The Formula for Success!
The Movement Talent Agency (MTA) has developed one of the most uniquely distinguished brands in the entertainment business. Dance agents Jim Keith and Lyndsay Marie Farias are former dancers themselves and take a hands on approach to developing dancers and their careers. They boast a select client list of the worlds most sought after Directors, Dancers, Choreographers, Dance Educators and Speakers .
Jim Keith is a true Hollywood kid. He has worked in Los Angeles as a performer (actor and dancer), choreographer, educator and talent representative for over a decade. A former Hollywood High School Performing Arts Center alumni and Joe Tremaine Dance Center Scholarship student, Jim wishes to bring integrity and passion to the art form he loves most. A firm believer in strong, classical technique mixed with current trends and styles, he has been a guest, substitute or permanent faculty at over 12 different studios across southern California and adjudicated over 30 dance and cheer competitions nationwide. Together with dance icon and entrepreneur Bill Bohl, he has formed a new talent agency exclusively dedicated to dance called MTA or The “Movement Talent Agency”.
Lyndsay Marie Farias attended Mid Pacific’s School of the Arts where she began her dance training. She moved to Los Angeles to attend the University of Southern California. In less than 4 years she graduated with a 4.0 GPA and received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, being number one in her class for the Letters, Arts, and Sciences Department of USC. While in school she also continued her dance training at studios such as The Edge Performing Arts Center, Debbie Reynolds, Millennium Dance Complex, and was a member of the USC Dance Repertory Company. Her dance career started when she signed with DDO Artists Agency right after graduating.
As former dancers, they bring a unique perspective to being dance agents. They are compassionate yet firm and expect the best from their clients. Here they discuss how to sign with an agent and what is expected from dancers once they are signed.
What are the ways a dancer can sign with The Movement Talent Agency?
Lyndsay: We do open auditions at least three times per year which is posted on all of our social media sites. We also see dancers that were referred to us during this time. We need to see everyone dance and then decide if we need their look and/or their type.
All things being equal at an audition, meaning everyone has the same technical abilities, what sets a dancer apart from the rest? What makes you want to sign a dancer?
Jim: Performance quality is key. We are in the business of selling dancers in the commercial and film mediums, so someone who can turn it on when they are dancing because we know that will be paramount to book a job. If you go to an agency audition, everyone in the room is going to be good. When you get to that point, being good isn’t enough. It’s about the performance. Do you have something about you that goes above and beyond your technique, that makes me want to focus on you? This is what will make a dancer stand out.
Lyndsay: In addition to that, is the dancer marketable? Does the dancer show up to the audition looking the part, wearing the right outfit, hair and make up looking polished and put together? Sometimes, just walking in looking the part will set a dancer apart from the rest of the pack.
How important is the look when auditioning for an agent? Is that something you help a dancer with once you sign them?
Jim: We were all dancers once ourselves, so we understand and have been there. Dancers are not born with resumes. Dancers are not born with experience. If you do come to the audition with a polished look, it takes a lot of the responsibility off our shoulders! However, if a dancer doesn’t have a “look”, we will work with them to develop a hair style and look that would make a dancer more marketable.
Lyndsay: We are very hands on with appearance and helping dancers get started. Once a dancer signs with us, we spend a lot of time talking about a “look” and what we think will be their “niche”. We make sure they have a “look” before they shoot with a photographer so they don’t waste their money on head shots that may not work for auditions.
What should a dancer should bring to The Movement Talent Agency audition?
Lyndsay: A photo that looks like the dancer. It does not have to be a professional head shot but something we can refer back to when we return the office. We can put the name with the face! A basic resume is fine, but most importantly we need contact information. First and last name. Cell phone. Email address. Printed clearly. It may sound ridiculous to ask for these very basic things, but you’d be surprised at how many dancers show up with nothing or just a piece of notebook paper with their name on it. Not even a phone number or email. Even if we wanted to sign them, we have no way of contacting them. Dancers need to make an effort and show us they want to be signed! They need to take their careers seriously! Never put your home address on your resume.
Jim: I always tell dancers don’t shoot head shots until you sign with an agent. Your agent might want to dye your hair a different color, or cut it a certain way and then you would have to reshoot anyway once your look is polished and fine tuned. So just bring a photo that is current. We will help with the rest.
Once a dancer has signed with you, what makes them a great client?
Jim and Lyndsay: Communication! Communication! Communication!
Jim: When an agent calls a dancer for an audition, it is the dancers responsibility to respond immediately if they can make the audition or not. We should not have to spend hours of our day hunting people down to get an answer, especially in this day and age with how connected we are.
Being a dancer is a job. Too many dancers put their careers in their agents hands and wait for things to happen. But we can only do part of the work. It’s up to the dancer to take class from working choreographers, to build relationships, network with other dancers. Being a dancer in the business is much more than waiting for the phone to ring. It’s a highly competitive industry so relationships are key. Choreographers hire people they know and they only way to get to know them is to get in class and start networking.
Lyndsay: Dancers need to be involved. They need to be proactive in their careers. We work on their careers everyday, and we expect them to put in just as much effort. It’s a partnership.
Jim: It’s important for a dancer to stay current with their agency. If you book a job, you should update your resume! If you change your hair color, lose weight or put on muscle, it might be time for new head shots. Keep us informed.
Lyndsay: It’s very simple to update your resume online. It takes just a few minutes. We should not have to do this for a dancer. It is the dancers responsibility. We want to spend our time getting dancers jobs, not updating information. Being responsible for your own materials and being proactive in your career makes a great client.
How does one become a “Working Dancer”?
Jim: In the beginning, dancers need to accept the work that is offered to them. It doesn’t matter if the job is big or small. You would be surprised how much time we have spent convincing dancers to accept the jobs they are offered.
Lyndsay: Every job is an opportunity to add credits to a resume and to build relationships with choreographers.
Jim: The dance community is very small. Attitude is everything. It can be a deciding factor in booking a job. A choreographer wants to hire dancers that get along with everyone! So being proactive in your career, putting in the class time, being polite and friendly, building a reputation of someone that is fun to be around, that works hard, is key.
Audition to become an MTA Client!
THE MOVEMENT TALENT AGENY WINTER AUDITIONS 2016
Kids & Teens | ages 5-17
Tuesday February 2nd, 2016
Kids (ages 5-11) | 5-6:30PM | Jazz Funk/Hip-Hop Dancers
Teens (ages 12-17) | 6:30-8PM | Jazz Funk/Hip-Hop Dancers
Please bring a headshot and resume, stapled together, with your contact info clearly listed. You will be learning choreography. Parents will not be allowed in the room.
Please arrive ON TIME.
NO ONE will be allowed in the room after the auditions have begun.
Adult Auditions | ages 18 +
Thursday February 4th, 2016
Jazz Dancers | 5-6:30PM
Hip-Hop Dancers | 6:30-8PM
Freestyle / Specialty 8-9pm (Poppers, Lockers and Breakers)
Please bring a headshot and resume, stapled together, with your contact info clearly listed. You will be learning choreography. Female dancers MUST WEAR HEELS for the Hip-Hop audition. If you plan on auditioning for both Jazz and Hip-Hop, please bring TWO SETS of photos and resumes, one for each session. Please arrive ON TIME.
NO ONE will be allowed in the room after the auditions have begun.
West Coast Dance Theater – North Hollywood
11486 Hart St. | North Hollywood, CA 91605
Choreographers to be announced.
For questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE!
Thanks to The Movement Talent Agency for the valuable information for our dancers! We are thrilled to have Jim and Lyndsay as part of the Hollywood Connection Team.
Connect with The Movement Talent Agency!!!
For more information on our events dates and locations, click here.
For more information on Bill Bohl, click here.