Sep 1, 2020
This week on 5.6.7.EIGHT, Aleksandra interviews Kelly Maryanski, who is currently primarily working as a freelance aerialist. Historically, Kelly has been a dancer, aerialist, choreographer, actor, singer, musician, and even sometimes dabbles in freelance illustration. Prior to the COVID outbreak, Kelly was preparing to perform as an aerialist and actor in the Lyric Opera’s RING Cycle. Kelly also works as a Circus Coach with Circeseem, which teaches circus skills to underprivileged youth to promote teambuilding and camaraderie.
Being a freelance performer and illustrator has allowed Kelly to pave her own way to career success; however, the freelance lifestyle hasn’t come without hardship. On the podcast, Kelly lays out the advantages to pursuing your own passions and trailblazing your own career but is also honest about the challenges of freelance work, sharing some key takeaways for anyone looking to follow in her footsteps.
“It’s okay to have a bunch of different interest and be doing a lot of things. I know I’ve heard the phrase ‘Jack of all trades, master of none.’ I don’t necessarily think that’s true. I think it’s to everyone’s benefit to have more than one interest and goal."
“It’s really rare to go out for your dream job and get cast in it right away. There always has to be work put in."
“Especially in the industry now, you have to be so good at promoting yourself, even if you have an agent. You have to know how to market yourself."
[On auditioning] “Even though I think I can play a certain part and sing a certain role and dance a certain role, it doesn’t mean I’m going to get it if I’m not that puzzle piece… Unfortunately, sometimes, it doesn’t have to do with talent. It just has to do with the whole picture."
“Having an extra part-time job while starting out in the dance industry is important, but that also doesn’t mean that it has to be something you’re not interested in."
“A few years ago, another actor friend of mine always said that, after every audition, you should get yourself a treat or a present. And if you get the callback, that’s as if you got the job. You just want to be remembered and seen."
Bullet Points (w/ timestamps) - Highlighting key topics discussed:
2:43: Kelly briefly discusses her extremely diverse career, including where she is now and what types of roles she has historically taken.
4:37: Kelly explains how she organically built a well-rounded career, as opposed to planning it from the beginning.
10:48: Maryanski describes the intense physical strain of aerial dance on the body and the most difficult thing about the art.
12:45: Kelly explains how, in such a strenuous artform, she avoids burnout.
15:53: Maryanski discusses the challenge of pursuing a degree while performing aerial dance but shares how the permanent positives far outweighed the temporary negatives.
19:28: Kelly shares about Circesteem and her involvement with the incredible organization, which teaches circus skills to underprivileged youth to promote teambuilding and camaraderie.
22:14: Kelly gives some advice to any looking to pursue a career in dance and expresses the importance of having supplemental income at the beginning.
26:41: Maryanski shares some wisdom on standing out in auditions and dealing with rejection, which will inevitably come more often than not.
29:34: Kelly discusses the joys and challenges of being a freelance artist.
31:12: Maryanski discusses the integral role that patience plays in the journey of a professional dancer.
Bullet List of Resources –