Dear Constant Reader,
Happy Friday! Here’s your tip!
Festival rejections are not a judgement on your worth as a performer.
It’s burlesque festival season, which means it’s also stress and rejection season. Please remember, my dears, that we do burlesque because we love it, not because we want a crown. We should be striving to improve our performances and entertain our audiences, and if a festival happens to like our submitted act, great.
Remember, often it’s not you, it’s them. You never really know what the festival committee is looking for. That act on which you have worked so hard and for which you have received so much praise may not suit the festival’s needs. Maybe someone else used the same song. Sometimes it’s just a small thing that tipped the balance. Perhaps something else in your arsenal would have been accepted, but you just don’t know that at submission time and you can’t know that.
Also, remember that festival performances are often for other burlesque performers. An act that may wow your fans may be seen as not new or different or innovative enough for a particular festival. That doesn’t doesn’t diminish the act’s worth. It just means it’s not right for that festival.
Rejection hurts. It’s true. I myself have been rejected from more festivals than I can remember, even ones to which I had been previously accepted. I know some brilliant performers with splendid acts who have been rejected from festivals. Take some comfort from knowing that you are not alone.
If there’s a particular festival that you really, really want to perform at, it’s worth it to attend as an audience member (or even better, as a volunteer) and see close up what sort of acts they like.
While you can tailor your submission to try to fill the bill, please remember keep your style, your uniqueness, your personal stamp on the act, because no festival is worth losing that.
Like this tip? There are lots more in Miss Mina Murray’s Little Book of Better Burlesque.