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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Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday! I’m at the Pennsylvania Burlesque Festival this weekend, but I wouldn’t forget your tip!

Wear a watch when you teach.

A good class is well paced. Keeping an eye on the time ensures that you don’t have to rush through or run out of material. Of course, you can never guarantee that an unfamiliar classroom or studio is going to have a clock. But wait, you say, my phone has a clock. Yes, but you have to periodically run over and poke it to see the time display, which can break the flow of class. A wrist watch allows for a subtle time check. And it can be a charming fashion accessory as well as a useful tool.

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 4 August 2017 at 11:16 am  Leave a Comment  
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Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday! Tomorrow is the Mini BurlExpo! Will I see you there? Here’s your tip!

To remove deodorant streaks from clothing, gently rub them with a nylon stocking.

Every once in a while it happens, you look smashing except for those white streaks that have mysteriously appeared on your lovely frock. I don’t know about you, but for me they always seem to end up right on my bust. Oops…

Just grab a stocking and gently rub the mark away. No need to use water! Dryer sheets also work, but how often do you have one of those in your boudoir (or backstage). As when dealing with any stain, don’t scrub — rub gently, with a circular motion, until the mark is gone.

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 28 July 2017 at 10:21 am  Leave a Comment  
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Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday! Here’s your tip!

Meet your deadlines.

Even better, beat your deadlines!

Nobody likes having deadlines hanging over their head! Unfortunately, sometimes the reaction is to panic and ignore them, which is the worst thing one could do.

Deadlines are a cascading thing. You need to send your music to the producer. The producer needs to get the music to the audio person. The audio tech needs to check the music file and get everything properly set up for the show. One break in the chain causes failures down the line. Scrambling at the last minute is no fun for anyone.

Do what you need to do to make sure those deadlines aren’t forgotten. Maybe that’s a reminder on your phone (there’s plenty of apps out there to help with scheduling). Maybe it’s a big note on the calendar hanging over your desk. You know how fond I am of appointment books.

Whatever method you use, meet those deadlines. It feels so good to mark that item as “done”!

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.

Published in: on 14 July 2017 at 1:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday! Today’s tip continues the series on dressing room and backstage etiquette:

Respect other’s backstage rituals.

People prepare for the stage differently. Some are social and chatty. Some are quiet and meditative. Some listen to their music. Some stretch. Some work on costuming or other handwork. Some need to keep moving. Whatever you need to do to get ready for your performance is fine, as long as it doesn’t encroach on someone else’s needs.

So, wear your headphones. Keep the conversation to a moderate level. Find some space out of the way. Explain your needs in a clear and polite way. Everyone should be able to get their energy up and focused in their own way so you all can have the best show possible.

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 7 July 2017 at 2:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday! A happy Independence Day weekend for my US readers! I’m continuing with tips on home to be the sort of person with whom people love to share a dressing room. Here’s the latest:

If you’re going to use hairspray, loose glitter, spray-on stockings, &c, ask permission of the other inhabitants of the dressing room.

If your dressing roommates are okay with it, spray or dust yourself pointing away from people, costumes, and food. If someone has an issue, check if there’s some other place you can take care of this part of your beauty ritual.

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 30 June 2017 at 12:22 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday! Here’s your tip:

Keep your dressing room footprint small.

Most dressing rooms are not large or lavishly appointed (oh, I could tell you dressing room horror stories) and a lot of people need to use them. You don’t want to take up more than your fair share of space.

Keep your stuff (make up, costume, hair tools, &c.) compact and under control, rather than sprawling all over. Not only does it make you a more pleasant person with whom to share a dressing room, it keeps your things from getting lost, damaged, or accidentally appropriated. Also, you’re ready to leave more quickly at the end of the night, if you re-pack as you go.

If there’s somewhere else you can hang out if you’re not actively getting ready, you should leave the dressing room for those who currently need it. If not, be as out of the way as possible, especially keeping clear of those performers who are going to come racing in for a fast change. If you’re one of those, warn everyone in advance. Not only will people stay out of your way, you’ll probably even get some offers of help.

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 23 June 2017 at 2:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

It’s Friday again and time for your tip again!

If you need to cut fabric in straight lines, a rotary cutter is your best friend.

If you need a lot of strips of fabric, like for can-can ruffles, corset binding, or quilts, a rotary cutter is the way to go. It’s fast, easy, and accurate. you will also need a special cutting mat and acrylic ruler, but the investment pays off in saved time. Use the lines on the mat to line up your fabric. Set the ruler as a straight edge and run the cutter along side it. Before you know it, you’ll have heaps of fabric strips (or squares or triangles). Just be careful — those cutters are sharp — and close the safety cover when you’re not actively cutting. And replace the blade (it’s easy) when it starts getting dull.

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 16 June 2017 at 2:10 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday! Before I get to your tip, a couple of reminders and announcements.

First, I’m giving away a copy of Exotic World and the Burlesque Revival, just go to my review and leave a comment telling me who your favorite legend of burlesque is and why. I’ll pick a winner at random on Wednesday morning.

Second, applications to the first ever Mini BurlExpo close on Saturday! It’s going to be a fun and relaxed weekend. Join us in July!

And now, your tip:

Create info sheets for each of your acts.

It will make your life so much easier when submitting to festivals or working with a producer. I keep these files handy on my computer and then cut & paste the necessary information as needed. For each act I have the name, a link to the video, the song title, artist and length, a basic introduction, a short description, set up and clean up, lighting and sound notes, and anything else important.

I also have another sheet with my performer bio in various common lengths (50 words, 500 characters, 200 words, &c.). If you’re really organized, also have an mp3 of each song and promo photos in the same folder with the act info and the bio. Everything you need in one place!

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 9 June 2017 at 1:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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