Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday! Here’s your tip:

Consider using music from independent artists.

It can be a nice change of pace to use music from lesser-known artists, particularly local ones. You’re exposing your audience or students to something new and it’s a song probably few other burlesquers are performing to. It’s usually easier to get permission to use the song, and if you need to pay for rights, you’ll know the artists are getting more of the money than if you deal with ASCAP. Also, you may have an opportunity to cross-promote.

A few years ago we had a lot of fun performing with local musician Samantha Farrell. She sang foor one of our existing routines and Stella created an act to one her original songs. It was a great creative exchange.

For B.A.B.E.’s recent Chair Dance 201 class, I created the students’ choreography to "Voodoo You" by burlesque performer Melody Sweets. Enjoy this snippet!

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 5 April 2019 at 3:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

Brrrlesque This Saturday!

Dear Constant Reader,

This Saturday, December 15 The Boston BeauTease present our winter holiday show at Deacon Giles Speakeasy Lab in Salem, MA! You can get a little taste of last year right here:

We’ll be presenting some of your favorite seasonal stripteases. As a special treat for good girls and boys everyone is bringing at least one brand-new act. Be the first to see them! I’m very excited to show you mine!

For an added bonus, we’re bringing The Boston BeauTease Burlesque Boutique! Browse our hand-rhinestoned ties, pasties, and other goodies to find the perfect gift for someone special, or yourself! I’ll have copies of both my Little Books too!

Get your tickets right here! There are only a few tickets left for the early show. The venue is very intimate and we tend to sell out, so don’t wait!

Entertaining burlesque plus creative cocktails — treat yourself!

M2These 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 12 December 2018 at 10:23 am  Leave a Comment  

Chocolate Pudding: The Video

Dear Constant Reader,

One of the things I want to do with Patreon support is make video expansions of my blog posts. I decided to make one so you can all see what I’m trying to do. This is me cooking the chocolate pudding from my previous missive:

My plan for future videos is to have a videographer with an actual camera to shoot and edit these videos, but for this deathless cinema, it was just me and my iPhone, cooking one-handed, occasionally frantically deleting stuff when my phone ran out of memory. Then I kinda edited it in iMovie, which I’m still learning how to use.

If you couldn’t tell, this is completely unscripted and there were no retakes. Just me rambling away as I cook. One-take Murray. That’s what old Jack Warner used to call me.

If you like this and want to see more (better filmed, better produced) videos, consider supporting me on Patreon.

M2These 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 May 2017 at 1:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,

Happy Halloween!

Dear Constant Reader,

Here’s a little treat to celebrate my favorite holiday!

We’ve only got two performances of Wrathskellar Tales left: tonight and Saturday!




Published in: on 31 October 2016 at 2:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

Video Project Week the Last

Dear Constant Reader,

As July reaches a close, so does my video project end. In 31 days, I’ve watched 31 (plus a couple) videos. This wasn’t a full week, but the videos I watched were:

  • Lilly Bulle – Classic Fan Dance. Scratch found this one on a search for something else and knew I hadn’t seen it.
  • Jo Weldon – Godzilla. I’ve always wanted to see this one. I think I’ve now seen 3 Godzilla acts to this same song, all different, all delightful, but this was the first.
  • Michelle L’amour – Ritual Calling of the Gods of Fuck. To end as I began. It was perfect timing that Blaze posted a link to this video the day before.

What have I learned over my month of video-watching? A bunch of stuff, some of which I knew already, but a reminder (with visuals) is so helpful.

  • If you’re going to use a big prop, you have to rock it. It’s the center of your act and your focus. Making a dramatic entrance and then ignoring the thing is a waste. I saw some great examples of big-prop-rocking.
  • Simplicity can be mesmerizing.
  • Even an act I thought was poor provides some inspiration. Admittedly lots of the “don’t do that” sort, but also some positive things.
  • Pause and pose. Stillness is so effective.
  • If your face is obscured in some way, push the body language. And have the appropriate facial expressions, even if they can’t be seen, they do come through.
  • When a performer loves her/his act, it’s beyond delightful to watch.
  • Good video is hard to come by. Atmospheric lighting may be great for the audience, but too dark for video. However, the biggest problems I saw were with decisions made by the camera operator and/or video editor. It’s fantastic if you can have multiple cameras, but sometimes I was wondering what the editor was thinking. If the performer is using a big prop that blocks the view of one of the cameras, don’t use the footage from that camera. Fan dances are usually meant to be seen from the front, so don’t use the footage from the camera in the wings. If you only have one camera, get a tight frame the performance area and just shoot without trying to pan or zoom on the fly.
  • I really like floorwork and stocking removes. Why don’t I do more of them?

There are so many ways in which I could up my game. I’ve got all sorts of ideas. And that was the whole point of this exercise.


Published in: on 4 August 2015 at 2:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

Video Project Week 4

Dear Constant Reader,

This week I decided to go with a theme. I’m working on a bathtub act and now that it’s coming along nicely, I decided to look at other bathing acts for encouragement and inspiration.

  • Lili St. Cyr – Salome’s Bath. I had to start with the classic! (h/t to Corinne Southern for suggesting it and thus inspiring this theme)
  • Angie Pontani – Hendrick’s Bathtub Gin (also here and here). This is my tub in its former life!
  • Ixion Burlesque – Wine Bath. A totally different kind of bath.
  • Immodesty Blaize in the bath. Too bad it was so short!
  • Tonya Kay – Bathtub Burlesque. This was billed as a tribute to Lili St. Cyr, but I don’t see it as such.
  • Sugar Blue Burlesque’s Odile Devine – Tribute to Lili St. Cyr. A beautiful “tub”. I’d love to take a closer look at it.
  • Dita von Teese – Le Bain. Bonus: I have fondled that costume.


Published in: on 27 July 2015 at 3:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

Video Project Week 3

Dear Constant Reader,

Here’s my third week of videos. A few thoughts:

I’m finding it hard to pick only performers I’ve never seen, but I am sticking to acts I’ve never seen.

I originally planned only to watch contemporary videos, but I stumbled upon a vintage act I’d heard of, but hadn’t known had ever been filmed. I still don’t know what it looked like on stage, since this is full of sooper-high-tech camera trickery.

I’m trying to break out of the classic rut and watch a little neo-burlesque too. I’m unlikely to do a neo-style act, but that doesn’t mean there’s not inspiration there too.

Sometimes I don’t know what the camera person/video editor was thinking!

The biggest thing I’m taking away is that I have got to up my game!

  • Miss Cherry Delight – The Evil Queen
  • Lady Shanime – Bombshell Betty Bump
  • Lili VonSchtupp – Vampire
  • Wham Bam Pam – Pam’s Magic Wand
  • Lili St Cyr – Cinderella’s Love Lesson
  • Medianoche’s winning performance at the New Orleans Burlesque Festival
  • Flora Gattina – Shoe Love
  • M2

    Published in: on 21 July 2015 at 10:40 am  Leave a Comment  


    Dear Constant Reader,

    My Constant Critic complained yesterday that my post was less than interesting. I confess I was pressed for time and only sent out the list of videos I had watched over the past week.

    So, as it is now half way through the month, what have I learned? Let’s see…

  • Some days it’s hard to find something I want to watch. Suggestions, please!
  • True love of music and concept comes through in the performance.
  • If you are going to have a really big prop, really work it.
  • Simplicity can be mesmerizing.
  • I need to continue to work on my core strength.
  • Cheap magic really does work.
  • Atmospheric lighting doesn’t always film well. (I knew this, but there were some clear reminders)
  • I should do more floor work and stocking removes.
  • Plus some intangible inspiration that I hope colors my upcoming performances.


    Published in: on 15 July 2015 at 2:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

    Video Project Week 2

    Dear Constant Reader,

    I’m sticking to my resolution to watch one burlesque video a day for the month of July. Here’s what tickled my fancy over the past week:

  • Imogen Kelly’s Step-Down Performance at BHoF
  • Mr. Gorgeous – Ice Cream
  • Ray Gunn – Morpheus
  • Kalani Kokonuts – The Geisha
  • Catherine D’lish – World’s Largest Feather Fans
  • Vicky Butterfly – The Imperial Faberge Swan’s Egg
  • Inga Ingenue at Viva Las Vegas #14
  • In case you’ve just joined us, the Week 1 videos are here.


    Published in: on 14 July 2015 at 11:47 am  Leave a Comment  

    Video Project Week 1

    Dear Constant Reader,

    As part of continuing to improve as a performer I decided to watch a burlesque video a day for the month of July. I’m aiming for some inspiration, to break out of my comfort zones, to learn more, and what better way to do that than watch other people’s performances.

    I don’t actually like watching videos on my computer so this is a bit of effort. But there are only so many live performances I can get to and without videos I’m missing out on so much. My rules are that it’s got to be an act I’ve never seen before and I’m trying to watch mostly performers I’ve never seen live.

    This week I watched:

    What are your favorite performances? I’m happy to hear suggestions. I have 24 more days!


    Published in: on 7 July 2015 at 11:51 am  Leave a Comment