All That Glitters

15-10-2018

Three years of hustle in the Sydney dance industry grind; rent being primarily covered by teaching and retail work. My sparkly, sequinned-feathered showgirl heart longing for the stage and my soon-to-be-discovered gypsy traveller soul begging to see more of the world.

One email {of around a hundred or so sent-out} including my portfolio and a brief casting enquiry, filtered through the office, or perhaps even reservations inbox, of what is now the World’s Greatest Circus and to the dance captain of their “Show Ballet”.

The pieces eventually fell perfectly into place, as I now am certain that they always do.

Fast forward to March 17’ and I’m boarding a plane bound for Germany and an eight-month contract. I’d never been to Europe. I would be performing two shows a day, living in a wagon, working alongside a huge international cast of exceptional talents and touring over 30 cities.

With some kind of universal courage carrying me through the departure gates, I quickly realised that I had been totally dependent on others up until that point. The real, not always so glittery feathers of my actual wings began to emerge, and I’ve been flying ever since. Sometimes struggling to stay strong and keep fighting through clouds of uncertainty and times of uneasy or threatening storms. Sometimes soaring through the clearest blue skies drenched in warm rays of sunshine.

My whole “world” got totally flipped upside down. The tower of ideas I had built my life upon, burnt to the ground and still currently under re-construction, another contract down and another commencing next month.

I have learned to live without the things and people and personal beliefs that were once paramount.

I have journeyed within, to find my highest self. Divine Wisdom. My intuition - my greatest superpower. My place of calm, of quiet, of peace, of freedom that empowers me to chase anything and everything that sets my soul on fire!

I know now that all is temporary and that humans are incredibly designed to adapt. That having faith, a kind heart and the utmost self-respect paired with zero need to control the natural flow of things has gotten me this far and will continue to lead me into the abundance of my wildest dreams.

I want performing artists (and all my fellow earthlings) to understand that you have the right to measure your own success based on your own circumstances. Stop comparing and start celebrating how far you’ve already come. Stay consistently hungry as hard as it gets and as true to yourself as possible – because following your passion is your purpose in life. Should you always push forward, at whatever personal pace feels right, I promise you that magic will happen. Know that the lows of this industry are LOW; but the highs make it all worthwhile.

Love, light and endless CHOOKAS -

Erikka xx

Dancer & Soul-fire chaser.


Keeping it strictly PROFESSIONAL (Mature content 16+)

ATTN: MATURE CONTENT.

You’ve landed yourself a massive contract with a artist that is going to open up so many doors for you! FINALLY! But you’ve just received an un-nerving message from your managing director or the artist etc.

“I can make you famous but first could you…..”

“I can get you a lot more work if you…….”

Anonymous has shared their experience: “I worked with an international artist as someone who worked behind the scenes.

When I got to the set I realised that the dancers that were working on this music video were all my friends. This made me feel a lot better about my role. Due to not being alone with people I had never worked with before. I was really nervous due to the fact it was my first professional music video. 

As the day went on the dancers eventually notified the artist I was also a singer/dancer. The artist then approached me and asked me to send his producer a demo. A few days later I received a call from his producer as he really liked my voice, so I agreed to meet up in the studio to record with the artist. I got to the studio as all was good we worked really well together. a few days later we decided to jump back into the studio and finish the song we had been working on. I realised that day that the artist was getting a little too close for comfort and I felt extremely uncomfortable as he kept calling and messaging me after the studio session to go on dinner dates, beach adventures, weekend trips away etc etc...  So as I wasn't conformable or interested in that as I just  wanted to keep things professional as the artist had wanted more then just a feature in his song. So being the professional that I am I naturally didn't want to work with him again. This led me to start ignoring phone calls and politely shut down the invitations for the studio time as I was too busy with other work.

Moral of the story, keep things professional within the industry.”

To ANYONE working in the performing arts industry, it is IMPERATIVE that you are aware of the snakes lurking in the grass. Not all managers and artists have your best interest at heart. Some employees only see dollar signs and objects.

Keep your wits about you..

Stay STRONG MINDED. Do not under any circumstance sell yourself short.

Never be scared to politely decline an offer if you’re feeling harassed. When one door closes, another one will always open.

Learn to discern wether they are being nice to you, or harassing you. Hold your integrity within the performance industry. Understand that it can happen, and that it is up to you how you handle yourself.

Remember, they hired you. They need you to fulfil the creative vision!

ATTN: To any potential employers/artists we may work with in the future.

Do not take professional performers for granted. We are stronger than you think we are. We will not stand for harassment. If you have ulterior motifs in hiring us, you can keep the contract and the money. We will NOT be signing on the dotted line.

Written by Stephanie Cheah and Anon.