Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are not stated on behalf of the Flow Arts Institute. Kevin is primarily speaking from his own experience festival applications and expressing his opinions on the matter. Furthermore, the content provided in the bulk of this article represents the authors’ interpretation of that opinion.
When it comes to event teacher applications, there really isn’t a whole lot of information out there. How does someone go from “wanting to teach” to “turning in a great application and getting accepted to teach.”? Let’s first break down the absolute basics for those just starting out.
The process is as follows: The event announces on their website or Facebook page to let everyone know that the application period has begun. Usually, these announcements will include the final submission deadline date as well as any additional conditions they may have.
At that point, check the website and look for the application page. Choose the one that applies to you. Can’t find the page or have any other questions about the application process? Post your questions to their Facebook page or send an email requesting additional information.
Most applications ask you a series of questions (usually via Google Form). Each festival may ask different questions or require supporting information from applicants. It always helps to be prepared with a clear idea of what you want to teach and any promotional material you may have for them to see you in action.
- Turn in your application ON TIME if not EARLIER!!
Being on time goes way beyond just showing that you are punctual, prepared, and professional. If you turn it in the last minute; the team in charge of selecting a handful of applicants out of hundreds will only have a tiny window to look at your application.
An early application is more likely that your application will be reviewed multiple times by the team. That will effectively earn you some prime real estate at the forefront of their minds.
- Engage with the event!
Regardless of where you are in the application process: Engage with the event throughout the year.
Post regularly on the events page, share your excitement about it! Ask questions! What do you love about the event? Who are you most excited to see there?
Staying connected to the event through Facebook or Instagram is a great way to stay up to date with the latest announcements! It also keeps your name in front of the people putting the event on. In the process of promoting the event, you end up promoting yourself to them.
The buck doesn’t stop once your application is in. Be sure to engage with the organizers by sending emails and checking in about your application. Be persistent and stay involved!
- Choose your class Structure.
Most applications will ask you for 3-5 class descriptions. You need to choose how you want to structure your offerings.
Do you want to specialize or paint with broad strokes? Do you want to offer a 3 class series for a single prop (“Beginner, intermediate & advanced”); or do you want to offer classes in a variety of areas (“public speaking, fire magick, stage presence & juggling”)?
- A well-written application can go a long way!
You would be surprised at how often applications come in with bios and class descriptions that sound like they were written on the spot. While you don’t need to write a novella to describe yourself and what your class looks like, complete sentences free from slang are a plus.
Write, Review, and Edit your class outlines and bio in advance. Ask some of your friends and family to read it and give you feedback.
Because most applications are sent via Google Forms, understand that 90% of the time applications are received in an excel spreadsheet format. They are usually just collections of answers, next to one another.
If each application has 20 questions and 100 people submit applications; the team has to read through 2,000 answers! Anything you can do to ensure your words are clear, concise, and well thought out will help you stand out.
Conveying Competence and Value are Crucial. Remember, you are not just writing a description you are selling your services!
- Have a stage act prepared!
A lot of the time, organizers are reviewing applications with their instructor showcase in mind. While an instructor may not end up performing in the showcase, and it is not an official requirement; it doesn’t hurt to have an act prepared just in case!
- Online presence is a major plus!
Many seem to think that instructors are chosen based on their online popularity, such as Instagram followers. While these things help, they are not the top priority.
The truth is, not all performers make excellent teachers, and at the end of the day, selecting a good teacher is priority number one.
Online presence has more to do with having a sense of familiarity with the person. If the team feels like they know who you are and what you have to offer, they are more likely to be able to imagine how and where you fit in with their needs.
Online presence and promoting your personal brand are all about creating a good reputation in the community. Taking the time to invest in yourself, your business, and your art go along way. Learning a little bit about social media marketing and developing a personal brand could mean the difference between success and failure.
In conclusion, taking the time to put a little extra energy into preparing your offering can go a long way. There is no 100% guarantee that your applications will be accepted every time but implementing these tips will dramatically increase your success rate.
About the Author:
Levi Morin is a California native with a passion for flow & fire arts. He has been practicing flow arts for over a decade, studying with some of the best in the business. In 2016, he was brought on as a performer and the head of marketing for Ignite Firedance.