SO YOU WANT TO GO ROGUE?
Tips and secrets to auditioning for Rogue Burlesque
The Rogue Aesthetic
Rogue Burlesque is a neoburlesque troupe with classic roots. That means we do bawdy, sexy, often comedic routines in the spirit of old Vaudeville. We’re invested in the tease part of striptease; use music the audience will groove to; have clear storylines the audience can follow; and aim to entertain. While some Rogues have raunchier moments, they are often comedic and have the goal of entertaining and relating to the audience.
A fully-clothed performer can keep the audience on the edge of their seats by taking forever to pull off a glove. In keeping with that tradition, Rogue Burlesque emphasizes the tease. We like to make the audience wait and wonder. It’s not what you see – it’s what you don’t – that is infinitely more sexy.
We’re open to all types of music, from all eras. We’ve used pop, rock, punk, speed metal, classical, new age, soul, and meowing. For real.
We LOVE a good story, and so does our audience! A routine with a story engages the audience and gives them a reason (beyond the striptease) to pay attention…and hopefully remember your act the next day.
Our #1 goal is to entertain. We perform burlesque because we love it, and we love making our wacky art, but it's equally important that the audience has fun, too. Rogue routines keep in mind the experience we deliver to the audience.
The last key to entertaining is exuding stage presence. That means serving face, making clear choices, and displaying CONFIDENCE. Every performer has to fake it some days, but overall we seek performers who can convince an audience they love themselves and their bodies, no matter what size or shape!
What We Look for In a Rogue
Rogue Burlesque is open to applicants of all races, ethnicities, abilities, ages (over 18), shapes, sizes, religions, genders, and sexual orientations. What matters most is that you showcase the following:
- Theatricality - can you create a convincing character and tell a story in your routines?
- Dance ability - can you learn basic group choreography, or show off some sweet moves of your own?
- Personality - do you share your personality with the audience when you perform?
- Expressive face - do you engage the audience with your eyes? Can the back row see your smile?
- Creativity - do you have wacky ideas that come from nowhere but make sense in a weird way?
- Versatility - are you comfortable playing different kinds of roles or trying different styles of burlesque?
- Availability: Members should be available to rehearse regularly. We hold weekly rehearsals on Sunday nights, 6-9pm. Members also need to be available to attend tech rehearsal for performances, and of course, perform in shows.
- Commitment: To be a Rogue, you need to be willing to commit a fair amount of time and energy to the troupe.
- Professionalism: Professionalism is a must. That means you communicate regularly (typically via email) and show up to rehearsals and shows on time, sober, and prepared. All members sign a Code of Conduct to commit to standards of professionalism.
- Positive attitude: Having a positive attitude keeps rehearsals fun and energizing. We strive to check our baggage at the door when we arrive and focus on the tasks at hand. That keeps us available to support each other in doing awesome work.
- Open to feedback: Workshopping routines is a big part of being a member of Rogue. In order to maintain a high standard of quality, we work as a troupe give feedback for acts in development. The ideal Rogue is receptive to constructive criticism, doesn't take such feedback personally, and always strives to improve their art and their skills.
Rogue’s Rules to Live By
If we look like we’re having fun onstage, it’s because we are! Rogues have great attitudes backstage and are committed to being friendly, supportive, and willing to share often tight quarters. We have also developed three guidelines to keep things simple:
We're body-positive, sex-positive -- overall, pretty positive! So we ask that there be no self-hate talk, deflected or otherwise. That stuff gets poisonous FAST. There is a big difference between “I feel as if I can’t get anything right today” vs. “I’m so stupid!” or “I feel anxious because I’ve gained weight” vs. “I’m so huge, I’m disgusting!”
Rogues communicate with one another directly and transparently as much as possible. We realize this requires a degree of self-awareness, but we know you can do it! Also, it keeps you from getting sucked into gossip. “Have you told her that directly?” is always an appropriate response. Attempts to divide and conquer within the troupe will not be tolerated.
Rogue leadership also strives for transparency in communication. If you have ideas for a show, we want to hear them! If you have feedback about how we can do things differently, we're open to that, too!
We minimize interpersonal conflict by having compassion and understanding for one another. We foster mutual respect for all our members, and encourage direct communication to resolve any issues. We remember that no one is perfect, we're all human, and we're all here to make art and have fun.
WHAT CAN ROGUE DO FOR YOU?
So you're committed to joining the troupe -- what's in it for you?
Our goal is to create a supportive and welcoming atmosphere for our members to thrive in creating their art. We rely on each other for creative ideas, concrete feedback, and costuming help. Troupe members support each other, ultimately improving each performer’s (and the troupe’s) overall appeal, skills, and talent. We nurture mutual respect and celebrate our successes together.
Routine Workshopping and Feedback
Getting and giving constructive feedback can be difficult at first. The goal is not to tear someone down and tell them they suck, but rather to take a good performance and make it great. Between us, we have many years of experience in dance, theater, costuming, circus, and variety arts.
We have lots of ideas and want to help each other grow into the best performers we can be. This means that nobody is “off limits.” Just because someone is the Director or has dance training doesn’t mean that they know everything and can’t work to improve skills. The most important thing is that feedback is constructive and is provided in a supportive and loving manner.
Rogues get priority casting in Rogue Burlesque shows (duh). Beyond Rogue productions, members also have access to private bookings for bachelorette parties, birthday parties, special events, festival appearances, and Boston Circus Guild gigs.
Rogue supports its members even outside of Rogue activities. Whenever possible, we'll share what you're up to outside of Rogue in our email newsletter or on social media.
Professional burlesque performers get paid for their performances. Period.
We always pay our performers within 10 days of getting money from the venue and/or ticketing agency. We strive to offer fair, competitive compensation. Occasionally we’ll do a benefit show for free, because helping people is fun, but this is the exception to the rule.
Want to become a master pastie maker? Learn how to teach classes in burlesque? Help out with producing shows?
Rogue members have lots of opportunities to learn the tricks of our trade. If you're interested in helping out with troupe activities beyond performing, we can provide instruction and mentorship to develop new skills.
So...are you ready to go Rogue?