EP 19: Ilir Avdyli
Episode Transcript (autogenerated)
Dane Reis: [00:00:00] You booked it. Episode 19, Hey, entertainers and performers of the world. I’m your host, Dane Reis, and welcome to you. Booked it. Where I chat with inspiring entertainers, seven days a week by digging into their journey. We’re going to discover everything you need to do to be a successful entertainer, you know?
[00:00:25] Cause. Training, usually skips that part about how to actually make your skills work for you in the real world. Fellow entertainers, my drive here at you booked it is to share the inspiring and incredible journeys of successful entertainers. We are here to support your journey. So go to youbookeditpodcast.com and join the, you booked it, email community, where we dig deep into truly actionable things you can be doing right now to help you book that next audition, submission or gig.
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[00:01:22] Let’s do this. All righty. Let’s get started. I am excited to introduce my guest today. Ilir of Dooley. Are you ready for the celiac?
[00:01:33] Ilir Avdyli: [00:01:33] Yes. Yes, yes. Yes, totally. Very excited about this
[00:01:37] Dane: [00:01:37] brilliant Ilir was born and raised in Albania. His talent picked him out of the crowd and took him traveling and performing all over Europe and Asia.
[00:01:47] By the age of 13, classically trained in ballet with a background in music, gave him an advantage to digest it. Art form in more than one dimension. By the time he was 18, he had made his way to the USA and work for Nashville, ballet and TDT for eight years. Yulia performed at at Wynn Las Vegas, as well as many other shows up and down the strip, including Cirque de Solei.
[00:02:14] His global work has even given him the opportunity to work as a judge on international TV shows. Earlier, that was 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, where you’re from, where you’re currently calling home and a little bit more about what you do as a professional in the entertainment industry.
[00:02:40]Ilir Avdyli: [00:02:40] thank you, Dan. Forgive me this opportunity to somewhat feeling so narcissistic about speaking about myself, considering being a physician. I don’t mind it at all. Being a performer is part of enjoying ourselves and our credibility on describing a storyline. So without going too much deeper in this, I was born in Albania.
[00:03:01] It’s a, it’s a country North of Greece, Eastern Italy, South of ex-Yugoslavia. we have our own language. It’s considered to be about 40,000 or 50,000 year old language yet. It’s the most dissected country in Europe. We’ve got Albanians in five different regions of the Balkans. So with, without grading, Too deep into the history.
[00:03:26] It’s pretty much a where I come from now. My home is in Las Vegas, Nevada. America has been part of my life for the past 25 years. And by sharing these years, I do not want to say how old I am yet. It shows I am pretty. Oh, so, along those lines, I’ve been in Vegas now for the past 15 years and I’ve enjoyed, or the biggest had to offer in the entertainment industry.
[00:03:52] I’ve been a performer, as you mentioned earlier, in the ref show where I enjoyed that. Tremendously because it had so many, a plethora of art forms in it from water to flying, to dancing, to singing, to music, to everything you can imagine. but also, Vegas offers a lot. more than just shows it’s, it’s literally the Mecca of entertainment.
[00:04:19] And because of that reason, you get to be faced with so many different, needs of your, of your art or talent, especially knowing there’s so many industrial work as we call them. To where so many conventions come here and do their presentation of new products and so forth and so on. And we, the entertainment are the one that, you know, put an aura on them and make them more valuable to the clients or their, their services that they provide.
[00:04:49] So within that sense slowly but surely on this whole experience, as a performer, we’ve touched so many different fields of, of, of life within itself. And I have been very, very lucky to have been able to have been doing it for a living. And I’ve been enjoying the experiences that has been providing so far.
[00:05:12] Dane: [00:05:12] Fantastic. Thanks for that. Well, let’s move on to the next section here. And look, I am a sucker for a good quote. So what is your favorite quote that you’d like to share with our listeners?
[00:05:26] Ilir Avdyli: [00:05:26] Oh, for performers basic, most important. One is one word bleeds. Breathe.
[00:05:36] Dane: [00:05:36] Yeah. Perfect. And how have you applied that into your professional life?
[00:05:42] Ilir Avdyli: [00:05:42] Pretty much. Every second of the day that I get to recognize my conscience. I go take a deep breath, let it all in and just restart again, or continue on with whatever the task is.
[00:05:57] Dane: [00:05:57] Perfect. I love that so simple, but it it’s so profound at the same time.
[00:06:03] Ilir Avdyli: [00:06:03] Thank you. All
[00:06:05] Dane: [00:06:05] right. Well, let’s get into this section.
[00:06:06] So Lear of course you are an entertainer, I’m an entertainer. And I think that you would agree. The entertainment industry is one of the most subjective, brutally, honest, personally emotional industries in existence. And you know, as well as I. That to create and to have a successful career in this industry.
[00:06:27] Like you’re having now takes a lot of dedication and hard work. And while yeah, of course there is an outrageous amount of fun that we get to have on stage and performing for people there. There’s also our fair share of obstacles and challenges and failures that we are going to experience, and we’re going to have to move forward.
[00:06:48] Through those, if we want to continue having this successful career. So tell us what is one key challenge, obstacle or failure you’ve experienced in your career and how did you come out the other side better because of it.
[00:07:05] Ilir Avdyli: [00:07:05] If there’s one word that I could use for this as well, it’d be called value. How do we recognize value and how do we place investments on it?
[00:07:17] That comes with time by recognizing more of what your capabilities are and what industry you’re in, in the entertainment world, but learning how to value yourself, learning how to sell yourself cheap. But. Expensively in the same time. you’ll learn how to adjust with how valuable your product is. overvaluing yourself might, might cause a backsplash and undervaluing yourself, would just cause you to, to hurt yourself more.
[00:07:46] So learning how to value yourself with, in relations to that, to the industry has been my, my main goals and I have had done my, my, my, my, My homework or my yep. Discovery of, of the formula within my own capabilities. Okay. could I afford to work 12 hours a day, dance my heart out. And at the end of the day, pass out asleep or continue drinking and not be ready for the next day.
[00:08:14] And all these abuses that we do to ourselves because of being an artist, this is the only way we discover ourselves of going to the limits. But if there is one word would be to just learning how to value your capabilities.
[00:08:28] Dane: [00:08:28] I love that. And it’s certainly not something that you can wake up one day and have the answer to.
[00:08:34] I think what you’re also saying is that it comes from experience and the maturity of having a career screwing things up realizing, Ooh, maybe I went a bit too far more pushed to too much of this time, and it’s always a constant readjusting to find your optimal mix.
[00:08:54] Ilir Avdyli: [00:08:54] Definitely. So, and in it, it’s always a growing process.
[00:09:00] It never comes to an end. It’s learning how to communicate information, learning how to manage it within yourself and also being, you know, not too forthcoming with it because unfortunately in this industry, you have people that know what they’re doing. And also people that don’t know what they’re doing and because they ended up being the ones that are providing you this opportunity to do your part.
[00:09:24] Your art form, you have to politically manage yourself to where you build up good relationships. And there’s good relationships means, you know, in a networking format, it’s not like in a different industry where is more like, you know, Authoritarian too, where you have one CEO and it just trickles down to all the way to the last basic worker in the networking industry.
[00:09:51] You’re pretty much, you know, you have to make friends with everybody in order, how important or non-important they may be because you may end up dancing with a person that you could not stand, or you may end up dancing with the person that you just idolized and not knowing how to balance yourself with those situation.
[00:10:10] You know, it means an end to your career or it’ll mean, you know, for you to have it harder to stay in that career.
[00:10:18] Dane: [00:10:18] For sure. And I think it even expands further out too. You said be nice to everybody and get to know everyone. You also never know where people are going to end up in their careers. The person that you’re dancing with on this gig might be the person that creates the production company that provides you the majority of your work for the next 10 years.
[00:10:40] Never. You always want to be networking and be a positive person and easy to work with. I
[00:10:48] Ilir Avdyli: [00:10:48] think. Definitely. So there’s also another, another trick that I don’t mean to touch on it too much. Not a, never operate with a fear, but definitely operate, w with a curiosity that only values you the moment that we try to sell our capabilities.
[00:11:08] In an environment with nobody’s trying to buy, we’re we’re causing, what do you call it? A situation of muffled to where we end up becoming, our, you know, building our own surrounding wall, where we’re not building even any doors in it. And we’re trapping ourselves in and losing the capability to evolve in our art form.
[00:11:29] Art within itself is the language and it requires practice. without being able to practice this art form with your surrounding of what your art form requires. you’re losing the capability of speaking that language. So. Without making it too dramatic. it is, it is a very self explanatory. You got to stay hungry, continue working on your craft and, be mindful that, you know, everything has something to teach you.
[00:11:57] My grandfather used to say, pay attention to a fly that passes by. You never know what you will learn from
[00:12:03] Dane: [00:12:03] it. I love that. That’s fantastic. And yes. Thank you for your insight on that. So let’s move to this next section to a time when I like to call your spotlight moment. That one moment in time that you realized, yes, I am going to be an entertainer for living, or maybe it was, yes, this is what I need to be doing as an entertainer.
[00:12:27] Tell us about that.
[00:12:31] Ilir Avdyli: [00:12:31] Unfortunately right now I’m, a lot more cooked. mentality-wise and therefore, my wildness into giving an opinion on it might, might be a little, you know, a little bit. Over the head, but to go back to that moment of feeling that, that spotlight spotlight, I felt it on my very, a very young age.
[00:12:53] I was 13 when I traveled for the first time outside of my country and full history is, as I said earlier, my country used to be under a socialistic communistic dictatorship for 45 years. And at the age of 12 or 13, I. Literally, I was in it just like the North Korea is right now. This is what I’ll be used to me.
[00:13:14]that situation, pretty much of me traveling outside the country for the first time I represented my country, you know, abroad gave me the opportunity to like see myself in a, in a, in a different angle to where. I feel like to this day, it’s, the, our moment. and actually I did write a show, in 2019 called, which it relates directly to the whole point of what it means to be at all with your, with your situations.
[00:13:40]Finding myself as an entertainer. It was not something that I made a decision on. I think I discovered it accidentally when people paid attention to my move or to my smile or to my run or to my jump. And these attentions that we as humans constantly look forward to be seen for, gave me that starting point of building on top of it.
[00:14:02] And I noticed that this industry provided quite a bit of that capability, that it came natural to me. So here I am today. And, and, and I, when I look back to seeing this is what I’m going to do is I’m going to become, it was not a choice. It kind of like, it kind of went through metamorphosis within, you know, situations of dancing and playing characters and either holding a couple of tunes in a certain show or playing a certain instrument in certain places.
[00:14:33] So, It, it, it was literally not a black and white decision. It just kind of melted into my everyday life. And here I am today.
[00:14:42] Dane: [00:14:42] Fantastic. That’s a great journey. And let’s piggyback on that question too. Your favorite or your number one, booked it moment. Walk us through that day, the auditions and call backs.
[00:14:57] If those happen to be part of it, what was going on in your life? And what about that moment? Makes it your favorite book moment?
[00:15:07] Ilir Avdyli: [00:15:07] I see, I think I have been lucky that I have, booked so many, Gigs and shows and productions and to, to try to remember one, it, it, it would, I would do it and adjust to, to the, the reality of how many, every single one of them has made an impact for me.
[00:15:32] When I, when I look at them on the plethora of their existence, I look back and I, and I miss that feeling to tell you the truth. Part of it had everything to do with not knowing. What I was faced with yet, the moment that I knew that I had a certain eye on me or certain smile of whoever was choosing the next production, it literally gave me hope to continue doing what I, what I thought I was doing good at that moment or what I thought.
[00:16:03] And it might’ve not been the actual, the professional move. It was not necessarily the. Perfect turns or jumps on or leaps that I did. It might have been just maybe a simple smile or maybe you’re just, you know, my hair spiked in a certain way that made it recognizable for the people that were auditioning me to look at me and not look at somebody else that maybe had worked harder on it, but the delivery was on the wrong timing.
[00:16:31] So, Yes, definitely. One of the main situations was when I won, I won first place for a TV show. I did one right before I came to the United States and it was a competition between about 150 performers. And definitely there was not. It doesn’t filter the description that you gave about, Oh, I booked it.
[00:16:54] It was literally, Oh my God, I want it. But it was the same feeling as when you win something in the audition. It was the same thing that I, I did a whole TV show to win this particular contest. Of course it definitely had a feeling of high and this feeling of high. As a performer will always follow you.
[00:17:15] Every time you get on stage, every time you prepare to get on stage, every time you get offered an opportunity to be on stage and describe your, your art form through a choreography or through dance or whatever gets to be given to you.
[00:17:31] Dane: [00:17:31] That’s fantastic. And I love that you mentioned that sometimes, you know, it’s maybe not that technical thing.
[00:17:38] It’s not the turns. It’s not the jumps. It’s maybe the simple smile. And I, I believe that so often that’s the stuff that is the make and break of getting, getting cast. because in my opinion, if you, if you’re in a room for, at an audition and you’re assuming that everyone could. Technically, you know, be cast in that show from a technical standpoint.
[00:18:03] Well then the fact that you can turn the fact that you can jump is just kind of your baseline, you know, it’s it’s what else are you bringing to it? What else are. Is special about
[00:18:12] Ilir Avdyli: [00:18:12] you. Exactly, exactly. And, the only thing that I can, the closest, in relations to the show that I did in Vegas called the rev.
[00:18:21]I do remember that, you know, we had additions every three months and, at times, the, the amount of. Dangers auditioning for the show were between three to 400 people. Every six months, this additions were happening. And I had booked this gig for eight and a half years. It’s, it’s mind boggling.
[00:18:45] And to think that it was only because I was the best dancer, it would be a lie if I were to, to, you know, lie to myself and just accept it as reality yet. To someone that hears it. It definitely is very impressive. Especially, you know, one of the best shows in Vegas that has been now for the past seven years.
[00:19:06] Dane: [00:19:06] Absolutely. I love LA rev. Seen it three times now.
[00:19:11] Ilir Avdyli: [00:19:11] You know what it takes?
[00:19:12] Dane: [00:19:12] Yeah. All right. Well, let’s talk about the present for a moment. What projects are you working on now? What are you looking forward to? And of course we are amidst this. Very unique global pandemic. How do you see the entertainment industry moving forward in the next couple of years?
[00:19:33] Ilir Avdyli: [00:19:33] As you said earlier, the entertainment industry now has morphed and just so many different forms. And so there’s no such a thing anymore as just, Oh, you should be a great dancer. I’ll wait a minute. What if you are an okay dancer and an okay singer and an okay. Painter and an okay. Musician yet you have all these four, four art forms conjoint into an art form that somewhat provides you a and an upper hand against the best dancer or the best singer or the best musician to where end up as a independent entity.
[00:20:15] They, they only, they’re only stuck on that one language form. So here I am now pretty much fell into the idea of writing shows, writing stories, coming up with the experience that are going through for this many years to articulate in within my internal form of what, what is a new language to describe an art form?
[00:20:45] The reality of art is the lie. We get to tell through art to discover the truth. And the, the more you are that is in the form of lie, the more truthful would become with the truth that we’re trying to sell to tell. Hmm. So . The projects that I’ve worked on lately. I, as I said earlier, I send you a link on my website.
[00:21:12] I wrote a show called that’s a okay. Without wanting to minimize it. It’s like a variety show, but just like a variety show. It described different stories to where there’s not a stop between the numbers. If that makes any sense. The show is concentrated in between the numbers. The numbers are so cold that between, the number shows, but the concentration is more into the connection of the members.
[00:21:42] It’s just like when we tell a story to where a word by itself might have a lot of meanings, depending on what the quality of the people that see it. Yet, if you take that word and you can join it to a noun or verb or to a, somewhat of a conjunction of words, then you’re describing a little story that takes you a little bit away from your experience, even though you recognize that word just on that experience.
[00:22:07] That you’ve had so fiddling with this personal art forms in a very personable space has made it my, my enjoyable, you know, new frontier. So, I did ride the show and this show pretty much has given me new opportunities to think outside the box. But even though with this. Pandemic coming around, that has faded away a little bit.
[00:22:29] The idea that, you know, creating an intimate show, it’s a little difficult with all this, you know, social distancing things. So, he’ll you have to, you have to wait now or adjust to becoming. Part of a, of a, of a social media guru. And in order to build up your art form within social media, you gotta be a guru in social media.
[00:22:54] And that takes either you want to invest in social media to where you recognize what the industry has, and also, invest in it to provide more people to go through your channel. Oh, you’ll just wait on the old fashion form to where, when the situation becomes as normal as it used to be to where you would operate the same old fashion, but we have to adjust and we have to go with what the situation provides.
[00:23:25] So here I am right now, just writing stories, putting shows together, thinking of different art forms that can join with one another. So what I mean by art form, I mean, different languages. They don’t necessarily have to be just things you paint or you sing or whatever. They can also be storytelling. And pretty much everything is a storytelling.
[00:23:46] So I try to go back to the roots of describing that form through that way. I
[00:23:51] Dane: [00:23:51] love that. And I love that you talked about the transitions and the, all the, between moments, because I remember being in dance classes and. Always, it was always being hammered into me. It’s the transitions. It’s a stuff between the big stuff that matters.
[00:24:10] And I love that you brought that up and highlighted that.
[00:24:14] Ilir Avdyli: [00:24:14] Glad to do that.
[00:24:16] Dane: [00:24:16] Great. Well, let’s move on to one of my favorite sections in the interview and I call it the grease lightning round. I’m going to ask you a handful of questions. I want you to answer them as quickly and concisely as possible one after another.
[00:24:31] Are you ready? Perfect. All right. First question. What was the one thing holding you back from committing to a career as an entertainer?
[00:24:43] Ilir Avdyli: [00:24:43] Economical situations,
[00:24:45] Dane: [00:24:45] right? Finances and things like this.
[00:24:47] Ilir Avdyli: [00:24:47] Yeah. To where either you have the opportunity to go do it, but it’ll take time before the money comes or you have to do this now until the money comes or so the financial situation is pretty much dictated the career.
[00:25:03] Dane: [00:25:03] Great. And second question. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
[00:25:11] Ilir Avdyli: [00:25:11] Stay hungry.
[00:25:13] Dane: [00:25:13] Love it. Third question. What is something that’s working for you now? Or if you’d like to go pre COVID, what was working for you before our industry went on pause
[00:25:27] Ilir Avdyli: [00:25:27] without wanting to go back to the very first thing of just learning how to breathe, which is something that most dancers at times forget how to do, but. What really kept me going is staying hungry and not necessarily focused, but staying, what do you call it? curious about everything that, that helped me then that has helped me now, because now stakers with everything you do, even when you’re not doing something, when you’re not told to do something
[00:25:55] Dane: [00:25:55] great.
[00:25:56] And the fourth question, what is. The best resource, whether that is a book, a movie, a podcast, a YouTube video, maybe some piece of technology you found that is helping your career right now,
[00:26:11] Ilir Avdyli: [00:26:11] a new world is a, is a book written by totally.
[00:26:17] Dane: [00:26:17] Yeah.
[00:26:18] Ilir Avdyli: [00:26:18] The basics of it has everything to do with recognizing our senses and our awareness.
[00:26:22] To where everything else describes itself.
[00:26:25] Dane: [00:26:25] I love that. I have read his, what is it called? The power of now, I believe is what it’s called. I’ve read that long time ago, but I think I’m gonna have to pick up that book as well.
[00:26:35] Ilir Avdyli: [00:26:35] They, they go in, in somewhat in, like a, like a, like a rainbow format. They kind of describe one another because it all goes back to the basics of how much our brain wants to lie.
[00:26:48] It wants to jump in conclusions directly because it wants us to keep working. it’s, it’s one of like, I I’ve thought from what I’ve read, I’ve, I’ve learned to understand that our brain is. It’s a hard headed one.
[00:27:03] Dane: [00:27:03] Yes. Agreed. All right. Well, fifth question. This is probably my favorite one. If you had to start your career from scratch, but still had all the knowledge and experience you’ve collected from your career in the entertainment industry, what would you do or not do?
[00:27:21] Would you do anything differently or the
[00:27:24] Ilir Avdyli: [00:27:24] same? I would not change a thing, but considering now that the glitch is that if I knew what I know now, I would have not done. I would have not, I would have not become the one that I am today. So it kinda, it kinda like it kinda, discard. It each other. But, if I were to take the hypothesis and kind of go down the ramp and kind of become a little bit of, Alice in Wonderland in this situation, the only thing that I would not want to change is the ability to.
[00:27:56] Be more aware when you’re younger, your, your, your hormones get in the way. It’s really hard to concentrate on some things on some epiphany is that they’re so beautiful that now they’re beautiful because you capable of seeing them. But then at that time, you, if you’re so bombarded with everything that the ability to enjoy that moment becomes.
[00:28:20] Just like a little picture that doesn’t move. Right.
[00:28:26] Dane: [00:28:26] I can absolutely relate to that with all sorts of experiences that I look back on in my late teens, early twenties, that you look back and I’m like, wow, I really didn’t take the time to properly absorb what I was experiencing. And now, now it would be a completely.
[00:28:46] Different experience for me if I went there because, you know, I think I feel like I slowed down a little bit. I, I take time to appreciate things a little bit more. and I can imagine in another 20 years it’s going to be that all over again.
[00:28:58] Ilir Avdyli: [00:28:58] Definitely. So the hardest part about it, even to some extent, to some other artists who somewhat have created the opportunity to.
[00:29:07] Somewhat have had this, a different ease of awareness at that moment, the capacity of the experiences have not allowed to create room, to be, even be able to, to allow the sippy for me to stay there and recognize it because usually it would push you to want to do something else. It’s almost like, you know, when you have the opportunity of, would you ever want to buy the best car, that you already have?
[00:29:34] No, because you already have it. So going back and wanting to have the same thing you already had, but now you have the awareness. You’ve already recognized it for what it is. And without trying to play too much into the words. Yes, I, I wish I, my awareness was more noticeable. I wish my ability. That that had been taught to me was not so structured.
[00:29:57] I would have hoped that it was a little bit more opened into the capabilities yet. In the meantime, without that structure, I wouldn’t have not been able to remember it as I remember it now. So it’s like a, a two sided face. It’s kind of hard to say, Oh no, I like to be happy now. I like to be sad. It’s like a give and take.
[00:30:17] Dane: [00:30:17] For sure. All right. Well last question. What is the golden nugget knowledge drop you’ve learned from your career in this industry that you would like to leave with? Our listeners
[00:30:30] Ilir Avdyli: [00:30:30] make the best with what you have. Yeah. Wonder with as much as you can, but. Make the best of what you have. It’s kinda like, my, my, my grandmother used to say all the time.
[00:30:43] You should definitely dream all the time, but make sure the head, your feet on
[00:30:48] Dane: [00:30:48] the ground. Yes. If we can’t dream it, it can’t ever become reality. But true. There is the practicality to now.
[00:30:59] Ilir Avdyli: [00:30:59] That’s exactly it.
[00:31:01] Dane: [00:31:01] Wonderful. Well, Aliyah, to wrap up this interview, it is time to give yourself a plug. So where can we find you?
[00:31:09] How do our listeners connect with you? Is there anything you want to promote?
[00:31:13] Ilir Avdyli: [00:31:13] Oh yeah. I mean, the basics would be a go into my Instagram lately. I’ve not been very active there because part of being at home and kind of doing self. Rejuvenation of thoughts and so far and so on, it has not been a good time to share, but I also have my website.
[00:31:36] I ate productions that come and OSHA also, there’s a link there to my show and, I have a sneak peek on, on things that this production company is capable of doing and with providing choreographies and dentures and so far and so on and new ways of, of marketing strategies and for corporate events and venues.
[00:31:59] Dane: [00:31:59] Perfect. And what is your personal Instagram handle
[00:32:03] Ilir Avdyli: [00:32:03] is earlier a V 11.
[00:32:07] Dane: [00:32:07] Perfect. Thanks for that. Well, Aliyah, thank you so much once again, for joining us today and being on this episode, it’s been great having you.
[00:32:18] Ilir Avdyli: [00:32:18] Thank you, Dan. It’s been a pleasure.
[00:32:21] Dane: [00:32:21] Thank you so much for joining us today. My one call to action for you is to go to youbookeditpodcast.com and join our free email community.
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[00:32:54] All the best to you. We’ll see you tomorrow.