Friday, December 16, 2011

What’s In Your Bag?

By Allix Mortis, Rogue Burlesque

I’m one of those ladies who walks softly and carries a huge purse. In burlesque, I’ve found that there’s really no such thing as being too prepared, so like a good Girl Scout*, I always keep the following essentials in my show bag:

  • Scissors - Someone ALWAYS needs a set.
  • Toupee tape and/or spirit gum - Just in case anyone forgets or has a “wardrobe malfunction.”
  • Black permanent marker - I always have this and someone comes running in looking for a marker at least once a show. You may need to write a note, you may need to make a sign (you will likely need to make a sign). If you’re doing a horror-y number and you forget makeup you can add some good gorey looking stitches to yourself. You can also touch up little rips, stains, etc… on black fabric.
  • Colored electrical tape - You can use it to mark the stage, or in a pinch if you forget pasties.
  • Extra, clean, thongs in nude and black - You can find these at Target for cheap - and seriously, someone will forget their underwear. The stash of clean undies in my bag is proof positive that despite my best efforts I have in fact turned into my mother.
  • Quick-dry nail polish - Fix your nails or cover up a stain on a costume. A 90-second fix.
  • Makeup remover wipes - I bring Ponds for my full face, as well as a small container of Almay eye remover to touch up any hiccups.
  • Barber mirror - These cost ~$3 at the drug store and are great in a pinch if you get a gig somewhere that doesn’t have a proper dressing room.
  • Tweezers - Great for eyeglass repairs, last-minute hair removal, or pulling the backs off of double-sided toupee or pastie tape.
  • Clips - I wear these to keep my hair in check but have also used them to clip fabric to a costume for a quick repair.

These all take up minimal room and have saved many a last minute headache.
Pack wisely!

* I was never a Girl Scout. I couldn’t even get through a full year of Brownies.


  1. I always keep a glue gun handy — someone ALWAYS needs it!

    1. YES! I packed a hot glue gun the night of my solo burlesque debut. In the dressing room, someone put their duffel bag on my prop and broke it. Thank god I brought my glue gun to repair it! And sure enough, someone else needed to use it that night, too.

  2. I've just started tossing one of those in too! I keep a needle and thread in the glue gun bag too.