The Final in a Series of Five Guest Posts
For this final instalment in my series featuring past students, I am delighted to introduce Lanah Heron. Lanah is based in New York City where she studies and performs with the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance. In her post, Lanah focuses in particular upon the role that Facebook has played in her career. We would welcome your comments; after all, one day soon, she will be a star!
I remember going into an open call for a modeling agency without knowing what I would need; whether I would even “fit the mould” or if it was a complete waste of my time. The model manager took an interest in me and asked, ‘Do you have photos?’
I said, “Yes, but I don’t have them with me.” I still wasn’t even sure I should be there. “You could look at them on my Facebook page.”
A year later I had worked on commercials for the UK, Indonesia, Korea, Australia and had done “bits and pieces” in a few TV programs. (Nothing major, trust me!) And this was just because I had, in my vanity, posted some dance portfolio images in an album on a social media site.
I am, first and foremost, a dancer who has only dabbled in television. Whilst I’m yet to receive an invitation to join a dance company via Facebook, I learned that my profile was in essence a networking tool. Everyone has a computer. You cannot run a business without one. And now most businesses have a Facebook profile. I’d been taught that, as a dancer, my body is my business; so, of course, it needs a profile.
So I started a little “judicious” filtering. People viewing my photos will notice a few things about me; I am an artist and a dancer, I am fit and healthy and sometimes, like a proper young person, I go out with a few friends. And yes, some photos were taken down for the simple fact that they were, well, “hideous.” It might not get me a job directly, but presenting myself in an appropriate and, for the most part, professional light can’t hurt my chances. Whilst I’m in this industry, no one will ever hold back from taking me on because there is a photo on my Facebook page showing me in “terrible form.” Not that I do that sort of thing anyway!