I recently received an e-mail from a new fan of burlesque who has been attending several different shows around town and saw that I was tipped during Ginger!’s performance ” The Toast of Paris”.
I thought I would share this correspondence to help anyone else out there who has questions about tipping in the burlesque world.
I have a burlesque etiquette question and naturally thought you’d be the
person who could best address it. What is the role/appropriateness of
tipping at burleque performances? I noticed that some of that went on at
the Columbia City show and that was the first time I had seen that happen.
Is tipping considered an appropriate manner of expressing appreciation
for an exceptional performance? I’m curious. Any guidance would be
NAME REMOVED FOR PRIVACY
Dear NAME REMOVED FOR PRIVACY,
I am sure you have noticed that in my shows I never solicit tips, but tipping is consider a compliment and very much appreciated. For many of us tipping has been seen in drag shows and is a long standing tradition in that genera of entertainment to show appreciation for acts that thrill or move you in some way, with a drag queen you simply hand it to them.
The difficulty is how do you tip a person who is removing their clothing? Don’t try to tuck the tip into some part of the costume it can be distracting to the performer and take away from the act, what seems to be the most successful is to lay the tip on the stage in a safe place where it can be seen and be removed by a stage hand, pick up girl/boy, maid , kitten or whatever the show you are at calls the person who is in charge of costume collection . Some shows send someone around to collect tips at intermission or between acts but, personally I prefer it when an audience member feels inspired to pay tribute with a tip and gets up and does it. Appreciation is a wonderful thing to a performer wether in the form of applause, flowers, or cash. So do what feels right to you.
Thank you so much for asking this question!
All the best~ Paula
A little more on this subject from our anonymous fan:
Thanks for your VERY informative response! I am learning a
lot, which is good for a curious person like me. I appreciate the
thoughtfulness of your explanation and it is nice to know that tipping is
a good thing in this situation. I have tipped many bellydancers, so I can
hold my own with moving targets, but tipping undressing targets would
clearly be another matter! I also appreciate the way you run your shows
so there is no pressure around tipping; I believe in tipping for excellent
service/performance/etc., but I like to make that call without feeling
compelled to do it.
NAME REMOVED FOR PRIVACY