Written by Penny Starr Jr. 

Penny Starr Jr. teaching a costuming class at BurlyCon 2011.

Penny Starr Jr. teaching a costuming class at BurlyCon 2011.

I’ve had the pleasure of being an instructor several times at BurlyCon, as well as an attendee. You get on the plane to BurlyCon and you look at the class guide, mostly to block off your own classes—what do you need to prepare, where do need to go, how much time do you have between teaching gigs—and then you see it. That class that you yourself would take. And you circle it. And you circle another. And another. And then you curse under your breath—you’re teaching during another class you want to take. Damn!  

And that’s just it—we never stop learning. Burlesque is a collection of many arts:  theater, acting, dance, movement, staging, direction, lighting, sound and music, costuming, make-up, hair, small business management… to name a few. The closest you can come to that kind of education is to enroll in the theater department of a college. Or do what many of us early professional burlesquers did and collect learning experiences at every turn. Dance classes here. Sewing classes there. Take a pro out for coffee to “pick their brain.”  Some experiences were trial by fire. (Oh, red party [lighting] gels, you make my beautiful costume look only red on stage!)

But now, thanks to the mettle of Miss Indigo Blue, we have BurlyCon! One stop shopping for all the burlesque arts and business. Taught by burlesquers, for burlesquers.  

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