Answer to an Email.
I receive quite a few emails about burlesque, often asking “How do I become a performer/pinup model?” or “where can I learn burlesque?”, but this morning I logged on to read an email that really caught my interest, it was from a student and friend of mine, a snip from her email includes:
“I’ve been wanting to get back into burlesque, but my current boyfriend has a MASSIVE problem with it. He hates the idea of me performing and even doing classes! I have no idea how to convince him that it’s really not anything to be worried about. I probably wouldn’t even perform!?”
Now this question too has been an issue for me, and many other girls, but you don’t really see many forums, blogs, websites, or magazines with ideas on how to deal with this situation. There are so many aspects that come into play, a few include:
- For the most part, your partner may have issue with Burlesque, if they’ve never actually seen it before. They’ll assume its actually stripping or a gateway to becoming a stripper, not that I have anything against strippers. The best way to get around this is to them to actual show, everyone has their assumptions until they see it. My partner was completely against burlesque, until he came and saw a show. In regards to the “gateway”, I’ve been performer professionally in Burlesque for over two years, and never considered to work in a strip club.
- The end of my last point brings me to the difference between stripping and burlesque, which I could write an endless essay about, and their are so many blogs and articles on this topic they could sink the Titanic. Burlesque in theatre, you plan an act, choose a song, have a spectacular planned routine, make an elaborate costume, have opulent hair and makeup and so many other aspects the “general” public wouldn’t consider, you’re a performer who does set shows, with rarely any interaction with the audience (they watch and cheer, but do not touch), there are also no lap dances, or anything like this, its a performance not a service. We’re never naked on stage, if you choose to go down to pasties and underwear, you’re still fully covered. I’m generalising in both way here, some burlesque dancers have other ways of working, and so do some strippers, I’m speaking for my experience mainly though. (I’ve not included every difference, just a few main points, if you’d like more drop me an email).
Gypsy Rose Lee is one of the most celebrated Peelers from the Golden Age of Burlesque, she often only removed a strap and crowd would go insane. Proof you don't need to take it all off.
- In burlesque everything is up to YOU, no one else, you, its your art, and you decide what direction it goes in, you don’t have to end up in pasties, g-string and spinning in a martini glass, about four girls in my burlesque troupe have NEVER gone on stage with pasties, and they’re more than amazing. There are so many different styled performers, from classic, to vaudeville, to gorelesque. Everything is decided by you.
Don’t let anyone hold your dreams back. I hope this of use to you if you’ve had this issue. I’d also love to hear if and how you dealt with this issue if you’ve had it.