How to get gigs as a burlesque performer…using cake… 

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How to get gigs as a burlesque performer…using cake… 


I’d like you, if you’d be so kind, to imagine you’ve met up with an old friend and gone for cake.  


The café has loads of different slices with tonnes of variety to choose from. But what are you going to choose?  

Would you pick the slightly mushed up carrot slice that looks messily smudged? The Victoria sponge that you’ve had before and you know is ok but a bit boring? The Black Forrest gateaux that still has miniature icicles on it as it’s not been properly defrosted?  

Or would you choose the scrum-diddly-umptious, gorgeous, fuck-me-this-is-AMAZING, glistening cake that looks absolutely incredible and is far bigger than all the other portions available to you on the display?! The cake that if it had a voice would sound like a cross between Barry Adamson and Joanna Lumley?! The cake that inspired the M&S adverts?! 

When you’re looking for gigs you need to start at the beginning; thinking outside of the plain vanilla sponge that you can get anywherewhat are you going to create to make you in demand?! You don’t have to decide that you’re going to go on the wild side and only do wasabi cakes. You can always do a wasabi one if you wish but then mix it up and go for a praline flavour for your next one, then a raspberry roulade…the world is your oyster (cake!) Bear in mind that pre 2004, cupcakes and Red Velvet weren’t really a ‘thing‘. Then Hummingbird bakery basically threw that sugary goodness at us and now look at the rampant market for both things! You CAN create your own trend but only if you have something very special and different to offer. 

Get the best ‘ingredients’ you can buy, we all know that organic/free range taste better and it’s better to support good practise. If there’s an independent, good quality costumier that won’t send your bank manager a’knocking at your door order your stuff from them. Primarni is brilliant but it only lasts for so long as isn’t designed for professional wear plus you want to stand out from the crowd, not blend in...where you can hear someone in the front row saying ‘I’ve got that bra set!’ It takes away a little of the magic in my humble opinion. 

The same goes for music. Buy the goddam track! Yes it may cost you a couple of pounds when you could get it for free elsewhere but you want the quality of sound to reflect YOUR quality on stage! Nobody likes a echo-eyfuzzy oven while their gorgeous ingredients are baking. The same goes for make-up. It is an art form in itself. Watch as many tutorials as you can to achieve your desired look. Make your cake look as epic as it tastes! 

It isn’t all about pretty though.  Yes it’s great if cakes *look* delicious, but it’s how they taste that really sells them for most people. There will always be ones that don’t taste as great as they look, and that’s ok. Some people want a great looking cake and aren’t that bothered about the taste. Most people however will have fond memories of a particular, incredible tasting cake, one that they would love to recreate themselves but are unable to.  


THAT, my darling, is the cake you want to be. 


Be unique, be delicious, be the god-damn tastiest cake you possibly can be.  


I look forwards to seeing you bake, shake and stake your place in this crazy world <3  

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Bella Besame with the Slippery Belle at the Lowry In Manchester