by: Vicki Infinito
I have to admit, after the hubbub of the holidays, I always struggle a bit with January. All of the family and wrapping paper and productions of A Christmas Carol, and then we count down to a new year, drink some champagne, and everything gets reeeeal quiet. That’s why I love APAP.
The Association of Performing Arts Professionals’ annual get-together hits at this perfect time of year when we need people and the performing arts most. The conference brings arts professionals from all over the world to New York City and the midtown Hilton (incidentally, just around the corner from the Theatre Projects NYC office).
APAP is huge, with attendees from all sides of the performing arts industry. And though a bit overwhelming, with some careful planning (and plenty of snacks), it can be an amazing experience.
So, after going now for close to 15 years, I’ve think I’ve finally discovered some keys to making it more manageable. I’ll share a handful of tips and tricks here, but I invite you to pass along your favorites too!
Don’t overbook meetings. This is very easy to do, but be sure to leave some time for those spontaneous conversations that happen when you run into someone you haven’t seen in a while.
Leave a night or two open for showcases or shows you hear about at the last minute. Overplanning is just going to stress you out and keep you from catching the good stuff.
Make new friends and catch up with old ones. I always meet someone new at APAP. The conference is centered around booking, but it is also about your professional development. Spending time with new and old members of your community is super important. Aaaaand if you’re looking for a new friend while you’re around, reach out! I’m always happy to chat.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. The best thing you can have in your bag is a reusable water bottle that you can refill throughout the day.
Bring snacks. This one is also vital. If you can, pack some snacks with you during the day and then make sure to actually schedule meals in for yourself.
Wear layers. You can always check your coat. And midwinter weather in Manhattan can be all over the place.
Take the subway. Finally, save some cash and get around like a local. It’s super easy and you won’t get lost (let your phone or the surprisingly friendly New Yorkers help guide you). You can even just boop your credit card or phone now (no more metro card).
There’s lots more to say, but these are the highlights, imo. Self care. Community. Avoiding cabs. And figuring out the rest of it? All part of the fun.