Champagne Sparkles

Champagne Sparkles! Effervescent Showgirl Comedienne! She’s based in Victoria, BC, Canada, and has toured throughout Canada, US, and Europe. Festival highlights have included the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend, as well as Vancouver, Itty Bitty, Stockholm, Rome, Paris, Helsinki, Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary, and New York Burlesque Festivals.

Since 2006, Champagne has been co-founder and a key performer with the award winning Cheesecake Burlesque Revue, western Canada’s premier touring burlesque troupe.

Champagne has produced multiple shows in Canada and Berlin, including producing and touring with the Cheesecakes, and is co-founder of the Isle of Tease Burlesque Festival in Victoria, BC. Champagne is also a burlesque educator and loves sharing her knowledge, connecting people, and helping new performers and producers to succeed!

She’s gonna POP your cork!

Transcript (automatic)

hi everybody I’m champagne sparkles and I’m here for ask me anything today so I wanted to start by just saying Cheers and welcome to our event today and thank you so much to Diva and the big sister Big Brother project for having me here today

It’s lovely to be here this is this is my buddy Merv the perv here he’s saying hello as well we’re just I thought we’ve introduced him while we waited for everybody else to come in a lot of people have seen me do the Mahna Mahna act with this guy and this is my first puppet we’re going to talk a little bit about this later but I thought I’d show you maybe a little secret about and that’s what he is this amazing big fuzzy puppet but underneath he has a little tiny skeleton. I don’t know if you know about those snapper toys that you can get for kids this is uh that’s his skeleton inside here not so oh I made him I’ve tried a few other things when I created him but they ended up being so bulky that I just take a bunch of these with me because they do sometimes break and I just keep extra skeletons and I can pull them apart and put him back on to the new skeleton tiny tube.

I’m just going to screw up here so I can see your lovely comments as they come in I hope everybody is doing well today I think it’s evening for a lot of people over in Europe it’s just noon here so no really pretty like pretty fancy lady for noon on a Thursday that time we’re good to go yeah so yeah this is murder and you can see my bucket behind me as well and that’s the one that I wear for jeepers creepers and let’s talk a little bit about that later too here trying to there we go another way so you can see yeah let’s see I don’t know Devo MIDI say should I get started on the questions or shall we shall I talk a little bit more about these guys what do you think Murph nervous so happy to be so happy to be here so happy to be here we don’t talk on stage well I think I will get started because I got a lot of questions the last couple of days so I think maybe I will start on some of those and people can join us as they as they come along and we can answer more questions if there’s time so I’m gonna put Merv up here so that you can see you you see in there there we go oh

All right so let’s have a look here our first question that we had was what advice would you give to a new performer starting out?
Oh okay merge gonna have a lie-down now we’ll get back to we need to yeah you see it on there buddy so what advice would you give to a new performer starting out well I think there are so many resources now for people that are starting that first of all watch as much or less as you can you know go to shows watch videos get out there see everything you can so you can really see what connects for you and what the options are out there I mean they’re literally you can do anything you want so see the gamut and see where you feel like your heart lies and your creative drive one wants to take you get out and meet your community you know wherever you are no matter how big or how small get out and meet the people that are doing this art form and connect in with other other new performers connected with the mentors in your in your community and you’ll really get out there to have a chance oh there we go you know get out there and meet people and when you do start performing ask trusted people for feedback on your performances it’s the best way to grow is really to get feedback on what you’re putting on stage so that people can really you can grow and as a new performer that’s can help you improve so fast if you listen to what people experience when they watch you as the performer it’s so hard to get that experience and on the flip side of that I would also say please watch your videos video your performances and watch them so if you get a chance to see what the audience is seeing and is the creative vision that you have are you actually putting that out there for people to see so that would be my advice for for new performers oh I’m going to take a step back as I saw a well we’ve got some people joining joining in

There was a question where did your inspiration for with puppets come from?
I love The Muppet Show it’s been something that I’ve watched things I was a kid and I’ve always had an infatuation with and it really I started with Merv that was my first puppet and it just seemed like something fun to play with and the song Mahna Mahna as comes from a Swedish softcore porn soundtrack and I just kind of love that with the puppetry and that sort of the history of where that method comes from so yeah it’s really you can blame the Muppets for all of this and I continued to find that just playing with my body and puppets is really fun it’s not all of the performances that I do but there’s kind of some eye-catching ones that I thought were nice to bring to show you this morning afternoon evening for some people and I guess that leads on to one of the questions which is

what is your favorite act?
honestly I can’t pick one they’re all my babies but I do have some favorite moments from some of my some of my acts for example Wonderbra which is about champagne sparkles getting her first bra I love when the delivery truck tires screech onstage and the Wonder Bra box comes shooting across the stage for me to to grab I loved that moment of you know hearing the audience laugh as his boxes deliberate and then when I open it up in the box that the Wonder Bra rhinestone covered Wonder Bra is raised up in the air and the spot light comes on and that those moments for me are our favorites in Jeepers Creepers which is the googly eyed one you see behind me that act builds through the performance with more and more more more googly eyes and then the surprise at the end is that this mouth drops down and those eyeballs are on my button so that’s that’s another moment that I love is built and then a BAM of the mouth coming down people just losing it because they don’t expect to the mouth and with with Merve puppet with this guy I don’t know if you know the Manama muscle on that well but there’s this kind of echoey part the guy runs to the back and at that point this guy dies between my legs and it’s the echo of my cavernous crotch and I love that moment as the as the audience just you know cracks up when they hear the him echoing in the in the background and for the love of champagne which is my parody of the champagne glass act I love that when I climb in the glass and I turn around there’s like butt squeaks across the the glass and then there’s a little tiny fart joke in there which is my first ever fart joke so I loved those moments and I also performed with the truth that she’s came for less review and one of the acts that we do is firework Katy Perry’s Firework and it’s a empowerment piece and that just gives me chills every time just before we drop the the dresses down and they change from black to a bright color hi [Music] and that moment for me just gives me chills on stage every time so I think that’s the favourites for me is these moments in the performances you know the whole package but then there’s these special moments that just give you that special thrill so that’s those are that’s one of my favorites let’s see next up we have I’m gonna put Murph Dan again he’s impeding my question reading

okay my next question is what has been your best burlesque adventure?
so I went on tour in Europe with my troupe the cheesecake burlesque revue and we that was when I was living in Europe and is living in Berlin and they came over and we did a tour where we went to Stockholm and Rome Vienna and Berlin and that was just the best I had and I missed my troupe so them coming over was amazing and then also to have the opportunity to perform in these amazing venues in these amazing cities and then also to adventure around with like an amazing group of women you know we had amazing cities we met great people we got to you know I mean really you’re an entourage you can have so much fun just on your own you’ve got buddies to to do stuff with you’ve got folks that will help out in stressful situations but we were you know able to tour around Europe together and that was really such a special a special tour and every city in itself was a different adventure like we did festivals and then we did you know some productions in Berlin and it was really an awesome awesome experience and I think I might actually just take two seconds two seconds a few seconds to give you a little bit of background about myself now that some of the people have joined in and so my name is Janet sparkles I’m live in Victoria British Columbia which is on the west coast of Canada on an island I’m one of the founding members of the cheesecake burlesque revue and we’ve been around since 2006 that’s how I started performing the last was with the troupe let’s see we in teaching and performing and producing shows burlesque shows since 2006 I started teaching later than that but but I’ve been producing shows since the 90s of different kinds not all burlesque but it’s so I’ve been producing burlesque show since 2006 and different kinds of events it started off with punk rock shows and then some environmental activist activism stuff and different kinds of concerts and things like that and then really kind of exclusively for us since 2006 so it’s pretty been something that’s been a part of my life for almost 13 years now and in the middle of that experience I did move to Europe and spent three years living in Berlin and had a amazing time doing that and then moved back to Canada and at the end of 2015 so I’ve had some experiences across the world as well as as a troop member and as a solo artist as a teacher and a producer so I’ve got questions that kind of cover the gamut of that today and if we can add any people add questions in the comments I can even try and add some more questions at the end if there’s time so thank you so much for being here and I’m going to continue on with some more some more questions

so the next question that came that I have on my list here was when was the last time you did something for the first time?
well I recently had Christmas with two young children for the first time I was my nephew’s and that was very exciting but I don’t think that’s what this is about the last time I did something for the first time that was for less related was at birley Con in November I took some workshops and classes that were outside of my comfort zone I took controlled chaos with eyes on E which was I’m not I don’t come from a dance background so for me to take real challenging dance class was very challenging and exciting and definitely pushed some boundaries for me I’m a fairly I’m not much of an improviser and this really had a lot of that in it and so it was nice to kind of stretch my movement vocabulary and you have a chance to do that and I also took the naked truth with coke loaf bread woz who’s a performer out of Toronto and that was about accessing some of your authentic emotions and putting those using them to inform what you put on stage so it was you know really digging deep into some of the experiences that you’ve had and then using that to fuel what you would perform so that those were both new things to me and we’re very exciting and I highly recommend taking classes anytime you can that are outside of your area of comfort and it’s hard but also so important and really helps you to stretch who you are as a person and as a performer and this weekend in fact you might think I do a lot of puppeteering but I don’t come from a puppeting background at all it was I really have just learned it through trial and error and a little bit of work shopping here but I’m taking you to week two day intensive this weekend on how to puppeteer anything so it’s about being able to pick up I don’t know Mike this guy with him I’m sure I’ll be much better at it by Monday so that’s something that I am doing for the first time tomorrow or on Friday and Saturday or Saturday and Sunday so that’s that’s what’s been that’s what I’ve done that’s been new to me and let’s see what rocks your world Wow there’s so many things but absurdity joy and kindness and jemmye Cheers I would say those are three things that definitely rock my world what their who is your favorite stand-up comedian I don’t I actually watch a lot of stand-up comedy so I thought of who are some of my favorite comedians and who I definitely find aren’t inspiring for me people like Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett Betty White oh my goodness just who I want to be when I grow up Bea Arthur and Ruth Wallace and Ruth Buzzi are some of the comedians that I would highly recommend looking up even if you aren’t even if you aren’t a comedic performer because there are just really funny and entertaining people and certainly if you’re interested in comedy to see how all of them craft what they put out in their performances is just such a learning experience yeah so that’s that is who I like around comedy

let’s see the next question is about troupe life and specifically how does a troupe get into Turin and it is much different than touring as a solo artist?
in some ways it’s more difficult because most many producers in what we think of as our kind of regular brush shows booked in more of a variety format where they book sort of individual acts and individual performers so to book a large group to come in and do one or two acts in a show is awesome cost per cost prohibitive so that can be more difficult to get access to but when technique I have found is to work with a producer and do like a takeover of their show where you put the the troupe that your Cardo puts together the whole show in sort of the format and the style of what that producers vision is so working with the producer to do an entire show and then figuring out a cost share for that so that’s one one way is to look at the places you want to go and reach out to producers that are putting on shows you can also reach out to venues to host your whole production and that’s mostly what we do is we travel around to various parts of mostly British Columbia in Alberta which are the two western provinces in Canada and we get booked into theaters as part of their theatre season so there they do all of the product the promotion and the ticketing and they pay us a fee to come and perform and that certainly is probably the easiest as a troop

it does take a while to to get into that circuit so as a as an experienced troop that took us or it took us some time getting experience doing self productions to be able to get access to that but we you know in those cases where paid a flat C our travels paid our accommodation is provided things like that so it does make the travelling experience and the touring experience quite quite nice and the other the other opportunities to self-produce so to look at the cities that you would like to go to you know look for venues that are available to rent or to be part of and to produce your whole to produce your show there that can be a little bit riskier because promotion wise if it’s all on G on your troupe that can be a bit more difficult if you don’t have a lot of contacts in that place so teaming up with a local producer or some kind of local component that has access to and knows where to promote your shows – can be a good way to team up and and build that build those opportunities with you know not taking on too much risk – you know to just show up in a city where you know no one and have had no help can be quite daunting and risky but if you can get those partners then that’s definitely those are ways to explore touring hmm okay so what’s next on our list here [Music] what do you find most helpful in balancing all of your burlesque activities responsibilities and needs oh it’s hard it is it’s quite difficult to balance everything I have our troupe which I do a lot of the production and bookings and management components for I have my own solo performances that I do so get getting bookings for myself as a solo artist as well as teaching and developing that stuff I also run another company which is not related so that also I need to balance that in

I find that making time for creation of new materials is the most challenging and what I need to really make sure I keep room for otherwise the other tasks that are coming up for you know for the next show or the next workshop or getting the future bookings those things all attend to take over as they you know are more feel more urgent so I really have to be organized I use calendars and lists and I personally like Evernote which is a software that syncs between devices for keeping track of all those things and scheduling in the rehearsal time so our troupe rehearses twice a week at the same time almost every week and then I scheduled my own time in my calendar to make sure that I have time to work on my own new creations and also to rehearse my my solo pieces are small group pieces with other performers so that’s the balancing is hard and it really just takes being organized and it’s a lot of lists and I actually took down this whole wall of sticky notes for today just so that we didn’t clutter up your view but I do keep track of everything with a lot of these guys let’s see what’s next when did you reach the point where you were comfortable for us comfortable asking for a set rate for shows what made you realize that you were worth X amount it’s still not always comfortable but because I manage our troupe and did our bookings right from the beginning and I had worked on other events working with with artists where we were you know booking people to perform I got some practice talking about money and because it was something I had to do right from the start of performing I found that the more upfront and straightforward I was about talking about money the easier it was because once that’s agreed on its and it’s the contract to sign and the agreement is there then we just move on to creating the show and putting together the most awesome experience that we can for that producer in that audience so being straightforward and not you know if something is vague just asking the questions is definitely what helped and I think booking for a trip first before myself as a solo artist was helpful because Here I am representing this amazing group of women we put on this great show so it was it wasn’t just about asking money for me it was about being like this is worth this so when it came to booking myself as a solo artist I was able to look at that and kind of scale it in terms of what I offer producer and an event and being able to advocate for myself but it I find it still is harder but I just you know pull up my big-girl panties and do it and I do I still don’t have like an exact set rate it’s so dependent on what the events are so I have sort of a standard rate that I know I’m gonna that I you know I’m kind of targeting and then I look at is this a big corporate event that has you know hundreds of seats and the tickets are super expensive and they we’ve got they got the money to put into it and I do this for our troop too what’s you know what is you know what what is our worth to that event and then you know so for something that’s corporate or something that’s artist-run and as a small show I mean that’s a big range both of what they can afford so really looking at what is the capacity and what do I feel good about for doing the work and you know what’s what’s my effort going to be to make that my part of that event happen so I do kind of have a standard that I’m looking for but it definitely does get it definitely does gets it’s possible it’s flexible depending on what what II what the event is and what the producers can do I see people coming on it’s hard to look at heat down here up there anyway oh my goodness I do like the idea of a sticky note act on hey viola nice to see you not see you but Puritan see ya you know so

next question what or who inspired you to get into burlesque?
you’re gonna laugh because this business that you’re seeing behind you but Katherine delish um I saw her in like the late 90s early 2000s in the Commodore in Vancouver and she just blew me away oh I wish I could do that that’s amazing and then I went to grad school and I started company and I did bunch other stuff and then later on some of the people that are in our troupe we one in particular was her one of her milestone birthdays and she wanted to have a blessed workshop for her birthday so we hired someone to come over from Vancouver excuse me and teach us for the full day and we had an amazing time we learned some choreography we made tassel nipple tassels pasties we learned how to spin them we learned about the history of burlesque we created four less names that’s when I got my name and out of that amazing day of like awesome feminine energy we decided to have a party where we put on a little show in one of our also founding troupe members living room where we did the same piece of choreography twice because we had too many people to even fit in the living room and I created my first solo piece then we had another friend come from the Coover and she had a couple’s burlesque acts and we really just did this like fun party for our friends and people raved about it and then they asked us to come soon and do it something at another party and honestly it just grew organically from there we joined up with other women in Victoria that were interested in having in performing burlesque and then we started getting booked into some clubs and then from there it really grew to theaters and you know no touring and it really was kind of a slow build and then it took off so that’s how I got into burlesque and

the next question actually leads nicely from there …

how big apart how big apart is collaboration with other performers play in your career and how does that impact your solo work?
well you can probably tell it’s been a huge impact that collaboration has been a massive impact on my personal burlesque career both in the troupe and as a solo artist the since I started my first burlesque performances were with the troops so right from the beginning it was collaborative so with creating group acts and even developing our solo work getting the feedback from from my fellow troop numbers has been integral right from the beginning in the first couple of years we had indigo blue come up from Seattle which is not too far away and kind of mentor us because there wasn’t a lot of opportunities for that in Victoria at the time and so we learned about giving feedback and receiving feedback and how that can really help you develop as an artist so I would say without collaboration I wouldn’t even have a solo burlesque career because that’s really where I created all of this madness see around you and and I wouldn’t have had the opportunities both as a troop and and as a soloist without without collaborative part of the development it’s gave me so many of the performance skills and the production skills that I have so it’s been really invaluable to me as a as a blast artist okay oh hi indigo I don’t know if you’re here for your shout out but thank you so much for everything you did with the trip early on we still so much appreciate what you gave to us when you came came up here and mentored us

so the next question to do with Jeepers Creepers which is my googly eye act where did you get the inspiration for this act?
well I’m going to ask you to think back a few years and if you remember that gift that went around of there was a woman with googly eyes on her butt and she had her butt cheek slapping together and the googly eyes were spinning that is the Nugget of this act here I when I saw that kiss it just made me laugh so much and it was like so joyful and silly and that was really the inspiration for what started that whole googly-eyed extravaganza so that was the start of it and then

the next question was how did you get all of those eyes to stay in place with so much movement?
there is a lot of to pay tape and I also have them attached my last so I’m just gonna grab this here now you get to see the ugly part but this is a bit twisty but you can see there’s there’s a waistband that goes around and then they’re attached on so those go around eat around the button each leg so you can see it it’s all attached and then I stick it on so that they onto my butt today they’re my baby as well so that’s that’s how they stay on and even the pasties I which are just big single googly eyes I actually I wear a body suit so I ended up they if it was a hot and sweaty venue I was finding they were starting to come off because they are so heavy so I actually have little ties where they tie on to the bodysuit behind me so that they stay on and they don’t go flying off because because it’s a googly eye yes that is a legendary gift and that is the inspiration for that business okay let’s see um

the next question is what is the easiest or best way to find a new group?

I’ve relocated and I feel like a fish out of water I totally know this feeling when I moved to Berlin well I had had the fortune of visiting there before and and it being a very welcoming community but I did have to really think about how to connect into an established community and how to to be part of it and to be a complementary part of it so I think the the first thing is you should look at social media you know you’ve moved somewhere look and see who who is performing there who’s producing there what’s going on see join any group so if you you know move to thank Hoover join Vancouver burlesque and you know check and see if your if your city or town has a group like that so you can introduce yourself you can ask for advice you know what shows to go to dance classes to take things like that to start connect with people but probably the most important thing is you’ve got to go you’ve got to go out you’ve got to go to shows and meet people see that burlesque that’s going on there and and find your people and I really recommend going in character put going in your drag dressing up so that you stand out as someone who is maybe not just a regular audience member that gives you an opening in a way to break really to talk to people and I found that for me going when I moved to Berlin that made a huge difference once people get to know you and they see you can kind of like maybe toe in your dragged back down all the time in case you don’t feel like doing it all the time but it’s a way to meet people and to have people recognize you as you as you connect in with the community it just I found it’s super super helpful and then you know offer to volunteer for events and you know be part of the community and what’s going on and then you can present yourself to producers and venues as you know as a producer yourself if you are or or as a as a performer and it keeps you a chance to see where your silent for less might fit in best as well so it gives you you know a way to meet meet your people find your find your glitter hive so hopefully got some helpful tips when you move to a new place it’s certainly stressful and it’s scary and it’s scary to go out to those things by yourself but hopefully you know the burlesque community globally well enough to know that most of the time that they’re either awkward introverts and you just need to kind of you know tap in there and make the connection and put your you know be brave or or they’re outgoing for various people and they’re gonna come up and talk to you and they when they see that you’re kind of part of that you know you look like you’re probably part of that community even if you’re not from there yeah okay so next question

what are your favorite resources to share with people from remote areas looking to learn burlesque?
that is tough when you’re in you know a small remote place even where we are Victoria British Columbia we’re on an island in the middle of nowhere we do not have a garment garment district that’s for sure so you know getting resources can be challenging we’re not a super small city but or a super remote but maybe compared to some big cities we might be considered that way um I think first of all you know find books you know order books online bring them in Joe boobs bras hand book is a really great resource you know for people that are starting out her vlog also having a look at you know online tutorials YouTube Vimeo so much of that there’s so many more resources available now to be able to access information find people in the community that have skills that are gonna transfer into burlesque so people that offer dance classes or theater or sewing or singing classes you know connect in with them and grow your own skill set that you can then transfer into burlesque and if you can make the effort to come to a professional development event like Burleigh Khan or looking you know if you’re if you’re not in North America then potentially looking for something like that in Europe or Australia or wherever you happen to be but finding something where you can get some intensive training I mean going to Burley con for you know three or three three days of classes you are going to be saturated and that will give you a lot of tools to take you through to the you know to develop your burlesque and if you can’t do that and pool resources with who with other people that are interested in your place and bring someone to you so find you know a performer and a teacher that you really connect with and you know bring them in for an intensive that’s another great way to pull your resources and get a lot out of out of the work that you’re doing let’s see oh of course some other resources videos so many things to watch online all of the B Hawk videos are coming out right now look at videos of legends you know order DVDs online so many for less troops and teachers and artists have put out DVDs there’s many options for learning different skills or even just watching people perform you know historical and contemporary videos so definitely there’s resources there even if you’re not in a place that has a big community that you can look into and then also when you’re in a remote area resources for costuming and prop making can also be really challenging so you know online resources like Amazon Express or great great ways to get you know your sparkles and boas and googly eyes and sandbags whatever it is that you need you know brought to a remote place just give yourself lots of time to order and and also fabric stores and you know dance shoes all of those things are available online it’s much harder when you can’t try stuff on but with a little trial and error I think people you know in remote areas can create something super special I found that you know being on an island we kind of created our own special brand of what we did because we didn’t have a lot of cross-pollination early on so I think that helped us really delve into the comedy work that we do and some of the crazy silly blessed performances that we do so sometimes being remote also gives you a chance to create your own special unique you know style by performing

hey leading on for those from that question was which facebook groups or websites do you subscribe to that would be useful to other performers?
there are so many out there but I did pick a few that I thought were particularly useful and that will help lead to other groups that might be of interest for for specific types of performing so this webpage that were or the site Facebook group that we’re on right now is such a valuable resource the big big big sister Big Brother project that diva Hollywood started is such a great resource that opportunity to answer questions ask questions and answer questions and you know really to get global information is so valuable and the number of people that are part of it is just staggering it’s so fantastic another one that I really love is the easiest costumer this is another Facebook group and it’s an amazing resource if you’ve got costuming questions or you’re struggling with how to create something really great in and for resources as well for where to order things I would also look for groups that are specific to the places near you or or in your near you or in your city or in places that you want to go and join those so that you can start to connect with people the worldwide where les festival group is great it gives you a chance to see what festivals are available potentially near you or if you want to travel and and attend festivals and the quiet festivals it’s a great resource to know when those applications are doing things like that there’s burlesque events and castings so if you want to travel somewhere it’s great to keep an eye on that and then there are also casting groups for lots of different places so really just searching for where you want to go and see what’s happening there are some burlesque by style swap and rent or hire groups as well so if you’re looking for specific in costume pieces it’s a great place to look and 21st century burlesque magazine has some awesome articles so and going back over the years great tips great tutorials and you know good coverage of what’s going on in the best community so I’d say those are highlights there’s so many more though but I would just be here for the rest of the talk if we were doing that and I see how many questions I have and only 20 minutes left so I’m gonna move on the next question

the cheesecakes have such a stellar reputation seem to book a lot of corporate gigs what would you say has been helpful in booking these types of gigs and what are the big lessons to share around around that
we don’t do a ton of huge big corporate events like coca-cola or something like that but we do do private events like New Year’s Eve and Christmas shows and conferences and stuff like that we once did a truck login conference yes that’s the West Coast for you resource-based and we do get booked a lot for shows in larger theaters that are outside of our outside of our city so for booking these having a proper website that really represents what your group are you as an individual repres represents you your true artistic self is so helpful because then people can really see who it is that who you are and what it is that you offer and having a good teaser video good social media presence and videos of all of our all of our acts so that we can really offer people that we can show them exactly what it is that we’re offering I would say the things oh and a good press can’t keeping you know keeping that information in from promo photos quotes BIOS all of that stuff together so that you’re able to hand it off very easily is so important the lessons I would say are to be very clear about what the expectations are for you being part of a corporate event so is it performance only is it mingling are they expecting you to take photographs you know be available for photographs with the people that are attending to be very clear about that and if those things are part of it to make sure that you are adequately compensated for that work because it can take a huge amount of energy and time make sure that they know how much clothing removal there is going to be especially for something that’s corporate or private be very very clear and explicit about what it is that how little clothing you go down to because it is the worst to show up an event where they think they know what Velasquez and then you and then they see pasties out or whatever and then they go home and you have to adapt your act on the fly it’s better to know that up front and then you can tweak tweak it or not take the booking if it’s not suitable for you and sign contracts make sure that you have a signed contract that that’s very clearly all of that stuff is laid out and how the cancellation clause in it because it can happen with corporate events but someone gets really excited about for less and looks you and then close the event someone else looks in on it and says wait a second we can’t have that our Christmas party whatever so making sure that you have a cancellation clause because at that point it might be too late for you to get other bookings so I would say those are some tips for for corporate events and honestly for any kind of booking um next question

if you could go back in time and give baby champers one piece of advice what would it be

my advice to me would be don’t be afraid to look stupid or silly one stage it was honestly one of my biggest fears when I started out and it turns out to be one of my biggest strengths so I wish I could have let go of that earlier and that’s definitely what I would have told myself and leaning on from that late Lou asked hey there sparkles what’s your most embarrassing or funniest moment on stage and it happened in the and there is a fairly empty event they’re called when semaj lovely 20s events I you know as a comedian they’re not often booked for those kind of things but I do have a few it acts that do fit into that realm and I fell on stage in both of my acts the first time I heel caught on the back of my the back of my dress and it pulled me over backwards it was a with a dress that had snaps down went inside the whole dress fell off and I had jumped back up let’s do just the stuff that was supposed to be on at the end of the act and my dress on the floor and to pick it up and do like twirls and spins and stuff with his tres and try and try and recover from it the audience it was fun with that dress remember was amazing though and in the same show and felt because because it was this 20s event and they really do strive to be very authentic in the atmosphere that they’re creating my two options for a chair one was a plastic chair and one was an upholstered chair with it’s kind of velvety nubbly upholstery on it and the plastic chair wouldn’t do for the ambiance so I used this upholstered chair and I had a sequin belt on and when I went to do my chair work and spin my legs up the sequined belt kind of locked in with the fabric of the chair so instead of me spinning on the chair myself and the whole chair spun legs up in the air and the whole thing fell down on the stage this heavy wooden upholstered chair and me with the loudest boom and then I am amazingly bouncy it turns out bounced out under stress the act but it was definitely a shock for me and everyone in the front row the chair made when it hit the ground I hit the same anyway that is definitely my probably my most embarrassing and funny and it soaks them happened in the same show anyway okay moving on you have some amazing amazing acts of puppets or puppet like experience like jeepers creepers and Mahna Mahna and where did that start well we covered that early but because those people that came in the Muppets it’s all gland on the Muppets I love the Muppets and they are a huge they’re a huge part of what inspired me early on and still for some of my acts just continued to be a part of where I seem to evolve my acts into is either using puppets are using my body as a as a puppet um oh thanks diva that’s good to know I think I probably will go over because I still have this many pages of fudge – so many good questions came in but I would continue to move through them in a quick way and we can wrap up with me – but we still have a little bit of time okay my next

the next question was your costumes have a great color story where do you get inspiration for color?
I love clashing colors especially for performing is I you know if they might not be things that you might wear in everyday but I love when colors make each other pop so I look for that out in the world and you know when I’m looking at things online I see when I see color combinations that I find interesting and I feel like they kind of make one make the other pop I will I will take a picture of it or save that image so that when I’m looking for inspiration for an act that I’m developing I can go back through and and choose something that I feel like it’s gonna work for that so you know I like orange and pink together and turquoise and pink and green I do love bright colors myself and there was some feedback that we got early on actually actually from indigo she came up and and gave feedback on one of the shows that we did and it happened to be a red red theme valentines show so so many the acts had red and black in them and the feedback was like why so much red and black and that sort of stuff for me was you know that typical sexy colors are you know are beautiful and there’s a reason why we like them and were drawn to them but I really like to push to something else that I find more interesting and exciting to look at and it creates great contrast if there’s you know people doing like nude illusion and you know some of the classic you know hot pink and black or red and black to throw in something that has a wild color combination is exciting for the audience and and it helps you know with the flow of the show so for me I just love to jam a bunch of colors together and see what’s what peniston’s for me and the same thing with patterns and and you know mixing up different kind of items you can see it very well kind of a cool pattern on the back of it which you don’t really see in the onions but it gives me pleasure okay yes I like that Evelyn my vote is if the colors can happen in nature then it can happen on stage yellow and pink purple and green excited I totally agree and I do keep an eye out in nature for weird color comedy kind of pop

next question I’m a big fan from afar and through the internet that she’s capable asking you how do you workshop acts in that truth and how does the group form

I talked a bit about our group being formed earlier so given the time constraints say it again but really we came together in a work in a workshop it just has a group of friends and we developed organically from there into performance for friends and then then getting you know ourselves into a club and then getting booked into theatres and it’s just been an organic growth all the way through and people have you know that we’re with the troupe at the start there’s some of us that are still there you know four or five of us that were there from the beginning would have been all the way through but other people who were into it more as something that was fun to do with friends as you know just in a friend group you know it left the truth and you know early on and then people that we’re more interested in performing professionally joined as we’ve evolved as a tree and that’s how we serve evolved all the way along and how do we how do we workshop acts in our truth we use the the format that they use in early con so I’ll describe a little bit what that flakes for people that may not have been there but when we workshop acts the first thing we do is we present concepts to the to the truth so we if someone will play some music they’ll talk about what their ideas for a costume are they’ve got the question piece that inspired them a little bit of choreography anything just to get a sense of what that act is and then we talk about it as a troupe make sure that it’s something you think will fit in with what we with what we present and then that person or those people will go away and work on work on it some more bring it back as it’s being developed so it’s definitely an iterative process and we use the really kinda method of feedback which is that you present the piece the people giving feedback have cards they write down their feedback so that when you leave you have written feedback it’s very hard to hear feedback and retain it all we have some agreements that we use is that and that’s I’m just going to read them for you we give and receive feedback this support it’s specific construction and constructive and we will listen and be open to hearing the feedback when we give feedback we write it down and we use phrases like what worked well what would happen yeah even better if and we make sure that it’s specific constructive and realistic feedback so that people can have a chance to really hear it and talk about it and then and then take it away with them and bring it back at the next iteration so generally with our truth and Act needs to be stage ready other than maybe some embellishments two weeks before before a show so there’s still time for fun to me so we do have a fairly long process that we take for developing new stuff but that means that things don’t go on stage that aren’t ready to go on stage so hopefully that was helpful if you’ve got questions about that you could definitely message me later and I can give you more details like the next question is

are there horror stories of non Canadian performers being held up at the border?
when going to Canada to perform and then having to pay a daily performer fee like for the island cheese for Less festival so I had to reach out to my colleague desperate Valentine who runs the to me brass festival because I love teas is going to pop in for the first Evelyn yes you may use any part of what I just said about the feedback to your home troupe this is something we learned through our work with indigo and Burley con and that is open to sharing with everybody we just everyone wants to see everybody get better and use feedback to move move forward and create better and better bless it’s how we’re going to get up so back to crossing the border into Canada so I reached out Island cheese is going to be is the new festival that we’re creating in Victoria and next November so we haven’t actually had to deal with this yet but I reached out to best for Valentine who runs the Whitney Brewers festival and she said at which is what was my understanding is that performers can come from from other countries to Canada to work on short term engagements without a visa or a work limit but you do need a letter of invitation so when you have a letter of invitation and you cross the border it should say what the engagement is and it should be something like two weeks or less so that when the it’s then you don’t need to work from it or a visa at all so there’s definitely more information about that online you can also message weeks I have links now for it and can definitely lungs like a short-term gig kind of thing for showcases and workshops you absolutely can come to Canada so come to Canada it’s great crossing into the US as a as a foreign person whether you’re from Canada or anywhere else without a visa is a totally different story than coming to Canada and it that’s something that we could maybe have a discussion about on the big sister big brother project group because it’s something that will go on for a long time and I am NOT an expert in it but I know that it’s people have been turned back from Canada and been banned from going to the US for two years return across to go to a festival for example so we can have more conversation about that maybe online what do you love most about teaching burlesque I had loved two things one is when I’m teaching burlesque performers I love I mostly teach character and act development stuff I’ve don’t come from a dance background so this is kind of where I feel like I have a lot to offer for other performers I love to see them go outside of their comfort zone and really develop their personas and try out different ways of being the characters that they’re presenting on the stage so I love seeing people experiment with that so when I’m teaching and I get a chance to help people facilitate or doing that it makes me so happy and when I’m teaching non-performers which we do a lot when we – or we teach classes to communities and most of the time they’re you know they’ll range from late teens to 70 70 plus years old in the in the class and I love teaching tassel – really to them I love getting all of those ladies with their tops off and first everybody sunshine they’re putting you know they’re putting the Pacey’s on and they’re you know so awkward and nervous and there’s a few people that don’t want to do it and by the time everyone else their tops off and you put boobs from 20 to 70 plan songs you know in the room and they’re all swinging their tassels around it is so beautiful like the joy and the catharsis that you see and so much fun that just really makes you know really gives me a huge thrill and have these women leave our workshops with like this little secret that they’ve done this hasit swim together and they’re gonna see each other around town and be like it makes me so happy and it and the the joy they feel in their bodies in the in that moment is so amazing so yes those are things I love about teaching is the next one is is silly something that comes naturally to you or did you have to push out of your comfort zone to make your ex yes and no the silliness come naturally to me I am a very sleek person with my friends kind of in everyday life but when I when I started performing I was not silly onstage in fact I was terrified terrified of looking stupid or ridiculous onstage I knew that I could be cheeky but I was not comfortable with me like seductive and smoldery or being silly or weird and I’m sad that I felt that way when I started but that’s what it was and it wasn’t until I saw photos of my myself with this guy and I saw that my face does all kinds of things when I’d be performing with him and I didn’t know until I saw those photos and then videos afterwards that people who are laughing at me as well as well as at the puppet so and I it was this positive reaction that I got some people by having these crazy ridiculous silly faces they kind of opened up that strength for me of being silly onstage and to be okay with being ridiculous and to celebrate that and to really enjoy the audience reaction to that happening so um so I guess it came naturally can’t basically comes naturally to me but I was afraid to go there for a while and then when I did it was so so so rewarding okay so the next question what is your favorite aspect Burlesk well as a performer hearing that audience reaction to something that I’ve created is such a thrill but our actual time on the stage is so short in this in everything that we do here so really on top of like that you know being able to share my creation on stage and and hearing the audience enjoy it is the people I mean I have met amazing people all over the world that you know I connect with some of them even on a daily basis that are across the world and to have that community opened up to me through burlesque is really one of my favorite favorite things so next question

five years ago where do you think you’d be in burlesque and how does that reflect where you are now
five years ago I was living in Berlin and right in the middle of writing producing and performing a play there with some other women in Beart in Berlin called Berliner Luft and at that time we thought we’d be Turing the play and I was performing entering his you know as a soloist yeah in Europe and the cheesecakes were coming to do a tour there after that play a couple two of the members started families and my husband and I decided that we would come back to Canada so I’m not at all I don’t know exactly where I thought I would be five years ago but I didn’t know that I would be back in Canada that’s for sure but I still so treasure the time that I had in Europe and I’m looking forward to coming back for a visit and to come back with the cheesecakes and to do another tour and I’m but I’m also super happy to be back here and back regularly with my troupe who I did miss a lot when I was there and to be part of some of the new developments that are happening in my home province so there are numerous festivals that have come up in the last few years that I’ve been able to be a part of and perform with and to create a new Festival on the west coast here that I love to use so I’m super happy where I am even if it’s not where I thought it would be five years ago what experience have you have you helped that what experience has have you had that helped you gain the coping tools for when things go wrong on stage is the next question practice practice and that has two components one is I rehearse a lot I’m that person in the troop that’s always like lips so two more times and that’s because I don’t retain choreography very easily I really have to get it in my body to be able to perform it so I’m not and you know that’s three packs of solo stuff I’d rehearse a lot but that also means that because it’s in my body when stuff goes wrong I can usually find my way back into the performance and I also by rehearsing a lot it means that I know my costumes really well so I know the tricky parts like the sleeves for this act here I sometimes have trouble with zippers on it and I’ve changed them a few times and I’m still working on figuring out exactly what to do there but I know that’s a place that I need to make sure there’s time in case this visit bridge ends a little bit or I can’t get the eyeball out of the sleeve and so that’s something that I’m that I do practice a lot is rehearsing both the act as well as the acting costume and then also practice with stuff going wrong on stage because I really the only way to know how you’re gonna react is to have stuff the room onstage and thankfully doesn’t happen that often but when it has that’s what I’ve learned how I personally react just to stuff happening so and over time I’ve learned how I can how I react and so I can manage better for that so I’m able to kind of recover usually relatively quickly because I know the music’s alone I know the questions well and I can get myself back on track and sometimes it’s something you acknowledge the audience and be like oh look my sleeve stuck doesn’t that size or sometimes it’s a small enough thing that you can just move on and the other thing I discovered because I’ve fallen onstage a few times is that i’m quite bouncy so i can get back up pretty quickly and thankfully i have not hurt myself on stage so that’s good that’s that’s about going for things going wrong on stage and what next question is what do you wish you’d known before getting into burlesque I wish I’d known how much I loved it I would have got probably gotten into it a lot sooner but I had had some inkling of that and some way of knowing how to do it you know maybe after I saw Katherine in the late 90s early 2000 CB I would have done it sooner but it found me a great time and if your Muppet puppet could talk what would they say about you well murder has the last thing they would say that they have to work hard with me and that I love them very much we do have great conversations about what we’re gonna do on stage and Merv who is definitely the sassy one he would also say that I don’t let him motorboat other performers often enough but I’ve explained to murder that consent is imperative and that we have to ask permission before we can motorboat other performers so so I keep my in line and

the next question is do you have any tips for performers looking to get booked outside their City or internationally

so yes I do have some tips because I’ve done this book for myself and for my troupe in in North America and in Europe and the two things are research and time so the research is honestly just digging into where you might want to go and do this early like if you’re thinking about going somewhere now even if it’s going to be five years from now start and you want to perform there start looking what might be happening there so join the Facebook groups for those places make lists of shows and producers and performers when you see somebody posts that they perform somewhere just jot it down like I that’s what I use Evernote for I keep a list of producers and shows at places I might want to go and if you can find the contact information just keep a nice list of that stuff watch videos that are posted from those shows look at photos see where you might be a good fit and keep adding to that list over time you know and so you do your research and you know I just done that for all of the places loads that I want to go and some that I don’t even know if I’ll ever get to but look like they might be interesting if I ever did so keeping track of that information when you decide you want to start pursuing that is going to help help you plan a lot more easily so first when you’re looking to and tour somewhere and get booked outside of your city plan well in advance if you’re looking at bigger shows that don’t happen that often like a year or more in advance for some of them they’re booking their performers and you know for events that happen weekly or monthly maybe three to six months is you know the time that you want to be reaching out you can always reach out last-minute of course but don’t be disappointed when the shows are booked up so earlier is definitely better and so reach out to producers send them an email with you know just a brief introduction of yourself the dates that you’re gonna be there its links to some videos you think would be a good fit with what they’re what they’re producing and a photo of yourself and then if you haven’t heard from them follow up after a couple weeks if you continue to not hear from them don’t take it personally you know producers are often booking a lot of people and if they something doesn’t fit for them there they may not even respond and it’s and it sucks but if you’ve reached out one or two times and they haven’t responded then it’s time to move on and maybe you’ll get a chance to work with them next time around it’s also good to reach out to performers that are in that area or have traveled to that place if you know them you’ve met them because they’ve come through your city and you’ve got to see them or you’ve taken a workshop from them or not that burly clown or a festival and reach out to them and ask them you know who books people that are that might be coming through town and you know that’s part of the research but you know even if you’re getting closer to the time that you’re going it’s good good idea to reach out to them and when you’re traveling go to events you know get get out there and see what’s being offered so that even if you don’t get a chance to be part of it this time you might meet the people that’ll make it a part of it for you the next time so I would say that’s some tips for getting booked outside of where you where you live and a couple more questions here and on the last page

okay we’ve got two more questions so hopefully that works and then I’ll see if there’s any questions in the list I thought I had more but I only did that so as an experienced producer what is the number one thing you would share with new producers that are just starting out I couldn’t think of just one but at the top of my list is the producing risk is yours as a producer so make sure that you can personally afford to pay your performers even if you don’t sell enough tickets to break even because it’s not the risk of the performers and the people you push so pay your performers your technicians your door people all of the people that have been part of your show you need to make sure you can personally pay for them if you don’t make enough money on the show to do that so that is the number one thing but a couple of other tips I have for new producers that I wish I would have known early on and maybe can be a little bit helpful are set up an information organizing system that’s going to work for you because you’re going to need to organize promotional photos BIOS technical information music and keep a good schedule of what needs to happen leading up to the show in terms of your promotions and ticket sales as well as you know the day of you know tech run-throughs and and the and the schedule for the night create forums for the information that you need to collect from your performers that way you’re going to you’re gonna get everything you need and in the format that you want it instead of trying to sift through paragraphs of information just some send a form that they can fill in for you then you can sit through that the way you need to and create templates for the information that you’re going to need to gather so you so if you think that you’re going to need to send to the performers that that you’re working with so if you create a template then you won’t miss sending out information from show to show so having a list of what you’re going to send out and then you just fill in the specific information for that show and get the technical information from your performers early so that when you can organize it and you can make sure that you have any special requests or ask for a different act if it’s something you can’t accommodate and make sure that ask them if they’re gonna make any mess if there’s any kind of cleanup glitter liquid blood food any of that stuff so that you can decide if it’s something that you can accommodate and if it’s not and if basically you can accommodate what’s the cleanup is going to be like and if you can’t you can ask them to bring something else and I personally don’t book anything without having either seen it personally or seen a video of it so I watch all of the acts that I’m booking and I watch them right to the end because I don’t like surprises you know sometimes people will you know start an act one way and it ends completely differently and I want to know that I want to know that that’s something that I want in the show and that my honey is going to enjoy and also that it doesn’t have a big surprise mess in it that I even have to deal with my stage battery’s gonna have to deal with at the last minute so those would be my tips for new producers and I’m happy to answer more questions about that too my message or post on there in the group and one last question that was sent in before we get ones in the in the post in the comments

do you ever get relaxed Brynna and if so how do you power through?
uh it might not be surprising that I have a fair bit of energy so I don’t actually get print out that often but with running another business a troupe and they still look career plus having some sometimes the personal life it can definitely get to be a lot and what I try to do especially when I’m busy and I have a lot going on and all of those things it’s just to say super organized and that way I don’t have to think too much about what needs to be done I can just do the things that need to be done so I find that saves me a lot of anxiety about and worried about what I might be missing if I just keep everything organized and then just do the things that need to happen and then I know if I’ve got too much and I need help I know the things that I can ask them help like I do also take breaks though are in the troop usually takes a break for a couple of months in the summer and I also try and take a personal break then to my other work is quite busy in the summer time so I choose the gigs that I do at that time of year very carefully they have to be something that I really really want to be part of to make the time for that so that I don’t I get stressed out and not want to be part of it and also to put the attention on the other things in my life that need need and it also gives me a little bit of a break away from you know makeup my hair and googly eyes and things like that so that when I come back I’m super super fresh and excited to be part of it so that’s that’s that’s the end of these the questions that I have from the post in your event

I see that lien has asked a question which is how do you see the future of were less the place in society and in the arts

well that’s a big question I well I see for Less continuing to grow I mean I see the amount of productions that are going on a number of people that are getting intimate I feel like it does have a place in in society and in the arts I think for less continues to push political boundaries and I think that’s awesome and so exciting and neat and in such a essential part of challenging the messages that we get from you know mainstream society it means free media so I loved to see or less continue to do that and continue to push those boundaries everywhere and that’s so I guess that’s within society and in the arts and I would love to see less continue to be that do-it-yourself creative art form where people can bring in whatever skills they have or they learn and develop from other art forms and bring it into burlesque and so that it continues to develop and grow and morph and change and you know evolve as society in these individuals evolve so that’s how I see the future of blask I’m just gonna scroll up here so pardon me looking down for a second see if there’s other questions well I think we answered the puppet question the inspiration macho okay I think I have covered off all of the questions so I would Oh Paisley so I would like to say thank you so so much to everybody that came today and so appreciative that you took the time out of your day or evening to join me and what I have to say I hope that we get to meet in person one day and I see several people that I have met and that’s such a part of what I treasure about this world and that we do get to meet in person every now and then and that we get to cross paths with these amazing creative creatures that we are and so thank you so much for being part of this diva thank you for setting this up and for us and you can be a part of it such a thrill and thank you and have a wonderful evening Cheers well two buttons do sit to end it okay this one’s for real

what are your favorite resources excuse me what are your favorite resources to share with people from remote areas looking to learn burlesque that is tough when you’re in you know a small remote place even where we are Victoria British Columbia we’re on an island in the middle of nowhere we do not have a garment garment district that’s for sure so you know getting resources can be challenging we’re not a super small city but or a super remote but maybe compared to some big cities we might be considered that way um I think first of all you know find books you know order books online bring them in Joe boobs bras hand book is a really great resource you know for people that are starting out her vlog also having a look at you know online tutorials YouTube Vimeo so much of that there’s so many more resources available now to be able to access information find people in the community that have skills that are gonna transfer into burlesque so people that offer dance classes or theater or sewing or singing classes you know connect in with them and grow your own skill set that you can then transfer into burlesque and if you can make the effort to come to a professional development event like Burleigh Khan or looking you know if you’re if you’re not in North America then potentially looking for something like that in Europe or Australia or wherever you happen to be but finding something where you can get some intensive training I mean going to Burley con for you know three or three three days of classes you are going to be saturated and that will give you a lot of tools to take you through to the you know to develop your burlesque and if you can’t do that and pool resources with who with other people that are interested in your place and bring someone to you so find you know a performer and a teacher that you really connect with and you know bring them in for an intensive that’s another great way to pull your resources and get a lot out of out of the work that you’re doing let’s see oh of course some other resources videos so many things to watch online all of the B Hawk videos are coming out right now look at videos of legends you know order DVDs online so many for less troops and teachers and artists have put out DVDs there’s many options for learning different skills or even just watching people perform you know historical and contemporary videos so definitely there’s resources there even if you’re not in a place that has a big community that you can look into and then also when you’re in a remote area resources for costuming and prop making can also be really challenging so you know online resources like Amazon Express or great great ways to get you know your sparkles and boas and googly eyes and sandbags whatever it is that you need you know brought to a remote place just give yourself lots of time to order and and also fabric stores and you know dance shoes all of those things are available online it’s much harder when you can’t try stuff on but with a little trial and error I think people you know in remote areas can create something super special I found that you know being on an island we kind of created our own special brand of what we did because we didn’t have a lot of cross-pollination early on so I think that helped us really delve into the comedy work that we do and some of the crazy silly blessed performances that we do so sometimes being remote also gives you a chance to create your own special unique you know style by performing hey leading on for those from that question was which facebook groups or websites do you subscribe to that would be useful to other performers there are so many out there but I did pick a few that I thought were particularly useful and that will help lead to other groups that might be of interest for for specific types of performing so this webpage that were or the site Facebook group that we’re on right now is such a valuable resource the big big big sister Big Brother project that diva Hollywood started is such a great resource that opportunity to answer questions ask questions and answer questions and you know really to get global information is so valuable and the number of people that are part of it is just staggering it’s so fantastic another one that I really love is the easiest costumer this is another Facebook group and it’s an amazing resource if you’ve got costuming questions or you’re struggling with how to create something really great in and for resources as well for where to order things I would also look for groups that are specific to the places near you or or in your near you or in your city or in places that you want to go and join those so that you can start to connect with people the worldwide where les festival group is great it gives you a chance to see what festivals are available potentially near you or if you want to travel and and attend festivals and the quiet festivals it’s a great resource to know when those applications are doing things like that there’s burlesque events and castings so if you want to travel somewhere it’s great to keep an eye on that and then there are also casting groups for lots of different places so really just searching for where you want to go and see what’s happening there are some burlesque by style swap and rent or hire groups as well so if you’re looking for specific in costume pieces it’s a great place to look and 21st century burlesque magazine has some awesome articles so and going back over the years great tips great tutorials and you know good coverage of what’s going on in the best community so I’d say those are highlights there’s so many more though but I would just be here for the rest of the talk if we were doing that and I see how many questions I have and only 20 minutes left so I’m gonna move on the next question is the cheesecakes have such a stellar reputation seem to book a lot of corporate gigs what would you say has been helpful in booking these types of gigs and what are the big lessons to share around around that we don’t do a ton of huge big corporate events like coca-cola or something like that but we do do private events like New Year’s Eve and Christmas shows and conferences and stuff like that we once did a truck login conference yes that’s the West Coast for you resource-based and we do get booked a lot for shows in larger theaters that are outside of our outside of our city so for booking these having a proper website that really represents what your group are you as an individual repres represents you your true artistic self is so helpful because then people can really see who it is that who you are and what it is that you offer and having a good teaser video good social media presence and videos of all of our all of our acts so that we can really offer people that we can show them exactly what it is that we’re offering I would say the things oh and a good press can’t keeping you know keeping that information in from promo photos quotes BIOS all of that stuff together so that you’re able to hand it off very easily is so important the lessons I would say are to be very clear about what the expectations are for you being part of a corporate event so is it performance only is it mingling are they expecting you to take photographs you know be available for photographs with the people that are attending to be very clear about that and if those things are part of it to make sure that you are adequately compensated for that work because it can take a huge amount of energy and time make sure that they know how much clothing removal there is going to be especially for something that’s corporate or private be very very clear and explicit about what it is that how little clothing you go down to because it is the worst to show up an event where they think they know what Velasquez and then you and then they see pasties out or whatever and then they go home and you have to adapt your act on the fly it’s better to know that up front and then you can tweak tweak it or not take the booking if it’s not suitable for you and sign contracts make sure that you have a signed contract that that’s very clearly all of that stuff is laid out and how the cancellation clause in it because it can happen with corporate events but someone gets really excited about for less and looks you and then close the event someone else looks in on it and says wait a second we can’t have that our Christmas party whatever so making sure that you have a cancellation clause because at that point it might be too late for you to get other bookings so I would say those are some tips for for corporate events and honestly for any kind of booking um next question if you could go back in time and give baby champers one piece of advice what would it be my advice to me would be don’t be afraid to look stupid or silly one stage it was honestly one of my biggest fears when I started out and it turns out to be one of my biggest strengths so I wish I could have let go of that earlier and that’s definitely what I would have told myself and leaning on from that late Lou asked hey there sparkles what’s your most embarrassing or funniest moment on stage and it happened in the and there is a fairly empty event they’re called when semaj lovely 20s events I you know as a comedian they’re not often booked for those kind of things but I do have a few it acts that do fit into that realm and I fell on stage in both of my acts the first time I heel caught on the back of my the back of my dress and it pulled me over backwards it was a with a dress that had snaps down went inside the whole dress fell off and I had jumped back up let’s do just the stuff that was supposed to be on at the end of the act and my dress on the floor and to pick it up and do like twirls and spins and stuff with his tres and try and try and recover from it the audience it was fun with that dress remember was amazing though and in the same show and felt because because it was this 20s event and they really do strive to be very authentic in the atmosphere that they’re creating my two options for a chair one was a plastic chair and one was an upholstered chair with it’s kind of velvety nubbly upholstery on it and the plastic chair wouldn’t do for the ambiance so I used this upholstered chair and I had a sequin belt on and when I went to do my chair work and spin my legs up the sequined belt kind of locked in with the fabric of the chair so instead of me spinning on the chair myself and the whole chair spun legs up in the air and the whole thing fell down on the stage this heavy wooden upholstered chair and me with the loudest boom and then I am amazingly bouncy it turns out bounced out under stress the act but it was definitely a shock for me and everyone in the front row the chair made when it hit the ground I hit the same anyway that is definitely my probably my most embarrassing and funny and it soaks them happened in the same show anyway okay moving on you have some amazing amazing acts of puppets or puppet like experience like jeepers creepers and Mahna Mahna and where did that start well we covered that early but because those people that came in the Muppets it’s all gland on the Muppets I love the Muppets and they are a huge they’re a huge part of what inspired me early on and still for some of my acts just continued to be a part of where I seem to evolve my acts into is either using puppets are using my body as a as a puppet um oh thanks diva that’s good to know I think I probably will go over because I still have this many pages of fudge – so many good questions came in but I would continue to move through them in a quick way and we can wrap up with me – but we still have a little bit of time okay my next the next question was your costumes have a great color story where do you get inspiration for color I love clashing colors especially for performing is I you know if they might not be things that you might wear in everyday but I love when colors make each other pop so I look for that out in the world and you know when I’m looking at things online I see when I see color combinations that I find interesting and I feel like they kind of make one make the other pop I will I will take a picture of it or save that image so that when I’m looking for inspiration for an act that I’m developing I can go back through and and choose something that I feel like it’s gonna work for that so you know I like orange and pink together and turquoise and pink and green I do love bright colors myself and there was some feedback that we got early on actually actually from indigo she came up and and gave feedback on one of the shows that we did and it happened to be a red red theme valentines show so so many the acts had red and black in them and the feedback was like why so much red and black and that sort of stuff for me was you know that typical sexy colors are you know are beautiful and there’s a reason why we like them and were drawn to them but I really like to push to something else that I find more interesting and exciting to look at and it creates great contrast if there’s you know people doing like nude illusion and you know some of the classic you know hot pink and black or red and black to throw in something that has a wild color combination is exciting for the audience and and it helps you know with the flow of the show so for me I just love to jam a bunch of colors together and see what’s what peniston’s for me and the same thing with patterns and and you know mixing up different kind of items you can see it very well kind of a cool pattern on the back of it which you don’t really see in the onions but it gives me pleasure okay yes I like that Evelyn my vote is if the colors can happen in nature then it can happen on stage yellow and pink purple and green excited I totally agree and I do keep an eye out in nature for weird color comedy kind of pop next question I’m a big fan from afar and through the internet that she’s capable asking you how do you workshop acts in that truth and how does the group forms I talked a bit about our group being formed earlier so given the time constraints say it again but really we came together in a work in a workshop it just has a group of friends and we developed organically from there into performance for friends and then then getting you know ourselves into a club and then getting booked into theatres and it’s just been an organic growth all the way through and people have you know that we’re with the troupe at the start there’s some of us that are still there you know four or five of us that were there from the beginning would have been all the way through but other people who were into it more as something that was fun to do with friends as you know just in a friend group you know it left the truth and you know early on and then people that we’re more interested in performing professionally joined as we’ve evolved as a tree and that’s how we serve evolved all the way along and how do we how do we workshop acts in our truth we use the the format that they use in early con so I’ll describe a little bit what that flakes for people that may not have been there but when we workshop acts the first thing we do is we present concepts to the to the truth so we if someone will play some music they’ll talk about what their ideas for a costume are they’ve got the question piece that inspired them a little bit of choreography anything just to get a sense of what that act is and then we talk about it as a troupe make sure that it’s something you think will fit in with what we with what we present and then that person or those people will go away and work on work on it some more bring it back as it’s being developed so it’s definitely an iterative process and we use the really kinda method of feedback which is that you present the piece the people giving feedback have cards they write down their feedback so that when you leave you have written feedback it’s very hard to hear feedback and retain it all we have some agreements that we use is that and that’s I’m just going to read them for you we give and receive feedback this support it’s specific construction and constructive and we will listen and be open to hearing the feedback when we give feedback we write it down and we use phrases like what worked well what would happen yeah even better if and we make sure that it’s specific constructive and realistic feedback so that people can have a chance to really hear it and talk about it and then and then take it away with them and bring it back at the next iteration so generally with our truth and Act needs to be stage ready other than maybe some embellishments two weeks before before a show so there’s still time for fun to me so we do have a fairly long process that we take for developing new stuff but that means that things don’t go on stage that aren’t ready to go on stage so hopefully that was helpful if you’ve got questions about that you could definitely message me later and I can give you more details like the next question is are there horror stories of non Canadian performers being held up at the border when going to Canada to perform and then having to pay a daily performer fee like for the island cheese for Less festival so I had to reach out to my colleague desperate Valentine who runs the to me brass festival because I love teas is going to pop in for the first Evelyn yes you may use any part of what I just said about the feedback to your home troupe this is something we learned through our work with indigo and Burley con and that is open to sharing with everybody we just everyone wants to see everybody get better and use feedback to move move forward and create better and better bless it’s how we’re going to get up so back to crossing the border into Canada so I reached out Island cheese is going to be is the new festival that we’re creating in Victoria and next November so we haven’t actually had to deal with this yet but I reached out to best for Valentine who runs the Whitney Brewers festival and she said at which is what was my understanding is that performers can come from from other countries to Canada to work on short term engagements without a visa or a work limit but you do need a letter of invitation so when you have a letter of invitation and you cross the border it should say what the engagement is and it should be something like two weeks or less so that when the it’s then you don’t need to work from it or a visa at all so there’s definitely more information about that online you can also message weeks I have links now for it and can definitely lungs like a short-term gig kind of thing for showcases and workshops you absolutely can come to Canada so come to Canada it’s great crossing into the US as a as a foreign person whether you’re from Canada or anywhere else without a visa is a totally different story than coming to Canada and it that’s something that we could maybe have a discussion about on the big sister big brother project group because it’s something that will go on for a long time and I am NOT an expert in it but I know that it’s people have been turned back from Canada and been banned from going to the US for two years return across to go to a festival for example so we can have more conversation about that maybe online what do you love most about teaching burlesque I had loved two things one is when I’m teaching burlesque performers I love I mostly teach character and act development stuff I’ve don’t come from a dance background so this is kind of where I feel like I have a lot to offer for other performers I love to see them go outside of their comfort zone and really develop their personas and try out different ways of being the characters that they’re presenting on the stage so I love seeing people experiment with that so when I’m teaching and I get a chance to help people facilitate or doing that it makes me so happy and when I’m teaching non-performers which we do a lot when we – or we teach classes to communities and most of the time they’re you know they’ll range from late teens to 70 70 plus years old in the in the class and I love teaching tassel – really to them I love getting all of those ladies with their tops off and first everybody sunshine they’re putting you know they’re putting the Pacey’s on and they’re you know so awkward and nervous and there’s a few people that don’t want to do it and by the time everyone else their tops off and you put boobs from 20 to 70 plan songs you know in the room and they’re all swinging their tassels around it is so beautiful like the joy and the catharsis that you see and so much fun that just really makes you know really gives me a huge thrill and have these women leave our workshops with like this little secret that they’ve done this hasit swim together and they’re gonna see each other around town and be like it makes me so happy and it and the the joy they feel in their bodies in the in that moment is so amazing so yes those are things I love about teaching is the next one is is silly something that comes naturally to you or did you have to push out of your comfort zone to make your ex yes and no the silliness come naturally to me I am a very sleek person with my friends kind of in everyday life but when I when I started performing I was not silly onstage in fact I was terrified terrified of looking stupid or ridiculous onstage I knew that I could be cheeky but I was not comfortable with me like seductive and smoldery or being silly or weird and I’m sad that I felt that way when I started but that’s what it was and it wasn’t until I saw photos of my myself with this guy and I saw that my face does all kinds of things when I’d be performing with him and I didn’t know until I saw those photos and then videos afterwards that people who are laughing at me as well as well as at the puppet so and I it was this positive reaction that I got some people by having these crazy ridiculous silly faces they kind of opened up that strength for me of being silly onstage and to be okay with being ridiculous and to celebrate that and to really enjoy the audience reaction to that happening so um so I guess it came naturally can’t basically comes naturally to me but I was afraid to go there for a while and then when I did it was so so so rewarding okay so the next question what is your favorite aspect Burlesk well as a performer hearing that audience reaction to something that I’ve created is such a thrill but our actual time on the stage is so short in this in everything that we do here so really on top of like that you know being able to share my creation on stage and and hearing the audience enjoy it is the people I mean I have met amazing people all over the world that you know I connect with some of them even on a daily basis that are across the world and to have that community opened up to me through burlesque is really one of my favorite favorite things so next question five years ago where do you think you’d be in burlesque and how does that reflect where you are now five years ago I was living in Berlin and right in the middle of writing producing and performing a play there with some other women in Beart in Berlin called Berliner Luft and at that time we thought we’d be Turing the play and I was performing entering his you know as a soloist yeah in Europe and the cheesecakes were coming to do a tour there after that play a couple two of the members started families and my husband and I decided that we would come back to Canada so I’m not at all I don’t know exactly where I thought I would be five years ago but I didn’t know that I would be back in Canada that’s for sure but I still so treasure the time that I had in Europe and I’m looking forward to coming back for a visit and to come back with the cheesecakes and to do another tour and I’m but I’m also super happy to be back here and back regularly with my troupe who I did miss a lot when I was there and to be part of some of the new developments that are happening in my home province so there are numerous festivals that have come up in the last few years that I’ve been able to be a part of and perform with and to create a new Festival on the west coast here that I love to use so I’m super happy where I am even if it’s not where I thought it would be five years ago what experience have you have you helped that what experience has have you had that helped you gain the coping tools for when things go wrong on stage is the next question practice practice and that has two components one is I rehearse a lot I’m that person in the troop that’s always like lips so two more times and that’s because I don’t retain choreography very easily I really have to get it in my body to be able to perform it so I’m not and you know that’s three packs of solo stuff I’d rehearse a lot but that also means that because it’s in my body when stuff goes wrong I can usually find my way back into the performance and I also by rehearsing a lot it means that I know my costumes really well so I know the tricky parts like the sleeves for this act here I sometimes have trouble with zippers on it and I’ve changed them a few times and I’m still working on figuring out exactly what to do there but I know that’s a place that I need to make sure there’s time in case this visit bridge ends a little bit or I can’t get the eyeball out of the sleeve and so that’s something that I’m that I do practice a lot is rehearsing both the act as well as the acting costume and then also practice with stuff going wrong on stage because I really the only way to know how you’re gonna react is to have stuff the room onstage and thankfully doesn’t happen that often but when it has that’s what I’ve learned how I personally react just to stuff happening so and over time I’ve learned how I can how I react and so I can manage better for that so I’m able to kind of recover usually relatively quickly because I know the music’s alone I know the questions well and I can get myself back on track and sometimes it’s something you acknowledge the audience and be like oh look my sleeve stuck doesn’t that size or sometimes it’s a small enough thing that you can just move on and the other thing I discovered because I’ve fallen onstage a few times is that i’m quite bouncy so i can get back up pretty quickly and thankfully i have not hurt myself on stage so that’s good that’s that’s about going for things going wrong on stage and what next question is what do you wish you’d known before getting into burlesque I wish I’d known how much I loved it I would have got probably gotten into it a lot sooner but I had had some inkling of that and some way of knowing how to do it you know maybe after I saw Katherine in the late 90s early 2000 CB I would have done it sooner but it found me a great time and if your Muppet puppet could talk what would they say about you well murder has the last thing they would say that they have to work hard with me and that I love them very much we do have great conversations about what we’re gonna do on stage and Merv who is definitely the sassy one he would also say that I don’t let him motorboat other performers often enough but I’ve explained to murder that consent is imperative and that we have to ask permission before we can motorboat other performers so so I keep my in line and the next question is do you have any tips for performers looking to get booked outside their City or internationally and Ojai mean do you so yes I do have some tips because I’ve done this book for myself and for my troupe in in North America and in Europe and the two things are research and time so the research is honestly just digging into where you might want to go and do this early like if you’re thinking about going somewhere now even if it’s going to be five years from now start and you want to perform there start looking what might be happening there so join the Facebook groups for those places make lists of shows and producers and performers when you see somebody posts that they perform somewhere just jot it down like I that’s what I use Evernote for I keep a list of producers and shows at places I might want to go and if you can find the contact information just keep a nice list of that stuff watch videos that are posted from those shows look at photos see where you might be a good fit and keep adding to that list over time you know and so you do your research and you know I just done that for all of the places loads that I want to go and some that I don’t even know if I’ll ever get to but look like they might be interesting if I ever did so keeping track of that information when you decide you want to start pursuing that is going to help help you plan a lot more easily so first when you’re looking to and tour somewhere and get booked outside of your city plan well in advance if you’re looking at bigger shows that don’t happen that often like a year or more in advance for some of them they’re booking their performers and you know for events that happen weekly or monthly maybe three to six months is you know the time that you want to be reaching out you can always reach out last-minute of course but don’t be disappointed when the shows are booked up so earlier is definitely better and so reach out to producers send them an email with you know just a brief introduction of yourself the dates that you’re gonna be there its links to some videos you think would be a good fit with what they’re what they’re producing and a photo of yourself and then if you haven’t heard from them follow up after a couple weeks if you continue to not hear from them don’t take it personally you know producers are often booking a lot of people and if they something doesn’t fit for them there they may not even respond and it’s and it sucks but if you’ve reached out one or two times and they haven’t responded then it’s time to move on and maybe you’ll get a chance to work with them next time around it’s also good to reach out to performers that are in that area or have traveled to that place if you know them you’ve met them because they’ve come through your city and you’ve got to see them or you’ve taken a workshop from them or not that burly clown or a festival and reach out to them and ask them you know who books people that are that might be coming through town and you know that’s part of the research but you know even if you’re getting closer to the time that you’re going it’s good good idea to reach out to them and when you’re traveling go to events you know get get out there and see what’s being offered so that even if you don’t get a chance to be part of it this time you might meet the people that’ll make it a part of it for you the next time so I would say that’s some tips for getting booked outside of where you where you live and a couple more questions here and on the last page okay we’ve got two more questions so hopefully that works and then I’ll see if there’s any questions in the list I thought I had more but I only did that so as an experienced producer what is the number one thing you would share with new producers that are just starting out I couldn’t think of just one but at the top of my list is the producing risk is yours as a producer so make sure that you can personally afford to pay your performers even if you don’t sell enough tickets to break even because it’s not the risk of the performers and the people you push so pay your performers your technicians your door people all of the people that have been part of your show you need to make sure you can personally pay for them if you don’t make enough money on the show to do that so that is the number one thing but a couple of other tips I have for new producers that I wish I would have known early on and maybe can be a little bit helpful are set up an information organizing system that’s going to work for you because you’re going to need to organize promotional photos BIOS technical information music and keep a good schedule of what needs to happen leading up to the show in terms of your promotions and ticket sales as well as you know the day of you know tech run-throughs and and the and the schedule for the night create forums for the information that you need to collect from your performers that way you’re going to you’re gonna get everything you need and in the format that you want it instead of trying to sift through paragraphs of information just some send a form that they can fill in for you then you can sit through that the way you need to and create templates for the information that you’re going to need to gather so you so if you think that you’re going to need to send to the performers that that you’re working with so if you create a template then you won’t miss sending out information from show to show so having a list of what you’re going to send out and then you just fill in the specific information for that show and get the technical information from your performers early so that when you can organize it and you can make sure that you have any special requests or ask for a different act if it’s something you can’t accommodate and make sure that ask them if they’re gonna make any mess if there’s any kind of cleanup glitter liquid blood food any of that stuff so that you can decide if it’s something that you can accommodate and if it’s not and if basically you can accommodate what’s the cleanup is going to be like and if you can’t you can ask them to bring something else and I personally don’t book anything without having either seen it personally or seen a video of it so I watch all of the acts that I’m booking and I watch them right to the end because I don’t like surprises you know sometimes people will you know start an act one way and it ends completely differently and I want to know that I want to know that that’s something that I want in the show and that my honey is going to enjoy and also that it doesn’t have a big surprise mess in it that I even have to deal with my stage battery’s gonna have to deal with at the last minute so those would be my tips for new producers and I’m happy to answer more questions about that too my message or post on there in the group and one last question that was sent in before we get ones in the in the post in the comments do you ever get relaxed Brynna and if so how do you power through uh it might not be surprising that I have a fair bit of energy so I don’t actually get print out that often but with running another business a troupe and they still look career plus having some sometimes the personal life it can definitely get to be a lot and what I try to do especially when I’m busy and I have a lot going on and all of those things it’s just to say super organized and that way I don’t have to think too much about what needs to be done I can just do the things that need to be done so I find that saves me a lot of anxiety about and worried about what I might be missing if I just keep everything organized and then just do the things that need to happen and then I know if I’ve got too much and I need help I know the things that I can ask them help like I do also take breaks though are in the troop usually takes a break for a couple of months in the summer and I also try and take a personal break then to my other work is quite busy in the summer time so I choose the gigs that I do at that time of year very carefully they have to be something that I really really want to be part of to make the time for that so that I don’t I get stressed out and not want to be part of it and also to put the attention on the other things in my life that need need and it also gives me a little bit of a break away from you know makeup my hair and googly eyes and things like that so that when I come back I’m super super fresh and excited to be part of it so that’s that’s that’s the end of these the questions that I have from the post in your event I see that lien has asked a question which is how do you see the future of were less the place in society and in the arts well that’s a big question I well I see for Less continuing to grow I mean I see the amount of productions that are going on a number of people that are getting intimate I feel like it does have a place in in society and in the arts I think for less continues to push political boundaries and I think that’s awesome and so exciting and neat and in such a essential part of challenging the messages that we get from you know mainstream society it means free media so I loved to see or less continue to do that and continue to push those boundaries everywhere and that’s so I guess that’s within society and in the arts and I would love to see less continue to be that do-it-yourself creative art form where people can bring in whatever skills they have or they learn and develop from other art forms and bring it into burlesque and so that it continues to develop and grow and morph and change and you know evolve as society in these individuals evolve so that’s how I see the future of blask I’m just gonna scroll up here so pardon me looking down for a second see if there’s other questions well I think we answered the puppet question the inspiration macho okay I think I have covered off all of the questions so I would Oh Paisley so I would like to say thank you so so much to everybody that came today and so appreciative that you took the time out of your day or evening to join me and what I have to say I hope that we get to meet in person one day and I see several people that I have met and that’s such a part of what I treasure about this world and that we do get to meet in person every now and then and that we get to cross paths with these amazing creative creatures that we are and so thank you so much for being part of this diva thank you for setting this up and for us and you can be a part of it such a thrill and thank you and have a wonderful evening Cheers well two buttons do sit to end it okay this one’s for real