The Case for Full Video

by: Shoshana

Debates seem to be popping up in discussion forums all over Facebook about whether or not to have full video of your routines start to finish.   For my money, full video is imperative.

Reason #1: Festivals

All festivals worth their salt will require a video submission of the act you intend to perform.  Private links or password protected links are a pain in the ass.  Producers are busy, especially festival producers; you want to make it as easy as possible on them to consider your submission.  Public, full length videos save time and make it easy for producers to view your entire piece.

Producers may also want to reference your piece more than once, especially when it comes time to work on the line-up of the show.  How are you sure to avoid having similar acts back to back if you haven’t seen the act the whole way through?

Reason #2: Producers are searching constantly.

I am constantly looking for new acts to bring in.  How will I know if you have the perfect act for my Hollywood themed show if I can’t find the video?  When I am searching for acts I may type in “Lucille Ball burlesque act” or “burlesque tributes to famous films” in You Tube, because after all- You Tube has become a search engine in and of itself, and if I know I want to see a video of the act- why not start there?  Upload full video and tag it with all key words you think a producer might search who is interested in the act, and increase your visibility instantly.  You Tube is a fabulous marketing tool- use it!

Reason #3: Performers are searching constantly.

If a performer is doing his/her due diligence and researching a song/concept/theme/gimmick to see how original it is, how will he/she know it already exists unless there’s video?  How will you prove you had a costume/concept/choreography/musical score first if there’s no video?  I hear performers say all the time that they don’t want full video up, because they don’t want to “be ripped off”.  Video actually helps the originator by proving they did/had/made/used something first.  Without video evidence, it’s your word against theirs, or worse yet, a situation where you have to drag a bunch of witnesses into the discussion.  Why not just secure your property with a video publishing date?

Reason #4: If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

If you are in burlesque for any substantial period of time, your boobs will wind up on the internet.  You can try and stop all of the pastie shots and renegade I- phones, but you won’t catch them all, and eventually a really poor quality unauthorized photo or video of you will appear online.  Why not make sure the quality presented is the best possible product it can be?  It’s like when Pam & Tommy released their sex tape- someone was going to do it, it had been leaked, why shouldn’t they be the ones controlling the product presented?

Reason #5: I can’t tell everything I need to know from a montage or promo reel.

Promo reels are great marketing tools, but I can’t get everything I need to know about your act from a 20 sec segment.  If everything I needed to know to fully appreciate the number happens in those 20 seconds, why is the act 3-6 minutes long?

 Shoshana is the award winning producer of Viva Dallas Burlesque & Cirque du Burlesque, and was named #5 among “The Top 10 Non-Performing Women by 21st Century Burlesque.

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