Bristol's Badass Burlesque Show
Maybe it’s something about the nature of those that get involved in burlesque, but you don’t have to look far to find them doing something great for charity. Usually involving a bevy of beautiful performers offering their services for free and a wonderful venue giving a great deal, it all adds up to an extra special type of burlesque event taking place.
The number of charity shows out there often means that performers don’t know where they stand with it all. So, here are a couple of tips for you fledglings:
You need to know that although it is up to the individual, it is ok (and some would say it’s good practice) to at least get travel expenses for your performance and don’t be afraid to ask for this even though it is for charity. Your donation is your time and performance, you don’t need to be out of pocket. Most performers do this, and the top billing performers will even charge a charity rate, so don’t feel like you are being unfair.
Never feel that you have to do charity shows, many performers will only do charity shows for charities they personally support. This is fair and don’t feel bad about it – if we did all the charity shows we are asked to our schedules would be chock full of shows but none of them paid! You got to get money for those splendid costumes from somewhere!
Charity shows are a great way for the burlesque community and it’s plethora of talented individuals therein, to do something good for something they care about. They have an amazing set of skills that can be donated to a burlesque show or even other kinds of events.
Since I started performing I have attended some amazing charity shows, where passion was clear, good was done and booty’s were shaken! I enjoyed some talented locals raising money for oil-slicked wildlife at Tuesday Laveau’s Burlesque Against BP in 2010, light relief in exchange for cyclone relief in Gemma Sheree’s Storm in a D Cup in 2011, and most recently an event bringing it close back to home and local issues Penny Bizarre’s Carnivalesque fundraiser for Bristol’s St Paul’s Carnival.
It is fast becoming tradition that every November I hold a big charity show. It started in 2011 with my first big theatrical show, Who Wants To Live Forever: A Charity Night of Queen-themed Burlesque (if you have fifteen minutes, take a look at this showreel of the evening.) That show was to raise money for the Mercury Phoenix Trust and to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the death of Freddie Mercury. I grew up as a huge Freddie fan and had actually been planning the show for a couple of years as I wanted to mark the anniversary to show my support, and I was so lucky to be joined by a crew and a cast of performers of performers who had the same passion.
After that show I decided to select a new charity to support each year, hosting commercial shows to help bank roll them and host charity raffles and an annual show that was exclusively for the charity. For 2012 the charity was St Peter’s Hospice who I felt the need to support after they cared for a friend of mine who died of cancer in 2011. And for 2013 it will be Breast Cancer Care, who have helped out a friend (and previous panty wrangler at my show) since she was diagnosed with breast cancer last year.
If you feel so inclined, please do support my charity shows, and any and all of those others around you, by either performing or just going along as an audience member. No matter where you are in the country, there is probably a charity burlesque event happening near you. So search it out and have a great time whilst raising money for a worthwhile cause! It will give you a warm, fuzzy feeling!