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?


The Luvely Rae”

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