A Star is Born

Suzy Von Strip

On June 9th 2021, 21st Century Burlesque Magazine ran a poll on their Instagram Stories asking "Should there be different rates: amateur/hobbyist rate and professional rate?"

A STAGGERING 74% or respondents said yes (I found out later that many performers were confused by the wording and thought that the question was headliners v. non-headlining performers). But the answer that was highlighted behind the results (pictured below) was:

"I personally would like to see a clear rate scale between those who do burlesque "for fun"  and as a hobby, and those who do it professionally and for a living. I've never thought is[sic] fair that Suzy Von Strip with her 18 months of experience is getting the same rate as my 13 years of professional experience.

And that's not to say the rate should be low! I think the hobbyist rate should be the floor, and that should be more respectable than $40 and some drink tickets. But I also think the money and hours and labour I have put into my craft should be shown in a higher rate than a newcomer or hobbyist."

Screenshot of the @21stCenturyBurlesque IG  Poll Response

It just so happened that the following day, June 10th 2021 was the 4-Year Anniversary of my (Un)Helpful Burlesque Tips from Matt Finish. The excitement I'd built up around that coupled with the very relatable situation of being a newer performer who's been told to get in line created a perfect storm.


After my initial post I did what I do best: meme it into the ground. I created 9 different Suzy Von Strip memes (yes really, only 9) over the next 2 days, but it was really everyone else who ran with it. In just a few hours, there was a website, an IG, a Twitter, a FB Page, and merch! And I DIDN'T DO ANY OF IT! I did submit Suzy to Urban Dictionary though.