Performers are often subjected to less than ideal environments for work. Professionalism in the workplace then becomes paramount to peace.
Athena and Phelyx are back to deep dive about the subject that brought them closer together—backstage etiquette. Not just for performers, this episode is packed with tips for anyone that works or lives in close quarters with others on a regular basis. They discuss subjects such as professionalism vs etiquette, behaviors that are unprofessional and the environments in which those occur, why rules of engagement are necessary in any work environment, basic backstage etiquette rules and common faux pas backstage. Plus, Athena’s Juicy Bit about an instance of inappropriate behavior in the dressing room. Listen in for some laughs and shocking truths about what it’s like in dressing rooms for performers.
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If you are wondering, “what the heck is a nude?” Watch this video Athena made describing the chorus line of ladies in Jubilee!
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We are a team. As storytellers and dreamers there is always magic to discover. Once upon a time, A Las Vegas Showgirl and a comedian magician figured out that, even with different perspectives, our adventures, and experiences together are really just One Big Caper! No, in another episode I mentioned our authenticity soapbox, but I think that we both have a soapbox called Backstage etiquette. Yes, that’s based on experience with working with a lot of Other people have varying degrees of professionalism and experience. Right. And I do want to say though, when he says professionalism, I have I know what he’s saying. I know he’s talking about, clarify, clarifying. I think that there are some people that are more rebellious and carefree than others backstage. I don’t necessarily think it has to do with professionalism, although when viewed from the outside, it is called professionalism. I can remember occasions and I’m thinking of them very clearly now. Where I without saying it certainly thought that is so unbelievably unprofessional. Okay, so the reason I say that is simply because probably a lot of our audience, while a lot of them because we are both comfort performer backgrounds, a lot of them are performers and understand what we’re about to talk about. There are other people in the world when you talk about professionalism and running around naked in a dressing room is definitely not on the list of professional. So this is an environmental difference between burlesque show and a traditional theater show or a production show. You work yes, there’s there’s a lot. Again, I’m gonna bring back that dial, dial it up or down and for His purpose, he’s gonna use the word professional, well, for Microbus, I’m gonna say it’s respectful. I think that’s probably better. You’re right. I do recommend that if you can see all your coworkers naked. It will change the dynamic of the office. I don’t recommend it. But it’s funny we started talking about this and nudity didn’t even cross my mind that is something that was unprofessional because I spent so many years you know, going on 3000 shows where I was looking at my colleagues in the buffet and it just essentially became desensitized, if nothing else, so that in that environment was not unprofessional, but I could see unprofessional things compared to that if you can believe that. Right. And like, oh my god, so like that one time. I told you, I don’t know if I told you that one time that it was dress coded. In the corporate office, I worked at a huge, huge sports retailer. That is no different. I can tell you why. There are many millions of reasons why but I got dress coded for showing too much skin. And I was like, I have a tank top on what you were Yes, exactly. So then yeah, so I say respectful. And then you get into what what is respectful to some might not be respectful to others, as you perform it writes comedy into her and that is an improv or will never see any of those people. Right? But there I remember when they started to make the shift more towards more PC ways to interact with each other because when you’re doing improv, anything can happen. But they have rules to go by that I respect. They have contemporary, very sensitive policy and it’s totally respectful. Yes, exactly. So again, he’s he’s calling it professionalism. I’m calling it respectful. It’s typical to define professional etiquette. Professionalism in my brain has its own fluid definition of fluid in Yeah, so let’s, okay. So I did a little bit of research on this topic. I found about 20 blogs. Oh, that’s a little. I mean, for you that’s, that’s a little I didn’t read the blogs. I read a few. I will say a couple of rules before we deep dive. Okay. One is that, you know, we’re certainly both responsible and thereby going to be very careful so as not to identify any particular person as example, one way or another. Even if it’s if it’s praising this as this person was fantastically professional, we’re not going to mention who those people are, because I think that’s entirely too researchable was I suppose we’ll lay out a bunch of just experiences that we’ve had. Okay, we’ve had some together. Backstage experiences. Yeah, top of mind, but I feel like that even telling the story will incriminate all involved, even though there were only about 10 of us in that show. So you do have not any longer through now but there is an opportunity to make it sound like fiction. I’m gonna see this. Okay. The truth and fiction? Yeah, we’ll be we’ll be careful. We’re gonna try to do this without having to cut out or bleep a whole lot. But I guess it’s a passionate subject. Well, so far, I have five curse words on your telly. He has zero review for counting. Alright, so yeah, this I think we both identified when we first got together, how much more professional, each of us and we valued professionalism backstage because I think it elevates the entire show when you have an entire cast of very professional performers that show up on time that I don’t know why this I did a little research why it’s at least for less people that it doesn’t matter. Why not have your phone backstage? At turn it on? Do not disturb or airplane mode, but yeah, I get that like having vacations. Yeah, that’s gonna happen but a lot of that has to do with a camera. In an environment where people are nude. Even in a non burlesque show. We have to change costumes. Nobody wants cameras. You want to know how many selfies I’m in that I didn’t try to be in and I’m naked. I can’t even count there’s a big rule right there. If you’re backstage, careful. pictures for God’s sake. I’m not gonna get yourself in the mirror and make the perfect selfie. But who else is in that year? Or it’s happened? It’s happened. Okay, that Yeah. Okay, so All right. That makes sense. This one didn’t make sense to me. No PDA, no public displays of affection next age, I think. I believe that’s a thing. But it makes other people uncomfortable. And it’s one of the things that you know, not unlike the sensitization to nudity. There’s a spectrum of reactions, emotional, psychological reactions to witnessing someone else in the act of displaying their their affection. Yeah, well, some of those too, right. I don’t want to see people make no right I get that. This guy right here is a very touchy feely guy. I touch people’s that a Mondo? No you touch everybody. That’s true. He just does. I’m just He will put His hand on somebody’s shoulder. Hey, good to know you. That’s just that’s your love languages touch for sure. It’s indiscriminate. I suppose when I’m trying to connect with people but I’ve naturally adopted behaviors that are psychological in nature, in anchoring people with words, you know, physically anchoring people with specific words is a technique. That’s totally off track. Okay, come on, come on back. So, it did bring us together. It did. And there’s a closeness that’s gonna happen. Naturally, when you spend many hours in a small room with a number of other people. There are conflicts that are gonna happen to that just you know, happen. But some of those conflicts are actually rooted in behaviors that I would say are unprofessional, back state separations for other people is kind of the major read through any of that, but the crazy thing is, is if you ever live with roommates, it’s the same kind of rules, like if you’re gonna sign a lease agreement with someone that you kind of know or you’re really good friends with, you have to have some sort of rules of engagement. So there are backstage etiquette rules, like there has to be for that reason because it will, it will be less conflict. And there’s certainly room to believe when I was struggling it was there was some conflict. We were the most dramatic out of all the lines when I was in the show. For more information about what Athena means by Jordan, there are several YouTube videos of you, especially underneath this in the description of this episode, you will have resources to learn all about what Athena means when it comes to short newts. That sounds like a weird thing to somebody who is not familiar with the show. So I just wanna acknowledge that. There’s an easy resource and a very entertaining resource for you to get all that information out. Okay, so the show notes were extremely loud and volatile. And yes, and we did have conflict, but we love each other. So much like some of those girls. I’m jealous because the reckoning brought them closer together because they could do zoom, but they were doing happy hours once a month, or once a week or something. They would sorority. Kind of Yeah, I think well, so it’s kind of a it’s an exclusive group of women. Who share an amazing experience. And I think it’s not terribly dissimilar from the funny Yes, forget some playboy. You know, we mentioned that in another episode, but similar in nature is where we build engagement. Backstage. We get rules that were placed, we posted rules or rules or I think you’re in the contract ish. Okay, I don’t have my contract. I do have ABI stuff, the same similar contract I signed. Yeah, it wasn’t. It was just spoken rules you learned during rehearsal period. This is how you behave. It was especially important for us stage level. There were certain rules and then downstairs in the dressing rooms there. Were certain rules, and you’d have to know and you would be told if you were not, you know, like spraying things right. We never sprayed your screen. You go into the restroom or outside or somewhere, at least in a corner with the camera facing the wall. But you’re creating cloud of smelling it and there were some highly sensitive people in the show that would get headaches and things so we were asked if it was in a certain line and in our dressing rooms were not small. At that initial they were quite big, plenty of space. However, it’s just like it’s just common courtesy. I feel like most of these backstage roles are just it’s just common courtesy like you’re aware you’re aware of the people around you and someone might have an allergy to a perfume in your spray or even allergy to the makeup you put on your own face. So yeah, I think it’s just consideration for other people. And that’s just, you know, those are some extra tools. Do you have any other ones? Okay, Felix is gonna school because those are the ones that come to the top of my mind. Hey, Athena here, I’m a former Las Vegas showgirl who teaches women to feel more comfortable in their bodies so they can get their sexy over shoulders like I’ve launched an exclusive offering for the new year. Sexy self care is a four week group coaching intensive designed to support women in developing the sexual self care ritual that turns them on and links them up in 2022 featuring four life coaching goals, plus 20 exercises to nourish body, heart, mind and spirit. Participants may create a personalized self care ritual honors their individuality time and don’t let 2020 to the end of the year, where you keep yourself on the back burner and keep adding to your Sunday file list. With my support and intuitive guidance, you will be prioritizing you your worth and ultimately your impact in this world. Learn more and reserve your spot today at www dot showgirls. Station there’s kind of a territorial border two you were saying? Yes. And when things spill over? Oh, yeah. Andrew talked about that. Oh, really? Yeah, yeah, he had experiences where younger, disrespectful. People in the show, it was boys and girls there. We didn’t have any any gender things at the time, but that’s the only way I can describe it in a PC kind of way. It was boys restroom girls dressing room. There were no trans in the show. There was a trans dresser, but they didn’t have to change it. So anyway, he said one time a pile of magazines spilled on his his spot from the person next door and I just I just think it’s it was either intentional or I don’t I don’t think that that kiddo was unaware that was happening. So in my experience, you know, most of these experiences are going to be similar. I can think of things that are unique to working in DeBary like glitter. Glitter, just don’t ever for anything. That’s what Burlesque is the hot glue and glitter. Yes. It’s not only environmentally unsound and considered to be a violation. Yeah, really. It’s hard to come up with biodegradable glitter. But it’s a mess and it’s infectious. All the jokes are true. You never get rid of clutter. So that’s it’s again, being considerate of others. If you bring food, don’t bring fish. Anything that stinks is rude. It’s just taking an office in an office. Do not bring your leftover salmon to work. I’ve done it a couple times. That was enough of each different places. But yeah, some people don’t like the smell fish for eating clean up after yourself. You know, if you leave little greasy marks on the table, and then somebody plays a costume on it. Then they have a oily stain. Yeah. And you’re speaking from burlesque experience. As a small Yes. When we were when I was in the show, and you believe we didn’t, we each had our own dressing table. And yes, you know, we had we had two neighbors. Some of us were lucky to have space. I was lucky every time that I had a space between me and the next person. Always. That was nice. But I did start in one show and I got my own dressing room with the door and I had my own bathroom and it was glorious. It was glorious, but I still kept the tidy. Virgo rising remember that’s another thing when it comes to you know, especially traveling performer, performer you know, when you’re sharing a theater space with other shows, clean up after yourself for sure. But stay organized. You won’t lose stuff that way. That’s a that’s a big thing too. It’s kind of annoying because of the frequency with which it happens. But it’s every show that somebody is missing something and we’re on the lookout for something and somebody gets blamed for theft or just if you stay organized, if you know what you’ve hacked. I have some great tips. I will share another time for a show. Yes, that is on the list of episodes. So please keep the keep the comments and the suggestions coming. We love it. It’s that behavior that affects other people that we’re essentially talking about. That’s the backstage Yeah, so when you have a Okay, so again, we’re going back to the left. So when I was in the show and you believe the only thing I had to bring to work was my body. Everything else I got to keep there, my whole dressing table had my makeup box and all of my shoes were at my spot and all my costumes were hung behind me. I had dressers or wardrobe technicians with their technical name that would take care of my costumes. They laundered them they made sure I had tight space I got whole I had extra pair of tights or three to four pairs of tights. But they those people take it. When I went into burlesque it was completely the opposite. And I was fully responsible for every costume piece and my choreography and the music and my face and my promo images like I would it’s just like it’s a one woman circus traveling around to different shows. That’s pretty much what a burlesque performer is. And so you have your suitcase and I am a very organized person. It’s not his fault, but he’s helped me helped me organize because I wasn’t used to traveling with my entire show in the box. Like it just was not how I did it. But then as I went I did burlesque for five and a half years. And I was appalled. It’s my favorite word today Apollo by some of the things that I experienced as a performer. For example, people using the biggest case they ever sell the biggest size and Iranian open to take up two spaces so that they can live out of it. And you know the restroom was like the size of this recording space was cases it’s funny taking up two spaces. They’re like parking spaces. And they’re the commodity that’s that’s dressing room table real estate, which is in short supply, and important. There’s only two tables there. Otherwise give us a couch or a folding table or a folding chair. Like that’s that was that was in one environment. I certainly use. We have together use dressing rooms that were modified to peg rooms and that’s your chair and table. Okay, so that’s that’s a build your own dressing room for the situation there. I don’t know how many times I’ve done that. It was Yeah, but personally. Yeah, so being considerate about other people’s space. I’ve arrived late to a show not late as far as doors time, but later than some of the other performers and there was no space and I just had to kind of change in a tiny little piece of high of a space between two cases, which is, you know, hard. So it’s funny when he’s talking about people losing stuff, like how would you lose that? Well, we take everything off every number. We take off a number of costume pieces. I actually had checklists packed with my costumes that I would check off when I put it back into the suitcase and I saw several like it’s countless performers for less performers just throw their throw their costumes into the suitcase, probably to sit there and smell for another week, or they use for the next week or whatever. That’s a whole that’s another that’s another it goes on the list. Oh, yeah. The smells that affect other people include buddy. Oh, and you’re talking about performances that are very physically demanding. And so when people come offstage, their costumes are wet. Yeah. Mostly, but not only because they were shimmying and shaking it up you know, getting but they’re unicyclist or juggler. Yes, this physical Okay, so there’s another consideration, hygiene, hygiene, but also, if you’re gonna throw wet costumes around, that’s just plain rude, right? It’s bad roommate stuff. Again, who’s gonna do the dishes? What’s gonna wash those dishes most? Most green rooms and dressing rooms are very closely located. To stage in Jubilee did not have that experience. But in other places we’ve performed certainly that experience. And it’s for that reason that you got to kind of keep your your volume down. Because even if they can’t hear through the stage, there are a couple things going on one, you have a house manager who’s trying to run things or take notes from performers. You have technicians who were back doing the same kind of work. You have an emcee who was trying to make sure that they are communicating with all the performers and learning how the names are pronounced and everything. And then with this just cacophony of noise and people you know, it’s fun to performance. It’s fun to be around other performers, but you got to keep them worth while the audience could hear and be a distraction. So, yeah, I’m thinking of a lot of the experiences I’ve had in which I couldn’t believe that somebody was letting this happen in noise was one of those experiences. I knew the audience in this particular case the audience could hear, and it was not kind things being verbalized. So that was a mess. Oh, yeah. Yeah, we definitely had a luxury in that. We could shout and yell and laugh. We’re locked in a basement we were in. We are in a basement. Yeah, all the lot of us all in a basement and we could, you know, say whatever we needed. We all had adrenaline pumping, cuz we’re all up on stage dancing, and then we go downstairs and change and continue the conversation we were having and then we would go back upstairs and do another number and we come back and then continue the conversation. So it was just it was really fun backstage on the good days, but uh, yeah, burlesque definitely, like changed some ideas of backstage to get for me. It’s, yeah, to bring back the word professional. That is one of those atmospheres that caters to highly professional full time performers, as well as amateurs with zero experience. And you can tell who’s who backstage as much as you can tell on stage. Yeah, that’s. I guess another thing is, don’t borrow anything without telling someone you know, don’t ask for permission to borrow anything and return it in as good if not better condition when you’re done. Yeah. I’ve done some stuff. We don’t use glassware, generally backstage. And that’s for obvious reasons, I hope but something breaks any broken glass and people’s bare feet, even if they’re just changing into different shoes. They’re there for a minute, so we weren’t held open. Next. I know someone who got a full giant needle in her butt. So it’s another thing to be able to Yeah, and I don’t know why there would have been a needle backstage most of the burlesque performers use hot glue to secure things. So it was kind of weird. I’m like, I hand sew stuff but I don’t ever hand so there was my any maintenance I did on my costumes I did at home, because I don’t want to be I don’t want that to be one extra thing that I do before I get ready. Two things happen in the moment and I have seen Athena repaired the stockings of another performer while that performer was in the stockings the hole is like huge. And I took a before and after picture. I should have taken a video it was it was a an impressive Monday job. Yeah, for a number of reasons. But also it was mending on this person’s backside. It was a feat. Yeah, it was. It was fun. I actually have a tutorial plan to teach people how to be efficient. Yeah, I guess that’s another thing. You know, I keep mentioning that. I’m gonna leave resources here and the packing is a resource and a kit. You know, we have teenage girls in this home and one of them is going to her first portal, and I’m insisting that in her clutch she has a couple things like safety pins or whatever they can save the date. So for not just her but you know somebody else you may encounter who has an issue so I will be putting together a little emergency resource kit easy pack. Yeah small. So I’ll let you know about that, you know, safety bins. And however that may seem out of character for a sis male performer. I have prepared a lot of procedures in my time backstage. We hit him. I think we are we’re pretty close. Yeah. Do you have a juicy bit? Juicy bit? I think it’s divergently. But it’s changed and maybe we can cut it out. But I I really wanted to just say can you believe this was another burlesque backstage and it was a night where there were two shows. So it was a special event of some sort who chose and in between the shows. Two other girls decided in his tiny dressing room to do a full for zillion racks. Excuse me in the dressing room, which was not far from backstage but people were in that dressing room eating dinner. They were resting doing their things and you’ve got legs crawled up in the air and you got up into no one asked for permission. Will this offend you? If I do this, no one asked any thing of this it was just that. That was the last time I experienced that couple of performance either performing in that space. So someone must have said something. It wasn’t me. But I did. roll my eyes over in the corner because I could not believe I was experiencing it and we do not I have similar stories but I think you’d be surprised what has been can happen backstage. There’s one thing we didn’t cover which is well we did we talked about affection I guess I just something flashed through my mind has a memory of something I encountered backstage and it was a display of affection that much. A lot more to this day. There’s much more they could do. Well. Thanks for joining us. We’ll be back. We’re gonna keep this dialogue going. Of course as always, we invite you to interact with us. Any questions, observations or suggestions? Let us know. We really appreciate that. Yes, this is fun. Thanks. Yeah, We can keep doing this without you. It was just a little bit of your time by subscribing, sharing rating for talking about one big paper for someone else. We truly appreciate your support. We want to hear your stories visit one big cable.com to get to know us even more. This episode of one big paper was published in 2022. All rights to broadcast in whole or in part are the property of the zealous Productions, LLC.