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For every yes, there is a no

If you’ve read these posts in order, it might seem like nothing has ever gone wrong. Or if it has, I made a magical recovery from it.


But I am here to tell you, that for every ‘yes’ we get as performers, there are often more no’s. It’s just that nobody wants to share those stories. Because they aren’t fun. And it usually doesn’t feel good to say, “REJECTED.”

What I’ve learned from them though, is that it doesn’t have to be that dramatic. In 2019, which was my first, full year of burlesque, I ended up applying to five festivals in all. I was accepted to perform in the first and the last. Everything in between was a, “Thanks, but no thanks”. And it was rough.

After winning the Wisconsin Regional Burlypicks competition, performing weekly for Five Star Tease and then securing a spot at the 2019 Colorado Burlesque Festival, I was on an all-time high. Everything seemed to be going my way. And then it stopped.

I continued to get local bookings, but for every application sent out for major festivals — a rejection email came back. I went months without being accepted. And it was a hard pill to swallow. How could I go from way up there to wayyyyy down here?

What I needed to remind my of, is that it’s all subjective. Burlesque is an art form. And its content is subjective to those who are viewing it. When it comes to shows, competitions, and festivals — You aren’t always going to be what the producers are looking for. Maybe there were a lot of submissions that had a similar style to yours and they did it better. Maybe your style doesn’t fit the theme of the event. Maybe the other performers have a better social media following. There are a ton of reasons why some acts get picked and others don’t. One act may not get into a certain festival and then accepted for another — and I haven’t figured out the algorithm yet.

But I have learned that I shouldn’t take it to heart. Because for however many no's there are, there is always the possibility for a YES. And the only way you get a ‘yes’ is to apply. Put your work out there for people to see. The worst thing that can happen is they tell you no, you get some feedback and you make it better.

Just keep trying and applying!



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