The New Orleans Burlesque Festival is now accepting performer applications! The deadline is May 15, 2010. The second annual event will be September 17-19. Applications can be found on www.neworleansburlesquefest.com. The nightly showcases will be held in the beautiful theatre at Harrah’s New Orleans and the House of Blues in the French Quarter. The host hotel will again be the luxurious Westin New Orleans Canal Place Hotel.
ABOUT THE FEST
The New Orleans Burlesque Festival is devoted to classic and traditional styles of burlesque. But, it’s more than fabulous feather fans and big beautiful boas. You can view the festival’s YouTube page to see the variety of performances from the inaugural festival (www.youtube/burlesquefest).
Festival founder and producer Rick Delaup encourages all burlesque performers to apply, “The talent last year was the cream of the crop, but we had few variety acts, and only one “boylesque” act. Also, we were lacking performers from overseas. I’d love to have some of the top talent from other countries represented. And we are also looking for one or two more experienced and engaging emcees.”
“The edgier neo-burlesque performers who are interested in participating should pull out their classic routines, adapt an existing routine, or challenge themselves to come up with something classic, but also unique. We are looking for acts that evoke a certain period of time in burlesque, basically anything pre-1970s.
A staple of the New Orleans Burlesque Festival is its mission to keep alive the live music component of the striptease show, once prevalent during the golden age of burlesque. A live, traditional jazz band accompanies two entire main showcases.
The main event is the Queen of Burlesque competition, which is held at Harrah’s on the Saturday night of the festival. The organizers select celebrity judges in different areas of media and entertainment to judge the very best of the burlesque performers who apply to compete in the festival. Last year’s judges include actor/comedian Jay Thomas, Miss Louisiana USA Lacey Minchew, former New Orleans Saints player Brad Edelman, and burlesque legend Rita Alexander. The competition is not for amateur performers, but for the most established and/or entertaining burlesque dancers in the business.
New Orleans legends of burlesque are on hand throughout the weekend to sign autographs, participate in panel discussions, and conduct workshops. Returning this year are Rita Alexander the Champagne Girl, Evangeline the Oyster Girl, Tee Tee Red, and Wild Cherry. Last year, fest-goers were introduced to former burlesque stripper Eve St. Pierre, who was attending her first burlesque festival.
PARTIES & ACTIVITIES
The NOBF throws free parties throughout the festival. Last year, performers received complimentary absinthe at the Thursday night party, complimentary rum drinks at the opening party (with featured striptease performances), and complimentary beer at the closing party, (which featured entertainment by Kitten on the Keys).
Members of the burlesque community are welcome to submit ideas for workshops, panel discussions, and daytime activities. The NOBF will continue to present panel discussions with the legends of burlesque, as well as the panel on the new stars of burlesque.
ON A SHOESTRING?
The NOBF was designed to appeal to those burlesque performers on a budget. The lowest flight and hotel rates are available in the month of September, which is the off-season for visitors to New Orleans. Venue locations are all within walking distance from the host hotel. The NOBF provides information on the best cheap-eats, directions to a nearby grocery store and Walgreens, and where to locate free WiFi. And all are in the French Quarter! An honorarium and goodie bag is given to performers. Last year’s goodie bag contained, among other things, snacks, Hubig pies, and a flask of rum. The NOBF was able to arrange some airport pick-ups, and hopes to do the same this year.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT THE NOBF:
The shows were inspiring and the company was exceptional. Great music, food, southern hospitality and vintage glamour made the New Orleans Burlesque Festival a well-orchestrated masterpiece. Within the setting of the French Quarter it felt like you were truly transported in time. Simply magical, I am truly hooked.” – OPHELIA FLAME (Minneapolis, MN)
WOW!!!! I felt that we were all treated like royalty. There is a reason this is my favorite city in the world, no stone left unturned, a stellar lineup, lots of fun to be had by all. Like I always say, New Orleans never fails to turn up the heat and I’m not just talking about the temperature!!! – RENEA’ LE ROUX (Atlanta, GA)
Every moment was well thought out by the producer, and left me wanting to never miss another… Thank you for such stunning attention to detail and a serious respect shared for burlesque in a perfectly cinematic setting.” – AMBER RAY (New York City, NY)
The sexy art of burlesque is absolutely meant to be in the sultry city of New Orleans. Thanks for bringing them together in such a big way! – TRIXIE LITTLE (Baltimore, MD)
The New Orleans Burlesque Festival was an amazing experience! After years of going to festivals and conventions, I wouldn’t have believed it was the first year as smoothly as the event went. With amazing performances, classes, and parties, it was truly a wonderful time and I can’t wait for next year. – KATHERINE LASHE (Atlanta, GA)
The New Orleans Burlesque Festival was extremely professional. Everyone involved was helpful and friendly. The shows were of the highest caliber of entertainment! New Orleans definitely has an old-world charm to it, and blended with the southern hospitality, sparkling costumes, fabulous performers, good liquor, good music, and too much dancing... I can’t wait to see what happens next year! – TOMAHAWK TASSELS (Minneapolis, MN)
I can’t think of a better city for a burlesque festival. Rick and his entire crew threw an amazing event, and I plan to go back every year. – GINGER VALENTINE (Dallas, TX)
Beautiful shows, top-notch talent, and a wonderful opportunity to network with fellow performers. I can’t wait to go back! – RED SNAPPER (Los Angeles, CA)
We had such a marvelous time in the city, and the whole event reminded me of why I love performing. – RUBY JOULE (Austin, TX)