Showing posts from April, 2011

Is it appropriate or inappropriate for performers to bring their own contracts for producers of shows, big or little, to sign that include information such as pay, photo and video rights and release, call times, ect. It seems like small town shows are som

Your question is cut off after "smalltown shows are som..." The annoying answer to this is, it depends. The majority of smaller shows that take place in bars aren't going be remotely interested in contracts. If you don't want to be filmed or have your picture taken, or have specific requests about such, you should by no means be expected to violate your limits. It can be a challenge to work with a show that has been operating as it is for several years and bring a contract that asks them to change their standards for one performer--although there is certainly nothing wrong with making suggestions or voicing opinions, or with sticking by what you need to have or do in order to feel that you are being treated correctly (which often means not taking the gig). I believe it's important for performers to tell shows when they feel their policies are unfair or exploitative. However, it gets tough when other performers in the show are satisfied and don't feel exploited

Chair Dance

Every time I teach a chair dance class, I end up thinking not of strip tease, but of some of my favorite examples of ways to play on a classic chair dance. Here are a few clips for inspiration and amusement! Bearlesque Office Olympics Janet Jackon

A local burlesque school is holding its graduation show in a few weeks and half of the new performers have chosen stage names already in use by established burlesque performers. What is the proper way to handle this situation?

This is a tough one. Issues with stage names have been coming up almost weekly lately. I tell my students that commonality--a name that is the same as or too similar to existing names--is a real detriment to their career potential. I think it's fair to let them know! Here's a document I'm working on to help students avoid difficulties with their names. It's open to comments and suggestions! I welcome critique of this, descriptions of names you like, and madeup examples of names you don't like, as long as you say why ("It's self-explanatory" really isn't.) THE NAME GAME It can be very confusing to come up with a stage name. New performers want their names to sound burlesquey, but they risk coming up with a name that will make them blend in with the crowd. If they try to hard to avoid blending in with the crowd, they run the risk of having too difficult of a name. However, chances are good that if they come up with a name that feels more personal, t

Shoes. I am a flat-shoe girl trying to break into a high heel world. Do you recommend a style to start with (I just wobble on stilettos, and it restricts my movements) and some sources to start with?Thank you in advance!

Take your time, and don't worry about working your way up to the very highest heel. Dita Von Teese has her Louboutins, strip joint strippers their lucite Pleasers, but for most of us in burlesque, anything over four inches is a bit much. True, I have my eight-inch lucite tip jar shoes, but I wear them only when I'm hosting, and not when I'm dancing. You can start in character shoes. Take a look at some here: / Then try these sparklers once you get comfortable in character shoes, available from New York School of Burlesque friend PinupGirl Clothing: Many New York burlesquers are addicted to Pollys, available in various versions from Pinup Girl, Betsey Johnson, Patricia Field, Bordello Shoes, and on Ebay. I love them so much I wrote an article about them: Personally, I can be in a terrible mood, but the minute I step

Burlesque Hall of Fame 2011 TOURNAMENT OF TEASE

From BHOF: We’re thrilled to announce the lineup for BHOF Weekend’s 21st annual Tournament of Tease. Dubbed “The Superbowl of Striptease” (Seattle Post-Intelligencer), “The Grand National–The Oscars–of burlesque striptease” (London Daily Telegraph) and “The world’s top showcase of international burlesque entertainers” (Las Vegas Sun), the Saturday night competition features top-flight entertainers from around the globe, each hoping to earn coveted specialty titles and their place among the Burlesque Hall of Fame’s 2011 royal court. BEST DEBUT Angelique DeVil (Portland, OR) Charlotte Treuse (Portland, OR) Ginger Valentine (Dallas, TX) Imogen Kelly (Sydney, Australia) Iva Handfull (Seattle, WA) LouLou D’vil (Tampere, Finland) Minnie Tonka (Brooklyn, NY) Miss La Vida (Auckland, New Zealand) Randi Rascal (Seattle, WA) Stella LaRocque (Chicago, IL) BEST BOYLESQUE Bazuka Joe (Chicago, IL ) Captain Kidd (Brisbane, Australia) Jett Adore (Chicago, IL) Mahogany Storm (Toronto

Interview with Burlesque Legend Dee Milo.

With their express permission, I teach the moves certain legends of burlesque have taught directly to me. One of my favorites is the one I call "The Dee Milo," a naughty little forward bump n bend move that Dee did in the 1950s and still does today. Dee performs regularly at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Reunions, has taught there and at Burlycon, and traveled to New York last year to perform in our Mother's Day Burlesque Show. You can learn her move from my book--or better yet, go to Las Vegas this June and see her perform yourself! In anticipation of that fabulous weekend, I'm reposting my interview with Dee, for your pleasure. Image from The Las Vegas Sun. When did you get into burlesque? 1949. How did you come up with your stage name? My manager wanted to keep it short to fit on marquees. Since my name is Dorothy we used Dee, and then we used "Milo" so I could be called the "Venus of Dance." Where did you begin? New Orleans. I had great

The Burlesque Handbook Wins an Award!

The book's designer, Paula Szafranski at HarperCollins, won an award from the Book Industry Guild of New York for the design of The Burlesque Handbook! It was a pleasure to be able to work with Paula and I was so thrilled when I first saw her design. It's a real honor to be associated with her work! You can look inside the book here and see her fabulous work. Tamara's copy. Learn more about the Book Industry Guild. I've been a lucky lucky lucky lady to be working with Paula, Rakesh Satyal, and the other amazing folks at HarperCollins!

Burlesque Photo Group on Flickr!

There are over ten thousand photos of burlesque performers in our flickr group. Check it out and add your own photos!

Ms Tickle

Photo by me, 2002, at Sutie 16. I've been performing with Ms. Tickle for over 10 years, and her quote in my handbook is one of my favorites: "A burlesque number is a short theatrical piece that uses the human body and the processes of "the reveal" to communicate an idea or concept. Burlesque is recognition, kinship, livelihood, self-inquiry, struggle, and a million laughs." "Wings of Desire"

I am having a very hard time coming up with a stage name! Are there any tips in your book? Do you have any suggestions on how to come up with a good stage name? Thanks!

There are lots of tips in my book for coming up with a stage name. One of them is that if you're planning to perform, you want to make sure that your name is not to similar to a name in use by an exisitng performer so that people don't get you confused. Doing research of this kind is very important. In class, I usually tell people to start out by just playing with names and having fun with the process before they settle on anything. I always love to have my students play a name game in which they use the name of a flower and the name of a cheese. It loosens them up and gets them thinking about the rhythm of an appealing name. I even posted a burlesque name generator several years ago to get them going. / But you can choose any kind of name that feels right to you. <iframe src="