Residing in the UK since 2011, A’dora Derriere is the owner/ Executive Producer of the worldwide Miss Burlesque competition, which has been running in Australia since 2010.
A’dora has been the producer of the Miss Burlesque & Mr Boylesque Western Australia competitions since 2012 and introduced the competition to the UK in 2018. She is director of Australian neo cabaret troupe Sugar Blue Burlesque and has been performing, teaching and producing burlesque shows worldwide since 2007.
She was an associate producer for the FRINGE WORLD Festival in Perth in 2011 and 2012 and was the co-creator of the annual Perth International Burlesque Festival, which began in 2011 and is also the Co-Producer of The Burlesque Cruise.
https://www.theburlesquecruise.com/homeA’dora DerriereProducerLeamington, Warwickshire, United
1 What do you look for in an act.
Uniqueness, Entertainment factor and Engagement with the audience are the main things I look for when booking acts for my shows. Seeing a performers character emerge quickly in an act is really appealing as well and makes me want to see the rest of the performance.
2 What was the best booking you ever made.
As one of co-producers of the Perth International Burlesque Festival from its founding year in 2012 until 2016, I’ve been lucky enough to have been able to book some incredible international headliners. In 2013 we had an incredible headliner line-up, featuring Indigo Blue, Perle Noire, Imogen Kelly, Tasia and Banbury Cross. For a little city like Perth, it made a big impact indeed!
3 Top 3 dream line up.
This is really tough as I love and admire so many performers past and present! So, to be completely selfish to my particular inspirations, let’s go with Josephine Baker, Vicky Butterfly and Coco Deville.
4 How do you think the scene has changed.
The main change I think is the amount of education that is being widely spread, predominately through social media about cultural appropriation in Burlesque. I know personally I have learnt so much about this topic and how it relates to Burlesque over the last few years and is something that I make sure is taught in my academy in Perth, Sugar Blue Burlesque, as well as having policies about it in the rules of the Miss Burlesque competitions. This important topic has really changed what acts are presented to me now as a producer in a positive way. I applaud the people in the scenes around the world who have lead the way in teaching us all about it.
5 Do you think promoting has become easier or harder.
Social Media has of course given us a way of marketing to our target market, however this has become a labour intensive task. When Facebook was new, it was an incredible way to do direct marketing with instant and huge results! These days, it’s a lot more expensive and results are nowhere near what we used to get in return. The ‘good old days’ of flyers and posters before social media definitely gave us good results to promote shows as people actually looked at the artwork and picked up flyers.
6 What made you start promoting.
Necessity! When I started doing Burlesque in 2007, there was no scene in Perth, Western Australia, which is where I grew up. Myself and a couple of fellow dancers – Miss Bonnie Fox & Charlotte O’Harlot established the scene with our troupe, Sugar Blue Burlesque and kicked it off by performing at parties. We then starting producing our own shows and establishing a vintage dance/ burlesque academy a year afterwards. We were all trained in vintage style dance so the transition for us into the burlesque genre wasn’t too difficult. Our shows were hugely popular as there was a huge lack of this style of entertainment in Perth, so I had to learn very quickly how to produce a show well!
7 What are your top tips for performers applying for one of your shows.
Majority of my work is still in Perth, Australia, even though I’ve been living in the UK since 2011, so I don’t generally do casting calls for shows there as I know all the performers in the city. When I comes to performers applying for the Miss Burlesque competition, what I like to see is that the applicant has taken the time to read through the rules and criteria and have answered all the questions in the applications with a lot of thought. If the application has asked for a particular res or size photo, please supply what is asked for. When the producer requests tech, music and photos and bios from a performer, it’s really important that you respond to the producer as promptly as you can or at least communicate with them about any issues they are having.
8 What does a timeline of key events, for a producer/ promoter look like for a show?
Ideally I like a min of 2 months to prepare for a show.
My tasks looks a bit like this:
1. Do my budget
2.Book in venue/date of show.3. Book in performers & MC or put applications out4. Start marketing event/ get artwork sorted for promotion5. Continue social media promotion through all of lead up to show6. Running sheet completed7. Book all staff for event – stage manager, tech staff, social media peeps, stage hands, videographer, photographer, etc.. 8. Get tech sheets done & check music tracks (I like to have these completed at least 2 weeks out)9. Printing off all paperwork – running sheets, tech sheets, etc.. 10. Buy catering for backstage11. Show time!!
9 Biggest achievement so far ?
I’ve had some truly awesome milestones in my producing career, but the one I’m still most proud of was the Perth International Burlesque Festival. Co-producing this festival for 5 years was a HUGE challenge and I learnt so much from the experience. It really shaped me as the producer I am today.
10 What makes you unique as a producer ?
The amount of producing I do remotely. These days I rarely get to attend the shows I produce. I think this does make me unique, even though it’s not so fun for me.
11 And what’s the best thing for you about being a show producer
Seeing the smiling faces (be it in photos most of the time) of the performers, audiences and staff who are in my shows and hearing how much they enjoyed the experience.
12 Advice for new producers or anyone considering going into it
Do your research before putting on a show. Look at the area you want to do it in, who’s already producing there, is there room in the burlesque calendar for another show? Would your show be different to what is allready being produced there? Try and be as unique with your show idea as you can.
13 Do promoters/ producers have little sisters and brothers who they help/allow to shadow/ mentor with the ways of putting on a show effectively?
Yes, I have mentored a lot of people in how to produce a show. The main reason for this is because I live in the UK and majority of the shows I produce are in Australia. I like to work with people, either to Co-Produce or to be a Director of the show, which then brings me to go through the whole side of show creation, budgeting, marketing etc.. a show with them. When I see potential in someone, I just can’t wait to work with them and share as much of my knowledge with them so they can go further their career. This brings me a lot of happiness!
14 What are your turn on’s and turn off’s when it comes to performers?
Turn on’s – Good communication, getting in tech sheets and music on time, supplying promo material, invoices in quickly.
Turn off’s – Performers who ask me questions which I have written clearly in an email to them allready and it’s obvious they don’t read what is ever written to them.
15 What would you like people to know about your job that isn’t common knowledge?
Spreadsheets are fun?
16 Glitter. Love it or hate it?
Glitter is not my friend anymore… In many shows in my earlier years of producing, I have not only had to try and clean it up myself from stages, carpets, etc… but I’ve also had to foot the bill by a venue who have charged a hefty cleaning fee after performers in my show went mad with glitter.