Perth's very own pinup queen, burlesque artist, producer, & blogger.
I recently posted onto Facebook letting everyone know that if they have any questions regarding burlesque, pinup or vintage lifestyle to send them through to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, I’ve had a wonderful response from several ladies, of which I will be making a few blogs of most frequently asked questions. Today I’m writing this blog for the beautiful Steffie who has emailed me asking about how one becomes a burlesque performer.
A lot of people who wish to get into burlesque often start my mastering vintage styling, practicing hair, makeup and costuming. In burlesque performances if you neglect any aspects of this, it will really bring down your performances, no matter how talented you are. These things can be found through hair and makeup classes and workshops, books and magazines or just through blogs and YouTube tutorials. There are countless resources both off and online that will help you with everything related to styling and burlesque.
I also recommend extensively researching burlesque online and getting as many books as possible on the subject. One of my favourite books on burlesque in regards to the fundamentals and how to start out is The Burlesque Handbook by Jo “Boobs” Weldon, I’ve read this book at least 4 times, and becomes more fabulous every read, this book is perfect no matter what level your at! In burlesque there is a great appreciation of history, so it’s important to have a thorough understanding of this.
The reason of doing this before beginning classes (if you’re serious about getting into performing) is that it will allow you to choose a good dance school, and give you an understanding of burlesque that you’re able to further explore with a teacher. There are a lot of fantastic places to learn burlesque, but there are also a few that are more on “pussycat doll” style of performing, which you may wish to specialise in, but its best to learn the traditional basics, and build on from there. Its best look thoroughly into the school you’re thinking of enrolling into, ensure that all the teachers have a good amount of experience, and facilities have decent dance floors, mirrors, and cater for the number of students. The troupe I work for, Lady Velvet Cabaret (http://www.ladyvelvet.com.au), teaches a range of courses including burlesque taken by the fabulous Sugar Du Joure, the course explores history and fundamentals, basic moves, characters, personas, and stage names, hair, makeup and costuming, body confidence, how to choreograph and in the who duration of the course learning a basic group burlesque routine you have the option to perform at one of Lady Velvet Cabaret’s graduation shows. Its important to act professional to everyone you meet including fellow students, teachers and guests at shows, all of these people have the potential to be clients, employers, promoters or someone else who may help you on your journey, my current boss I met through showgirl classes when 16!
The biggest mistake most new performers make is as soon as they’ve performed one show, they think they’ve become a professional and start promoting themselves this way. Word of mouth travels fast, and if you’re not up to a high quality, you won’t get hires. Its best before this to learn as much as possible, not just in burlesque but other styles of vintage dance and dramatic arts so you’re able to display variety on stage. Don’t forget you’re never too good to go back to the basics.
Once you feel confident, and you’ve created a small collection of performances if you’re based in Perth I recommend applying for troupes and performance company which will require you to audition at a small scale show or private audition at a studio. If you’re in a location where troupes are mainly just for group performances you’ll work on a freelance basis, starting with small shows and building your reputation through these and how you promote yourself. Either way its important to promote yourself well online, remembering what you post online can be seen by everyone, so keep it to the highest level of professionalism.
Above everyone never give up on your dreams; your passion is what will take you places!
If you have any question about burlesque pinup or vintage lifestyle feel free to send them through to email@example.com!