Fresh from an acclaimed season of her one woman show ‘Underemployment’ at Fringe World 2019, Miss Lola Moore threw herself into preparations for WA’s most hotly anticipated burly contest: Miss Burlesque WA. A wonderful platform for established performers, Lola embraced the opportunity to tackle this challenge on a budget…
Hello internet, Lola Moore here. I hope this finds you well and preferably with your favourite snack and/or beverage. (I may be typing this this with a very acceptable glass of cleanskin red wine.)
Those of you who follow me on social media will probably have noticed that come June I will once again be completing for the title of Miss Burlesque WA. Those who follow even more closely will have noticed that at Fringe World this year I created and performed a show called Underemployment: A show about not enough work and too much TV.
Now, I know what you’re thinking:
“But Lola!” you cry “Being underemployed usually means being incredibly broke! How on Earth do you expect to afford to do a major competition?”
Well, random internet person, you are correct, comps call for crystals and us burlesquers tend to spend more on those sparkly bastards than we’re comfortable admitting in public. While I am certainly not immune to pressure to splash out financially in competitive situations (and I love sparkly stuff) circumstances are very much against me right now. To be clear, I’m not putting this out there in a ploy for sympathy, as tight as finances are right now I’m very fortunate to have a great support network that ensures I won’t be living on the street any time soon (not everyone is so lucky).
I’ve also definitely made some life choices that have contributed to my long term wobbly finances. Mainly choosing to study and work in the Arts. A great call made by an overly optimistic 17 year old and tenaciously maintained ever since.
So this brings us to the subject of this series:
Burlesque on a budget. It can be done! It takes time and effort and you’ll probably scream with frustration at least once a week but you can do it. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely times I wish I could just hand my money to someone else and let them deal with it all but I also definitely cannot afford that.
So I’m a self-taught sewer and crafter who probably takes on projects that are way too advanced for my skill set but dammit, I’m committed now.
But what is my fabulous plan for pulling this off? Well, I have done this sort of thing for a while now so I do have something resembling a concept that should theoretically work.
Step 1. Plan this sh*t.
Step 2. Op shop like my bank balance depends on it.
Step 3. Pillage Homecraft Textiles’ yearly 50% off sale for anything I can’t find second hand.
Step 4. Start sewing.
Step 5. Mess it up and cry.
Step 6. Remember that I don’t have another option and try again.
Step 7. Repeat steps 4 through 6 until costumes complete.
Step 8. Hopefully get complimented on my work and pretend graciously that the process wasn’t emotionally damaging.
My efforts for MBWA this year consist of two main projects:
Traditional – A seven veils-inspired classic act. (Is seven too many? Yes. Almost certainly.)
Unique – A YouTube tribute act which features copious layers. (Too many layers? See previous answer.)
I also have to make some minor alterations to a pre-existing gown for the red carpet parade but that is far from the biggest thing I have put on my plate!
So have I bitten off too much? Probably. Will I give it a red hot go anyway? Well, I kinda have too. Bailing now would just be awkward.
So stay tuned for my op shopping adventures as I try to get as much as possible for as little as possible!