- Go to the right show with the right person.
Burlesque is a verrrryyyy broad genre. Think about it like a film genre. If you decided to see a “romantic comedy” you could be watching anything from the somewhat crass American Pie, to the young and hip 10 Things I hate About You to a sappy tear jerker you’d see with your Mum on Mother’s Day… like anything with that English actor who did the you-know-what with the you-know-who when he was married to Liz Hurley…anyway, you get the idea.
Burlesque is like that. It can be anything from the crass and bawdy, to the arty and edgy, to the classic and glamourous. So do your research as best you can. Try your best to pick the right show for the right occasion. An underground Burlesque Show that shoots the audience with phallic shaped water pistols in symbolic challenge of the patriarchal status quo may not be appropriate for a work function…or a first date. Or maybe it is? Everyone’s different. The key is to realise not all Burlesque shows are the same, and to match the show with the your occasion and whom you are going with.
- Arrive at the right time- not too early, not too late.
Arrive late and you may either be locked out of the show or you will have to make an award entrance into the show while its going. This usually means you scuttle in, and find a seat at the back of the room, where you can’t see properly and spend the rest of the show straining your neck desperately trying to grow taller so you can see something. Alternatively, you irritatingly bumping fellow punters, apologising profusely as you attempt, unsuccessfully, to creep to some better seats towards the front. Not only will you then be “that” person (OMG like who do they think they are? The nerve!) but you also run the risk of being spotted by a sassy MC who will exploit your rude performance distracting ways for their own comedic gain.
If you arrive too early, before the doors open you will probably find you are too early to enter the venue or be seated and you will have to awkwardly loiter around twiddling your thumbs. Sometimes this is not a problem, like if the venue is has a bar area where you can comfortably wait and have some pre show drinks. However depending on the venue and location this might is not always the case.
The best time to arrive is generally when the "doors open", which should be on your ticket or booking confirmation. This should give you ample time to get a drink, use the bathroom and settle into your seats before the show starts, without being awkwardly early.
- Cheer appropriately loud
At a Burlesque show the audience may…no scrap that…is encouraged to, cheer, clap, whistle and hoot. Ideally, a Burlesque crowd is halfway between the opera and a rock concert; Sitting in silence until the end of a performance to finally squeeze out a restrained golf clap will not suffice and throwing tinnies and crowd surfing off the stage is going too far.
- Keep an open mind
You’ve done a bit of research and you’ve found what you think might suit your posse. You’ve turned up on time, just as the doors open. Now you need to keep an open mind and enjoy the ride! Burlesque is supposed to be a little bit risqué and at least nudge people out of their comfort zone. There is almost always some striptease or displays of flesh and sometimes there is adult themed humour or language depending on the style of the show (remember point 1). Don't forget-watching a live performance with a room of other strangers can be a very different experience to watching something on a screen in your loungeroom. It's normal that seeing a someone remove their clothes and unashamedly jiggling about on stage, could make you feel a little shocked, self-conscious or even bring up feelings of insecurity. If this happens, don’t worry. It’s all part of the experience! Just take a breath, take a swig of your drink, squeeze the hand or leg of the person next to you and repeat step 3!
If you have anymore questions about how to survive your first Burlesque show, contact us. Don't be shy!