Sunday, September 21, 2008

Booking Work

There have been some revealing (and perhaps a bit too personal) posts on public forums by fellow members of the burlesque community about getting booked and not getting booked. I thought I'd share why I think producers like me. (I keep getting booked, sometimes last minute, so I figure I'm doing something right.)

* I promote my shows. I make a pin-up/postcard every month or two that lists out all the shows I had booked at the time I printed the card. I hand out cards at every show so people know where to find me. I also promote my shows on myspace and my theatre's message board.

* I support shows I'm not in. I try to attend as many shows as possible. Not only do I get to see what other people are doing, but I also remain an active participant in the community. We performers support each other. I'll promote shows I'm not in to my friends and on myspace.

* I rehearse my numbers beforehand and continually work on becoming a better dancer. I've studied with a lot of incredible performers. I've even taken a workshop with burlesque legend Wild Cherry. I read books, watch videos, take classes. I try out new moves in my living room to see if they work before I get on stage. I watch the videos of my shows when I get a chance to see what works and what doesn't work. I love it when my numbers improve with every performance. I also research and practice nuances for specialty roles like Alex for Kubrilesque, Orion Slave Snapper for Supernova a-Go-Go, Mia Wallace and Mr. Orange for the Tarantino Tribute. I'm working on nuances for Marnie for a Hitchcock show tomorrow night.

* I show up on-time. I try to show up early. I'm hair and makeup ready, so all I have to do is put on my costume. If I think there's any possibility that I'll be late, even by five minutes, I call or text the producer so they know I'm on my way. I've done a few shows where someone just doesn't show up or shows up 30 minutes late and it pisses off the people who booked them. If I'm there early, I offer my help in getting ready for the house to open. I also offer up Andrew's help.

* I don't take drama backstage with me. I've seen folks show up after having a bad day or not feeling great about their performance and infecting the backstage area with their issues. When you have folks new to performing backstage, it makes them more nervous. I try to keep my drama onstage where it's interesting and people pay to see it.

I'm the first to admit that I'm not perfect. I strive to do my best and present a product that people want. These are the things I think I'm doing right that lead to more work.

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