Sean Aaron Carmon

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EP 118: Sean Carmon (autogenerated)

[00:00:00] Dane Reis: [00:00:00] you booked it episode 118. Okay. Let’s get started. I am excited to introduce my guest today. Shawn, Aaron, Carmen, are you ready for the Shaun?

[00:00:14]Sean Carmon: [00:00:14] I stay ready, so I don’t have to get ready. So are you ready?

[00:00:18] Dane Reis: [00:00:18] Oh, yeah. All right. Sean has enjoyed a rewarding career with Alvin Ailey, American dance theater dancing. Some of the greatest roles created by the most amazing 20th and 21st century choreographers. He has performed in the longest running musical on Broadway and in the 2010 Tony award winning revival of  

[00:00:39] he’s been heralded by publications, such as the New York times, Newsweek jet magazine, Broadway, black dance, spirit, and dance magazine. And now you can see him performing all over North America as a featured dancer with Disney’s. The lion King. Sean is a master teacher and an award winning choreographer that has worked consistently across America and all around the world for the last decade, Sean.

[00:01:04] That is a quick intro of who you are and what you’ve done, but why don’t you tell us a little bit more about yourself? Fill in the gaps, who you are, and a little bit more about what you do as a professional in the entertainment industry.

[00:01:18]Sean Carmon: [00:01:18] I can do that. Sure.

[00:01:20] Dane Reis: [00:01:20] right.

[00:01:20] Sean Carmon: [00:01:20] can do that. Uh, I was born in what I like to call a drive through city of Beaumont, Texas. It’s not somewhere you stop. You definitely drive through it on your way or Houston. That’s what we are saying with between, uh, I. Graduated from high school. And in 2006, I think I just aged myself.

[00:01:38] So don’t do too much math. And I left the day after I graduated for New York. I told my mother I was going to leave and be a dancer in New York when I was about 12 years old. And she said, okay, show me. And so the day after high school at the speed of queuing, as I like to call it, Uh, I was there and, uh, I did a year at New York university found out it wasn’t for me, transferred to Fordham university and the Ailey, uh, the Ford forwarding BFA in dance program 

[00:02:06] finished up there, started on Broadway during my senior year. Um, and then auditioned for the Alvin Ailey American dance theater the year after I graduated. So that’s 2011, started with them death there for seven seasons and made the decision to go back to Miami theater roots, which is how all of this started in the first place.

[00:02:27] So I’m now, currently I’m on, uh, as you said, I’m on a tour with Disney’s the lion King and I say currently. Be polite and speak positivity in the air. But as we all know, COVID has a canceled that currently and turned it into a hopefully. Um, so I am looking forward to going back whenever that may be. I can’t wait to get back in front of an audience safely and securely and in an entertaining fashion Lord, I’m hoping for entertainment.

[00:02:56] I miss entertainment. I miss it. I miss it. Uh, Uh, but that’s, you know, that’s, that’s me. That’s what I do. And while the, uh, while we are not performing, I am currently, uh, teaching master classes in Horton based modern jazz ballet, and contemporary. Although I don’t consider contemporary technique. I know a lot of people say it.

[00:03:15] So I’ve, I’ve adapted.  I also choreograph for. Competitions like youth America, grand Prix, and a lot of conveyance, which is in competitions out there. So I, I I’m in studio masked up and ready to give back to give back what has been so generously given to, to me, to all the students that are still working hard through this pandemic and are still hungry for dance.

[00:03:39] And I’m very glad that they’re still hungry for dance because. Lord knows. I love to teach in. I need the check. You know what I mean?

[00:03:47] Dane Reis: [00:03:47] Yeah, totally. And I love what you’re doing and I love that you’ve been all over the place and you’re still going back and inspiring that next generation of entertainers and dancers into this industry. It’s fantastic.

[00:04:00]Sean Carmon: [00:04:00] I find that’s exactly what it’s all about. some people have done so much for me. We can dive into that a little bit later, but it, it really, really, really, I know it sounds like a bit of a cliche, but it really does help my spirit to give back so freely. Um, it just it’s it’s, it’s what I love to do.

[00:04:18]Dane Reis: [00:04:18] That’s great. And let’s move on to this next section here. And Sean, look, I am a sucker for a good quote. What is your favorite quote? You’d like to share with everyone?

[00:04:30]Sean Carmon: [00:04:30] Judith Jamison, legendary Alvin Ailey dancer, uh, mr. Ailey’s muse. Uh, she wants said to the room that I happened to be privileged enough to be in. She said, you surround yourself with people who are smart in ways that perhaps you’re not so smart so that you can achieve things that you may never have even considered.

[00:04:53]Comma together. And she was very specific about that comma, because I know that, uh, and I have learned that no one person is an Island. No one can do it all on their own. Surround yourself with those people who are smart in the ways that you are not smart and truly you can achieve so many more things than you ever thought was possible

[00:05:14]Dane Reis: [00:05:14] Together.

[00:05:16] Sean Carmon: [00:05:16] together.

[00:05:16] Dane Reis: [00:05:16] Yes, 

[00:05:18] Sean Carmon: [00:05:18] together.

[00:05:18] Dane Reis: [00:05:18] quote. I’ve not heard, I’ve heard things that are in that vein, but never that one that is brilliant. Thank you for sharing that.

[00:05:26] Sean Carmon: [00:05:26] Jamson she’s, she’s legendary.

[00:05:29] Dane Reis: [00:05:29] Yes. And let’s get into this next section here. And Sean, of course you are an entertainer. I am an entertainer. And I think that you would agree that this industry can be one of the most subjective, brutally, honest, personally emotional industries in existence. And you know, you know, as well as I. That in order to create and have a successful career in this industry, like your having now takes a lot of dedication and hard work.

[00:05:59] And while yeah, there’s an outward radius amount of fun and excitement doing what you do. There are also our fair share of challenges, obstacles, and failures. We are going to experience and we’re going to have to move forward through. So tell us. What is one key challenge, obstacle or failure you’ve experienced in your career?

[00:06:18] And how did you come out the other side better because of it.

[00:06:22]Sean Carmon: [00:06:22] One key challenge that I am still on 32 years old. Turn it. Now I’ve really aged myself. I literally told you my age at this point too, like, uh, one key challenge that I still struggle with and I still focus on and I still give so much attention to is I think, whatever a lot of people out there are struggling with and it’s my ego.

[00:06:43]Um, my ego went unchecked for quite some time. I’d like I told you, I grew up in a drive through town or city. I should be specific a drive through city. And I was one of the only males that was dancing. I took class at seven, so many different studios in the area and everyone. You know, wanted me and it felt good to be one.

[00:07:03]I mean, who doesn’t want to be wanted. And I, I developed ego. I would go to competitions and there weren’t very many men or boys at the competitions and I was always one of the best, if not the best. And so I developed an attitude of, I know I’m the best I know that I can do no wrong. And so I’m not.

[00:07:25] Particularly concerned with your opinions of me or your thoughts about me, because I know I’m that good. Well, when you move from a drive through city into a large city, like New York city, and when you move into the city of New York and you realize. Oh, you are nowhere near the best. As a matter of fact, you might be the bottom of the barrel in a lot of firms that you step into because New York brings people from all over.

[00:07:52] I had the very rude awakening , uh, of, of realizing that I wasn’t top dog, I wasn’t even close to number one. And that was the kick in the pants that. I never knew I needed it. Um, and I, I still credit this choreographer and mentor to this day, his name’s Christopher L Huggins. And I worked with him. At the alias school.

[00:08:14] And I went on to travel with him as his assistant and he’s, he still, um, helps me out in my career. Hey, listen, I have a teaching job. I can’t take, can you, you know, go in and represent me or can you, can you go and represent yourself and all of these things, he’s still a wonderful friend and a, just a fabulous mentor, but he was the person that.

[00:08:34] That took me under his wing with some very, very, very, and I cannot stress this enough. Very tough love. Um, he knocked me down. So many pigs, but the great thing and the most wonderful thing, and the most essential thing was he built me back up even better than before. He took me to such greater Heights and he put me on the path that allowed me to take myself to even higher Heights.

[00:09:01] So I will always be grateful for him. So to answer your question. Like I said, I can be long winded at times, but long story short, it’s my ego checking my ego at every door I walk into every day.

[00:09:15]Dane Reis: [00:09:15] Well, first off, that’s a great story and a great recount of everything throughout your career, but also it’s so important to you, right? Check it out the door, man. You never know what you’re going to be walking into and just do you, because it is outrageous the amount of talent that can be in a room at any given time.

[00:09:33] And also while your talent is outrageously important, it’s also. The energy  that you’re giving an exuding. That is, is it going to help you be attractive to the casting directors or whoever’s going to give you that job? So it’s also important to be very grateful while you’re in that room and just enjoy being who you are and appreciate the other people in the room for what their talents are as well.

[00:09:58] Because that also, in my opinion, reads much better in a room and makes you more desirable and more attractive for the people that are there to give you a contract.

[00:10:08]Sean Carmon: [00:10:08] 100% agree. 100% agree.

[00:10:11]Dane Reis: [00:10:11] Brilliant.

[00:10:12] And let’s move on to this section here and to a time that I like to call your spotlight moment. That one moment in time you realized, yes, I am going to be an entertainer for a living or maybe it was, yes, this is what I need to be doing as an entertainer. Tell us about that.

[00:10:35]Sean Carmon: [00:10:35] Spotlight moment. Ooh. Ah, I wish you could see it, but it was, it was great. I, I watch it and now, um, my spotlight moment, it wasn’t easy question and I will never forget it. It made me feel. So powerful. So appreciate it so valuable. I had just booked Lacasia full at an emergency audition. I can tell you that story another time.

[00:10:59] And I had had exactly one rehearsal with the, um, the other dancers or the Cagelles as we were called and, uh, Lynn page, our choreographer. She was. Just to say it lightly or to say it bluntly. She was impressed with the, um, the speed at which I learned and the quickness with which I picked up her choreographic details and applied her notes.

[00:11:24]Um, that was something that I garnered or excuse me, that was something that I had really, um, adapted and, and clarified with Christopher in all my time as his assistant. But. We had just started the first full cast run through. Now, mind you, this cast had already been doing the, the show for over a month.

[00:11:47]I came in truly the week before we began tech rehearsals and previews and all of that jazz. So I was, I was just happy to be there. Let’s be honest. And we finished the title number. Toward the end of the first act and Kelsey grammar, Frazier himself stopped the rehearsal and said, I just want to point out and I have to give this young man credit.

[00:12:12]This is professionalism. He walked in here yesterday and he is doing the full show today.

[00:12:21]Dane Reis: [00:12:21] Wow. 

[00:12:23]Sean Carmon: [00:12:23] And of course, you know, everyone, it was what a week warm and generous room, just full of actors that, that cared and truly, truly were inspired and motivated by, by the other talent in the room.

[00:12:33] But to have this icon of American television truly stop the room and compliment me on the things that I had been training to do and the things that I love to do. was the, the only validation that I needed at that time, at the tender age of 21 years old, you couldn’t have told me that my, my job and my life would not be wrapped up in the theater.

[00:13:00] And it, it, it always has been, it always has been, but that, that moment it’ll. I’ll be telling my grandkids that story someday. They want Frasier and I

[00:13:10] Dane Reis: [00:13:10] exactly.

[00:13:11] Sean Carmon: [00:13:11] Look him up.

[00:13:12]Dane Reis: [00:13:12] Oh, that is such an amazing story. Really great. And I think one of the biggest takeaways from that is you said it was Lynn, I believe you said was so impressed. With how quickly you applied her notes. And that has such a massive takeaway for everybody listening, because the quicker that you can adjust and the more flexible you can be when you’re learning a show, when you’re cleaning, whatever it is that you’re doing means you can move on faster and get to.

[00:13:44]The real work quicker and it is outrageously important and necessary to be someone who can be flexible and to be able to, to adapt and be easy to work with. Cause that’s part of it being easy to work with includes being able to pick things up and to take notes and apply notes as fast as possible.

[00:14:06] And everyone, when I see it happen, appreciates it more than I think you might ever understand.

[00:14:12]Sean Carmon: [00:14:12] As someone who’s sat on both sides of the table or sat on one side of the table and been on the other side of the table, in my career at different stages. Trust me. I understand. And I preach it to these young dancers today faster, you can pick it up the faster, you can apply it to your dancing, to your performance faster.

[00:14:34] We can all get out of here because a lot of people don’t have a lot of time. That’s just the way it is. That’s the thing. And while it took me a while to, to put that together, um, I hope that. Through my actual experience and telling the stories that I have, um, been through to the younger dancers. I hope that they can glean even just a portion, just a small portion of what it is that I’ve experienced and apply it to their lives because.

[00:15:03]Honestly, if I would’ve, if I would’ve been able to do that, if I would have checked that ego a little bit sooner and been able to take the notes and apply the things to my budding career at the time, um, things would have been a lot easier. They would have been a lot easier, but, uh, you know, we learn, we all learn at our own pace.

[00:15:19] We learn the way we learn and I was someone who needed to, to learn some things the hard way. And here we are on the other side, still experiencing a pretty fulfilling career. So I have no complaints, not a single one.

[00:15:33] Dane Reis: [00:15:33] Wonderful. Thank you for that insight. And let’s piggyback on that real quick and talk about your number one. Booked it moment. Walk us through that day, the auditions and call backs. If they happen to be a part of it or what what’s going on in your life. And what about that moment makes it your favorite?

[00:15:54] Booked it moment.

[00:15:56]Sean Carmon: [00:15:56] I love the way you say, I just want to get, I want to get into that. I’m going to, I’m going to work on that when we, it. The conversation. My book did moment has to be booking Lacasia full. As I said earlier, this, it was an emergency audition. I remember exactly where I was when I got the phone call. I have no idea how this casting agency got my phone number.

[00:16:23] Stuart Whitley, uh, Benton Whitley called me. Uh, as I was sitting at the flame diner on 58th and ninth Avenue, and I’m sitting there with my friend, Steven, just talking in between classes, it’s taking a ballet class. And if I had a couple of hours until I believe it was jazz or probably a modern class, and we were just sitting down having a chit chat and.

[00:16:46]I see my phone ring with the number. I didn’t recognize, I almost pressed declined because as we all know, who answers a spam call, that could be spam and I’m not going to worry about it. But I picked up the phone and a bitten Whitley said to me, listen, we have your information and we are having an emergency audition for the Broadway show.

[00:17:08] full tonight at seven 30. Can you be at. Pearl studios down on 34th. I believe it’s maybe on 36 now I’m in eighth Avenue by six 30 to check in and we’re we need a dancer and we need him now. I said, absolutely. What they teach you to say? Yes. Yes, figure it out later, but say yes, I had no resume, no printer, no tap shoes that they were asking for.

[00:17:39]Um, nothing and I ran to, cause this was back before, uh, you know, everyone had a printer in their dorm rooms and I ran to the student library with my USB flash drive and plug it in and just start a furiously updating my resume because. Even though my, my, my teacher, my professor Charmaine Warren had reminded us.

[00:18:00] I was in my senior year, as I said, had reminded us and our senior seminar always keep your resume updated. There’s no reason why, because if you get a phone call, keep your resume updated. So that’s a message in there. Keep it updated, but of course I knew or blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. So I’m running furiously to update.

[00:18:17] I call my advisor, let him know that I won’t be in class because I have an emergency audition. She encouraged me to go. I said, thank you. Went to the audition. I think it still might be. It actually it’ll if the second best audition of my life, but, um, my first being, getting into the Ailey company, but my, the second desktop audition of my life, because after he had been widdled down through from 15 to 20 other young black men, truly who all looked like me, they were truly casting by type.

[00:18:48]Um, it had come down to myself and another young man who also was named Shawn and. Yes, absolutely. And Lynn page said, okay, so we’ve made it this far and it’s definitely going to be one of YouTube. We need to know who you are. So I’m thinking, because, because I had done a lot of dance competitions, there’s got to be an interview portion.

[00:19:08] So I, you know, prepared and pulled up and she said, I would like you both to lip sync separately too. It’s raining men by the weather girls.

[00:19:18] I said, you don’t have to tell me twice. Uh, and she had just fun fact about a little fun insert into that story. She had just given birth to, uh, her daughter, who I have kept up with, uh, since we have sense of the show is closed and she’s gone on to do other things.

[00:19:35] I’ve worked with her again, uh, in some other choreographic projects, but. Uh, , she brought her baby to the audition and I truly picked up the child and danced around the room lip-syncing to it’s raining men. And I don’t know why they trusted me with that young child, that infant, but they did, and it got their lives.

[00:19:57] And I walked out of that audition thinking I just booked this. But I don’t know, but I said it to myself. Yeah, go ahead and say it to you. You booked it. And I went down to 42nd street and Apple pie, a dog that is no longer there on the corner of 42nd and ninth. Then I sat down and an hour after that audition ended, I got the phone call from the director, Terry, who said, can you be in rehearsal tomorrow?

[00:20:22] And. I composed myself and I said, yes, sir, I absolutely can. This is what you need to bring. This is where you need to go. This is who you need to speak to please be here at this time. We’re so excited to have you. And I say, yes, sir, thank you for the opportunity. I really appreciate it more than you’ll ever know.

[00:20:39] He said, goodnight. I pressed the end button and screamed at the top of my lungs so loudly, but I was asked to leave papaya dog. And I said, GLA and walk out and I lived on 140. What street did I live on? That was 140 seventh and Amsterdam. And I walked that night from 42nd and ninth because I was on cloud nine. I was on cloud nine. I called my mother. I call him my father. My sister is two years older than me, my best friend. I. Truly couldn’t believe it. And the whole, after I finished all the phone calls, I still hadn’t made it home. And I just said every prayer of gratitude I can muster up, I was just, I couldn’t believe it.

[00:21:26] I was, I’m going to be on Broadway. And I just woof, even just thinking about it just sends me to a place of just incredible gratitude.

[00:21:36]Dane Reis: [00:21:36] Oh, that is such a great story. And gosh, you’re right. I mean, picking up the baby, that was crazy, uh, and amazing that it all worked out and, you know, in those moments, sometimes it just is the way it has to be. Right. Right. And that was an amazing story. Thank you so much for sharing that I’ve got goosebumps.

[00:21:58] Sean Carmon: [00:21:58] Absolutely happy to share it. I’ll never stop telling that story.

[00:22:01] Dane Reis: [00:22:01] Brilliant. And let’s take a moment to talk about the present. What projects are you working on now? What are you looking forward to? And you know, it’s a crazy time, right? We are amidst this global pandemic. How do you see the entertainment industry moving forward in the next couple of years?

[00:22:22]Sean Carmon: [00:22:22] You know, then as you said, This is absolutely a crazy time. We hear it on every commercial on, on every speed or in every speech. Uh, we, we just hear these words now more than ever, we must et cetera, et cetera. During these challenging times, we must et cetera, et cetera. And. I’ve I’ve honestly become a bit numb to the feeling of what we must do.

[00:22:51]Um, there, there just comes a time. I, listen, I’ve been hustling since I was. 21 years old. I’m 32 now. And so for over a decade, and as a concert dancer, we learned to hustle. We know that we’re going to have layoff weeks. We know what we’re, um, what we signed up for. We know that we, what we have given up for our love of what we want to do with our bodies and for our careers.

[00:23:16]I understand that in order to move forward, Things will have to change there. There is no more normal. I’m sure we could all say there is a new normal, but no one is even remotely sure. Or of what that’s going to look like anytime soon for that matter. So how do I see the entertainment industry moving forward in the next couple of years?

[00:23:40]That’s a question. I, and I honestly. I don’t have an answer. I don’t have a concrete answer. I know that unfortunately, we are, we being America, um, and truly the world will place our funds and our monies into the things that will make. The most money, the things that will give the most return and right now, of course, and always that will be Hollywood that will be television.

[00:24:09]Um, we, as dancers and stage performers, we tend to accept that we will always be the first ones to stop much like we did in COVID and we will most likely be the last ones to return. Um, it’s very hard to convince, um, a country or anyone for that matter to sit in a theater full of people that you don’t know, amidst a global pandemic, or even immediately following a global pandemic.

[00:24:39]I am a man of faith. Unfortunately, I don’t have very much faith in this country at this time. Um, I could go into the long litany of my political beliefs and things that I have witnessed in my life and time of being a black man in America. I could do that until the cows come home. That was very Texas till the cows come home.

[00:25:03] Really. Hm. But you know that. This isn’t the time for that. I think we’re all living in the exact same world as performers and as, as, uh, professionals in this industry. And I think we’re all crossing our fingers, saying our prayers, hoping for the best, um, that we will be able to return. In hell, let’s be honest, even just by the middle of 2021.

[00:25:28] That’s that is my, my sincere hope I have resigned myself. I don’t, I don’t mean to use such a, a negative term because it does feel a bit defeatist and I don’t, and again, I don’t mean to use it in a defeatist way, but I truly have accepted. Where we are. And , that acceptance has motivated me and pushed me even further because I, like I said, I’ve been hustling.

[00:25:54] For over a decade and I know how to hustle. I never forgot how to hustle and I will never forget how to hustle. I will always find a way to utilize my gifts, to make ends meet and hopefully to do more than make ends meet, which I have been very fortunate to do, um, for over a decade. So where do I see this entertainment industry going?

[00:26:17]It’s a toss up. It’s a great big old tossup, but I can tell you. That the projects that I’m working on right now, I’ve been performing as a guest or artists are, I should say, rehearsing, not performing rehearsing as a guest artist with a, a small pre-professional company here in Houston as a professional dancer.

[00:26:36] I do find it is very thrilling to get back in the studio safely with young dancers who. Are looking to have the career, not the specific career, but have a career in the same vein as I have had. And it does encourage me to no end to be the example in the room, the actual physical example of hard work, dedication, perseverance, and so many other things showing up to take class with these young dancers showing up for rehearsal with these young dancers and showing them that.

[00:27:13]Everything that you were learning in these classes, in this studio is absolutely applicable to your life and through your career. So that is what I have been doing. And in addition to teaching masterclasses in Horton based modern jazz, contemporary, and ballet in Houston, the surrounding area, uh, just added Austin.

[00:27:33] I’ll be teaching also in some areas of Louisiana. In the very near future and also in my hometown of Beaumont, Texas. Um, I’m, I’m 

[00:27:41] I’m absolutely looking forward to continuing to put myself out there. Um, I. Create videos of, of, and take recordings of my choreography. And back when I was teaching on zoom, I would just have my camera set up and a good friend of mine to REL Mitchell.

[00:27:58] Who’s a wonderful choreographer and teacher here in Houston. He encouraged me to. In the midst of the pandemic to really start to promote myself. I wasn’t something that I ever had to do. I had always lived under the alien name or lived under the lion King name or under the Broadway name. And it was never, it was always Sean, Aaron, Carmen of such and such.

[00:28:21] It was never just Sean, Aaron Carmen. And he truly encouraged me to just be myself. Sean, Erin, Carmen, you are a teacher. You are choreographer. You are a dancer. Promote yourself. And so I went, I said, absolutely. Thank you. Thank you for the encouragement. 100% when I say thank you. I mean, I mean, thank you. And I go out, I went out and I did something about it.

[00:28:44] So I created just a simple logo. Nice and simple. And I said, I’m just going to put it on a tee shirt for myself. I’m going to, this will be my uniform. When I go and teach, I will put my Instagram on the social media handles on the back. All one handle, of course, cause you have to be easily accessible. , but I put it on the back so that when I’m performing or when I am teaching.

[00:29:07] All you see you see is hooked on Shaun. When I’m in the mirror, you see Shawn, Aaron, Carmen, dancer, teacher choreographer. There’s no way you can forget who I am when I’m in the room with you. And from that though, one of the, the zoom, classes that I was teaching and I recorded and posted to my platform to the platforms that I am a part of.

[00:29:28]Um, it, it, it truly just. Took off friends. Well, where can I get one of the shirts? Are you, are you selling them? Are you, did you plan on, do you think that you were just going to wear that shirt and no one was going to want one? And my answer honestly was, yeah. Why would anyone want to share it with my name on it?

[00:29:43] Who am I? I’m no one I’m I’m just. A teacher and a choreographer. And he was, had a little bit of a claim that I’m, I’m no one famous. Why would you want to walk around with my name on your chest? And I told that to my mother and she said, why would you ever sell yourself so short? She said, do you, you know,  you, you know, how many lives you’ve touched?

[00:30:02] Do you know how many students you’ve worked with? Do you know the things that you’ve accomplished, who wouldn’t want to walk around with your name on their chest? I certainly want one. I said, well, you’re my mom. She said, stop it. Stop it. If you’re not going to do it for yourself, why is anyone else going to do it for you?

[00:30:19]And truly stopped me in my tracks and changed my thinking immediately. So from there I began to, I just put myself out there on Facebook and never in my wildest dreams. Would I have thought that I would be selling merchandise with my name on it, but if anyone is interested, I can put in an order for my S a C you mentioned logo shirts.

[00:30:44] If you’re interested, please let me know. $25 plus $5 shipping and handling, depending on where you are. If you’re in the Houston Beaumont area, I can hand deliver them. Don’t you worry about that? Um, and you know, within the next day, 60 to 75 orders came in and I just. Was against, so overwhelmed with gratitude.

[00:31:04]It was, it was almost like I was back walking from 42nd street to 147. The day after the day I got the phone call about LoCash, just this tsunami, tide of gratitude and emotion just overtook me. And I, I realized my mother is absolutely right. if I sell myself short, why would anyone take me seriously?

[00:31:26] Why would anyone else want to promote me? If I’m not going to promote myself? So stop selling yourself short, Sean, just put yourself out there and people will respond in kind. And, um, I will say the people have truly shown up and shown out and they have supported this little black boy from Beaumont, Texas, since.

[00:31:47]2007 when I started this dance thing and I, I couldn’t be more grateful. So my merchandise is, um, just a simple t-shirt with my logo and a, if you want it, Sean, or reach out to me on Facebook, hit me up in the DMS on Instagram. However, add hooked on Sean. That’s the way to get in touch with me and you too can have your own signature logo, tee shirt.

[00:32:13] Dane Reis: [00:32:13] Yes. And I really love how you got to that place of having your own brand. It’s so good. So many lessons, so much insight in there. Thank you for all of that. 

[00:32:26] And it is time to move on to one of my favorite sections in the interview. I call it the grease lightning round. And I’m going to ask you a handful of questions.

[00:32:37] I want you to answer them as quickly and concisely as possible one after another. Are you ready?

[00:32:45] Sean Carmon: [00:32:45] As I said, I stay ready to name. So let’s do it.

[00:32:48] Dane Reis: [00:32:48] All right. First question. What was the one thing holding you back from committing to a career as an entertainer?

[00:32:55]Sean Carmon: [00:32:55] The constant reminder and the incorrect reminder that I would never make any real money as a dancer.

[00:33:01]Dane Reis: [00:33:01] Hmm. Second question. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

[00:33:06]Sean Carmon: [00:33:06] My high school dance teacher, eval uBlock said when you’re the best in the room. Good. God girl. Get out. It’s time to move on. Never be the best in the room. There’s always so much more to learn.

[00:33:19]Dane Reis: [00:33:19] Third question. What is something that is working for you now, or if you’d like to go pre COVID, what was working for you before our industry went on? Pause.

[00:33:29]Sean Carmon: [00:33:29] Ooh, the natural hustle that most concert dancers develop on our off time. It’s it’s done me so, right. And it keeps doing me right during COVID.

[00:33:38]Dane Reis: [00:33:38] Yes. And the fourth question, what is your best resource? Whether that is a book, a movie, a YouTube video, maybe a podcast or a piece of technology that you found is helping your career right now.

[00:33:51]Sean Carmon: [00:33:51] None of the above developing true and honest, personal relationships has been my absolute best resource.

[00:33:57] Dane Reis: [00:33:57] Beautiful. And the fifth question, if you had to start your career from scratch, but you still had all the knowledge and experience you’ve collected from your career in this industry, what would you do or not do? Would you do anything differently or would you keep it the same?

[00:34:14]Sean Carmon: [00:34:14] I would absolutely do something differently. I would have gotten over myself sooner.

[00:34:18] I would have done the work as a student so that I could acclimate as a professional sooner, quicker. In essence, I would have applied the notes.

[00:34:27]Dane Reis: [00:34:27] Hmm. Last question. What is the golden nugget knowledge or drop you’ve learned from your successful career in this industry that you’d like to leave with everyone?

[00:34:36]Sean Carmon: [00:34:36] Ooh, I might have to go into a little depth on this one, but, um, my golden nugget knowledge, knowledge drop, or you’re only as good as your last performance. I never got to final performance with the Alvin Ailey American dance theater. Because the call from lion King came after the end of our Lincoln center season.

[00:34:53] After I had already signed a contract to come back and committing to coming back for an eighth season with the Ailey company. And I remember performing the third variation in cinnamon, in mr. Allen’s revelations. And I went out on stage. Thinking I’ll have so many other opportunities to do this. I’m so tired.

[00:35:15] I’ve done every performance this season. I’m so tired. So I’m just going to do as much as I can and, and get over it. And I went out there and hopped and James Brown and fumbled all over that stage. And I thought to myself, as I walked off, as the curtain came down, if that was the last time, um, I ever got to do that, I’m going to be so sad.

[00:35:34] And you know what, that was the last time I ever got to perform that you are only as good as your last performance.

[00:35:40]Dane Reis: [00:35:40] Oh, so good. And to wrap up this interview, Sean, it is time to give yourself a plug. Where can we find you? How do our listeners connect with you? Is there anything you want to promote?

[00:35:54]Sean Carmon: [00:35:54] This is Sean Erin This is on Aaron Carmen. You can find Uh,  you can also find me  across all social media platforms at cook, Don Shaun that’s, H O O K E D O N S E a N at hook on Sean on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. , I do want to leave you with one general, one gentle reminder.

[00:36:20] And this is for everyone in our industry who might need to hear it. Young, old, seasoned, amateur, professional, whatever you want to call yourself. This dance world is so small and all we have is our reputation. Keep it in pristine condition. You never know who’s listening. You never know. Who’s watching. You never know who is learning from you and you never know who will hold it against you.

[00:36:48]Keep your reputation spotless.

[00:36:52]Dane Reis: [00:36:52] Beautiful. 

[00:36:53] Sean Carmon: [00:36:53] And for anyone out there who is interested in my signature logo, t-shirt the Shawn Aaron Carmen, let’s be specific signature logo. T-shirt you can go to Sean, Erin and use the contact me page.

[00:37:07] Or you can find me at hooked on Sean across all social media platforms, slides in my DMS. I certainly don’t mind and use the promo code. Booked it. As Dane would say, and you can get 10% off.

[00:37:20]Dane Reis: [00:37:20] Beautiful. You heard it folks. So head over to any of his URLs has Instagram. I will put all the links in the description of this episode. You can easily connect with him. You can also go to you, booked forward slash hooked on Sean. And that’s S E a N to spell Sean. And you will get connected straight to his messenger.

[00:37:42] So you can talk to him about that and get that 10% off with the promo code. Booked it, Sean, it has been so wonderful to have you on the show today. Thank you so much for sharing all of your insight. It’s been a pleasure

[00:37:56]Sean Carmon: [00:37:56] thank you, Dane. It’s been a pleasure being even afforded the opportunity to share. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I can never say thank you enough.