Burlesque Performance and Stage Craft advice

Well, this advice isn’t just limited to burlesque.

Just some tid-bits gained on my way through my journey.  Thanks to all that helped, suggested and taught me these.

  • Cut off your labels.  They show up, they are usually white.  They make your costume look cheap.
  • Get the sheer to waist pantyhose.  Audiences can see gussets or the funny knickers part of pantyhose.  Ambra brand makes these (Green packet).  Look on the back of the packet to see if they are truly sheer to waist, gusset-less one.  If you have awesome legs, then you don’t need them.  Fishnets are good too.
  • During your performance, find the light.  You may have plotted and choreographed your whole routine, but if you arent in the light, the audience cant see you.  Make the most of tech rehearsals to find out where the best light is and try to stay there.  Yes the lights will blind you, that’s how you know you are in the right spot.
  • Your hair and jewellery are part of your costume look.
  • If you are doing an act to two songs that are run one after the other.  Try to have them as ONE track for the techie. There is lots of inexpensive software that can do this.  Also mention it to the techie if there is a quiet pause in the middle of your song, that way they wont turn the music off just as you are launching into the finale of your act. 
  • Be respectful and polite to other folk also working at the gig.  They are all stressed in their own way.  See last post on Manners for more detail.
  • Mention your act clean up to the show Producer, particularly if it’s messy.
  • Lights, if you are able to choose your colour lights.  Stagelightingprimer. com says “Never assume how a fabric or paint color will interact with a lighting color. The colors in paint and fabric may be made up of various individual pigments and dyes, and these all will react differently to colored light. ”  Lighter fabrics will ‘pop’ better with light, as opposed to black which can look a bit flat.  Think about the mood of your piece, and go from there.  Slightly blue light gives a ‘daylight’ effect, slightly yellow/red more of a sunshine feel.

Thanks to Amy Jansen-Leen

Looky Links – -> Stagelightingprimer.com; A great articles on stagelighting from Dance Teacher magazine.

Hardly working? Hard at work! Burlesque costuming

Hello lovelies

It’s been a fair few busy weeks indeed. Last week was Frolic Lounge, in which my Level Three Radiance students perform! I love Frolic Lounge so much, as so much love, nerves, bravery and creativity go into it.  I get so joyous at seeing so many lovely women claim their beauty and femininty through burlesque.

Among that I am preparing a new act and making the costume for it, and making fans. I am planning to put up a few how to instructions up, cause making this stuff takes a while but is so rewarding, and can be hard choosing where to start.

I’m building an Art Deco theme costume inspired by Metropolis (the movie), which was first inspired by the amazing Pea Hen tails I found on www.feathergirl.co.nz  and this neato rhinestone roll stuff from Made on Marion (http://www.mademarioncraft.co.nz/) and Rhinestones from www.Rhinestonz.co.nz.

Here’s a sneak peak of the costume, it’s being made special for Carousel Cabaret coming up on Friday 29th June.  Find Carousel on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/carousel.cabaretwellington.  There is also a headress, but you’ll have to come to see that.

Sorry for all the links, page is being a brat and wont hyperlink today.

Here’s the dance scene from Metropolis – made in 1927.  How awesome is this!

2011, A Burlesque Year in Review

2011 provided many highs, and some minor lows for me.  Ultimately I grew and learnt a LOT, and thought you might enjoy a stroll down a Wellington Burlesque memory lane.

Frolic Lounge Feb 2011. Image by DigitalPix Photography

In January 2011, we saw the release of the movie, Burlesque, with Christina Aguilera and Cher.  I was fortunately to go see this with burlesque performers and fans alike.  The movie was evidence how Hollywood get the story so massively wrong.  I wrote a review on it, and it was the first time a male friend read my blog and complemented me on my critique.  Although the movie was great at thrusting burlesque into the mainstream popular culture pretty fast, it now means I have to enlighten a few folk on the broader view of burlesque – generally by getting them to watch any number of these burlesque YouTube vids for the Legends of Burlesque or the Modern and Neo Burlesque performers.  Kinda funny how I dont hear back from them after seeing these.

Continue reading

Miss la Belle’s letter to upcoming Level Two Pleaser graduating students.

Do you remember the reason you emailed me about classes?
I’m sure the reason was deeper than ‘I wish to be glamorous’.  Wishing to be glamorous, for me is wishing to be bold, to be strong, to say to my (previously) low self value ‘bugger off’ and instead, ‘you freakin rock’.
That journey was/is never going to be an easy one.   Think of the caterpillar turning into the butterfly, a huge transformation with quite a bit of effort.

On the night of the only competition I have entered in 2010, it didn’t matter if I won, I was a winner already with the support and love of my friends, found by opening up to them about my fear and vulnerability.  Which meant they had an opportunity to show their support (much like you girls are showing for each other now).  To know that you have friends that support you no matter what, for me is worth more than crowns.  I hit the stage that night ‘owning’ it, and I not only won the crown, I won something more, I looked fear in the face and did it anyway.
Think about it.  Who have you met in your burlesque journey?  Does your heart sing with you new found friends that love to talk all about the same things as you and are as passionate as you are? Are they accepting and easy to talk to?  My answers are YES.
Are you one to back away from one of the most scary/crazy/awesome 3 minutes of your life?  NO!
We all want to see you sparkle with your greater self belief – or at the very least cheer for you showing off your new glamorous skills!  Most of all we love you and admire you for being so bold, so strong, so glamorous and for believing in yourself.

‘lose a pastie’
lots of love Miss la Belle.

Lots Going On Around Here

I finally put out my newsletter this week.  It takes me ages to get done but there’s a ton of exciting workshops on… Check out Miss la Belle on Facebook for news on all workshops below and several special extra’s that will be running to help prep Level Two Pleaser students, such as make-up and costume blinging .  Anyone is invited to attend these.

20 Sept – 6pm onward, $20 Ms Amy Jansen-Leen is coming along to give you tips to Bling your costume. You will need to bring your costume and bling you are working with, thread, glue etc.  And a notebook to jot down notes if you are a note-taking kind of person.   Amy will share with you her years of experience making and blinging costumes for Film and TV including Dancing with the Stars.  Want to know the difference in crystals?  What are the best sequins – nows your chance.  You wont costume advice cheaper than this.    

27th SeptMiss la Belle’s Stage Make Up Demo, 6-7pm, $20. Come learn Busty’s tricks to achieving vintage styled stage make up, at the footnote studio.  Bring pen and paper as you may wish to take notes.

Courtney L’amour’s Basic French Can-Can

Photo by Martin Bentley-Smith

Saturday 24 Sept, 1pm, $30. Courtney L’amour is freshly back from a lovely showgirl dancing stint in a tropical location, and will come teach us the basics of French Can-Can.  The Can-Can is known for chorus line high kicks, provocative movements and sumptuous skirts (perfect for bringing your friends).  Courtney will take us through and hour and a half of this lively dance, and shall have you giggling (and puffing a bit) in delight.  Register your interest as places are strictly limited.  Footnote Studio 125 Cuba Street.    Bring a long skirt, wear leggings/pants underneath and bring a waterbottle. Facebook info here.    

Tassel Twirling 2nd October, 4.30pm, $30 For all ya’ll that wonder how to make those nipple tassels spin, one hour class on the art of the twirl.  Learn the different ways to use gravity and science for full effect.  $30 (bring your own tassels) Ladytramp Designs have great twirling tassels for sale at $25 in a range of shapes available in class.  I’ll bring adhesive to stick em on available for your use.  Footnote Studio 125 Cuba st.  Email me if you are keen to participate in one of thee most liberating classes you’re likely to take.  Or keep your eyes peeled on Miss la Belle facebook page.  Please note this class contains a level of nudity, Sorry boys, women only, R18. 

There’s a few amazing workshops coming up before the end of the year.  Sign up for my e-newsletter to have information pop into your inbox.  I promise no spamming. XX  

As promised – Frolic Lounge pics

Aren’t my graduating Level Two Pleaser class students devine?  Many thanks to Toya Heatley (Digitalpix) for the amazing photgraphy, and the de-vine emcee Sadie von Scrumptious.  Special thanks to the lovely students former and current that came along to support this fine troupe of amazing lasses.   More pics on Toya’s blog.

Miss la Belle’s Student Showcase Spectacular

Frolic Lounge poster by Sadie von Scrumptious

It is such a honour to present another batch of graduating students from Miss la Belle’s House of Burlesque. I never imagined when I first began teaching Burlesque that it would be this fun and rewarding. It’s certainly been a journey and we  will get to see a bevvy of beautiful confident women take their journey on the stage, 2nd July at the Garden bar.

The gals that have been working very hard on their routines are such a spectacular lot.  They really got into the spirit of ‘sisterhood’ in class, and you would have been reading about how much fun I had teaching them.  They have sass and spark and I can hardly wait to see what they have come up with.

We have been carefully building up their confidence, working the sass and sexiness.  They have blossomed and nurtured each other all the way through.  You will be inspired and thrilled to see these lasses let loose with their sense of fun and spirit through the medium of hot dance.  Sadie von Scrumptious is our fabulous emcee (and talented poster designer), and wonderful talent provided by Flic Caracou, Winnie Chester, Cyn Furneaux, Coco La’More, Crystal Mischief, Scarlett De’Light, Fanciforia Foxglove and Aurora Petal.

You’ll see me on the night, sitting with thee biggest grin, hugest cheer and a tear in my eye, heart full of pride and feeling.  So come and join me to celebrate these women’s accomplishment in sass.

Tickets available on Eventfinder here.  And fabulous fun pictures of the last Frolic Lounge are here.