Mx Burlesque Masters

Mx Burlesque Masters is a new bi-annual tournament open to previous title holders of the competition.

We are seeking masters who have spent time developing their skills and contributing to the industry/community in the time since the titleholder’s winning.

Mx Burlesque Masters has specific focus on the winners achievements and skills both on and off the stage.

The competition is for those who have positively influenced the industry/community through teaching, producing, performing, touring or building the burlesque industry’s subsidiary fields (production, costuming, design, photography etc), with an opportunity to share those skills with future Mx Burlesque contestants through an optional mentorship program.

The 2025 Mx Burlesque Masters is produced by A’dora Derriere, Lila Luxx and Kelly Ann Doll.

Applications terms & conditions

Mx Burlesque Masters are artists who have continued to evolve their skills past their previous title wins, contributing to the elevation of burlesque in their country.

The first Mx Burlesque Masters competition will be held on Saturday 18th January 2025 at the Princess Theatre in Brisbane, Queensland.

Please find the application form at the end of this page. Submissions close 10th July 2024.

  • Applications are open to all previous Mx/Miss Burlesque /Mr Boylesque State winners or 1st runner-up’s, or Mr Boylesque Australia act 1st runner-up and any wild card entrants into the previous National Grand Finals. Mx/Miss Burlesque/ Mr Boylesque Ireland, UK & Scotland previous 1st runner-up’s can also apply.
  • Previous national title holders are not eligible to enter, this applies to Miss/Mx Burlesque Australia, Ireland, Scotland, UK and Mr Boylesque Australia/UK & Ireland title holders.
  • Mx Burlesque Masters is not open to any title holders from the 2024 Mx Burlesque Australia competition.
  • Successful applicants must provide their own flights and accommodation.
  • Fundraising events for Mx Burlesque Masters finalists will be supported by promotion through MBA channels.
  • MBA is not responsible for any injuries sustained in performances during the competition. Finalists must have their own Personal Accident Cover Insurance. We can recommend AON or Dancesurance. Finalists are responsible for their props and any injuries sustained as a result of their use. MBA events are covered by public liability insurance.
  • The judge’s decision is final. Finalists will be judged according to the criteria of the competition and all scores are put through an Olympic scoring system, which deems to eliminate potential bias by removing the highest and lowest scores from the overall total.

Prizes

The winner will receive the Mx/Mr/Miss Burlesque Masters title, $1250 cash prize and over $1000 worth of sponsored prizes, as well as a crown and sash.

Runner-up will receive a $750 cash prize, sponsored prizes as well as a crown and a sash.

Order of competition Sections & Scoring

The competition is comprised of two marked sections – the Red Carpet Parade and the Unique Routine. Each section has their own scoring requirements as set out on this page. 


Miss Burlesque Australia 2020/21 – Diesel Darling, photo by Georgia Moloney

RED CARPET PARADE
Contestant introduction Section

The Red Carpet Parade is the opening section of the show. It’s your time to shine while the MC introduces you to the audience. This section is judged on performance, confidence and the presentation of your character through costume, movement, expression, gaze and gesture.

The outfit chosen should be a representation of your character. It could be extra, over-the-top, campy, excessive, risqué, political or parodic. The overall aesthetic should have an intrinsic “wow” factor – whether that be vintage couture, a polished tuxedo, or Avant-Garde wearable art. 

Rules

  • The contestant must wear an outfit that is separate to their performance costume.
  • No props or backup dancers are permitted during the parade section. Accessories such as feather boas, stoles, parasols, etc. are acceptable.

PERFORMANCE

Mr Boylesque Australia 2018 – Rhys Lightning by Alexis Desaulniers-Lea Photography

Contestants can perform any style or genre of burlesque – be that conceptual, skill-based, performance art, narrative storytelling, classic, circus, vaudeville – as long as it involves an element of striptease.

Rules

  • Routine must run for a minimum of 4 mins and a maximum of 5 mins.
  • Individual characterization is required as the central focus of the act.
  • There are no rules with regards to costuming, music and styling.
  • Major props are permitted but must not take any more than 2 mins to set up or remove. Major props are to be discussed with the producer/s who will make their executive decision dependent on venue or extenuating circumstances.
  • Weighted stages and aerial rigging are permitted for this show. It’s up to the contestant to cover the cost of setting up, rigging and must be prepared prior to the event to allow for quick set up for the stage. Riggers must be industry certified.
  • Fire acts are allowed. Contestant must provide their own public liability insurance that covers performing with fire.
  • Backup dancers are permitted for this section.
  • Stagehand assistance and audience interaction is permitted.
  • Media integration, including use of microphones, audio technology or projection is permitted.Tech must be organized and paid for by the performers and supported by the venue’s technical capacity. 

Performers will be judged on Individuality, Character & Performance, Engagement – Use of Stage, Audience Connection, Styling – Costuming, Visual Presentation as well as Tease, Movement & Musicality.


GENERAL SHOW RULES:

  1. Xpole’s are not permitted in this competition at all.
  2. Please ensure costume and styling are separate looks for each category.
  3. NO MESS – Due to time constraints and venue regulations there is to be no mess that requires clean up in the routines. This refers to the use of glitter, confetti, mylar, streamers and liquids.
  4. Animals are not allowed in any Mx Burlesque Australia showcase.
  5. Pasties and merkin (or equivalent nipple & genitalia coverage) must be worn as a minimum by all competitors at all times.

Statement on appropriate behaviour

Mx Burlesque Australia is committed to providing a platform to build a positive and supportive environment for the Australian burlesque community. We aim to support a thriving and diverse space in which performers both new and old can develop the artform and foster relationships with one another. All Finalists are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times.

MBA aims to uphold an inclusive and positive theatrical space that encourages body, race, ethnicity, creed and political diversity.

Bullying

Bullying is defined as, “an ongoing and deliberate misuse of power in relationships through repeated verbal, physical and/or social behaviour that intends to cause physical, social and/or psychological harm.”

Bullying can occur in both physical and online spaces. This behaviour does not promote a positive, inclusive or supportive community environment and is deemed unacceptable behaviour within the MBA competition. Any competitor aiming to negatively influence or intimidate another competitor or member of the MBA production team will be found to be in violation of the terms and conditions of the entry of the competition. They will not just be removed from their participating MBA year but will be barred from entering in concurrent years.

Cultural Appropriation

Cultural Appropriation is defined as, “the act of taking or using things from a culture that is not your own, especially without showing understanding or respect to this culture.” Cultural appropriation occurs when “members of a dominant culture take elements from a culture of people who have been systematically oppressed by that dominant group.”

Cultural appropriation was historically aligned with racist performance traditions and has occurred with great frequency throughout the history of burlesque, the continuation of this causes harm, perpetuates hurt and entrenches political, social and cultural othering.

Learn more about cultural appropriation in Burlesque HERE!

Mx Burlesque Australia has a strict policy against accepting acts and performers that depict cultural appropriation on the stage. If a performer is found to be creating an act that seeks to depict topics or perspectives that marginalise any culture that is not their own, they will be barred from entering the competition in concurrent years.


Mx Burlesque Masters Application

  • This bio is for your finalist social media announcement if you are successful in your application. 60 words or under.
  • Please list which year and title you have won via Mx Burlesque competition in the past.
  • Since winning your MBA title, how have you contributed to your burlesque community/ overall industry? ie: mentoring/ teaching/ producing/ aligned businesses - costuming/ styling, etc..
  • Alongside the Masters competition, there will be a mentorship scholarship program in development, which will partner Masters with Mentees (entrants who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, as Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, and/or BIPOC, disabled, transgender or non-binary who want to apply for the State Finals in 2025). The Mx Masters Mentorship program is optional for all applicants and does not form part of the scored sections of the competition. We highly encourage Mx Masters entrants to take part to evolve and elevate burlesque as an art form. Please indicate if you would consider being a mentor. Mentors would be asked to donate their time to mentees.
  • If you are interested in being a mentor as part of the MBA scholarship program, please select how many hours you would be willing to offer a selected paired mentee.
  • If you were to mentor, what area/s of expertise could you offer a mentee? eg: music editing, choreography, costuming, lighting design, technical, tease and performance methods.
  • In your performance history or currently, do you have any acts that feature elements from a culture other than your own? If so, please detail/ include footage or images of these acts and, if no longer performed due to cultural appropriation, please include the actions taken to rectify the situation. *Failure to disclose may result in disqualification from the Mx Burlesque Australia competition.
  • Max. file size: 128 MB.
  • If you are accepted to compete in the Mx Burlesque Masters, you will be required to present one act. You can apply with existing acts only (no acts in development), up to 3 act options to be considered. Please write the name of each act and add the video link next to it. If there is further development that you have done/ or want to do to these acts for the competition, please elaborate.
  • Please enter a link to a dropbox or drive folder of high res promotional images for us to use. Please label the one image (portrait orientated preferred) that you would like to have us use as your social media announcement photo if you are selected as a competitor. Please make sure all photos have photographer credits in title. Please provide between 4-8 high res photos.
  • All Mx Burlesque Masters rules and Terms & Conditions can be found above the application form on this webpage.
  • This initial $30 application fee is non-refundable. If you are accepted to compete in the competition, an additional $70 will be required to paid to complete your registration.
  • Please pay a $30 application fee into PayPal account " https://www.paypal.me/mxburlesque " if applicable and attach PayPal receipt here. This fee is non-refundable.
    Max. file size: 128 MB.
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