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How to Get Into Burlesque (by Frenchy LaRouge)

How do I get into burlesque? It’s a question we get a lot from fans and friends. It’s a question most established dancers get on a regular basis from other interested folx, and we’re not the first, nor the last I’m sure, to finally just post a set of guidelines on the internet for those who are curious. So here it is, Frenchy’s advice on how to get started in the world of burlesque:

1. GO TO SHOWS. Research, read about the history of burlesque, watch videos of experienced performers online, talk to performers in your area about what the community is like. Get as much info as you can! We may make it look easy on stage but trust me when I say, we did not wake up like this. If you’re doing it right, burlesque takes a lot of time, effort, and (usually) money. I personally have to book an act 3-5 times to recoup my costume expenses, for some people it’s more or less than that. Figure out what you can put into it as a hobby (very few people make a career in burlesque but it does happen), what you’d like to get out of it (are you an entertainer at heart or do you just want to experience the thrill of the strip a few times?), and what you might be able to offer the community as a whole.

2. Take a class, or find a mentor. Would you pick up an instrument without finding out how to play it first? Burlesque is no different than joining a band, or trying out for a play. You should know what you’re doing before you get on that stage! If you can find a class in your community, take it! If you can’t find a class in your area, see if you can find someone who is willing to mentor you, someone who has been in the game for several years and can give you solid, honest advice on how to put together a performance and get booked in a show. Find someone who can tell you WHY they’re qualified to teach you the art of the tease, and can back that up with facts and experience. Having a mentor can save you time and often money on costuming as well. Learn everything you can! Never stop learning.

3. Pick a name! Picking a stage name is important, and fun. Do yourself a favor and steer clear of overused, typical “burlesque” names. They might sound fancy and exotic to a new performer, but once you get further into the community you’ll wish you didn’t have the same last name as 15 other people, trust me. If I could go back and tell noob Frenchy one thing it would be to pick something a little more unique or personally meaningful than LaRouge. Choose something that tells the audience who you are, and make sure it’s something they can pronounce and chant. I would also advise staying away from overly complicated puns or names that will pigeonhole you into a certain aesthetic or kind of performance, although some very dedicated individuals can pull that off! Also, once you decide on something, GOOGLE IT. It’s no fun getting a message from someone who’s been using the name you picked for 10 years already.

4. Network. Introduce yourself to performers and/or producers at shows, get their email address or business card if they have one, and send them a quick, professional message that you’d love to help in any way you can. Volunteering to work the merch table or stage kitten a show is a great a way to get behind the scenes and develop relationships with people you want to perform for or work with. They can’t book you if they don’t know you!

5. Develop an act. Come up with a solid, unique routine that you can shop around to individual producers or troupes. I always suggest starting with something that isn’t specific to a certain theme, that way it’s easily repeated and can potentially fit in anywhere. Some troupes have auditions, and in that case you will want to be able to show them a fully realized act. If you can, get video of it to send to producers, even if it’s just on your phone in your living room, that way they know what they’re booking. A lot of cities have at least 1 regular showcase for new and independent performers that are a good place to get some experience under your belt.

6. Be professional, honest, and open. It’s ABSOLUTELY ok not to know everything, and to ask questions, and to need help. A good attitude and willingness to listen will take you far in this community!

I hope this is helpful for anyone passionate about getting into striptease. It can be an extremely rewarding hobby/career and something that has definitely changed my own life in so many ways I can’t even begin to explain.

Thanks for reading!

xoxo,

Frenchy LaRouge

Classes are postponed!

Sad news everyone! Bunny’s burlesque classes are currently postponed. The studio she was teaching out of had a heating issues and is in the process of getting a new space of their own, so classes will be cancelled until Bunny can find a new dance space. We are working on possibly offering a variety of workshops in the future, but will be looking for a space to offer those in. You can still contact Bunny (or any of the dolls) for information on burlesque or to acquire private lessons. Visit our Contact page for email info.

Total Dollmination

We have so much in the works! Check our facebook page (www.facebook.com/therocketdollrevue) for daily updates on things Rocket Doll related.

We’ll be posting a new promo video soon, and we have a monthly collaboration with the Society of the Golden Garter coming soon to Mass Ave! Plenty of chances to see us jiggle our bits.

Stay tuned!

Wink!

Have you been to our new monthly burlesque & variety show at Crackers Comedy Club in Broad Ripple? You should definitely check it out! It’s only 8 bucks, AND it’s 18+!

Wink is a chance for us to give performers and burlesque students from around the city, and other comedy and variety performers, a chance to get on stage and show their stuff!

Every 3rd Wednesday starting at 9pm!

Check out our promo video for the show here:

Burlesque 101

Bunny Barebuns begins teaching a new session of classes tomorrow, January 9th! Art of the tease- a burlesque class for performers and non-performers alike- is gearing up for 9 weeks of shakes, shimmies and sassiness plus burlesque theory and character/act development. She is also debuting a new flexibility class where students at all levels of flexibility will be led in a 45 minute thorough stretch as well as learn tips for inching towards any flexy goals! Bunny is the flexiest, stretchiest, and bendiest, this class is definitely worth your time and money! Both classes will be held at Motus Dance Theatre’s studio and will begin at 7:15 (stretch) and 8 (tease.) Take advantage now of Motus’ offer to buy either class in a complete session and save!!! (both classes are also open to drop ins.)

http://motusdance.com/rocket-doll-revue-burlesque-101/

http://motusdance.com/stretching-with-bunny/

Email us at rocketdollrevue@gmail.com for any questions you have about the class, or find Bunny Barebuns on fb.

Stay up to date!

We always have a LOT going on, so if you’d like to receive emails with all our upcoming events and appearances, plus lots of juicy info, please visit our facebook fan page and leave your email address, or message it to us, OR send it to rocketdollrevue@gmail.com, OR come out to a show and sign up on our email list!

Thanks!

It’s shaping up to be a very busy summer for RDR!

First of all, please welcome our new Rocket Wrangler, Vagina Woolf! We’ll have a fancy Doll page up for her soon, feel free to creep it extra hard.

We’ve also booked a monthly engagement at the Jazz Kitchen with the Naptown Fantasy Swingers! Join us for some really excellent live jazz music, occasionally accompanied by Miss Frenchy LaRouge or one of our other Dolls who moonlights as a crooner, and some scintillating stripteases! In it’s heyday, Burlesque performers were always accompanied by a live band, and we’re thrilled we get to offer Indianapolis a little peek into the past with Nocturne! Look for us every 2nd Friday at the Jazz Kitchen, in Broad Ripple.

We’ve booked a couple AMAZING guests for our Filmstrip 2 show, please check out our calendar for more details. It’s a NOLA invasion!

xoxo,

The Dolls

Additions to our Dollhaus!

Please help us welcome a few new additions!  We recently added Phyllis Thriller to our lineup as Stage Manager/Comedienne extraordinaire (and someday, Doll!), and Lula Lawless, our newest and fiestiest Rocket Wrangler!

We’ve also recently held auditions for a new MC, as Marv O. Luste has left the troupe. Don’t worry, we still love him to pieces! But unfortunately work and life have left him without enough time to be a part of the Rocket Doll Revue, so we’ve had to say goodbye to our wonderfully sleazy Marv. We’ll update you soon on his replacement!

We were also recently featured in an article in Nuvo! You can view it online at www.nuvo.net/indianapolis/DigitalIssues/Page, just click on the Nov. 21st issue. Thanks to Paul F. P. Pogue for such a wonderful description of our little troupe!

And as always, don’t forget to check our Events for all our upcoming shenanigans!

Xoxo,

The Dolls

New shows, new dolls, new wranglers!

The Dolls are proud to announce the debut of a new performer, Gurl Haggard! She has been a Rocket Wrangler for us for awhile, and now she’s making the move to Rocket Doll! She’s definitely put in her dues and we are so happy to have her. Be on the lookout for her Doll page, but for now check her out on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=tn_tnmn#!/pages/Gurl-Haggard/527618753921631?fref=ts.

We’ve acquired a new Wrangler to replace Ms. Haggard, she’s another redheaded spitfire, Lula Lawless!

Also, check our event page for Trivia Nites, our Halloween shows, and a few other things coming up.

And as always, to book one or all the Dolls, check our Contact page for emails to do so!

xoxo

 

New merch, new shows!

They’re finally here! T-shirts! Come out to our next show, Just Desserts, and pick up an RDR t-shirt in your size! We have men’s and women’s sizes S-XL.

Also, for all you Trivia fans, don’t forget we’re taking a little break for the 3rd Thursday in August, the 16th, and we’ll be back at the Ship on September 6th with new categories, and a very special guest!