Do you really need a gimmick?

Seriously, at the next “You gotta have a gimmick” blog/article I am just going to poke my eyes out and drop them into vinegar. (Wrote this like a year and a half ago, lol)

And the other overused topics popping up and up in Burlesquilandia.

How about doing your shit right?

Working the detail?

Working that skill a bit more?

I am starting my blog series about how to be a good solo act, nitpicking any and all that comes up in my mind performance-wise.

Thanks to Nino Barbier, my boylesque wonder, who have actually prooved that I indeed can teach and do have a lot to teach in the burlesque genre.

So what do you actually need rather than a gimmick?

First and foremost you need (although I would not rank anything)

Stage presence

The power to lit up a stage with the sheer look of your eyes.

It is not something you are born with, it can be learnt (and it can fail on any bad performance day, even in the top times of your career).

“I don’t know where she ends and where I begin
The girl with green oily skin, she ends where I begin”

– Hannah Fury

Each and every one of us needs to find her persona(s) and channel that from head to toe. You need to transform into another being to your core when you are on stage. I say that to contrast to the generic pin-up face making. Pin-up is great if it is your thing, but forcing that pouty face on everybody can turn out quite blow-up doll like and fake…and boring.

I encourage anyone to think and try different moods and personas.

Who do you want to be?

Because it is not who you are.

What color is the inside of your soul?

Because performance reflects a lot of that color.

Eye contact

Something pretty important. You need to make the public feel that you see into their souls and that they can do the same.

Yet, eye contact with the public is something a 100% fake. If on a stage with stage lights, you need to look over the public finding a higher spot so it does not break your posture and you don’t get blinded by the stage lights.

As for me it is the angry and evil personas that work the best or a sensual sexy kinda thing, or full on classic burlesque glamour.

I also “stick my eyes out” a bit more for crucial eye contact moments.

Poker face

I call this the face you have when you do difficult shit, when you are suffering on the inside, when your corset got stuck, or your heels are slipping. The difficulty you suffer cannot be seen, so practice your game face and make sure it is a good one.


Well, seeing someone with their eyes fixed on the floor, their hair constantly in their entire face or just showing their back is not pretty, unless your number is based on the movie “Circle”…

Stop to look at the public.


Stage time relativity

Well, time rushes a different paste on stage. I find that while in the rehearsal room I hardly get myself arriving to the music, on stage I can rush like 5 times faster.

So, I count, slowly, very slowly.

If you are very nervous count to 5 to hold a pose.

If you are just regular nervous count to 3.

And if you can count the music, like a real dancer (unlike me), then do that.

Dance skills

Not to be only included in your burlesque bio. You don’t need to be a “professionally trained dancer”, but a couple of dance classes never does harm. (unless you break a leg)

The signature move or peel

I understand that “signature move” is not something you actually had to invent, it is just something that you do, but the simple tagging makes it sound like you pretend to own it. Me not like to use the term. Just saying´.

To be continued…

The gimmick

If you do have a killer gimmick, I’m not saying you should bag it up and hide it. Rather I say that working the whole of your skill set would be seriously more important.


The End.

For now…


One thought on “Do you really need a gimmick?

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