FAQ You! How to get ahead in burlesque

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I have a routine, how can I get ahead in Burlesque?

If you are indeed keen to pursue a fancy in burlesque artistry, cabaret or ‘pinup’ modeling yourself, be prepared to invest a lot of your own time, money and effort in pursuit of a good routine or model portfolio – they can be very expensive hobbies and even more expensive and competitive career paths to take. We are available for consultation and direction on photo-shoots, ensuring the best results are achieved. You can see our founder’s own model portfolio here – defying the norms, she was a magazine cover model, a sought after catwalk model, appeared on billboards at London Fashion Week, hung in the Paul Smith gallery in Tokyo among other accolades – despite being only 5′ 1″ and curvy.

Remember: it is your choice to invest in this personal pursuit and the financial cost of it is your own responsibility – not that of an audience or promoter.

Also, don’t forget that although there is a large and increasing hobbyist circuit, there is also a professional industry and a tiny one at that. Taking up the form does not equate to being a professional entertainer – at least, not without years of hard work, sacrifice and often disappointment first. It is important to respect that burlesque is a working business. Expecting remuneration for any novice pursuit is unrealistic. Having a pen and ideas does not make one a writer. Similarly, having a costume and ideas does not make one an entertainer. It is experience and ability which earns both reputation and wage.

The amateur or ‘hobbyist’ circuit is the best place to start performing as you will need to earn a good reputation through working with peers before larger promoters will start to book you. Take it slowly and learn the etiquette and skills needed backstage, onstage and online. The time will come when you will need to be able to ’sell’ your act too and here you will need excellent photographs and promotional material. Step by step, treading board by board…

Take advice from those who are successful and never be afraid to ask for advice, help or feedback. Why not attend one of the Ministry of Burlesque events and perform in their Battle of Burlesque? This is stage time given to newcomers seeking advice and feedback as well as exposure amidst a bill of seasoned pros.