• luluburlyq

What's Your Word?

Updated: Sep 23

The next tool in our Burlesque Act Development (B.A.D.) Toolbox is INTENTION. In my opinion, setting an intention is the most important step to developing an act. Having a clear intention and goal for your act at the onset provides a framework for every other choice and decision you make during the creation process. It is the litmus test for each individual aspect of the act. Without this clear intention, you may struggle with each subsequent step along the way. However, with clear, defined intention, decisions and choices will be much easier.

Setting an intention by selecting a WORD may be accomplished in several different ways, depending on what works best for you. I’m a “word nerd,” so my process often looks like this:

  • Listen to the music in a distraction-free environment (it helps if you can close your eyes and listen through the complete song several times).

  • Brain dump any words, feelings, topics, emotions, colors, pictures that pop into your mind and write these all down on a piece of paper.

  • Reread the list, look for similarities or repeat words/concepts, try to distill down to two or three choices.

  • Does any particular word JUMP off the page? Go with that!

  • Still not settled on one or two words? Go to an online dictionary and/or thesaurus and try to fine-tune your top two or three words.

  • Go with your gut/intuition. What just feels right?

  • Ask friends or mentors for help and additional ideas. In my experience, it’s best not to offer too much background information when asking for help. Allow your peeps to listen to the song with an open mind and see how they respond.

  • The goal here is to end up with one WORD that embodies your intention for this act.

  • If you are still unable to isolate a single word for the intention, try meditating! I will discuss meditation as a method of gaining clarification throughout the act development process in a separate post. But for the purposes of this post, enter your meditation session by first listening to the song immediately prior to your 15-20 minute silent meditation. Then open and clear your mind as best as you are able to for 15-20 minutes (set a timer so you aren’t watching the clock), and see what comes to you afterward.

Here are some examples of my WORDS of intention for acts in my current repertoire:


"Smacking Lips" - JOY






















Photo by Peter Korolov



"What a Feelin" - CELEBRATION







Photo by Blue Lion Photo


"Blue Ice" - LONGING



"Lavendar" - SULTRY

Photo by Blue Lion Photo




"Feelin Good" - SENSUAL and GROUNDED






Photo by Blue Lion Photo



Some additional thoughts/questions to aid in your WORD selection process:


What is the mood of the song?

Does the song represent a movie or tv show or character or event? Watch it and see if that clarifies your intention.

How does the song make you feel?

What do you picture in your mind when listening to the song? A color, a scene, a place, a memory?

Watch the music video. Read the lyrics. Find an interview where the artist is asked about the background of the song/why they wrote it.

What's Your Word?


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