Hello Reader,

As you may or may not have noticed (I won’t presume how much of a life you have) it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on This Is Cabaret. The truth is that for the past month I have been eating, sleeping, breathing and shitting ‘Edinburgh’.
Bloody Edinburgh! If you were to see me in the street, stop me and say “Hello Myra, you look well. How are you?” I’d probably say “Edinburgh. Edinburgh Edinburgh, Edinburgh. Edinburgh!” Quite frankly I’m getting on my own tits.
So I’ve taken 10 minutes out to sit down and reply to one of your letters. This time, Holestar takes the spotlight and asks me what exactly a woman has to do to get ahead in the game of showbiz. Enjoy.
Holestar, the tranny with a fanny

Holestar, the tranny with a fanny

Dear Myra,

How does a woman negotiate the harsh cabaret ‘it’s not what you know but who’ landscape if you’re not a burlesque performer or sultry chanteuse?

Who is the fairest of them all?

Can I light the ukulele bonfire please?



Hello Holestar,

A valid point raised there, Ms Holestar. Sadly, the “not what you know but who” philosophy seems to be one that spans any industry — not just cabaret. I remember when I was working at a well-known department store back in Rotherham. A vacancy came up in “Visual Merchandising” (window dressing to the likes of us). My friend Hazel and I, both of us working in lingerie (that’s the department, not the uniform), both wanted the job. She got it. Even though I have a creative eye and a background in Amateur Dramatics she got the job. Why? Because she was romantically involved with the Floor Manager, of course. So plain old Hazel who could barely manage a pasta collage wound up with the responsibility of how the entire store looked.

I’m not bitter.

What I’m saying is, even if you were a burlesque performer or sultry chanteuse, the same rules would apply. You have to play the game in any job. What you must maintain, which Hazel didn’t, is your self respect. She put out, Holestar. Sorry to be crude but there’s no way of disguising the fact. Make sure “who you know” knows you on your terms, a headstrong woman with a talent that deserves to be on any stage. Actively avoid working for sleazy promoters who book with their crotches, we all know who they are. And finally, always be willing to do what you can to help the careers of others with your own connections and networking. That good karma should work it’s way right back to you.

As for ukuleles, I really don’t care either way. I don’t play one, so why not? Knock yourself out.

Love and luck,

Myra x

You can catch Holestar at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern’s Hot August Fringe on August 16 and 17. Her show Take Me On, a parody of TV’s Take Me On, aims to match gay men of all persuasions. If you’d like to take part, see the official web page or email your application direct to Holestar here.

Myra will be previewing her Edinburgh show Aunt Myra’s Funshow at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern later this month. Get down there as there’s lots of space for people who know their cabaret and Brian Logan.

Article photo courtesy of the performer. Cover photos courtesy of the Dalston Superstore.