Jul 13, 2010
commented on The Burlesque Shoah
The only thing that I would say is come see some shows in New York city. We don't mess around in NYC.
Also I think that as a gay man you aren't really the target audience for burlesque featuring mostly female performers. I have been producing Burlesque and variety shows in New York now for over 4 years. My audiences have grown despite many other shows around me failing.
I also book variety acts, sideshow acts and comedians with the burlesque performers which I think has added to my longevity. For the most part my audience demographic is straight males, straight women and lesbians. We might have one or two gay men, but it's rare. Just as the traditional high quality drag shows probably did not have a large straight male audience, burlesque does not have a huge gay male audience. There are some extremely talented gay male performers but for the most part the audience is straight.
I am also an MC and a damn good one. I work not only in Burlesque but in comedy and various shows throughout New York city. Most New York shows are tight, fast, and include extremely well thought polished performances for the most part. It is survival of the fittest here, troupes are rare as most performers freelance from show to show and I think that alone makes our performers better. Instead of being in a safe happy environment were they are automatically booked such as a troupe, freelancers are forced to compete and as a result the talent pool is much better to pull from.
And as for long shows with long intermissions, that is usually the result of the venue owner hoping to get as much money out of that audience as possible. We have the same problem here with owners pushing for longer and longer shows. I agree that every art form has its peak, and over saturation can kill anything, and I know very little about the Seattle scene, but if you were to see some shows in New York or Vegas I think you would have a totally different experience.
And as for instructing the audience on how to respond to burlesque that is standard. The reason is because today's audience doesn't know how to respond to women removing their clothes in public, I mean how many screams and cheers are heard at a traditional strip club? Also because of the internet, television and movies, most audiences don't quite understand proper etiquette. Ask any theater actor and they will completely agree, cell phone conversations, talking loudly, and generally disrespecting a live performance have almost become the norm.