A creative and sexy improv burlesque showdown, Last Pasties Standing is a burlesque game show in which two (8, actually) talented performers will enter, one will…. well, nobody will end up wearing much.
Developed, produced and hosted by Sadie Hawkins, this show is all about on-the-spot, creative improvisation and audience response.
Want to learn more? Read on!
"This is guerrilla improv at its finest: educational and entertaining, irreverent and inspirational."
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"I think it is not only entertaining, but it hones skills that are absolutely essential. Like light hearted competition, improv, on-the-spot innovation, and most importantly: reminding folks not to take it all so seriously."
How it Works
This show is all about on-the-spot, creative improvisation and audience response. Eight burlesque-a-teers will take the stage and create spontaneous performances in head-to-head strip-offs to songs selected right as they get on stage. Who does it better? That’s for the audience to judge. “Winners” will go on to the next round, playoff style. There are additional theme-related games inviting audience and performer participation, as well.
Generally, Last Pasties Standing begins with 8 performer contestants (which can be duets/groups, as well). There are three rounds: quarterfinals (8 songs), semifinals (4 songs) and finals (2 songs).
Performers will be randomly paired into brackets just prior to the beginning of the show. The order in which each bracket will be performing is not shared before the game begins. Be in costume and ready to roll when it’s go time (and the show almost always begins on time), as all contestants are introduced at the start of the show.
When each bracket is called up to the stage, one of the adversaries will call the coin toss. The winner of the coin toss will draw two songs from the pot and hand them to the host, who will share your selections with you and the audience. The winner of the coin toss gets to choose which song they prefer to do, and if they’ll go first or second.
After the adversaries have performed to each of their songs, they’re called back to the stage for the crowd (and the host/judges) to determine the winning act, who will progress to the next round.
In between the rounds, there will be audience-participation games (and/or a short intermission), giving those moving to the semifinals and finals time to reset/change costume, etc. This is about 10 minutes.
Each show has a theme/concept, around which a playlist is built. Prior to the show, contestants MIGHT be provided with a sneak peek at this playlist, but they will not be able to request the songs to which they perform.
A few things to consider…
All performance backgrounds and experience levels are invited to participate. Solo and duo/group acts are welcome, too.
If there’s no clear winner, or if it just seems fun, the adversaries MIGHT be paired up for the subsequent round. Sometimes, Sadie will put several people into a group… be prepared for teamwork.
It is advisable to pander to the crowd. Or to just be really mind-blowing. Or both.
“Costume” is a fluid concept. You are not required to wear “traditional” burlesque costuming, or even “burlesque” costuming. Newcomers: if you think you only have one “costume,” you’re wrong.
It is up to the host’s discretion (with the crowd’s vote) to assign another song for your act.
Even if a performer is eliminated, they should be prepared to get back on stage before the end of the show. There’s a possibility that performers might be thrown in to a thing… and all of the contestants come back for a full-cast group dance as the bow.
Call time is usually concurrent with door time, with leeway if performers arrive hair+makeup ready; the venue will be available up to 90 minutes prior to door time. Brackets will be assigned about 15 minutes before show start time; all that matters is that all cast members are there and prepped to be on stage by then; if not, they’re disqualified.
While it’s fun to be adversarial in front of the audience, everyone is expected to act respectfully toward fellow contestants backstage.
PAY: Pay is a door split. Everybody makes the same, and there’s no guarantee.
A few tips:
You’re encouraged to pander (to the audience and to the host). Funny/outrageous seems to be the crowd pleaser, but sometimes sexy peels still win the round.
You can wear anything you want as a costume - ANYTHING. Don’t be constrained by “burlesque” rules.
This is supposed to be fun. Don’t stress.
Oh, to reiterate: everyone’s a winner. The “winners” are just a little more winner than the others.
Seriously: the winner gets a super lame prize. It’s not a crown. Well, actually, there often is a crown, but it’s from the dollar store (at best).
"I've been in fights in Thunderdome wearing fake lashes and rhinestones that were still on when I left as victor, but after last night, I was totally missing an eyelash. And I saw more wardrobe malfunctions than at the Super Bowl."
Bring Last Pasties Standing to Your Town
Do you want to have the epic improv battle on your own turf? Are there others in your area who would want to play the game? Well, you’re in luck! Because we’re takin’ the show on the road! We work with local performers, or we can bring a crew from ATL to face off against locals.
Launched in February 2014, Last Pasties Standing made its traveling debut during the 8th annual Asheville Americana & Burlesque Festival and has been back nearly every year since. It’s also been a part of the Southern Fried Burlesque Festival, the Virginia Sideshow & Burlesque Festival, and more. It’s a great after-party for performers. It’s great stand-alone entertainment, too!
A few details:
In Atlanta, the show pays by door split. However, there is overhead associated with traveling (obviously), so there is a guarantee for bringing the show to town. This fee can be defrayed somewhat if there are additional performance or teaching opportunities.
You will be offered a few themes for the show, and it’s easy to tailor the theme for your local scene, particularly if it will be featured as part of a larger event or festival.
The game is designed for 8 contestants, but there are ways to make it work with 7, 6, or 4 competitors.
Most full shows with 3 rounds have been between 90 minutes and 2 hours.
Are you ready? Let’s start talking about it. Just complete the form below!