Making sure you don’t get booked for a shoddy show
There’s quite some pressure to take the quickest and soonest bookings that come your way as a new burly girlie. It’s understandable – you’ve put time and effort into your routine, prepped and primed the costume and now it’s time to bite the bullet and get it out there.
There are some shows that aren’t going to go as smoothly as you’d like. However I can categorically say that my very worst one is one that, had I investigated properly beforehand, I would never have taken the organisers up on it. To save new dancers from going through the whole dire experience, I have three questions that you should totally ask before accepting a booking or signing any sort of contract. Take it from someone who knows ladies and gents, the below are surefire ways to determine whether a questionable enquiry is a good showcase for you or not:
In what format would you like my music, and what sound system will be used?
The first of these two is straightforward enough, but actually in place as an easy way into the second half of the question. For the record (no pun intended), some organisers will ask for music to be on CD, some memory sticks and some even just on your iPhone as a playlist. The second part is a sneaky way to check the quality of where you’re performing on a very basic level (stay with me people, there’s experience in this).
As long as your booker indicates something along the lines of a reasonably comprehensive sound system, it’s all good. Why do I recommend you ask this? Because I once was mid-show and wondered why I could barely hear my cues. It turns out the organiser thought it was ok to play my music off of nothing more than laptop speakers. That is totally not ok.
[If being booked by a PR or event organiser] Are you and your directors fully aware of what burlesque entails?
There are probably better ways to word this question and you’ll only ever need it if you’re being asked to dance at a private event. “So why ask it?!” I hear you cry…
Well, because I have definitely been booked for a private event where the directors had very clearly not expected me to see boobs happening. It turned out fine in the end, but it’s always best to check.
Another great idea is to make sure they’d like a “full reveal” (that means boob revelation if you’re not up on the showgirl lingo). The alternative to this is to stick tassels on a bra and continue your routine as planned, so you’re revealing that instead.
Where are any photos or videos taken of me going to be used?
It’s a good plan to keep tabs on where you could possibly pop up – and if your day job is one where this would be a concern it’s particularly important. If you ask employers to sign a contract of any sort, make sure all the areas of publicity are stated here and that it stays that way.
As I say, this is the most basic of basic sets of questions. They’re all in place to try and help assist you when it comes to decision making in the cabaret world, and more importantly getting legit bookings and keeping safe. Is there an aspect of being booked for shows that you worry about?