Hey gal, this is me…. I’m Tamara Jones (@tamaralillianjones), newly 22 and a recent USYD Bachelor of Commerce (Finance + Marketing) graduate. Currently auditioning as a Theatre Dancer and working as a Pilates Instructor in Manhattan, New York.
My deal is… I came racing out of high school and went straight into Investment Banking while completing University full time. After 3 years while I loved the experience I desperately needed a change and knew the path I was heading wasn’t perfect for me. I auditioned for a dance program in New York and literally 12hrs after completing my final exam I was on the plane to Manhattan. I haven’t stopped dancing since and luckily the Pilates instructor training I did in Australia as a bit of a passion project has turned into my bread and butter over in New York.
I’m Currently… Competing with thousands of other dancers for a role on Broadway. While I still have plenty of interest in my degree and business goals I am putting everything I have into booking a professional dance gig. I’m still trying to do a million things at once but it’s a healthier place for me and I feel like I am really working towards a dream.
Why I am doing it… Listened to myself, decided to chase dreams and truly achieve something I believed was impossible. While working at the bank I would find myself tap dancing in the lifts and just knew that I wasn’t quite done with my dance dreams. I’ve made the decision I am too young to fear failure just yet and choose something comfortable or expected.
What I love about it… Pilates has been amazing. My dance background means Pilates has been a big part of my life from a young age and I am absolutely loving teaching across Manhattan. Client’s really value the skills/service you provide, I’m meeting fantastic and interesting people and genuinely leave every class/private I teach on a high. Dance has been also amazing, the teachers in New York are unbelievably fun and it really is a beautiful community. The theatre scene especially I am just in love with. I am sending myself broke by trying to see every single show on Broadway but when you find something you love it’s worth it. I feel like I’m just in the right place for me right now.
What I don’t love about it… Quite simply, being vulnerable. I thought I had experienced vulnerability before until I got to New York. I had put myself up for things at work and moved to London for 3 months but I’ve found there is a big difference in the nature of vulnerability. I have utmost respect for everyone risking themselves creatively in the arts! I have definitely struggled with it, the self doubt, rejection, envy. I mean the women around me going for the same roles are amazing, you walk into auditions and can find at least 10 other people that are your exact look but a little taller, thinner, etc. It’s a constant challenge to hold on to some sort of unique identity one which I am still definitely working on myself. I’ve also had to quit looking at Linkedin and remind myself why I am taking a break from the business world.
What I learnt from the experience… You can literally do anything. I had a 5 year break from dancing before pursuing this and thought any chance of a dance career was gone. I also thought I would never stray from my big business career and CEO ambitions. Here I am! However I should also note I have reached new heights in my capacity to binge Netflix when self discipline dwindles.
My advice to anyone pursuing this pathway is…. Just go, go, go. Unfortunately, doubt comes from everywhere but as long as you just keep moving (Year 12 Year Book Quote- ‘Just keep smiling’) opportunities will present themselves. You also just can’t take yourself so seriously, love the journey and be a kind, genuine person.
And p.s I am passionate about… Waking up every morning and doing something with purpose (positivity and ambition make the world a better place). Particularly being in the US right now though – Feminism, Climate Change and fixing Consumer Culture (go watch ‘The True Cost’ if you haven’t already!)