We’re looking back at past competitors and see how they took on the budget burlesque competition.
Michelle M’Belle, QLD
Michelle M’Belle is a Brisbane based burlesque performer who competed in the inaugural 2019 DIY BurlesKoala competition. She describes her usual burlesque style as Neo. I asked Michelle about her experiences competing in the 2019 DIY BurlesKoala Competition.
Why did you enter DIY BurlesKoala?
MM: I entered DIY BurlesKoala to challenge myself to think outside the box.
Where did the inspiration for your act come from?
MM: The budget restraints of the competition put money on my mind – could I create an act within the budget that was still creative and gave people a cheap thrill?
What was the biggest challenge you faced in creating your DIY act?
Creating a costume involving a lot of paper that wouldn’t instantly be ruined when I wore it.
What was the biggest achievement or win you had in creating your DIY act?
Not falling flat on my face! The paper money reveals translating well on stage – even though, unless you’re in the front row, you wouldn’t know that the money has my face on it. A few random audience members coming up to me afterwards to say how much they enjoyed my act!
What was your favourite aspect of competing in DIY BurlesKoala?
It was SO well organised and the camaraderie between the contestants was amazing. I also loved the process of creating a low-cost but effective costume, and having a deadline to work towards.
What advice would you give someone considering entering?
Nike tick… just do it!
Have you performed your DIY act again, and if so, where/ when? If not, do you hope too?
I performed the act at BB Le Buff’s CaBBaret a couple of weeks after DIY BurlesKoala, and brought it back in early 2021 for Brisbane’s Burlesque Muse.
Have you since upgraded your DIY act? If so, what changes have you made? If not, are there changes and upgrades you plan to make?
I’ve had to repair this costume after each performance and re-print/paint my money each time. You’d think after 18+ months of COVID-life, I would have worked out a way to future-proof the costume, but I’m still thinking about it!
What is one DIY trick, skill or experience you learned/ had during the creation of your act that you are most proud of?
More of an extreme cost-cutting exercise than anything, but I unpicked old sheets to reuse the thread!
DIY BurlesKoala 2022
The DIY BurlesKoala 2022 competition twill be held on Saturday 3 December 2022 at Metro Arts, Brisbane. Tickets available now.
Follow Michelle M’Belle on Instagram.