“The Burlesque Innovation Guild blog (2009-2013), was my attempt to channel the frustration I felt from a lack of respect for innovation in the field of burlesque. For years I petitioned (unsuccessfully) to have innovation added as a category on the ballot for the Miss Exotic World competition at the Burlesque Hall of Fame. The contestants are judged on entrances, dancing, costumes and stage presence, but I believed not including creativity or innovation on the ballot was creating a bias towards historical recreation. If you want to keep an art form alive, you need to nurture the innovative pioneers who are pushing the art form forward in modern times. As the song goes- “you gotta get a gimmick!” - and original burlesque was ALL about individuality that would give you a leg up! Whether it’s a giant balloon, a smoking couch, a trained bird/snake/dog/jaguar, or a martini glass, innovation in burlesque is part of its very fabric and it’s what has defined the careers of the icons of burlesque. I have always believed that if we truly care about preserving an art form, we need to nurture the pioneers. Artists are always on the front lines and while most performers I'm around describe themselves as a burlesque ‘dancer’ - I have defined myself as a burlesque ARTIST. This sentiment has fallen on deaf ears within BHOF and feels diminished by an adherence to aesthetic beauty and mimicry of the past. It annoyed me then. It still does now. It is possible to be innovative and classic at the same time and it’s way more challenging to pull off. Banana Peel is my answer to a classic gown act. It took me 2 years to complete. That’s just one example how I have tried to “be the change I wish to see in the world.” This short-lived blog was one such attempt I made in an attempt to turn the tide and make burlesque a highly revered ART form.”
Here are two of the entries, please visit http://burlesqueinnovationguild.blogspot.com/ for more!