In May 2015, I will have been running the Dublin branch of Dr Sketchy’s Anti Art School for 5 years. I can hardly believe it! As well as hosting events in Dublin, we’ve been to Cork twice, opened a new branch in Galway in 2014 and hosted mini sessions and workshops at festivals and conventions. Running monthly/ twice monthly events that include burlesque and cabaret performance has taught me many things, one of which is that we can NEVER have enough performers. I look for diversity, quality and professionalism in my models and performers. New up-and-coming performers don’t “take over’ from established performers, they compliment them by being ambassadors of a vibrant and growing scene, or if they’re exceptional, well, there’s no harm in them pushing everyone else to up their game!!
Five years is a long time in performance circles. Established performers will retire from the stage and new performers will begin their careers. It is really important to me, and I’m sure to other Irish promoters and producers, to see new talent emerge. For that reason, I have started the Burlesque Mentoring Programme to help aspiring burlesquers to develop and grow.
What is the Burlesque Mentoring Programme?
Established performers, dance teachers and producers take on the role of mentor to help and encourage “Up and Coming” performers. The mentors will commit to meeting for coffee/ video chatting/ otherwise communicating with their mentee at least once a month for a minimum of 3 months (can be extended by mutual agreement). The mentors will give guidance, advice and critique on various aspects of the performers to help take them on the next step of their journey to the stage.
Who can participate?
Anyone with an interest in cabaret and burlesque performance can apply to enter the mentoring programme, however, there are a limited number of mentors and they will be paired with performers who they can help the most. The performers who will benefit the most from the scheme are those who have already undertaken the journey to the stage – either have undertaken classes in dance/ performance and want to take the next step, or who have performed on stage but want to refine and develop their performance style.
It’s not recommended as a first step into burlesque.
Who can become a Mentor?
So far our mentors include established burlesque, boylesque and bellydance performers who also have significant production experience so can view potential performers from a variety of perspectives. If you feel you can help a performer move on to the next stage of their career, get in touch to become a mentor!
What else is there to know about the programme?
Well, as it’s a pilot programme we might not get everything right straight away. Help us by giving (and graciously receiving!!) constructive feedback during the process. Commit to regular communication. Be gracious about the time that your mentor is putting in to the project and as a mentor don’t forget that criticism should be balanced with praise and appreciation where it’s due.
Some mentors have affiliations and commitments to competitions taking place around the country – Miss Burlesque Ireland, Burlesque Festivals etc. Please indicate whether you plan on entering these competitions so we can ensure we don’t pair you with a mentor that could be seen to show preferential treatment.
Have I missed anything?
Ask questions in the comments, someone else might benefit from seeing the answer down there!
The next step!
Apply to be paired with a mentor by filling out the form here! Express your interest in becoming a mentor by sending an email to Mentors[at]scarlettnymph[dot]com