Tip of the Day:  Get Organized!

Recently, I had the pleasure of sharing the backstage area with longtime burlyq friends Roseabelle Selavy and Essence Revealed. We found ourselves gabbing about storage issues. We lamented over the trials of spending hours trying to find costume pieces that were packed in haste the night. Conversing at length about the lack of adequate space for storing lavish props.  You see most of us don’t start out in burlesque planning on accumulating a vast collection of fabric, rhinestones, feathers, hats, gloves, and props (I know quite a few performers who’ve invested in strap-ons and dildos just for their acts.

While I don’t recommend removing your stove to make room for that extra garment rack, I do recommend saving yourself some time and wrinkles by trying the following:

Rushing between 2 gigs in 1 night left this skirt in “wrinkle city”.


1) Don’t borrow!

If it’s an act you plan on doing more than once, then invest in the apparel. Try not to borrow garments or props from friends ( I know money can be tight at times) and do not borrow from yourself! One to many times I’ve borrowed pasties from one act, used them in another, then low and behold I can’t find the damn things when I need them for their rightful act. If your act involves 4 pieces of clothing then only use those 4 pieces for that 1 act.

2) Have a signature.

As you start making money, it’s easy to spend on cabs and carfare. Hopefully, by being more organized you can take fewer cabs and instead spend the money saved on buying a signature pair of shoes, fans, or boa for each act. Remember since you plan on doing that act multiple times, you will definitely get good use out of those shoes and it’s one less thing to hunt for when packing up.

3) Seal the deal.

If you’ve gone through the trouble of embellishing your garment then it’s high time you put it in  a garment bag. Heck even if there’s no fringe or feathers, you should still practice using a garment back. I prefer clear bags so I can see what the costume is. Affix a label onto the outside of the bag listing the costume/ act title. Small items like gloves, bras, stockings, and knickers can be kept in a Freezer size Ziplock bag which hangs on the hanger.

Note: Shoes can be tricky. Try using either an over the door shoe rack or a tupperware container to store shoes. Be sure to label each shoe container or shoe “spot” with the name of the act. Again, the idea is “at a glance”. You want to be able to take one quick glance and know whether you have the shoes you need.

4) Clean, Lean, Sexy Machine.

In New York, many shows take place in bars without stages. A long flowing gown can end up black on the hem line from dragging on the floor and a glove can erronously land up in a little pool of beer. Even if you only perform on concert size stages, there’s always a chance that the Kitten might put your garment down backstage in a spot that unbeknownst to her, was recently home to a beverage or plate of greasy food.  It’s always good to check costumes right after a performance, but if you’re like me and don’t have the time for this then set aside some time to look over everything. When repacking you can quickly check your items, then later on that week or more or thorough once over.

5) A Picture is worth a thousand words!

Don’t let those words, be wrinkle city! So often I’ve gotten pictures back that make me pissed that I’d forgotten to bring a small steam iron. It’s little things like this that will set you apart and it’s essential when doing a private event.

Get organized, get there early, and create more calm in your life.

These short shorts are rocked on my personal time. Questioning my professionalism is not an option.

Business Tip:Still haven’t gotten that raise? Before looking at your boss for an answer, make sure you have a strong case. Is your work on time? Do you dress professionally (sorry, but if the right to wear micro shorts with heels is more important to you than career advancement then you need to check your priorities)? Are you an asset to the business/ team? If your boss called you right now to ask for a file for an emergency meeting, how long would it take for you to provide the document? Take the time to invest in your employer and your employer will invest in you.

Let’s hear it! Tell me what are some of your favorite organization tips comment below or tweet to @theluvelyrae.