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Burlesque Business Advice - Troupes - Chicago Burlesque Dancer Red Hot Annie Weinert
She really makes the wieners boil!

Red Hot Annie / Ann Marie Weinert
Date: 2014-01-22 07:58
Subject: Burlesque Business Advice - Troupes
Security: Public
Tags:advice for new performers, burlesque business, burlesque troupes
Q: I fell in love with a local troupe's style. I asked the troupe leader if they were looking for dancers and she said they weren't. I was approached by another troupe and asked to dance for them. I'm just not sure if I should settle for a group I am unsure about or sit on my hands waiting for the group I want to be a part of to ask me. What would you do if you were me?

A: In regards to being a troupe or individual performer, I highly recommend that you take a very honest look at your skills both as a performer and as a business person. You also have to consider the politics of the situation.

Troupes are really the best opportunities for people who are, first and foremost, team players. Not everyone is, so you really have to be honest with yourself about how you'll respond to people's quirks and varying work ethics. On the plus side, a troupe can be an excellent opportunity to really double-down on exposure, especially if the troupe has a strong presence and ability to promote each performer. It can be a great source of skill building, too - if a troupe can give you critique on your acts, you may find your skills as a performer sky-rocket.

On the other hand, if the politics of the situation are such that joining one troupe is going to upset your chances with another troupe later on, the best thing to do is wait things out and see what happens, or gather more information. If you are moved to make a decision one way or the other, it's important to clearly communicate your intentions about joining a troupe to other invested parties to avoid hurt feelings or unnecessary drama. It's polite and shows gratitude.

Is there anything in particular that makes you feel tenative about joining the second troupe? How certain are you that your first choice will have a place for you at some point? Again, it's important to be honest with yourself - does your preferred troupe have enough performers already or are they perhaps looking for a different style of performer? Perhaps there's another way to get involved with them while you work on your performance/business skills?

Q: I'm new to burlesque and took classes to get into the community. I belong to a troupe of amazing ladies. My problem is this: my head mistress suggested I wear full hose to hide my thigh cellulite. It may not be my favorite part of my body, but I'm comfortable with myself. Not sure I really want to hide my flaws. What should I do about this?

First of all, congratulations on finally taking the plunge! It sounds like burlesque is going to be a really fun experience for you! It sounds like you are very comfortable with your thighs (me, too) - I think it's probably something you can talk to the head mistress about one on one. She may not realize you aren't shy or self-conscious about it, so it's important to overcommunicate how you feel about even a conflict like this one. Also, part of the information that a teacher shares in class can be geared toward everyone's learning benefit, so she may have been sharing with you partially to make sure others knew that tights were an option. I'd be surprised if a short & sweet conversation (I'd suggest that instead email/text/phone) wouldn't take care of it.

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