Burlesque on a budget!
Variety store variety acts!
This burlesque + variety show showcases 9 performers who accepted the challenge of developing acts on a shoestring budget: either $15 or $35 (and if you know burlesque performers, you know that’s less than their typical rhinestone budget!). They’ll be performing these craftacular acts, as well as presenting documentation of their act development via old-fashioned science-fair style displays.
$12 advance, $15 day of show.
Doors at 8. Show begins promptly at 9.
Red Light Cafe, Amsterdam Walk, Atlanta, GA
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/845507775531379/
Tickets at: http://redlightcafe.com/…/cheap-thrills-burlesque-on-a-budg…
Coquette de Jour from Athens, GA
Catalina Mystique from Knoxville, TN
Damsels in Undress from Athens, GA
Sawyer Jewels from San Francisco’s Fishnet Follies Classic Burlesque Revue
My Science Fair Report for My Cheap Thrills Piece
The Budget. I chose the $15 budget based on the fact that I knew the structure I wanted could easily be made with buckram (utility fabric, often used for hat-making or, for many burly performers, pasties) as a base. Buckram is sturdy and flexible and inexpensive, especially when there is a 60% off coupon involved.
My expenses were minimal: buckram, fabric, thread, snaps, and a pair of gold gloves.
The Plan. I was inspired by the 60’s and 70’s Sci-Fi genres of film and literature, specifically the female costuming and even a little more biasedly, Barberella. I wanted harsh angles and elaborate pieces. I wanted a costume that made no sense in practicality but all the sense in how cool looking it would be to walk around in. My plan used the sturdiness of the buckram, the wizarding ability of fabric manipulation, and the adamant adoration of sewing single snaps all over the place.
The Process. I drew out on the buckram exactly how I wanted the shape of the costume to look and shaped the curves of the front with a lot of darting. It was similar when covering it with fabric. After that, I sewed in all the snaps at the appropriate places and trying it out. A lot of spots were difficult to reach, so I recruited the boyfriend for pinning the correct spots together.
Additional constructs were the undergarments which I tried to keep with the feel of the outer layer. I made a thick choker with bold lines, a long strip of fabric that snaps in the front for my bra, a bold lined piece of underwear, and of course the pasties.
The last thing for the costume were the gloves, which I did not make but was able to purchase for super cheap from a buyer off Amazon. My first choice was green, but apparently green colored gloves from this buyer don’t exist. If I had time and more buckram, I would have added structure to the gloves and make them flare out from the sides of my arms to keep with the angles of the costume. Alas, maybe next time.
The Finale. The final result did not end up looking exactly like the original sketches I had made. This was because the buckram, with the layers of fabric on either side of it, did not fold as tightly as I had hoped it would against my body. However, I am still very happy with the result! I think the ultimate look and feel was achieved. It is my most badass costume to date, and it only cost me $12.75 (plus hours and hours and hours of my nose to the sewing machine).
Thanks to Matt Hardy Photography, there are images of the show. The costume was a success and I am incredibly excited. Please view the images below.
Thank you so much to J. Merritt Photography! These are a few of my favorite stellar shots that he took. There are more of Cheap Thrills available on his Facebook page.