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10 Years (Today!) Hosting Burlesque Shows

From Lucinda Panties' Facebook Page: On this day, TEN years ago, I stepped onto the stage and MC'd my first ever burlesque show. Later that year I joined Lady Velvet Cabaret onstage for the first time and just never left.

MCing is one part of my creative career I have never second guessed myself on (insert self-deprecating "some may argue I probably should have" joke). It's one of the things I love to do most, and onstage hosting is one of the places I feel most comfortable and at ease.

Not exaggerating here, but ever since I was a kid, I'd attend events and see MCs and think to myself "Imagine if they fell over and hurt themselves JUST badly enough that there'd be no lasting repercussions, but that they still couldn't carry on hosting the show, and the stage crew turned to the crowd and asked us 'Hey can anyone step in and take over the show?' the same way people on movies yell 'Is there a doctor on this plane?!' and I would bravely step forward and say 'Yes, bitch, give me the microphone this is what I was born to do' and I would do the best job ever and people would be like 'Omg random small child, you were so good, please come back and host again'." This hypothetical scenario never eventuated, but I stayed ready, prepared to jump up there at a moment's notice just in case.

Well turns out nobody had to break their foot in order for me to get mine in the door, I just had to burst onto the stage with all the unearned confidence of an inexperienced 20 year old and turns out people believed me, so I just went with it and now we're here. If that's not a life lesson then I dunno what is.. In my Singalong Jamboree show this year my main idea was "someone out there is doing the creative thing YOU love but are too scared to do, and they're doing it SO BADLY, but with confidence. So why aren't you just doing the thing?". This was directed at myself if I'm honest, but also at audience members who may never have sung or made music in public ever before.

Starting early worked for me - now I'm only 30 (I said ONLY) and already have a decade of being a professional idiot under my belt. Having said that, just because you didn't start at 20, doesn't mean you shouldn't start now.

Over the past year I've noticed more and more that the beauties I share the stage with are starting to call me their stage mum, and that younger or emerging artists are coming to me with questions or asking advice. Despite *literally* being a teacher, it's taken me a minute to get used to the idea that I do know what I'm doing when it comes to MCing, enough to not only do my own projects with some success, but enough to share my knowledge with emerging artists and help them take a couple of short cuts to lessons that I had to learn the hard way. (I was going to write "long and hard way" but I didn't want to make this post about doodles, please respect my choices). I feel like a wanker calling myself a mentor, but even hearing back from emerging artists I've spoken to/sent four page essays to about hosting cabaret shows (sorry!), and hearing about their awesome successes and progress is just the most amazing feeling ever (I literally got one while typing this ramble and now I'm feeling even more mooshy).

SO: I dunno why I wrote this now, it started as an absent-minded "wahey look, anniversaries are fun!" post but it's turned into something else. I like bullet points, so let's go with this for a closing statement: - thank you to everyone who's ever given me one iota of support from the crowd, onstage, backstage, or in the office - if you feel strongly about doing something, you should probably do it, whether you're perfect at it or not - if you still like doing the thing after a while, that's a sign you should keep doing it - even if your thing is a bit niche, you can still be an expert in it. Not gonna lie, sometimes people think of comperes as an afterthought or just an announcer - they're not. I could go for hours about the intricacies of this role and how vital it can be to the success of an entire show. If this is of any interest to you as a budding host, maybe hit me up. It's something I could always run a workshop or course in in future if there's enough interest

oh, and..

- you don't have to stick to your first stage name. If something better (i.e. Lucinda Panties) comes up after your first gig, then you should go for it. Today may be MY Burly MC anniversary, but Lucinda's true birth comes later this year

Photo of myself and half of my Jamboree pals Malaika Moon and Cece Desist by Wild Kat Photography

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