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Tiers in Burlesque - Chicago Burlesque Dancer Red Hot Annie Weinert
She really makes the wieners boil!

Red Hot Annie / Ann Marie Weinert
Date: 2012-11-20 08:22
Subject: Tiers in Burlesque
Security: Public
So, here's something I've started to work on - traveling around North America and picking everyone's brains about how they see themselves in their community, as well as listening to Chicago community ideas and concerns, I thought I'd take a stab at creating something that can visually illustrate how people are feeling about their efforts -vs- reward within burlesque.

I hope this might be a good jumping off point in creating a conversation about how payment might correlate to experience and celebrity within the burlesque community, both locally & nationally. It also proposes MINIMUM show rates that people within a tier should realistically be charging, but they are based on current Chicago rates.

Also, this isn't a checklist, so much as a basis of determining which category best describes you - it's not intended to say "if you don't have ABC, you aren't an XYZ performer." It's trying to describe the things that we use/dismiss to determine which tier we percieve ourselves and others belonging to. In other words, not every quality may be necessary to put self/others into a certain category.

Got critique or feedback? It's very welcome!




Tier Level Performance Characteristics Business Characteristics Proposed Standard Show Rates
(in Chicago)
Examples
1. Newbie *Performed 0-15 times
*No polished acts
*No niche, style, or "character" established yet
*Costuming includes: traditional found items & piecemeal costumes, simple embellishments such as glitter & sequins.
*Studies/Mentors under locally/nationally recognized teacher or performer
$10-15 students

In Chicago, maybe 15% of Performers
2. Local Player *Performed 15-40 times
*1-3 polished acts
*Niche, style, or "character" in development
*Costuming includes: refined traditional ensembles, personal signature looks in development, novice embellishments such as fringe.
*Studies/Mentors under locally/nationally recognized teacher or performer
*Actively promotes the shows they are in
$20-25 students, hobbyists

In Chicago, maybe 40% of Performers
3. Locally Recognized *Performed 41+ times
*3+ polished acts
*Has been recognized on local "Best of" list
*Niche, style, or "character" firmly established
*Costuming includes: Developed style suitable to niche, performance style or character, embellishements through-out costume includes crystals, jewelry, props, etc.
*Mentors under nationally-recognized teacher or performer
*Actively promotes the shows they are in
*Brings in an audience
*Produces well-attended shows
*Teaches others
*Educates others about BHOF and burlesque legends
*Has website or web presence
*Travels regularly to perform
$50+ hobbyists, careerists

In Chicago, maybe 30% of Performers
4. Nationally Recognized *All characteristics of Level 3, plus the following:
*Has headlined festival/large scale national show
*Has recieved awards/recognition at nationally-recognized event
*Has recieved awards/recognition at BHOF
*Has been recognized on national "Best of" list
*Has performed on National TV
*Costuming includes: Developed style suitable to niche, performance style or character, embellishements through-out costume includes crystals, jewelry, props, etc.
*Actively promotes the shows they are in
*Brings in an audience
*Produces nationally-recognized event
*Teaches others
*Educates others about BHOF and burlesque legends
*Has website or web presence
*Owns studio space
*Travels regularly to perform
Varies widely. Between $100-$500/act careerists, headliners

In Chicago, maybe 10% of Performers
5. Internationally Recognized *Actively promotes the shows they are in
*Has recieved award/recognition at BHOF
*Exclusively considered as headliner/featured performer at festival/large scale national shows (rather than applicant).
*Has recieved awards/special recognition at nationally-recognized event
*Has been recognized on national "Best of" list
*Has performed on National TV
*Costuming includes: Developed style suitable to niche, performance style or character, embellishements through-out costume includes crystals, jewelry, props, etc.
*Brings in an audience
*Produces nationally-recognized event
*Teaches others
*Educates others about BHOF and burlesque legends
*Has website or web presence
*Owns studio space
*Owns/Sells nationally or internationally recognized franchise
*Appears as burlesque expert on TV, documentaries, etc.
*Travels regularly to perform
Varies widely. Between $500-$5000/act careerists, income-dependents

Angie Pontani
Dirty Martini
Michelle L'Amour
etc.
6. Celebrity unknown unknown $40-75K+/act Dita Von Teese
7. Legend unknown unknown unknown performers from the Hey Days of burlesque


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