How great is your press kit?

How great is your press kit? How great do you want it to be?

We are thrilled to announce a brand-new Editing Service here at iCadenza – writing and revisions for all your promotional materials. We are so blessed to have a true Press Materials Guru on our team, none other than Maria Elena Altany! Maria Elena handles promotional materials for the artists we manage over at Cadenza Artists, as well as our other clients, and everyone is just blown away by the way she can guide and capture the unique essence of the artist in the materials she crafts. Since we are now opening up this service to everyone, you have no excuse to lament the sorry state of your promotional materials – instead, work with Maria Elena on a revision or a complete overall and walk away with your Best Press Kit yet!

Here is a short interview with Maria Elena to learn about some pitfalls, tips, and best practices for polishing your materials on your own.

What are the most common issues you see in biographies, resumes, and headshots?
There is really a huge variety of issues, but I’d have to say that grammar and sentence structure is the most glaring problem. Boring as it is, to me it really differentiates a professional bio from a lack-luster one. The other most common issue is structure: what are the skills you most want to highlight? What are you marketing yourself as? Many emerging artists make the mistake of overly emphasizing their education, and to me it is important to present yourself as a professional rather than a student, no matter how limited your professional experience.

What is your secret to showcasing biographical facts and illustrating the artist’s unique personality and value in a cohesive and memorable way?
It’s very tricky to get personality to shine through the necessary list of accomplishments, but for me it is all about intention and really communicating what an artist is passionate about. A bio always seems sincere and personal if the projects or skills of which the artist is most proud are highlighted, and that often means describing the artistic value of the project more than the prestige of the venue or presenter.

What do you see as the purpose of each component of the press kit?
Bio: This is where you let your personality shine, and it is the chance to communicate your passions as well as your accomplishments. It’s a mistake to think the bio is just a resume written in paragraph form.
Resume or CV: usually for audition purposes, the resume is like a cheat sheet for presenters to see your experience. However, you can still shape the way they perceive your experience by highlighting the most prestigious accomplishments or the type of engagements you want to pursue further.
Rep list: This is your chance to give them your vision for your future, use it wisely! Honesty is the crucial factor here – don’t list something as performed or fully prepared, because you never know when you might get a last minute engagement based on your rep list.

Press kit: This is your chance to let others brag for you, so don’t be shy! Presenters want to know how their audiences will respond to you, so view this section of your press kit from an audience’s perspective – what type of review would get you into the theater?

What are your top do’s and dont’s when it comes to resume formatting?
DO put the type of engagements you most want to pursue at the top: If you want to sing more roles, put the ones you have done at the top, if you want to perform more concerti, put those at the top.
DO divide up the different types of engagements into specific categories – auditors and presenters want to scan a resume quickly and don’t want to hunt for information
DON’T use a bunch of different fonts and sizes! Legibility is the most critical factor.

You can learn more about Maria Elena’s services and rates here. Her calendar fills up quickly so don’t wait to sign up for services!

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