Friday Tip!

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday! Here’s your tip!

Before you commit to a stage name, check to make sure it’s not in use already.

It’s poor form to choose a stage name that someone else is using. You probably don’t even want a name that’s close to someone else’s. To use a ridiculous example, you probably don’t want to be calling yourself “Lita von Cheese”. It looks like you’re trying to be mistaken for a better known performer and that’s not cricket.

This isn’t a situation particular to burlesque; the Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) only enrolls unique names. The star of Birdman was born Michael Douglas, but since there was already an actor by that name, that’s why he’s billed as Michael Keaton.

People can get very bitchy when their name is “stolen”, even if it was due to ignorance rather than malice. These days you have no excuse not to do your due diligence before investing in business cards. Google is your friend. Search for burlesque performers, pin-up models, roller derby players, porn actors, &c. that share your potential name.

It can be so disappointing and even heart-wrenching to discover that a name you are already attached to is gracing someone else. Sadly, that’s show biz. What is it about that name that you love? How can you change it up to be different and yet keep those aspects that make it feel personal?

One of my students once wanted to use her legal first and middle names as her stage name only to discover that a porn actress was already using them. She chose to keep her first name the same and picked a new second name that sounded more theatrical and burlesque-y, but shared a syllable with her actual middle name.

Names have power and you want to make sure that your stage name is yours and yours alone.


Published in: on 29 May 2015 at 2:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

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