Bristol's Badass Burlesque Show
Welsh Burlesque Queen Lilly Laudanum offers some tips for those new to Burlesque .
1. If you are using more than one song, edit the tracks in to one as it’s less confusing for the sound person. Some producers might ask you to email them a copy of your track and to reduce risks of things getting lost/confused in transit edit it as one track.
Another tip: label the track with your stage name and act title in both the MP3/WAV file and on any CDS and if using CDS, always burn a new copy before each show (and test it on a few CD players to check it works!). You’d be surprised how many performers rely on their trusted burned copy that is scratched and a few years old only to be totally gutted when it skips or won’t play when they come on stage to do their act.
2. Always make sure your act is as good as it can be before taking it to a stage – you need to know it inside out not only for the audiences’ benefit (they will have paid for a ticket after all) but for your own. So if you do get a bit of stage nerves before your first performance and think you’ve forgotten the act (it happens to everyone at some point!) you can relax knowing that it’s ingrained in your ‘muscle memory’ and if something does go wrong you know exactly at which point of the track you are at and when your next cue will be.
3. On the pay issue, in general a lot of newbies perform for free and sometimes (or rather, a lot) not for any travel expense. In general, your first year on stage is still valuable learning time. You can see what works with a live audience, you can learn to perform for and with them (as opposed to ‘at’ them), you will learn about what works with regards to lighting and sound and how to ‘behave’ at shows (both backstage and where you can be seen by the audience, and while ‘off duty’ at the show). No amount of rehearsing in a studio will compare to what you will learn live and you may find that an act needs to be developed further by being on a stage.
4. Performing is hard work and takes commitment right from rehearsing and polishing an act to presenting the act, the costume and travelling to shows (and arriving on time!) Sometimes it can be a bit of a drain on the finances but hopefully the rewards you get from entertaining people will be worth it!
Credit to Khandie Kisses for coining the phrase “Fledglings” to refer to Burlesque newcomers