Showing posts from January, 2022

February 2022 Classes at the New York School of Burlesque!

Get ready for a fantastic roster of classes coming up in February! All of our instructors are accomplished burlesque artists! This month: Briq House, Gigi Holliday, The Maine Attraction, Miss Poison Ivory, Rosie Cheeks, and Headmistress Jo Weldon. All classes are in-person in NYC unless otherwise noted. All classes are suitable for all levels unless otherwise noted. Please share about these classes! We appreciate your support on social media and in word-of-mouth. Flirting With Burlesque Live Online Are you Burlesque-Curious? Get acquainted with our fancy performing art in this fun and friendly class, featuring simple moves that will get you into the burlesque groove! Essential Burlesque This series features four workshops, each focusing on a different mode of burlesque solo movement with props. Props include your own clothes, plus our chairs, feather fans, boas, gloves, and even tasseled pasties! Burlesque Improv and Choreogr

How to Support this Blog

Several people have asked how they can support this blog. Thank you for your kindness! Originally begun on the legacy site G-strings Forever in 2001, this blog has been present to support new burlesquers since the early neo-burlesque movement. For over 15 years, Jo Weldon has been producing free content on the internet for people who want to begin to learn burlesque. She has included articles related to costuming, movement, composition, choreography, getting hired, producing shows, interviews with Legends and other burlesque cultural leaders, and so much more. How can you support it in return? All you need to do is praise it to other people! In this age where virtual word of mouth is everything and algorithms fight against older sites, especially those with adult-related media, the best thing you can do is to tell people about it. Share posts and quotes with enthusiasm. Let people know what this site did for you. Help a neo-burlesque elder and pioneer keep her legacy alive. Bu

How to Prepare for a Press Interview

Pro Tips: How to Prepare for a Press Interview Experts on achieving excellence in almost every field – athletics, the performing arts, business, academia, and more – agree that the best way to get optimal results from any presentation is to be prepared. You can prepare for a press interview, just as you prepare for a show. It can help to write a script of an imaginary interview, even if during the actual interview you don’t use a word of it, and you can even rehearse your answers aloud. You probably can’t control what the interviewer will do, but you can go in ready to do your best. The suggestions I’m giving here are pertinent to burlesque, but I’ve helped people use them in other areas of the entertainment industry, in activism, and in business community interviews as well. 1) Know the questions most commonly asked in your field. Look at other interviews in your field. Common questions in burlesque include: “How did you get started?” “What’s the difference between burlesqu

Julie Atlas Muz and the Zombie Burlesque Controversy: Originality and Intellectual Property

Above: The Hand, performed by Julie Atlas Muz. Students have been asking me about what’s up with this situation, and asked about some scenarios. To make it clear, responding to those questions, this situation is NOT about being inspired by someone, not about two people who used to work together disagreeing about who should still be using the work, two people coming up with the same idea independently, or lifting a signature move, composition element, or gimmick. While those situations can be annoying, they are not the same as wholesale copyright violation. It is about a stranger watching and then lifting a performer’s entire routine, then teaching it to another performer. Seeing it, then doing it. The entire thing. I lived with Julie, and before that I toured with her, and before that I saw her do this act many times. I refer students to it as a an example of how to commit to a performance, and how to make the most of a small prop. I also describe it to students as the inspiration f

How to Choreograph a Burlesque Striptease Dance for Yourself: Three Steps (Burlesque Performance)

How to Choreograph a Striptease Dance 1) Find a piece of music you love so much you can listen to it hundreds of times without getting tired of it. Prance around to the music and imagine yourself in the environment you dream of getting the loving and enthusiastic response you deserve. 2) Find some articles of clothing that make you feel spectacular. Admire yourself in the mirror. Talk to yourself like you talk to the people you compliment on social media. Say extravagant nice things and give yourself permission to accept them as the truth they are. 3) Take off those articles of clothing to the music five times in a row, till you know exactly what you have to do to remove them smoothly. Allow for humor and mischeif. Think of it as play rather than as work. If an article of clothing is making you unhappy because it's too hard to remove the way you want, after five tries, put it aside for now and try something else. You can always come back to it later if you feel like it.

Sustainable Feathers!

Interested in sustainable fashion? I made this headdress (see how I made it with link) with recycled feathers I got from Carnicycle! Carnicycle was formed in November 2018 as the first social enterprise to recycle carnival costumes in the world. Their mission is to bridge the gap between Carnival Culture (carnival, fetes, and other festivals) and sustainability through environmental advocacy and costume recycling. See how I made the headdress with a the feathers, a sports visor, a lot of glue, and some sparkles in this post! Photo of me by Kholood Eid from this article in the New York Times

Business of Burlesque Presentation January 15 2022

Hello everyone! You can watch/listen to the Business of Burlesque presentation here. This was a presentation about how new burlesque performers can begin to get gigs. The slide show begins a couple of minutes in. The question and answer section begins at about 33 minutes in. Note that there are dozens of articles on the art and business of burlesque on this blog, so do go to the search box in the upper right hand corner of the main page and see if the topic that interests you is discussed here. There is also a chapter on professional etiquette in The Burlesque Handbook. If after listening to all 55 minutes you have suggestions, questions, regional-specific differences, disagreements, or corrections, drop it in the comments here or on youtube! Students will see it! If you post it on Facebook and talk about it there, they'll never get to see your comments and they will eventually get lost in the Facebook feed. Still want more? Request the "Get the Gig" ebook

Free Presentation This Weekend! Business of Burlesque

Business of Burlesque With Jo Weldon (Online on Zoom) FREE Saturday, January 15 2022, 4 pm EST This chat will begin with a discussion about how to get gigs as a new performer, and how to determine your goals and values within the burlesque industry and community. To attend, email schoolofburlesque with the words "Business of Burlesque January 15" in the subject line of your email, and include 1-3 questions related to the topic in the body of your email. Be sure to use or include the email address to which you want your registration sent. Part of the discussion will be recorded. Missed it? Check out a recording of the presentation!

Email/DM Etiquette with Venues and Producers (Business of Burlesque)

Remember that every single person who sends emails and messages has accidently violated one of more of these guidelines at one time or another. Don't beat yourself up if you've already mistakes, because you're in good company. Progress, not perfection, is always the goal. 1) Spell their name correctly. Typos happen, but it makes a difference! And be sure to review your email -- don't let spellcheck make your mistakes for you. 2) If you're responding to a casting call, google them. Are they real? Who are they? What are their preferences? What can you learn about them before you approach? Know who they are and let them know you admire their work and that you are not sending out a mass email to a bunch of people you don't really care about as long as you get a gig. Read their website and/or social media carefully to see if it's a good fit, and to see if they are looking for what you are offering. You aren't just asking for something -- you have val

Know The Lyrics (Burlesque Performance)

If your song has lyrics, make sure you know them well. Don't just think you know them. Look them up and read them out loud without the music. Make sure the song is about what you think it's about it. Sometimes the name of the song or the words of the chorus contrast with the verses. Sometimes songs we think are love songs are actually about stalking or abuse. Also look out for sexist, homophobic, racist, or ablist slurs. If these are words you wouldn't want to say onstage, you probably shouldn't dance to them. What do you think of this tip? What songs can you think of that may have misleading or ironic titles?

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

Types of Shows and How To Audition for Them (Business of Burlesque)

  Above: Stanley Tucci and Cher in the audition scene in Burlesque. Many burlesquers ask me how to get started in their burlesque careers, and I tell them it depends on their goals. For many of them, the first goal after preparing their first numbers is to get stage time for them. Even knowing that, however, in order to give advice I need to know more about what kinds of shows they have in mind. If you have developed a few numbers that you think will shine, go for it -- start looking for producers who want what you have! There is no show so settled and established that they can resist a performer who makes the audience happy. This article describes a few kinds of shows that are common (depending on the pandemic situation) in New York City, and some ways that they get booked. This is not a definitive list, either of types of shows of ways each show gets booked, but I hope it will offer helpful perspectives for new and ambitious performers looking to get the stage time they dream of -- a