Friday, March 16, 2012

Feeling Fabulous! Burlesque Pre-Show Rituals

We all have our daily habits: a cup of coffee, a quick bite to eat, maybe a morning meditation.  These activities put us in the right frame of mind to start the day and tackle whatever might come. But transforming into one’s burlesque persona and getting ready for a performance can be a process in and of itself…one that apparently requires a lot of glitter!

We asked Boston’s burlesque beauties, “How do you make yourself feel fabulous before going on stage?”  Here’s what they said: 

Johnny Blazes puts on hir face
I listen to Salt n’ Pepa’s “Body Beautiful” while putting on my face. – Johnny Blazes

Giant eyelashes! – Femme Brulée

For me it's all about the hair and makeup.  How can I not feel otherworldly and magical and sexy when coated in glitter?  Oh, and about half a glass of wine helps too. – Polly Surely

I love makeup, and I love the time I get with it before a show.  I will specifically set aside an hour to really take the time and pamper myself, hair and makeup wise.  I hate that rushed feeling even if you are running number to number, so the time I have with my mirror is my own personal time. It's where I transform from "me" to Victory Rolls and it's the key to my psyche, not to separate the reality from the persona, but to merge the two into something powerful, brave, and sexy on the inside. – Victory Rolls

Usually good music helps create or maintain my mood, gets me excited for a show, or helps calm the nerves if I am feeling anxious.  – Malice in Wonderland

Mary Widow puts on a wig cap.
Photo by Albie Colantonio
I apply tons and tons of foundation, put in my contacts, and practice twirling. There’s something about twirling tassels that makes me feel so amazing. – Allix Mortis

When I get into costume and people tell me how they “Can’t wait” to see what I’m about to do, [that makes me feel fabulous]! – Mary Widow

The transformation to Dixie is not complete until the shiny red wig and glitter lipstick is in place. Once those are on, I’m ready to tackle the world! – Dixie Douya

It’s all about finding that right prop or gimmick or movement that allows me to fully inhabit the character or the spirit of the act; whether its having one shoe on in my zombie acts, turning on all my LEDs in my Robo-Antoinette act; my prosthetics for Ereshkigal -- just those little elements that flip a switch in me so I can live in the moment of the act. Devilicia

I dance (wiggle and squirm really) in front of the mirror - but then again, that’s how I make myself feel fabulous before leaving my bedroom in the morning, or the dressing room at a store, the table after lunch, or at a sunglasses display on the sidewalk. – UnAmerika’s Sweetheart Karin Webb

Polly Surely and her glitter
Photo by Julie Gelfand
So whether you wiggle, squirm, coat yourself in glitter, or rock out to your favorite jam, developing an “I’m so f’ing fabulous” routine can make you feel like a million dollars.

What are some of your favorite ways to pump yourself up, whether you’re going on stage or out for the night?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, lovely shape-shifters, for sharing your rituals of transformation!