How to Get the Gig

For most artists getting the gig is the thing they most desire. Whether it be a gallery showing, music performance, or job offer, finding and securing that position can potentially be tricky. In order to get your foot in the door you have to understand that sometimes this door will close on you and other times it will open up even more. The following information should help you get you foot in the door and keep it open.

Do Your Research

Prior to contacting anyone about a gig, make sure that you understand and recognize all important information about the person, company, gallery, venue, etc., that you are going to speak with. Knowing and talking about this information and how it relates to you will also help them understand why you think you are good for the job.

Always be Prepared

When you reach out to a potential client, employer, or gig supervisor, you should always be ready for a immediate response from them. Having all of your facts straight and things ready to go means that you won’t have to stress or freak out if they wish to meet or talk right away. Having a response email template, online portfolio, ready to go press kits, and marketing packets, can give you the speed you need to finalize a creative contract. Also have your calendar in front of you so you can check dates and times.

Present a Professional Portfolio

Within any portfolio you create, highlight your best work produced to the date. Be sure that this work is relevant to the job or gig you wish to receive. Remember that bigger is not always better. Overwhelming someone with an unwieldy portfolio may make them question your professionalism. This is because as an arts professional you should have an understanding that this portfolio should be created to get passed around and viewed by multiple individuals. Don’t forget that your portfolio can contain prints or copies rather than originals, this will help you avoid any of your one of a kind work from being damaged or lost. These same principles can be applied to a musicians press kit.  Check out how to create a professional portfolio here, Visual Artist, Musician, Writer, Photographer

Initiate Contact and Deliver the Message

By asking to meet, or for an informational interview, you can learn more about what you are applying to in a personal setting. Showing interest is the first step of locking in a position, performance, or showing. You can also make them aware that you are interested through this initial contact. You should have a finely tuned cover letter and an idea of what you would say during a phone or in personal conversation that will justify you and your work, ready to go. Do not rush how you present yourself because this is going to be your main selling point. Explain yourself and how you match their culture or goals. The more you have in common with them the more likely you are to be remembered.


After you contact someone, do not forget to write a thank you note. This will give you a lasting impression even if they do not hire or book you. Don’t forget to remain positive throughout this process, and have a clear goal set so you have something to strive for. 





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