How To Create/Choose Your Burlesque Name

When first getting into the burlesque scene and experimenting with new acts and techniques, one of the most daunting and equally exciting tasks remains creating the persona whose personality will dominate the stage you perform on.  Burlesque is a beautiful art, but as visually pleasing as it is, each and every one of the moves that piece together to become the sensation you see is quite precisely calculated.  Your name is your identity – the very base for marketing the image of the character you portray to the audiences.  It’s no wonder picking your stage name always proves to be a bit of a pressure-cooker!

With magically seductive names from icons of the art such as Gypsy Rose Lee, Lili St. Cyr, Dita Von Teese, Tempest Storm, Desert Rose, Miss April March, Satan’s Angel, Scarlett James, Cherry Typhoon, Gentry De Paris and Kalani Kokonuts to name only a few – it is imperative that your title add to your very unique allure.

Some tips to get you started…

  • Some people want to incorporate a part of their name to their created one.  Be it a nickname, a middle name or something you’ve always been called that feels uniquely yours – if you are comfortable with others publicly knowing this part of your personal life, go for it!
  • Think about the character you want to channel while on stage (or even by yourself).  Think about a side of you that rarely (or never) gets the occasion to come out and express itself.  Take advantage of that inner spark and natural tendency!  Build it up and plan your costumes, music and energy around it.  Think of the whole package and go all out.
  • Add a touch of the exotic.  Be it a well placed “Van”, “De”, “Miss” or “La”, usually dipping into another language, culture or title will add an air of sophistication, playfulness or mystery.
  • Dip into experiences you’ve lived through.  Be it a scenario you can borrow from and make light of, something you can add to the imaginary biography of the side you are expressing – take advantage of wisdom previously gained and use it to bring your crowd closer to you through relation.
  • Don’t rip off another performers hard work and self-creation.  There can be a very fine line between imitation and inspiration.  Learn from observing and apply it to your acts in a natural and individualistic manner.  Get inspired, spin what you’ve picked up into a theme that works for you, and own a re-creation that will allow you the rights to originality.

In any case, be fierce – be you!  Authenticity is what people want to see!