Burlesque: Embarrassing Confessions Part 1

We’re rolling out the red carpet for a brand new blog series here at the ABC, but do watch your step, you wouldn’t want to take a tumble in front of the audience now, would you? (Can you guess where we’re going with this?)
Well, if you haven’t worked it out already, welcome to the ABC’s Burlesque: Embarrassing Confessions blog. Dedicated to all the trips, tumbles, costume  malfunctions, nip-slips and more, that are an inevitable part of being a burlesque performer.
If you thought it was all about the glitz and glamour, you couldn’t be more wrong. In burlesque we apply the old adage “Fake it til you make it!” In other words, if something goes wrong, you flash your biggest smile, pick yourself up and carry on as though nothing happened (easier in some situations than others, trust us!)
So, we’ve been out and about chatting to burlesquers from across the UK, asking them about their most embarrassing moments on stage.

“One of my most embarrassing moments was performing with a huge leopard print plaster stuck to my leg that I’d forgotten to take off. The show was in an intimate cabaret venue too so the audience were in plain sight. I didn’t realise till I came off stage!”

Copyright Stuart Crawford
Copyright Stuart Crawford

“One of my most embarrassing moments was an epic corset fail. It was at one of my own shows, and my family (who rarely come to see me perform) were all there. I was the opening act of the show and as I removed my petticoat, the heel of my shoe caught in the trailing ribbon from my corset and as I brought my foot down… Boom! I decked it, literally crashing down on my knees. There was no disguising it or pretending it was intentional, it was a spectacular tumble and everyone knew it. So all I could do was quickly fumble the ribbon off my heel, stand up again, strike a dazzling pose and get on with the show.”

Losing a tassel pastie also seems to be a common theme; it doesn’t seem to matter how much tape / glue you put on those bad boys, occasionally one of them will make a break for it, so what can one do to regain their modesty in such a situation?

“I remember losing a tassel at one of my earliest shows. I’d only been performing about 6 months and I was doing a fan dance. About halfway through, I was doing a ‘peek-a-boo’ moment with one fan behind me and the other in front covering my boobs. Dropping the front fan down, I gave the audience a cheeky wee flash, then covered myself, then another flash and so on. About 4 or 5 flashes later, I realised one of my tassels had come off after getting caught in my fan, so each time I flashed the audience, they got a bit more than they bargained for. Cringe! I had to finish off the rest of the act extra carefully, making sure I always had one of the fans covering the offending nipple.”

“I once got glue stuck on the front of one of my nipple tassels. When I pulled my top off for the reveal, my tassel came off at the same time! Not the most embarrassing thing, except I had a family member in the audience!”

“Years ago I did a rock themed burlesque striptease, which culminated with me pouring a bottle of Jack Daniels down my torso, a la 80s stripper-stylee. Unfortunately my choice of tape to stick on my pasties wasn’t waterproof and I literally washed away a pastie. I ended up having to finish the act using my hat to cover my boob so nobody saw anything they weren’t supposed to!”

That brings us to the end of our first Embarrassing Confessions blog. We hope we’ve given you a giggle. We’ll be continuing this series over the coming months, so if you have an awkward moment you’d like to share with us (anonymously of course!) do get in touch.

Burlesque: Embarrassing Confessions Part 2 is now available.