Tease Tips – Lessons in life, love and the art of tease
By Michelle L’amour
Photo Credit: Melanie Bert
Don’t blame them. Entertain them.
Be honest. How many times have you come off the stage and said, “Oh, the audience sucks!” I hear it all the time and I think it happens more often with audiences that are not used to seeing burlesque shows. With a well educated crowd you’re more likely to get cat-calls for two straight hours and people leaving hoarse. But, with crowds that are filled with newbies and tourists, they just aren’t quite sure what to do. That’s ok! This is your time to show them what to do and you should be honored that you have the privilege of “exposing” them to burlesque. Everyone always remembers their first!
Instead of “hate fucking” the crowd, let’s consider the audience for a moment. They are out of the house and they are seeing live entertainment. Out of all their options, they chose you. This is a huge compliment. Respect their choice and commitment to seeing live entertainment. It is so easy to stay home and binge watch Netflix, but they decided to put on deodorant (presumably) and go out in public. Bonus points.
Now let’s consider our world. You know all the things that are bringing you down and all the things you’re upset about? There’s a good chance the audience is right there with you and feeling the burdens and emotional strain that you are feeling. That doesn’t just disappear when they walk into your show, just as it doesn’t disappear for you. Luckily for you, the audience is looking to you for an escape. They are looking to forget their troubles and the state of the world for a moment of joy. Joy that YOU are bringing them. It is not fair to judge them and put them down because they aren’t losing their damn minds because you did a hip shimmy. People show enjoyment in different ways and there is no harm is having an audience watch, smile and clap enthusiastically at the end. Sure, it’s fun to perform to a raucous crowd but that’s not always going to be the case. That is no reason to blame the audience for their lack of energy.
In the times where you are primarily performing for newbies and tourists, give them grace. Perform your heart out. This is your job! If they are not reacting in ways that you wish they would, consider your act. What can YOU do to better entertain and get the reactions you want? If they don’t “oooh” and “aaah” over a glove peel, take a look at your glove peel. What can you do to bring more attention to it? Are you doing it too quickly? Are you missing the moment in the music? All these things can really pull the audience in and get them on your side. Remember, they walked in the door. They WANT to be on your side. They’re there for you. Respect that and give them the best damn show you can. They, and you, deserve it!