I saw this comment come up on social media recently. That some pole teachers aren’t…
What to expect as a first time PoleCon Performer
Congrats on being accepted as PoleCon performer!
PoleCon is not a competition and being accepted does not mean that you are “the best.” Conversely, being not accepted also does not mean that you are NOT “the best.” Every year the curators of the showcases are instructed to find as diverse a group of performers from those that submitted applications to perform during the event.
Because PoleCon is not a competition, it can be an experience that allows for greater creativity and hopefully less stress!
Because PoleCon travels every year, some of this information may change slightly, however this represents a solid understanding of what to expect as a performer.
Important PoleCon Performer Details
All performers receive a discount off their pass to PoleCon. This cannot be used for friends/family to come see the performer perform UNLESS the performer is a junior (under 18 years old) performer and then only ONE parent or guardian may also use the discount. Up to three human props may also use the discount.
In most years, individual showcase tickets are available for the Sexy and Black Girls Pole showcases only. Some venues may allow for other individual showcase tickets to be sold outside of those two showcases. Otherwise, day passes may be the most affordable option for your family/friends to see you perform live. Most years there is also a free/pay-what-you-can livestream of all showcases that they can watch on the PoleCon YouTube channel.
Performers are provided specific deadlines to submit their music files (see this post for information about getting digital versions of your music) as well as their bios that will be read by the MCs before their performance. Performers may use their stage names, may include payment information for potential tips, and may also provide any other information about them or their piece that they think is relevant for the audience to know.
Performers and performers only (or the leader of a troupe) may also purchase photos and/or videos of their performance. All performers have their photo and video taken regardless of purchase. Prices for photos and/or videos increases after PoleCon ends. All videos will be put on the PoleCon YouTube Channel. If you do not want your video on the YouTube channel, please email PoleCon by the date of your performance. Some videos are removed by YouTube due to copyright issues. Depending on the year, all performances may also be livestreamed. Unfortunately, PoleCon cannot cut the livestream for any performances.
Preparing for your PoleCon performance piece
Since PoleCon is not a competition, you can perform any type of movement that is safe for your body in 4 minutes or less. You do not have to use both poles and you do not have to use the entire stage space. For the aerial showcase, you must provide your own equipment (such as a lyra, cube, etc.) and the appropriate accessories to attach to a the ~12-foot-tall truss system.
PoleCon can be a place to make a political statement, which has been done several times. PoleCon is NOT a place to make hate speech. If you are unsure if your routine includes or promotes hate speech, please email us in advance so we can discuss.
The venue, including the city and state that PoleCon is held in, can impact costumes. For instance, some places allow for pasties while others require more coverage. Some places allow for sex toys or sexual acts to be mimicked (but not actually take place) on stage, while others do not. PoleCon will let performers know of any specific costume, prop, or performance requirements they must adhere to BEFORE applying to perform.
Do not expect to enter the stage in a specific way such as through the middle of the stage, through a specific side, or by crawling on or off the stage as these details may change. Presume you will start on stage which could mean that when your music starts, you walk to the poles as a “walk on” option. If your performance needs to actually walk on or around stage, come prepared with multiple options on how to do that and make sure to attend pole testing times to confirm your idea will work with the stage layout.
You will not be able to influence lighting or have any atmospheric effects such as fog during your performance. Glitter and confetti are banned. If you choose to perform with a liquid such as fake blood that might get on the stage, you must come with a tarp, and it must be specified in your prop list submitted with your music. If PoleCon has a question about any prop, they will reach out to you directly. If you do not receive a question about your prop, presume it has been approved
If you become injured or are unable to perform for any reason, please email PoleCon as soon as possible so that an alternate performer may be given an official performance slot.
The order of the showcase will be posted in the online scheduler as well as online in shareable meme images ~2 weeks before the start of PoleCon.
What to expect during PoleCon
PoleCon holds pole testing Thursday afternoon before the showcases start as well as Friday, Saturday, and Sunday mornings from 7am-9am before the event officially starts on those days. Do not expect to get a full run-through during your pole testing time. You will also not be able to play your music on the load speakers. You may bring a portable music device if needed. Prioritize checking spacing of poles, the spin quality of the spin pole, the feel of the Marley floor covering, and generally understanding the feel and presence of the stage.
Arrive backstage to check in with the Stage Manager at least 30 minutes before your showcase is scheduled to start. The venues PoleCon is held in are notoriously chilly! There is limited space backstage to warm up however you can warm up anywhere there is space and use the pole and floor playgrounds. Please come ready in makeup/costume. Pole cleaners will not apply grip aids to your poles so please only put it on your body/hands. You specify your start position and when the music starts with Crystal in person. Showcases will start on time, however they may end early.
After your performance, you will receive a small gift to say thank you for performing. Please stay to the end of your performance, if possible, to take a group photo.
Make sure to have fun!
What happens after PoleCon
If you ordered photos and/or video of your performance, it takes 8-12 weeks for you to receive photos and/or video. Typically, we can send videos before photos.
Got more questions about performing at PoleCon? Let us know!
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