Bristol's Badass Burlesque Show
Burlesque isn’t for everyone. No matter what, some people will never like it. Some of them, unfortunately, won’t ever even give it a go, they will just set their opinion and stick to it having never experienced a show themselves. Sad, but true of many things in life.
Some people will embrace it and love every aspect of it. Perhaps not performing themselves, but coming to all the shows and the supporting their local scene, and more than likely being dressed to the nines each time!
And for most people, their opinion of burlesque is formed or solidified by the first show. That is why it is so absolutely important to have two things on a strong burlesque scene. Firstly, a set standard – all shows must be of a good standard – many a person is put off seeing another show by a poorly executed, badly run, miss the mark show. Secondly, the show must be appropriately advertised – not everyone wants to watch a fetish themed show, a newcomer showcase, or attend a show in a nightclub with a sticky floor and no seating. Conversely, others would hate a theatrical styled super/dinner and a show. We must ensure we advertise what’s on offer as appropriately as possible so that the audience know what they are going to be getting and won’t be put off when they learn it wasn’t exactly as they had imagined. I guess along with this it’s worth a mention that the show must be priced appropriately too! Charging £15 for a newcomer showcase with no headliner is going to give people a false impression of what to expect and lead to disappointment, even if some/all of the acts rock!
When you’ve got a strong scene, strong performers, strong show, often everything comes together and the audience are there with you, completely on board and riding that wave of awesome right till the curtain call.
We all love shows like that, they are the best shows to perform at. We all love the audience members coming up to us in the bar afterwards to tell us how much they loved the show. The most common line I hear is that they never really knew what burlesque was about, came along to see and now love it, and me, and all the performers and everything else. Their gushing fills you with a warm feeling inside that you will take with you and know you did good.
I think for me, the nicest comment I have ever received after a show actually came the day after performing at Beastie Boys Burlesque (yes that one again!). I had invited a friend and colleague to the show and she was really excited about it. I didn’t realise it was actually the first show she had attended. She seemed to really enjoy it, but it wasn’t until the following afternoon that she sent me the following email:
“Seeing all those girls last night who had so much body confidence really changed how I see myself. It was so refreshing to see women of every shape and size being sexy and attractive when in the media it’s the complete opposite! I went there kind of assuming I might feel bad about myself but in fact I left feeling great. It just shows that there really are no ‘real’ women portrayed in tv, magazines etc and people really need to stop thinking that that is only what men find attractive.
I feel so liberated!
I will happily admit this brought a little tear to my eye – I was very touched and so proud of the show and other performers that at least one member of the audience went away feeling like this.
This is why we do it. We do it because we love it, we love everything about it, and sometimes it touches other people. Sure it’s not medicine, charity work, or all those other worthwhile things, but sometimes it makes a difference to someone other than ourselves and that’s worth not only remembering, but bearing in mind when producing a show. We have the ability to touch people in this way. Let’s not fuck it up!
Big ass love