes just as much for auditions), politely terminate it and thank them for their time.

+ Allocate more time than you think you might need, thus if you do get on with them, you have
some flexibility. Some people are shy, but good, and it takes them some time to deal with the situation. In the case of performing, that may well be a bad thing, but the reactions may be different in that situation.

+ Get them (as well as trying unfamiliar things, as discussed above) to do the things that they have been practising. This will also help put them at some ease, as they are on familiar territory.

+ Make sure that all your advertisements for the positions contain as accurate as possible representation of what you think the display will involve. This means that you'll most likely get the most suitable candidates, and hopefully the non-suitable ones will be very obvious straight away.

My tuppence...


Luv 'n' Lemons
purity :: clarity :: balance

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Puk
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

Puk

Sweet talented nutter
Location: Brisbane Oz

Total posts: 2615
Posted:Would you look good as a Greek Godess ?

that shrewd and knavish sprite

Called Robin Good Fellow ; are you not he that is frighten of the maidens of the villagery - fairy

I am the merry wander of the night -puk

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:A greek goddess? That would be fun for the human statue effects, atop a pedastle...lol...

But usually Ren Faires don't have alot to do with Greek Goddess...

Unless you are asking me personally to which I would answer..I have a baroquian figure and a bedsheet....let's find out! lol


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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Dentrassi
GOLD Member since Apr 2003

Dentrassi

ZORT!
Location: Brisbane

Total posts: 3044
Posted:i still like my idea of making them respond to your questions using only interpretive dance....

no?.....anybody?......any support?.....no?..... damn. ill go off and post silly comments in someone elses thread then. off to intros i go!


"Here kitty kitty...." - Schroedinger.

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Actually I think it would hysterical to tell you the truth, but I don't think it would help me at all with the hand drummer!

Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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Puk
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

Puk

Sweet talented nutter
Location: Brisbane Oz

Total posts: 2615
Posted:Toga party at all ? oops sorry for going off the topic .

that shrewd and knavish sprite

Called Robin Good Fellow ; are you not he that is frighten of the maidens of the villagery - fairy

I am the merry wander of the night -puk

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