What makes a ‘GREAT’ burlesque act? – Take your acts from “meh” to “AMAZING” by mastering the “Three Pillars Of Burlesque”.
What makes a great burlesque act? – Take your acts from “meh” to “AMAZING” by mastering the “Three Pillars Of Burlesque”.
“WHAT MAKES A ‘GREAT’ BURLESQUE ACT?”
Has got to be the age-old question.
Usually, the discussion comes to a conclusion of “well it’s subjective”. Everyone has different tastes and so you can never OBJECTIVELY say if an act is ‘good’ or not.
But is that really true?
When I’m judging acts for the online competition Limelight, I can’t just say, “well I liked this one and didn’t like that one”. I have to know WHY and I have to take my own tastes out of the equation.
I hold myself to the standard of being able to articulate WHY an act got a particular score and if the act didn’t get full marks I have to (and WANT to) be in a position where I can give effective guidance and advice on how to get it closer to one.
If that guidance is, “I just personally didn’t like it”, then I’ve failed as a coach.
THE THREE PILLARS OF BURLESQUE:
So that is why I’ve created the Three Pillars Of Burlesque. Not only so I can be objective when coaching students and judging competitions, but to also be able to apply them to my OWN work so that I can categorically see where an act can be improved and where I need to focus my energy.
If someone loves elaborate costumes, or puts dance technique as highly in their favor then, how can these criteria be applied to acts which are not dance heavy or covered in rhinestones due to artistic choice?
I believe that EVERYTHING that goes into a burlesque act, and the performing of that act can be put into the following three categories.
1) SKILL LEVEL
How proficient is the performer at the skill they are presenting on stage? This can be any skill that the act is based around be it dance, acrobatics, comedy, singing, acting, hosting, lip syncing, strip technique, feather fans, boa work, playing a musical instrument, fire performance….. etc.
Maybe to improve your act, it’s the actual SKILL TECHNIQUE that you want to improve on or add to your tool belt. Or maybe you’ve got SO caught up in skill that you’ve worked on this as much as you can and can’t understand why your acts aren’t improving, in which case – time to look at the other two categories.
2) CONNECTION AND CHARISMA
This looks at the way YOU perform this skill. Take two performers equally skilled in technique and why is it that you prefer to watch one rather than the other? Why do I want to watch YOU?
Maybe you prefer to watch the performer who is LESS proficient in a skill and as an audience member you just don’t know why – they have a certain “je nais se quois”.
Well as creators and coaches it’s our JOB to KNOW. And if we don’t know, then we should be curious and find out.
How confident are you just being on stage? How does your stage persona inform how you approach and present your performance skill? How do you connect with the audience and hold their attention? How good is your ability to improvise and go with the flow and the unexpected?
If you’re feeling blocked in your act maybe this is the area you should be focusing on in order to supplement or even offset your skill technique.
Is there a concept behind the performance piece, and has it been fully realized?
I’ve watched acts that are beautifully performed by someone oozing with confidence but there’s still something lacking – Concept.
Is your act 100% reliant on your skill and your charisma? Or is your concept so strong that you could give (or even sell) the act to someone else with slightly less ability and the act would still hold up? Maybe your act is SO reliant on concept that you haven’t thought to check if your skill technique is lacking or if your confidence level is hindering the act.
Concept covers your choices and creativity around music, costume, hair and make-up, character, lighting design, stage topography, story structure – do they all make sense and been carefully thought out, or have they all been a lackluster afterthought?
Burlesque really is about being a ‘triple threat’ and learning to excel in all three of these areas.
Over 2023 I will be running intensive workshops on each of these three pillars so that we can all really get to grips with exactly WHERE improvement is needed in developing both as a creator and performer of burlesque.
Feb 17th-19th will be covering Pillar One:
3 Day Burlesque Skills Intensive Workshop in Los Angeles
► Take your acts to the next level with a multitude of new performance skills all in one place.
► Get out of your ‘performance rut’ and discover your new niche.
► Explore an array of performance skills you’ve never had the chance to learn or didn’t even know existed!
Over the 3 Days you’ll experience an extensive assortment of performance skills from a number of expert coaches. This supportive environment with a limited number of participants is the perfect space for exploration without the pressure to be ‘perfect’ or to ‘get it right first time’.
You still have time to claim our Early Bird discount – just use code EARLY at checkout to save $200 valid until Feb 3rd
I am so excited to be part of your burlesque journey and helping you get to your next level of performance!!