Stripper Talk #10: what do you think about a free show?

Author of Stripper Talk, Sydni Deveraux

Hello world! It’s Stripper Talk time again! This is a place where I field questions and answer them to the best of my ability, hopefully giving anyone who’s interested in burlesque some insight.

This week’s question comes from the Luvely Rae in New York City! 

“Hi Sydni,

I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on “free shows”. More and more producers in my neighborhood (New York City) are offering “free” burlesque shows. I recently had a customer ask why I haven’t considered going this route, which I went into a 15 minute discourse on how a “free” show is never really free and even though most of those producers are getting a cut of the bar to cover performer pay, I think audiences should understand that performers aren’t performing for free and should be paid. After all you don’t go to the movies or to a Broadway show and expect to get in for free.  What are your thoughts? Do free shows help the community by making the art for accessible to audiences or hurt the industry. I once heard a performer say in an interview that “the girls just do it for fun.” That it wasn’t about the money. I disagree with that statement, but so many times I hear new performers chatting about a show “that’s good experience”.  Should audiences expect to pay to see burlesque?

Kisses,

The Luvely Rae”

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Stripper Talk #8: I want to do my first show!

Author of Stripper Talk, Sydni Deveraux

Hello world! It’s Stripper Talk time again! This is a place where I field questions and answer them to the best of my ability, hopefully giving anyone who’s interested in burlesque some insight.

This week’s question comes from Brittany H.

” Dear Sydni,

Ever since I saw my first show in October, I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole into that glitter wonderland that is burlesque.  Eventually I’d love to perform in a show when I have more experience.  I guess my question would be how to break into my first show.  I’ve been told some shows require an audition and some a video.  What would be the best option? 

Yours truly,
Brittany H.”
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Stripper Talk #7: Break into Boylesque?

Author of Stripper Talk, Sydni Deveraux

Hello world! It’s Stripper Talk time again! This is a place where I field questions and answer them to the best of my ability, hopefully giving anyone who’s interested in burlesque some insight.

This week’s question comes from D. Xavier:

” What advise can you give a guy thats trying to break into the burlesque scene?”

Hi D. Xavier!

Congratulations on wanting to join the ranks of some of the sexiest men on the planet. I’ve been in wonderment of many of the boylesque sensations performing all over the world, and here in Seattle, Washington, you wouldn’t believe the scene here- it’s dripping of wonderful testosterone. We have, to name just a few, Waxie Moon, The’Luminous Pariah, Paris Original and frequent traveller from Portland, Russell Bruner.

To answer your question, I would advise a lot of research to begin with. There are a lot of ways to break into the boylesque community, and it’s very entwined with the burlesque community, all over the globe. If you don’t know of any boylesque performers in your area, I would ask a lady in the scene to introduce you to a few, and then you need to get cracking! Take burlesque classes, as a lot of the principles are the same- the art of striptease needs no gender, just a lot of sexual energy and a good sense of humor. Write inquiry emails to boylesque stars all over the nation and if there’s a man dancing in your area, why don’t you ask him for lessons or, if you hit it off very well- some mentoring?

Boylesque isn’t all that new, it’s just emerging more as time goes on and the burlesque (all gender identifications and types) scene gets bigger and bigger. You’ll find if you continue your quest and go to festivals that there are more boylesque figures that you can shake your *ahem* at!

Most importantly, you need to get your own style, pick a name that best reflects you, and work hard. Work on movement, character, getting your costumes to appropriately reflect your persona, and then get out there. Perhaps start by asking to help out with a show as a stage hand, get to know your fellow strippers, and also see if there are some newbie showcases in your area or surrounding areas. Whatever you decide to do, be humble, be kind and ask a lot of questions.

It’s an emerging part of our burlesque history and there are a lot of boylesque stars that love to talk about the art. If you have a chance, you should check out Tigger! (he teaches!) the first ever King of Boylesque 2006 (with the Burlesque Hall of Fame www.burlesquehall.com)

Here’s some of my favorite boylesque moments that are found on YouTube:

Best of luck to you!

xo
Sydni Deveraux

*Would you like your burlesque question answered in Stripper Talk? Email me at GlitterWonderland@gmail.comWant to see more of me? Check out www.GlitterWonderland.com

Stripper Talk #6: I’m not getting paid my rate

Author of Stripper Talk, Sydni Deveraux

Hello world! It’s Stripper Talk time again! This is a place where I field questions and answer them to the best of my ability, hopefully giving anyone who’s interested in burlesque some insight.

This week’s question comes from a performing friend who would like to remain anonymous: 

Hey Sydni,

I would like to remain anonymous.
I haven’t been performing nearly as much this year because most of the shows in (withheld to protect) won’t pay me my rate.

In previous blogs you’ve written about NOT performing for anything less than your rate for several reasons.

I find myself performing less and less because I refuse to be paid $25.
I’m kind of at a cross road between not performing hardly at all because no one  will pay me my rate or performing for WAY less than I deserve because if I don’t, I rarely get to let my caged burlesque animal out. I’m not really finding any middle ground.
I realize the economy is bad but my rate is not outrageous.

What do you think?

Thanks,

Anonymous

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Stripper Talk #5: Burlesque and Family

Author of Stripper Talk, Sydni Deveraux

Hello world! It’s Stripper Talk time again! This is a place where I field questions and answer them to the best of my ability, hopefully giving anyone who’s interested in burlesque some insight.

This week’s questions come from two ladies who seem to have something in common!

“Hey Miss Sydni,

First off I just want to say that I have been soaking up all your advice and admiring all that you do since I met you at the Vancouver burlesque fest this past May 🙂 Since I’m such a tall girl myself im glad I can have a Glamazon like you to look up to in the burlesque community. 🙂

Now here is my question. How do you (or how did you) deal with and talk to family members that STRONGLY opposed to your choice to become an burlesque entertainer? I’ve hit that road block already so early in my burlesque life, that I’m already discouraged. I have fallen so madly in love with burlesque that I wish my family would understand and try to see my point of view. I feel like I am Juliette and that burlesque is my Romeo. Forbidden love *le sigh*

Warmly,
Coconut”

and

Hello Mrs. Deveraux,

 I am a very big fan of vintage 40’s and 50’s everything!  Which lead me into the world of burlesque and I have been taken in by it’s beauty, grace and freedom.  So much so I want to be a performer, I have gone so far as to connect w/ the burlesque community in my area, find and attend shows and even find classes to start working on the craft.  However I was raised in a religious household that would not be too fond of that career choice.  Do you have any advice or could provide some clarity to my situation?  I really would appreciate any input, thank you.

B.Merri

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Stripper Talk #4: how do I approach a producer?

Author of Stripper Talk, Sydni Deveraux

Hello world! It’s Stripper Talk time again! This is a place where I field questions and answer them to the best of my ability, hopefully giving anyone who’s interested in burlesque some insight.

This week’s question comes from last weeks inquisitor Atlanta Summer, from Seattle WA: 

“As a hobbyist and a soloist (not a troupe member), I’d love to get in on shows that have “special guests” but I have no idea how to start, how to approach a producer (occasionally not even WHO to approach), how to be noticed and get on the performance radar. Do you have advice?”
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Stripper Talk #3: Is there a place for me?

Author of Stripper Talk, Sydni Deveraux

Hello world! It’s Stripper Talk time again! This is a place where I field questions and answer them to the best of my ability, hopefully giving anyone who’s interested in the world of burlesque some insight.

This week’s question comes from Atlanta Summer from my hometown, Seattle, WA:

” I’m a dedicated hobbyist. I love performing. I perform for my own pleasure and that of my audience. However, I have no aspirations to make it my full-time career that pays my bills; I have other goals in that department. This is something I do to scratch my creative itch, and I’m not really worried about a “living wage” for what I do.

Is there a place for me in performance art in the same shows with the professionals, the ones who ARE trying to make a living at it? Is my mere existence damaging to those professionals’ livelihoods?” 

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Stripper Talk #2: recommendations?

Author of Stripper Talk, Sydni Deveraux

Hello there!

Welcome to my Stripper Talk series! I thought that it would be fun to get questions from other burlesquers around the world, and answer them, “Dear Abby” style.

This week’s question is from Bunny VanDoren , from Indianapolis, IN:

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Stripper Talk #1: Who are your major influences and why?

Author of Stripper Talk, Sydni Deveraux

Hello there!

Welcome to my burgeoning Stripper Talk series! I thought that it would be fun to get questions from other burlesquers around the world, and answer them, “Dear Abby” style.

The first question is from Bobbie Baltimore, from Las Vegas, NV:

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