Welcome to my blog – grab a gin, take off those mules & put your tootsies up! But I warn you, this isn’t for the faint hearted…
When applying for work – THINK!
I can’t count the amount of times someone has applied for a show & put ‘Dear Belle’ as an opener. ALWAYS make sure you have spelt the producer’s name & all other details with regards to what you are applying for.
Not only is it basic manners but if you can’t get their name right, how can they trust that you’ll follow basic instructions connected to the show?
Also, when applying for a casting call if the requirement says ‘will only accept video footage’ and you don’t have any, don’t offer photos of your costume instead. If it asks for something specific & you don’t fit the bill, don’t apply.
There is plenty of work & there *will* be something that you are perfect for. It’s just not that particular job.
Don’t be a dick!
I have known countless performers who started out gracious, polite & friendly only to get a bit of applause, maybe a fairly decent gig, become rhinestone-blinded & then start acting like a bitch.
Don’t do it. It IS noticed, people will remember it. My fellow performer, Khandie Khisses lives by this phrase too. Be nice folks, it will get you further in the long run.
I once had a performer cancel 3 hours before a gig due to her father dying. I sent flowers and condolences. A month later I found out it wasn’t true, she had a bad hangover on the day of the show & lied. I would’ve had more respect for her if she had been honest & rebooked her, anyone can make a mistake.
Obviously that is an extreme case but ’embellishing the truth’ about your experience/where you’ve performed/what your acts consist of/who you’re best mates with WILL get found out. Don’t do it.
Be proud of you today, not the person you think other people want you to be.
Work damn hard
There are so many acts out there where you can see that the person has got carried away with the ‘anybody can do burlesque’ mantra. Anybody can *try* to perform burlesque, but it’s another question whether that burlesque is good or not.
In order to do the art form justice it involves hard work; watching your rehearsal videos again & again & again then correcting, improving then making your performance as perfect as it can be, practising your facial expressions in front of the camera/mirror, taking extra classes to improve your lines/flexibility/timing, spending hours scouring Ebay/thrift shops/charity shops to find the perfect costume pieces, knowing your routine so well that you *feel* it – it becomes part of your muscle memory. Saying that…
Be prepared to improvise
Sometimes costumes malfunction. Sometimes music skips. Or you simply lose your place in your routine for one reason or another. The key is listening to your track hundreds of times, rehearsing until someone could fast forward/rewind the music but you’d know *exactly* how long is left of that track AND where you’re meant to be at that point.
If you do have to improvise, don’t panic!
It can be wonderful for an artist & you can learn things that you never would’ve realised about your routine otherwise.
It hits all of us at some point.
ALL of us…
‘Oh god look how incredible her costume is!’
‘Why didn’t I think of that? I’m so uncreative’
‘I wish I could do funny/sexy/slinky/fierce. If only I could be like X’
‘ I’m shit, why do I do this? I may as well quit’.
Don’t listen to that horrible voice in your head. You are not performer X! How dull would it be if we all did similar routines?! Yawn, yawn, yawn!
As long as you are working your ass off & sure you’re doing the very best you can, you’ve GOT THIS!
Sounds obvious but have fun, make friends & laugh! Life is too short to do anything else.
I want you to think of a burlesque performer who absolutely blows your socks off.
I bet they’re not similar to a lot of other acts you’ve seen. Look at what’s different about them; how do they hold themselves? what makes them entertaining? what makes them special? Now you need to get your very own USP (if you will).
This doesn’t mean copying your idol.
Imitation is most definitely not the highest form of flattery!
FINALLY – Support shows!
Go to as many as you can. Get inspired.
Especially support your local scene & be loud and proud about it – who knows, you may be treading their boards soon enough…
That’s all for now folks, thanks for reading. Have a beautiful weekend! Mwah!