2016: Your Year Ahead in Burlesque

The new year is now underway, but what have you got planned for your burlesque calendar in 2016? The beginning of the year is often a quiet time in the performance year, so it’s a good time to take stock, make the most of any extra free time and get down to some planning and preparation for the coming months. What can you do to make the most of 2016? This will depend on a great many factors, but we thought we’d put together some suggestions to get you started…

Start Planning your Show Calendar Early

Calendar_Year_2016What do you as an individual / performer, hope to achieve in 2016? What kind of events do you want to perform at? Start scoping casting calls early on; burlesque is a competitive business for many performers, and lots of show book up months ahead of the date (or even the year before in some cases). If you’ve missed the casting for a particular event already, make note of it so you’ll be prepared next time round.
If you’re keen to try out the festival circuit, be aware that most international festivals will cast many months before, so be sure to check out them out well in advance. (We did a blog series on burlesque festivals worldwide last year, which you can read here.)

Make sure your CV / Showreel / Videos are current, high-quality and relevant
If you find yourself with a bit of spare time on your hands this month (which you should do, as we know you’ll all have your tax returns done and dusted months ago…) you might want to use that time to update your CV and showreel if possible. If you’re applying to shows where the promoter doesn’t know of you, these two things will be invaluable to creating a good, lasting first impression and helping you stand out from the crowd. Highlight particularly impressive shows or events on your CV, make sure your showreel is up to date and includes any new acts. If possible, take the time to go through your YouTube account and make sure all your act videos are relevant. If you have old, poorer quality footage online, ask yourself: do I really need this? Is it still relevant to my performance style and stage persona? Is it still a good representation of what I do?

Build and strengthen your online presence
Increasingly so in recent years, social networking has become an invaluable tool in making or breaking a performer’s career. There are models and entertainers whose online presence has boosted their career massively, thanks to clever social media management.

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Facebook is a handy social networking tool but their recent limiting of page reach has been frustrating for performers.

If you’re just starting out, setting up a Facebook page and Twitter account is easily done, but don’t forgo a dedicated website in favour of only these. A proper website (www.yourburlesquename.com) is good for Google ranking and it suggests a degree of professionalism. It’s also useful for promoters, if they’re trying to get a feel for you as a performer as you can build a better picture of your persona and style.
Having Facebook and Twitter accounts allow you to interact with the community as a whole, as well as providing more regular updates to followers and friends. The immediacy and reach of social media sites, offers marketing opportunities unavailable to earlier generations which can be invaluable to performers, small businesses and entrepreneurs alike.