What the heck is a Stage Kitten? A Stage Panda? And why would anyone want to be one?
If you have ever been to a Burlesque show, then you have most likely seen a Stage Kitten or Panda. These are the fabulous folks who are running across the stage picking up lingerie, wiping down the stage, and performing a little, themselves. You can’t have a Burlesque show without them!
As a Stage Kitten or Panda, you are an integral part of the entire show. Yes, you are providing clean-up, but you are also setting the stage and making sure things run smoothly. That’s so important (and you’ll understand this fully if you are ever in a show where the Pandas and Kittens aren’t exactly up to snuff).
From a technical standpoint, you are there to help things run efficiently and functionally. From the performance side, you are an incredibly important cast member providing banter, flow, and a major personality for the show! All that without the pressure of fully committing to being a solo artist. Are you starting to see the appeal?
So why else should you consider being a Stage Kitten or Panda?
Not everyone wakes up one day and decides they are going to take their clothing off for strangers. Sometimes you need to work up to that point. That’s where Kittening & Panda-ing (K&P for short) come in handy. From character exploration to costume design and maybe just stage presence and attitude, in general, you can learn a lot from K&P!
It’s not just a business buzzword! Networking can be so important as a performer and if you are trying to break into the Burlesque community, offering your services as a Kitten or Panda could be just the answer you are searching for! As a K or P, you will be interacting with absolutely everyone in the show from performers to stage managers, lighting, sound, venue directors, and so much more. Just imagine the connections (and friendships) that could develop!
This might seem a little harder to understand, but when you are just discovering the Burlesque world (and your role in it), you might want to try out a few different aspects of the performance life. Acting as a K or P can give you this outlet and exposure in a safe and accepting environment, free of judgment or criticism. There is no community like a Burlesque community.
As I mentioned above, you might not know what, exactly, you want to do with your performance life, so performing as a Stage Kitten or Panda can be an excellent way to explore the different sides of your acting career. Honestly, you haven’t entertained the full scope of your creative prowess, until you’ve played an angry monkey, a slice of pizza, and a mime…all in the same show. Moreover, as the right hand of every performer, you’ll be able to judge for yourself what styles, themes, props, costumes, etc. worked…and what didn’t!
Want to be seen as an amazing Burlesque performer? One sure-fire way is to treat everyone well, and understanding what it’s like to be a Kitten or Panda will help you do that. Ever see someone treat a server poorly and you just know in your bones that they never waited on a table in their life? Same concept. Acting as a Kitten or Panda can build your respect for the position in a very specific way that will translate to how you see all performers in the future.
Have we convinced you yet? If you ever want to become a Stage Kitten or Panda, reach out to your Burlesque community! We’re always in search of the next great KP!