Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday the 13th!

Tonight The BeauTease are in Salem, celebrating with Bad Luck Burlesque at Deacon Giles Speakeasy Lab. Our early show is sold out, but there are still tickets (last I checked) for the late show.

Here’s your tip!

For better balance, engage your core.

When standing on one leg, whether you’re removing a stocking on stage or just stretching your hamstring after working out, and you feel wobbly, tighten up your abs and you’ll be more stable. All those hours of Pilates and crunches are good for more than you thought! You’re improving your stability as well as your core strength.

Photo by RJP After Dark

M2Like this tip? There are lots more in Miss Mina Murray’s Little Book of Better Burlesque.

These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page.

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Published in: on 13 October 2017 at 10:57 am  Leave a Comment  
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Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday! Here’s your tip!

Tag sales are great for both buyer and seller.

Call them tag sales, yard sales, or garage sales (depending on your region), they’re opportunities!

It’s an opportunity for you, the seller, to clear unwanted stuff from your life. Maybe you’ve upgraded that costume or built that prop for a one-off show or those shoes that looked like a good idea at the time never quite fit right. And now they’re just taking up room in your closet or basement or storage unit. Have a tag sale! It’s better than letting the items languish or (worse) throwing them away. And maybe you get a little money in your pocket.

Sales like this are also an opportunity for you, the buyer, to pick up some treasures for cheap. It may also be a chance for inspiration. You never know what someone is letting go that might become the basis of a new act. It might not even be something you buy that sparks your creativity.

This tip was inspired by the Boston BeauTease Theatrical Tag Sale happening on Sunday. We’re selling costumes, props, lighting gear, fabric, and some oddities. I’ll also be selling some items from my personal wardrobe and costume collection!

M2Like this tip? There are lots more in Miss Mina Murray’s Little Book of Better Burlesque.

These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page.

Published in: on 6 October 2017 at 3:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday! Before we get to your tip I want to remind everyone to come see me and The Boston BeauTease tomorrow in Cover Girls at The Thalia! Also, applications for The Great Burlesque Exposition go from $20 to $30 on midnight on Saturday! And now, your tip!

Tassel twirling isn’t mandatory.

Tassel twirling is unique to burlesque and it’s often expected in burlesque shows. I maintain that *anyone* can learn to do it.

However, it’s a specialized skill, a trick, and it’s not for everyone or all occasions. Tassel twirling may not suit your act or your character. You might just not like it. It’s okay. You don’t have to twirl if you don’t want to. I just ask that if you’re not twirling, you please wear pasties without tassels. There’s the expectation that if you’ve got tassels, you’re going to twirl them.

M2Like this tip? There are lots more in Miss Mina Murray’s Little Book of Better Burlesque.

These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page.

P.S. The pasties in the photo are Glorious Pasties by Cheeky Cheetah. For a special treat my Patrons also get to see them on me.

Published in: on 29 September 2017 at 12:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday. Here’s your tip!

Zipper sewing needs a zipper foot.

I have heard people insist that one can sew a zipper using a regular machine foot, and while it is not impossible, it is also not recommended. A zipper foot is like half a regular foot, so you can sew close to the zipper without actually going over the teeth (a bumpy situation) while still keeping proper tension on the fabric.

The foot on my machine (pictured) can slide to either side of the needle, to easily stitch on both sides of the zipper. It’s also a great foot for sewing piping and beaded fringe. If you don’t have one for your machine, it’s a worthwhile addition to your arsenal!

M2Like this tip? There are lots more in Miss Mina Murray’s Little Book of Better Burlesque.

These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page.

Published in: on 22 September 2017 at 2:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Friday Tip!

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday! Here’s your tip!

Carry some cash.

…at least a little.

It’s so easy these days to pay for things with cards and apps that it almost seems silly have cash on you. Nevertheless, there are times when you want some good old-fashioned greenbacks (or whatever you call your local currency).

If you pay cash, no one knows what you bought. You can’t say “keep the change” when you’ve used a credit card. It’s easier to stick to your budget when you have to haul out your wallet to pay. It’s hard to storm out of a bar if you have to wait to sign the credit slip instead of flinging down a handful of bills. How else are you going to tip the go-go dancers?

I recommend the emergency twenty (or fifty or hundred, depending on how you roll). Stash a spare bill in the back of your wallet for those desperate occasions when there is no other option but cold hard cash.

When there was a possibility that I could be breaking a local ordinance with my g-string-clad behind at the first Vermont Burlesque Festival, I showed up with a $50 bill in my wallet to pay the fine on the spot. (Fortunately, it turned out to be a non-issue.)

M2Like this tip? There are lots more in Miss Mina Murray’s Little Book of Better Burlesque.

These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page.

Published in: on 15 September 2017 at 12:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

Would you look at that? It’s Friday again! Today’s tip is inspired by some recent events in the burlesque scene*.

Knocking someone else down is not the way to build yourself up.

Instead, work on improving your skills and your attitude. You won’t have to make yourself feel better about yourself at the expense of someone else — you really will be better.

I spoke about horrible behavior in a previous Friday Tip, but it seemed worth mentioning again.

M2Like this tip? There are lots more in Miss Mina Murray’s Little Book of Better Burlesque.

These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page.

* There are those who call it “the burlesque community”, but it’s not a community, as events demonstrate, so I won’t.

Published in: on 8 September 2017 at 2:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

I know you have a big heart and a generous nature and that’s the topic of this week’s tip:

Give to those in need… and make sure they are going to get it.

I know we were all devastated by the news from Texas. Donate or volunteer if you can, but be wary of scams. Disasters do seem to bring out the best and worst in people. It’s worth it check out an organization on Charity Navigator before giving.

Here are some reputable organizations, as recommended by the New York Times:

Food Banks: Houston Food Bank and Food Bank of Corpus Christi.

Animal Aid: Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Houston Humane Society, and San Antonio Humane Society.

Medical and Health Supplies: Direct Relief, AmeriCares, and Texas Diaper Bank. Also, blood donors are needed nationally.

LGBTQ Community Support: The Montrose Center

General Relief: United Way and Catholic Charities.

Thank you.

M2

Published in: on 1 September 2017 at 12:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday! Here’s your tip!

When sending large files, like music or photographs or video, use file sharing, not email.

There are so many ways to share files (for free!) these days that there’s no reason not to. You don’t always know the recipient’s email situation or what device they might be using. Sending a link instead of a massive file is just more courteous. Thinks of it as delivering a note to pick up a parcel at their leisure instead of thrusting said parcel, which may be too heavy, into their arms without warning. (How’s that for an overly extended metaphor?)

M2Like this tip? There are lots more in Miss Mina Murray’s Little Book of Better Burlesque.

These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page.

Published in: on 25 August 2017 at 3:07 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday! I’m at the ABurlyQ! Burlesque & Sideshow Spectaculár, but I would not forget your tip. I can’t believe I never shared this one before, but apparently not…

Attach a tassel or other decorative item to your zipper pull to make it easier to grab.

At the right you can see Devora Darling illustrating this tip (see it up close and personal at Cover Girls tonight in Salem and tomorrow in Dover, NH). Of course, it doesn’t have to be a tassel; you could use ribbon, trim, bits of jewelry. You’re just trying to make it easy to find by touch.

The other advantage to this is that you are extending the zipper pull, like those extra-long pull-cords on overhead lights for us short people. You won’t have to reach up awkwardly high to pull down the zipper — a boon for dresses with a high back.

M2Like this tip? There are lots more in Miss Mina Murray’s Little Book of Better Burlesque.

These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page.

Published in: on 18 August 2017 at 11:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday! Here’s your tip!

When removing garments, position the removal downstage.

You want the audience to see you remove the garment, so you should avoid blocking the action with your body. On the other hand, if you’re trying to remove something more covertly, turn it upstage.

I am clearly lacking in performance photographs* because this photo by RDJ After Dark is the only picture I could find even close to illustrating this tip, and you can’t see the stocking I am removing from my downstage leg because black on black

M2Like this tip? There are lots more in Miss Mina Murray’s Little Book of Better Burlesque.

These writings and other creative projects are supported by my 7 Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page.

*If you happen to have any performance photos of me or my troupemates, let me know!

Published in: on 11 August 2017 at 11:45 am  Leave a Comment  
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