My first year I attended Burlycon, someone else paid for my ticket. It meant more to me than I think that person ever realized. I have been a committee member for the last few years and have loved giving my time and putting my heart into helping Burlycon inspire more sparkle beings each year. Last year (2018) was my first year as a benefactor and it was something I felt really strongly about doing. I wanted to be able to support the organization that has inspired me and brought so many wonderful people into my life. I wanted to help support others who can’t afford to come, to have the opportunity that was gifted to me that first year. Getting equipment upgrades and being able to help support a growing organization that has meant so much to me over the years is worth not going out to eat a few times a month. Giving my time as a committee member and my financial support as a Burlycon Benefactor gives me so much joy knowing I am helping grow a very important piece of my life.
BurlyCon Hospitality Lead
My first BurlyCon was in 2015. I was a new performer, and I wanted to be more connected with the greater burlesque community. I didn’t quite know what to expect, but I knew that I wanted to be better at my new craft. While on the BurlyCon website, I saw information about peer review and decided to apply. I figured that as a brand new performer, I probably wouldn’t getselected, but it would be a good opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and get advice from seasoned performers. (When I say that I was stepping out of my comfort zone, I really mean it. I am the self-proclaimed queen of the socially awkward introverts.)
And then I got selected to present at peer review. Once I was finished freaking out at getting selected, I worked my ass off to get ready to show my best at peer review. My emotions cycled through feeling scared, nervous, terrified, calm, and then back to scared. When I stepped on the peer review stage, my nerves melted away, and I gave it everything I had. It was one of the most uplifting, fantastic, joyous feelings I have ever had in my burlesque career. The audience cheered in all the right places, and I received wonderful feedback. Presenting at BurlyCon peer review remains one of my favorite memories. Four years later, I still occasionally read the feedback from that peer review to help remind myself of the time I stepped out of my comfort zone and won at life.
Why am I telling you this story? I want you to know how special BurlyCon is to me. I want you to understand why, in 2016, I decided that BurlyCon was so special that I applied to donate my time and skill to volunteering on the Programming Team as a presenter liaison, and why I still remain on the Programming Team. I value BurlyCon. It’s one of the few places where I can be free to be myself in all my socially awkward, introverted glory. Last year, I decided it was time to step up my BurlyCon support game, and I donated money to become a Benefactor. I’ve met so many people who are now friends and learned so much at BurlyCon that it was important for me to give back to the community I love. I know there are many people who attend BurlyCon to socialize, learn, and feel normal in a world that doesn’t always appreciate different. The money I donate goes to support this wonderful organization that passes on and helps preserve our burlesque culture. I am truly honored to say that I will be donating again as a Benefactor to help support the BurlyCon mission:
“BurlyCon is a community-oriented professional growth and educational organization for burlesque performers, fans, and aficionados. We conduct educational events to preserve, promote, and advance burlesque as a theatrical art form. We offer classes, workshops, panels, and other educational offerings that further professional skill and development. We are committed to supporting personal transformation through creative artistic expression in the burlesque arts.”
Presenter Liaison, BurlyCon – 2016 to present