How To Support Friends in Burlesque Competitions

Notifications are going out for The Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekender, and many people are understandably in their feelings. Competition both challenges performers to take their art form to another level, and challenges members of the community to remain gracious and compassionate. I wrote this article to share my perspective on how be supportive of people who have decided to compete. Whether or not you believe in competition, it exists, so I'm hoping everyone can find their best intentions and enjoy the ride!

"11. Make it about the performance, not the title. It’s totally possible that your friend may be a better performer than the winner, but did not win. This is not a huge betrayal of them and their passion. It is simply the outcome of a pageant that was made up by somebody and that some other people decided to take seriously and that came out that way on that particular night. Also, there are people with fantastic international careers who have never competed or have competed but not won a title. Generally speaking, no actual harm has been done – to your friend, or to our occasionally grandiose art form. In many cases you can honestly tell them, “You were good enough to win, I don’t know why you didn’t” without getting into a hater loop about whoever did win, or the judges, or the unjust world at large. Hater loops are bad for everybody."

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Photo credit
Jo Weldon performing a tribute to Gypsy Rose Lee on Legends' Night at The Burlesque Hall of Fame (not competing). By Michael Albov - Flickr: Jo Boobs aka Jo Weldon, CC BY 2.0,

If you find this article useful, please consider buying me a cup of coffee! I've been publishing hundreds of thousands of words of advice for free for over a decade, and I appreciate the recognition of the work that goes into it.


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