So between November and April I took a blog break- but now I am back. I also prepped this blog last month... and never posted it so I'm posting it now.
The purpose of this blog was to show the growth from wanting to participate in burlesque to actually becoming a sought out performer, sharing my experiences along the way. So, most recently I did a show at Nurse Bettie, courtesy of Miss Honi Harlow. Two things I learned:
1. Know your venue.
2. There is such a thing as too much glitter. (I know... I didn't think it was possible either.)
What I mean by know your venue is, GO SEE A SHOW THERE BEFORE YOU PERFORM (if at all possible) and remain very flexible. Not all venues are created equal and they all have different rules that as a performer you should respect.
Some venues allow great sightlines as they have raised stages and cabaret style seating, others are a low small platform with standing room only, some are in the middle of the floor of a bar, it all depends. It's important to use a routine that works in the space and to know how to adjust it so that the audience gets the best views possible. After all... that who you're doing it for. They are paying to see you, so try your hardest to be seen.
Nurse Bettie, 106 Norfolk Street here in New York City, has a low platform and small working space with a small bar PACKED with standing people- so chair work and floor work aren't always the best idea though if you know what you're doing you can pull it off (as I have seen Peekaboo Pointe and Deity Delgado do). As these ladies previously mentioned are expert dancers with bookings out the wazoo they can adjust a routine at any time to fit the situation but, even they don't take every routine to every venue. As a novice performer I've found that it's best to develop at least one routine that takes certain aspects into consideration providing an act that will work no matter where you are.
1. No food, liquids, fire, props, or extreme nudity (which means it can be performed almost anywhere.)
2. It's specific and easy to remember. (too much choreography freaks me out and I forget it... I need more of a stripping outline.)
3. The costume is a no-brainer. Something simple and easy to take off. This may sound lame but it's way more sexy to watch a person take an article of clothing off with confidence and specificity than to watch someone struggling with their costume and getting stuck and getting lost and looking really frustrated while their music drones on. Remember, costume pieces can be added or subtracted if it improves the act later.
4. Movement that doesn't require great sightlines. i.e. a routine where you can be seen by most of the audience at all times. So in a standing room only you aren't laying down on the stage with your legs up because no one will be able to see all the hard work you've done unless they are one of the 7 people in front of the stage or the one lucky bastard who managed to grab a hold of the lighting fixture and is hanging from the ceiling.
All in all my experience at Nurse Bettie was utterly delightful! The cast was amazing, the producer a delight, the bartenders kind and the audience really excited to be there. The show was fun (though I did smack Darlinda Just Darlinda and Honi Harlow in the face with a glove full of glitter- so I've got to use less) and I can't wait to do it again.
DISCLAIMER: This has been my experience. Many people have successfully done all the things I just nay-sayed and had a spectacular performance, but we aren't talking about them because this is my blog about my experience so far, so we're definitely talking about me. This is by no means an end all be all as every performer is their own unique snowflake.