Using Social Media In Your Burlesque Career: Facebook (Business of Burlesque)

Facebook can be a boon or a bane to your burlesque career, depending on how you use it. Here are some tips to help you make the most of the site, which is still one of the most common places for people to find casting calls for burlesque shows.

A list of fhings to keep in mind:

If you get caught up in petty drama, a lot of producers will quietly decide not to work with you. If you present professionally, you'll make great connections. Use the platform mindfully, cautiously, soberly.

Above all, keep in mine that your social media faces your audience. Ideally, there are more audience memebrs than burlesque performers, otherwise we're in trouble! Make your social media as appealing ot audiences as can be. Get them interested in you! If the audience wants you, producers will want you -- simple as that.

When you start out, you can post about your journey, your inspirations, your costume projects, anything you like! You can post to Instagram, an important resource for the burlesque industry (even though it, like Facebook, can be censored and unfriendly to nightlife, so make sure to back everything up -- this why we have websites as well), and you can feed your Instagram to your Facebook (see how to do so in Instagram's help center). People love to see performances come together. Your journey is the most unique thing about you, so be as authentic as you can -- if some of your inspirations aren't burlesque, share that too. Talk about your excitement, your nervousness, your antipation. Talk about your pets! Look at the instagrams of working burlesquers and see how varied they are. Of course if they're established they have fewer concerns about attracting an audience, because the REAL key to getting booked in the long run is repeat engagements -- but you can still see by any burlesquer's Instagram that they are all using their true interests and aesthetics and inspirations to build their online presence.

It's best to have a separate Facebook account for all your burlesque activity. Post your favorite burlesque photos and other media of yourself, whether in costume, in rehearsal, or candid.

A list of useful groups are at the end of this article. Feel free to add others you've found in the comments. 

Read the group guidelines through the posts going back a few months before you introduce yourself. It's easy to get bounced out of a group if you don't follow the guidelines.

It's up to you to decide what's petty and what's professional -- honestly, those are personal standards and boundaries. If you do your best to live up to your professional standards, you'll find people who share your values. 

Make sure you have clear contact information available.

Remember that producers will be able to see every single thing you post. If your page is intended to be professional, start there. If you want to be a performer who shares more intimate details and feelings, again, that is valid and will help you find people with whom you are compatible. If you want to keep personal experiences out of it, that's valid in the exact same way. It's up to you, who you want to work with and perform for and meet. 

No matter how imperfect you are, some people will want to work with you.

No matter how perfect you are, some people won't want to work with you.

If you're new, it's okay to be new. There are those who cannot wait to work with new performers, just as there are those who would rather not. It's about compatibility. Not everyone has to love what you do. You just want to do your best to find everyone who will.

If you're experienced in another field of performance, know that although your experience adds to your value, it doesn't secure your position in burlesque. You may have to take a little time to get known.

Complaining on Facebook about not getting booked, unless it's a social justice issue, is unlikely to get you booked.

One caveat for all social media: Remember that all personal messages are admissible in a court of law. Do not repeat anything negative that you encounter, especially in print in any form of media, including email and video, unless you are sure it is true, even if others have freely done so.

Use multiple search terms and key words to find what you're looking for. Try "queer burlesque" "LGBTQIA+ burlesque" "LGBT burlesque" etc.; "global burlesque" "international burlesque" "traveling burlesque performers" etc.; "online shows" "virtual shows" "zoom shows" "live on zoom shows" "prerecorded shows.," etc. Keep going -- whatever you're looking for, it's out there!

In order to find Facebook groups relevant to your region, remember to search for variations of your region plus the world burlesque. For instance, "New York Burlesque" "NY Burlesque" "New York City Burlesque" "NYC Burlesque" "NYC Online Burlesque" "Manhattan Burlesque" "Queens Burlesque" "Brooklyn Burlesque" etc.

Below are a few NYC-oriented and national groups. Go in and scroll down and study the posts, make sure you conform to each group's individual guidelines for use, and above all, take your time. No need to jump in with a barrage of questions -- take your time, see who's posting there, see what they're like. And remember, many, many producers aren't there -- but many are!

The New York School of Burlesque

NYC Burlesque Shows

NYC Burlesque Performers

The Burlesque Hall of Fame:


Ecdysiast Costumer:

Feel free to suggest other groups in the comments! This blog is oriented toward New York City and the New York School of Burlesque Community, but people from all over the world use it. Which groups have you found useful, or would like to find? Have you created a group?


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