Having worked with video production teams looking to interview people about their art, product, service or activity, we've discovered that one thing almost always holds true: In order to effectively help tell your story, some kind of background information on you, your company or your event will be needed.
The most preferred way of getting that info out is via a biography - or a bio for short.
A bio is a written history of a person's life. It doesn't necessarily have to contain everything that's happened since you drew your first breath, but it should contain the basic information of where you were born or grew up, how you began doing what you do, your influences and the like. Ideally, you want to write it in third person (SHE did such and such as opposed to I grew up...) and a quote from you that sort of encapsulates how you feel about your passion is a nice touch as well.
What your bio shouldn't do is create more questions than it answers - and if you start it by telling only when you created your business or when sold your first painting or theme song, it will do exactly that.
So begin at the beginning. Was it a parent, teacher, family friend or person on TV that first got you interested in your passion? Did you begin dancing, singing or performing in grade school or were you a late bloomer who started in high school or after? Did you have a dramatic career shift or was your path to where you are now a straight one? What was the turning point that made you decide that doing this was what you would do for the rest of your life?
In other words, tell the whole story. Sure, there will be nuances that will come out during your interview, but the person conducting the interview won't know the framework unless you give them an outline from which to draw. Inquiring minds want to know, they really do.
Don't forget to mention any collaborations, regular activities (like a weekly, monthly or annual event) and what is next on the horizon. Even if you don't, chances are that the last thing your interviewer will ask of you is exactly what's coming up next.
Artists who have had regular gallery appearances or performers who have been part of various productions might want to also list where their work has appeared or might have been seen. Rest assured: in a bio, you really can't give too much information about yourself.
And by all means, don't be afraid to toot your own horn. If your work appeared on the New York Times Best Seller list, you starred in a play or movie with a huge celebrity, an ensemble you danced in was choreographed by a big name in the business or your last EP was mentioned in Rolling Stone magazine, say so. It's hardly bragging if it's true, so...
Your bio is your time to polish your accomplishments and put them on display in all their spit-shined glory. Make sure it gleams by getting someone with strong writing skills to help you craft yours or by hiring a company like ours to put it together with you. Don't wait until you are asked to produce one to have it at the ready. Especially if you are a creative looking to show the world your stuff, your bio should be the one thing you always want to include with your work.
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