Lady Hart gives you the run down on glue guns, scissors and what to keep in your kit
The Emergency Kit
As an on/off performer for the past 28 years, and adding "Show Producer" to my list of ever extending job titles of recent, I've been privy to a lot of backstage happenings that come with producing or performing in a show. Something that really drew me in to the world of burlesque this year was the spirit of community the performers had amongst themselves. I've had my qualms with burlesque over the years, but it wasn't until being right in the heart of this world myself I realised why so many strong and confident women were attracted to this type of performance. At every turn, so many women are told not to embrace their sensuality, and in direct answer to this, the burlesque world politely throws it's seamed stocking'ed behind into the air and says "Watch me".
I come at this blog post from a very DIY stand point. I make all my own costumes, headpieces and props where I can whilst also attempting to make the backstage environment as stress free as possible so all performers can just focus on giving their act their all.
In line with this, I came up with a Burlesque Emergency Kit for shows, to not only make sure I'm covered in case something goes wrong, but so I can lend to and assist my fellow dancers.
Below I list the important things every performer should have in their Burlesque Emergency Kit.
False Eyelashes and Liquid Latex
Always bring a spare pair of falsies, you never know when your trusty super dramatic eye wigs with the double layer and diamontes are going to random break in half when you try to remove the glue from the last show, or god forbid you accidently cut them too short. Liquid Latex (ie Duo or the glue that comes with the lashes) in a pinch can also be used to glue on sparkles or pasties.
Sewing Needle and Thread
Your mentor needs some fringing sewn onto her knickers 5 minutes before she's due on stage? A sudden and devastating hole in your best stockings? No problem! Always pack a needle and white/black thread for easy fix ups to costumes.
Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
Just like needle and thread, a glue gun and glue sticks will be a godsend should something go wrong with your costumes or props. It makes for a quick fix that will hold through the show until you can make a more permanent fix.
Bobbypins, Comb, Hairspray
Probably the most important part of your Burlesque Emergency Kit, and ones your hair or wig will definitely thank you for. Bobbypins are basically backstage currency and you'll be hard pressed to find a fellow performer without a good stash on them. Stay one step ahead so you can fix your own out of place tendrils, or lend them to someone in need.
Pads and Tampons
Even the most seasoned performer can run into a spot of bother when moon time arrives, and everyone will go into damage control mode trying to source you a sanitary product right before you go on. Be prepared and always have a stash with you.
You'll need something to cut that thread or trim an idle hem. And hey, if there's the possibility of a relaxing joint going around; you'll have the tools to cut that kush!
I can't stress enough how important it is when packing your costume to ensure you've got all the bits and bobs you need for that big reveal. Check and double check you have everything you're going to wear on stage. I like to go from head to toe in my head when packing to make sure I haven't forgotten anything.
Finally, your phone is probably glued into your hand at every second and there's a multitude of reasons why it should be within close range. If a fellow performer is running late, they'll be able to get in touch to let you know about it. You'll have plenty of time backstage to wait around for your performance spot, so it's a good time to make Facebook friends with your new backstage buddies, get some photos of yourself and your crew, or even just dull that stage anxiety with a relaxing mobile game.
And there we have it. The show will still go on despite a few tools missing from your Kit, but trust me; your stress levels will thank you for being a burlesque girl scout - Always Prepared!