rocket doll revue

Burlesque Audience Etiquette

Hi there, friends and fans! I’m Phyllis Thriller, the resident emcee for the Rocket Doll Revue. Over the past several years, I have been part of many fantastic shows with my troupe, and I’ve noticed that one factor can make or break the night for me: the audience! Our fans are amazing and we love having you at our shows, so we want you to have an amazing experience every time you attend a Rocket Doll production. With that in mind, here are my helpful hints to be the best possible burlesque audience member! Feel free to share them with your friends, and I look forward to seeing your stellar skills in action at the next Rocket Doll production!
1. Listen to the Emcee
The Emcee is the thread that holds the entire show together. She is there to guide you, maintain continuity, and keep everything running smoothly. As such, please listen to her. I love having an active, engaged audience; my stand-up comedy background means that your laughter will always be my favorite sound. When I say that we want to hear your cheers and encouragement from the stage, I truly mean it. Don’t be shy with your enthusiasm! However, nothing aggravates me more onstage than having to shout over table-talk; when I enter the stage, my brain is stuffed with the next performer’s name, act, and tagline, along with any other incidental information that I need to share. A chatty audience member (especially one who is sitting close enough to the stage for me to hear them) is a major distraction, not only for the performer, but also for the audience members around you.
2. Heed the Rules
Every piece of incidental information that we share with you from the stage is important to the troupe. If the Emcee asks you not to take photos or videos of the performers, please listen to her. It is quite disheartening to find a video of yourself on YouTube to which you did not consent. There is definitely an appropriate outlet for this, though: say hello after the show and take photos with us then! Your applause during the show is the best sound in the world, but we have forged lasting friendships with audience members who introduced themselves and told us in person that they enjoyed the show. Also, if a performer or employee of the venue asks you to reel in your friend who has had one drink too many, please do so. Trust me, we do not gain pleasure from calling people out; we would much rather continue the show with the positive energy that we are getting from the rest of the audience.
3. Appreciate Each Act
Burlesque is interactive, and the performers onstage want to know that the audience is having a great time. I love entering the dressing room after an intro on a particularly good night and hearing the Dolls whisper “This is such a great crowd!” based on the reactions to the opening number. Do not be shy with your enthusiasm; if we wanted a silent audience, we’d all be at home stripping for our cats! This is particularly true for new performers and guest acts. That being said, some ways of showing appreciation are more appropriate than others. Applause, whistling, and joyous laughter make my heart sing; hearing a drunk audience member aggressively shout “show me your tits” at my friends does not sit well with me. As a good rule of thumb, consider this: Is my action enhancing the performance experience or becoming a distraction for my fellow audience members? If it’s the latter, tone it down.
4. Support the Venue
The Rocket Dolls are so fortunate to have the White Rabbit Cabaret as our home venue. We love everything about this space, from the stage to the dressing room to the amazing people who work there. If you enjoyed our burlesque show, we suggest checking out the venue’s calendar; you might find another fun opportunity for a night out before our next show! While you are there, support the bar staff; they work hard, especially when we have a packed house, and they deserve to be compensated accordingly.
5. Support the Performers
The Rocket Doll Revue is a self-sustaining entity. Yes, we do receive some compensation for our performances, but the majority of those funds will go straight into our next show. Tipping is always appreciated; even if we are not doing a formal tip collection, we will always accept cash at the merch booth. Additionally, buying our merch supports us in multiple ways: it sends additional funds our way and provides publicity for us when you wear/use items with our logo. However, spending money is not the only way to help support your favorite troupe: you can simply talk us up! The best publicity for any performing arts organization is positive word of mouth. The Rocket Dolls’ website and social media only reaches so far, and we always love meeting new fans who came to our show because a friend told them about it.
6. Remember That You Are A Star, Too!
As Lula Lawless said it best, “I could not make them look at it if they weren’t there!” Simply put, without our audiences, we would have no shows. Over the past five years, the Rocket Doll Revue has grown and developed so much, and it is largely due to the amazing dedication that we have seen from you. You push is to do a little more at every show that we produce as we set our standards higher and higher. A lot of people have hobbies that they are passionate about; we are beyond lucky to have one that has resulted in our developing a fan base. We want you to share in our joy during shows and leave feeling confident and inspired. The greatest complement that I have ever received after a show was from an audience member who told me that she felt empowered as a woman after watching our performance. Moments like that make the long rehearsals, the sore feet, and the late nights of costuming completely worth it. We love you, wholeheartedly, and we are so grateful for your support.