Perth Based Burlesque Artist | Pinup Model | Vintage Blogger
“You gotta have a gimmick” – A fantastic line from the 1962 film “Gypsy” about one of the world’s most celebrated peelers ever, Gypsy Rose Lee. This song goes into the importance of having a “thing”; something that makes you stand out from the crowd. But is having a special talent, skill or something that makes you stand out from the crowd enough? I’ve seen so many different acts during my time performing and viewing performances, some good and some spectacular, but without a character your talent isn’t nearly as amazing as it could be. Character can be the difference between a good act and an inspiring dazzling performance.
For most of us, when we start burlesque, or another performing art we firstly develop ourselves as well as our tricks of the trade. As a burlesque artist we create a persona for stage which is our character, we think “do I want to comical and cute, or a dark temptress?” “How do I want the audience to view me?” I think its best to write down all the attributes of what you wish your character to be, and really develop this character, how would they talk? How do they walk? Are they sexy, classy or clumsy? Think of them as a person, how everything would effect them. And use all of these in making your routine. Having this will add so much structure and make choreography so much easier!
Stay true to yourself, exaggerate what you believe your positive qualities are (cute, sexy, dark, and the list goes on), unless you have a lot of performing experience or have a lot of acting experience, it can be hard to pull of a character that really isn’t you, and may not work on stage. If this is the case, and you still really wish to take on this persona, you can work on it, and seek training to improve you skills to make your dream come true.
Its important unless intentional and making sense with your routine (i.e.. a part of your narrative), to not swap between a cute house wife and a dark character(as an example), make sure it flows with your routine, and isn’t all over the place, you want to have a clean, sharp beautiful routine whether your falling on your face or classically performing the art of the tease. This doesn’t mean you can’t change between characters though! You have the creativity to be whatever you like in each act, your not refined to one character for the rest of your career!
I dreamt from the age of 14 to be a pinup and to perform burlesque, and it all came true, don’t let anybody hold you back from what you want in life no matter how old or young (with under 18 excluded for starting burlesque, its a long wait thats worth it). These aspects can also be applied to many fields, including modelling!