Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday! Here’s your tip!

After wearing heels, stretch your calves.

We burlesque performers love our high heels, but wearing them can cause tight muscles. My favorite stretch is to grab a chair back, a barre, or press your palms into a wall. Step one leg back, bend your front leg, keeping both heels on the ground. Tilt your hips up and press your chest forward. Repeat on the other leg. Sweet relief!

What’s your favorite for high-heel recovery?

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 8 December 2017 at 11:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday! Happy December! Here’s your tip:

Problem solve out loud.

This tip was inspired by this piece from Siderea, author of excellent, insightful essays. If you like it, consider supporting her on Patreon — I do.

When you’re trying to work something out, work through it out loud. I often talk to myself, or these days, to Albert A. Cat (he’s a great listener), when I’m trying to figure out a problem or a plan. You might see your issue from another perspective or realize the solution when you’re trying to explain it to yourself or someone else (or your cat) in a way you can’t when you’re just mulling it over in your head.

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 1 December 2017 at 3:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

I hope everyone (in the U.S., that is) had a pleasant Thanksgiving holiday. This is the time of year when we’re told be be grateful, but many of us, your Humble Correspondent included, find it to be an incredibly busy and stressful season. Today’s tip is a little exercise to help you appreciate what you have.

Make a list of five things that make you happy.

First, actually write these down. Whether that’s on paper of electronically, doesn’t matter, but you should be able to look at your list when it’s completed. Pick any five things that genuinely make you happy right now. They don’t have to be grand or lofty – things like “flannel sheets” or “that perfect red lipstick” or “my roommate who washed all the dishes” are fine. You can write out an explanation of why this thing makes you happy, if you like.

I find this little exercise lifts my mood and make me appreciate what I have. And one of those things that makes me happy is you, Constant Reader, and all the support you’ve given me over the years. Thank you.

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 24 November 2017 at 11:27 am  Leave a Comment  
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Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday! Today’s tip comes to you verbatim from Mr. Scratch, who is so much better at the business side of burlesque than I’ll ever be.

Learn from your competition

Even if you’re friendly competitors, every burlesque performer in your market is looking to reach the same people. You can learn by keeping an eye on their social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. and don’t forget to get on their email lists!). Your competitors may be offering a variety of services that you haven’t considered. Getting out of your bubble and examining what others are doing can help you be more successful. Read their websites for a list of services or performance elements that they offer.

Read reviews of your competition on sites like Yelp or Goldstar to see if there is anything you could be doing differently. Reviews aren’t always criticism; often, people will mention their favorite parts of the show or the ways the producer went above and beyond to make the show special. Comments can tell you exactly what your potential clientele wants — and doesn’t want.

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 17 November 2017 at 11:28 am  Leave a Comment  
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Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday! Tomorrow I’m off to RuffleCon to teach my corsetry class and perform with The Boston BeauTease. If you’re an alternative fashion enthusiast, I hope to see you there!

If using a front-closing bra, replace the plastic closure with something sturdier.

At right, you can see a front-closing bra with its original closure. These are only made of plastic and many fastenings and unfastenings, as one would do in rehearsal and performance, can weaken them until they fail unexpectedly. Also, you have a contents-under-pressure situation with a lot of strain on that point, which is meant to separate. In a back-closing bra, you have a solid piece of fabric up front to take the stress.

Remove the plastic widget and replace it with a coat hook & eye, a whopper popper, or a ribbon tie. Any of these is much stronger that the original style of closure, easier to unfasten, and less likely to experience catastrophic failure.

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 10 November 2017 at 11:06 am  Leave a Comment  
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Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday! It’s hard to believe it’s November already. I’ll be performing tomorrow in Bad Luck Burlesque at The Strand Ballroom and I’m teaching and performing next Saturday at RuffleCon. Hope to see you there! And now… here’s your tip!

80% of success is just showing up.
–Woody Allen (attributed)

This is one of those quotes that shows up in a bunch of different forms and can’t be positively traced back to the original source. I like this phraseology best.

It’s often hard to get motivated and sometimes we’d rather stay home, cuddle the cat, eat chips, and watch Netflix. Just by getting your ass in gear and showing up for whatever it is, a class, an audition, a rehearsal, an interview, &c., you’ve done most of the hard work.

I’m reminded of someone I knew, who like most of us, hated going to the gym. His deal with himself was that he could blow off a workout, IF he got dressed, drove to the gym, got out of the car and touched the gym’s doorknob. And most of the time, having gotten there, he figured he might as well go inside and work out.

And if you don’t show up, you’re pretty much guaranteed not to succeed.

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 3 November 2017 at 11:20 am  Leave a Comment  
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Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

It’s almost Halloween! Tomorrow we’ll be presenting Panties Inferno at The Thalia! This is a busy time of year for burlesque performers and often involves even more and heaver makeup than we usually wear. Here’s your tip:

After Halloween, treat yourself to a mask!

Not that kind of mask. A soothing facial mask. (If you want to see that kind of mask, you can check out Devastsia’s new number in Panties Inferno tomorrow.)

All that makeup is tough on your skin, so pamper yourself a bit. There are all sorts of masks available commercially, with ingredients like green tea, Dead Sea mud, or French clay. There are also some truly disturbing-looking sheet masks that are rather popular now. Or you can make one at home with kitchen ingredients like oatmeal or yogurt or mashed strawberries. Honey and ground almonds is a good one — you can put some on your face and the leftovers on your toast! You can find plenty of recipes on-line.

Start by steaming your face. Pour some boiling water into a bowl and hold your face over it for a few minutes. For extra steaminess, tent a towel over your head. Then smear or press or pat your mask in place. If you’re using something with crunchy bits, like sugar or the aforementioned almonds, make sure not to scrub it around; the roughness could make tiny tears in your skin. Leave the mask on for a little bit while you relax. Wash it off with warm water. Spritz with some toner and enjoy how fresh your face feels!

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 27 October 2017 at 12:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday! Here’s your tip.

Keep an extra of a frequently forgot item in your show bag.

You know how there’s that one thing you’re always forgetting to bring to a gig and them you have to scramble to borrow or buy? I’ve already talked about keeping an emergency kit (for general emergencies) and about the “me plus one” philosophy (looking out for another performer), but this is about that specific thing you never seem to have on hand show after show. Maybe it’s hairspray or a pair of fishnets. Keeping a spare of whatever it is in your bag or makeup case will reduce stress and panic (and having to rely on the kindness of a fellow performer). Scratch keeps an extra tie in his suit bag and Brigitte always seems to have a spare roll of pastie tape. I always stash another thong in my bag. Get an extra and you’ll always have it.

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 20 October 2017 at 3:10 pm  Leave a Comment  
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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.

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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