Burlesque is a DIY (do it yourself) scene. There is no audition or manager to hire you. Every act you see on the Burly Q Lounge stage (and 90% of other burlesque shows) are indivulal artists who came up with a concept, then costumed, choreographed, and booked it in a show . Sometimes that is sewing the costume themselves, sometimes that is getting it made by a seamstress. Either way, they created a piece of performance art, then sent the videos to producers around the country to get it booked on a stage.
There are no "gatekeepers" in burlesque. You, and you alone, are how you become a burlesque dancer.
Start by going to your local shows. This is the single most important thing you can do. Google "Burlesque show in (insert your city)" or ask Facebook or Twitter "does anyone know of burlesque shows in my city?". Even the smallest towns often have multiple burlesque producers. You'll be pleasantly surprised at how many shows are out there!
Check out each show at least once. There are SO MANY KINDS of burlesque. Saying "I love burlesque" is like saying "I love music shows". Ok, do you love Garth Brooks or Gwar or Kay Perry or what?! Burlesque is an art from, but the genres and executions vasty vary! There is:
Checking out many types of shows will allow you to find what speaks to you. You just might fall in love with a whole new style!
Now make it! That's truly all there is to it. It sounds intimating, but if you've followed the above steps, it's a lot easier! You'll have so many ideas floating around in your head! All those creative juices will totally cancel out the intimidation. Now, it's time to pick your music, make a costume, and choreograph your act. There are more detailed blogs about all these things. Just google to your hearts content and make your magic!
Wonderful! Now it's time to film it and email it to the show's producer. Cell phone video from your living room is fine. Just be honest in your email, mention that this is your first act, how long you've been following their show, why you think it would be a good fit and (most importantly) "If you have any notes on the act, I would appreciate it. I know I'm new but am excited about learning how to be a great burlesque performer."
Here's the thing. That last part has to be true. Getting a critique is HARD. But it's the only way to learn and improve. You may need to do this several times, adjusting and re-filming with each email before getting on a stage. But dedication and perseverance always win.
This is very important. If you have an idea for your burlesque name, Google it! If you want to name yourself, oh, I don't know, "KiKi Maroon". Do the following searches:
Then do the same searches as above with different spellings (i.e. "KeKe Maroon", "KeyKey Maroon", KiiKii Maroon", etc.)
Nothing says "I don't take this seriously" as emailing a producer with a name that's already established. It would be like starting a new band and naming it Metallica. Good luck getting gigs with that name!