Bella Besame - burlesque blog

Feb12

Breaking into Burlesque

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…

 

 

 

'Ah you wanted a CLASSIC Burlesque fan dance?!'

‘Ah you wanted a CLASSIC Burlesque fan dance?!’

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.

 

 

 

Miss Khandie Khisses at the Slippery Belle Leeds...not being a dick!

Miss Khandie Khisses at the Slippery Belle Leeds…not being a dick!

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My debut was in that film, erm, what's it called? I do so many these days...

My debut was in that film, erm, what’s it called? I do so many these days…

Be honest

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.

 

 

 

The audience at the beginning of a standing ovation at The Slippery Belle Presents...BURLESQUE! at The Lowry

The audience at the beginning of a standing ovation at The Slippery Belle Presents…BURLESQUE! at The Lowry

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.

Harsh? Maybe.

True. Abso-fucking-lutely.

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…

 

 

 

Burlesque Manchester burlesque show burlesque performers

Crimson Skye and I trying to out improvise each other…if there is even such a thing!

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.

 

 

 

THE fear

Shine as brightly as the burlesque star you admire. You deserve it x

Shine as brightly as the burlesque star you admire. You deserve it x

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’.

STOP!

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!

 

 

 

Lady J and Bella Besame celebrating a successful show

Lady J and Bella Besame celebrating a successful show

Enjoy it!

Sounds obvious but have fun, make friends & laugh! Life is too short to do anything else.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be individual

Rusty Von Chrome is a perfect example of a burlesque performer with a 'USP'! Taken at The Slippery Belle - Leeds. Photo courtesy of the amazing Laurie Cooper-Murray 2015.

Rusty Von Chrome is a perfect example of a burlesque performer with a ‘USP’! Taken at The Slippery Belle – Leeds. Photo courtesy of the amazing Laurie Cooper-Murray 2015

I want you to think of a burlesque performer who absolutely blows your socks off.

 

Got one?

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Support your local burlesque shows!

Support your local burlesque shows!

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!

 

 

 

 

10 Comments

  1. fallulah frambois

    Very apt. I often doubt myself but the first routine I ever did at the end of our classes with you got me asked for many times. Be yourself people

  2. Clair Dunphy

    Loved this Bella, didn’t expect any less from you, a fab blog to go with an inspirational performer/business woman/mother 😉 Bravo xxx

  3. Lynne

    I loved reading this Bella ❣

  4. Vanessa

    Love this blog already… and so beautifully designed.. cant wait for the next post x

  5. Cin

    Your just so lovely!!
    I cannot wait to meet you in person.
    So much awesome advice.

  6. Elizabeth

    Just like you to the point and what you see is what you get. Be yourself, be true to yourself and whatever else enjoy yourself and laugh! Xx

  7. Julie Timson

    Love your first blog, well done!

  8. Kiki deVille

    Great advice from a great lady! xxx

  9. Fleur de Lille

    Really enjoyed reading your words and looking forward to reading some more

  10. sikis izle

    This should be the best collection of blogging website i ever found out.

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