Miss Mina's Blog

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Friday Tip 

Dear Constant Reader,

It’s Friday again! Here’s your tip!

Revising is easier than creating.

Writing a book (hi!), choreographing a routine, designing a costume, &c., can be so hard. Just get something “on paper”. It doesn’t have to be perfect or complete or even good. Then, you can go back and change it. That first pass will get you thinking and more importantly doing. The results may be laughable or they may be surprising, but they’re better than starting at a blank canvas waiting for the “right” ideas.

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What Have I Been Up To? 

Dear Constant Reader,

I know it’s been quiet here. It’s not because I’ve forgotten you.

I’m working on  my second costuming book! This one is all about hip belts and panel skirts. As I said to a friend, it’s a challenge to translate what my hands know how to do to words on the page, but I’m chipping away at it.

I’ve got Devastasia on board to create the illustrations again and Scratch will once again be doing the layout design. Our goal is to have it in your hands in the spring.

I am planning to reprint the…

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Friday Tip 

Dear Constant Reader,

This coming Tuesday I’m teaching Getting Tight: A Guide to Corsetry on-line. You’ll learn about different types of corsets, what to look for when buying one, tips for making one, history, how to wear them and how to strip out of them. Here’s a little something:

Wear something under your corset to keep it clean.

Corsets are very hard to wash, because of all the metal in their construction. To keep your corset clean and smelling pleasant, wear it over a base garment. I know that’s not…

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Friday Tip 

Dear Constant Reader,

It’s Friday the 13th! But you’re lucky today because I have a tip to share…

It’s great to interact with audience members! But only if they want to interact with you.

Some people love it when a performer comes up to them and makes them a part of the show for a moment. Some people loathe it. They may not want to be singled out, be the focus of attention, or be touched.

I’ve written before about not touching performers without consent, but the reverse is true as well. When I was at the…

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Burlesque Decks 

Dear Constant Reader,

Our friend Lili VonSchtupp has created a lot of fabulous things and one of her recent creations are burlesque playing cards!

First was the Burlesque Deck, Photos of 26 Los Angeles-area performers adorn the 54 cards (I’m counting Lili VonSchtupp, the one-eyed Jack, and Boobdini, the Joker, as two separate performers). There’s even a special set of cards for magicians. The photos are in a very pin-up style, like the decks of old. Even though the release party was almost a year ago, you…

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Friday Tip 

Dear Constant Reader,

It’s the first tip of 2023!

I’m jumping off of last week’s tip about items that need to be replenished. It’s also about interacting with the audience.

Toss a little something to the audience.

Audiences love to be given little gifts. It makes people feel special to have a little part of the show — and a little part of you. I’ve seen people go crazy over scraps of ribbon.

Obviously you don’t have to do this with every act, but once in a while, it’s a nice surprise and a treat. Be…

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Friday Tip 

Dear Constant Reader,

It’s the last Friday of 2022! I don’t know about you, but I am so ready to say farewell to what has been a terrible, terrible year for me. I know that just turning a calendar page doesn’t mean a fresh start, but I can hope.

Anyway, here’s your tip!

If you consume something during your act, replenish it as soon as possible (or have a plan to do so before the next performance).

By “consume”, I don’t necessarily mean “eat”, but something you use once and can’t use again. This could be a…

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Friday Tip 

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday!

Quick note from B.A.B.E. before I get to your tip. Classes resume in January. Introduction to Burlesque classes will be at Tony Williams Dance Center, as they’ve been for the past year, but in February we’re moving to the Asylum CoLab at Faneuil Hall. We are excited about that! However, we’re less excited that we have to raise our prices for classes. We’ve kept the same rates for 15 years, but they’ll be going up a little in February. If you want to save a little, take…

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In the Kitchen: Hot Spiced Milk (1948) 

Dear Constant Reader,

There’s a FB group I belong to where one person has been sharing daily menus from The Modern Family Cook Book by Meta Givens (1948) for the past couple of years. I even got my own copy of the book to check out the recipes. Then last year I jumped into the game to share Fannie Farmer menus and it’s been fun to compare the two generations of cooking. Some of Meta’s recipes are off-putting — a lot of vegetables covered with white or cheese sauce, a lack of seasoning, plenty of organ meats…

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Friday Tip 

Dear Constant Reader,

It’s a blustery Friday here in Boston and I was trying to come up with a tip that suited the weather, but instead the chaos that is my sewing room/office/video recording and editing studio inspired this.

When facing a big task,  break it down into tiny ones.

Looking at a big project can be daunting, but making it a series of much smaller projects can help a lot. You know what they say about how to eat an elephant — one bite at a time.

You could make detailed to do lists. For…

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