Over on the Mr. Snapper & Mr. Buddy Facebook page we have an album called "Inspirado", dedicated to the entertainers who inspire Phillip Kelly and I in our neo-vaudevillian madness. Since his birthday was yesterday, Teller of Penn & Teller was digitally enshrined with the following quote:
"To compose a new tune in magic, you don’t just write the notes, you build the piano."This is true for all the lively arts, not just magic!
One of the defining aspects of an "amateur" (or a hack) is the use of off-the-shelf costumes and props. In the world of burlesque, there is general disdain for unembellished Leg Avenue costumes and leaving the tags in store-bought lingerie. The fact is, there is no such thing as a "turn-key" entertainer package. You can't just buy a bunch of fancy looking stuff and expect to be taken serously; you have to put a little blood, sweat, and tears into your gear. If you use off-the-shelf costume pieces or props, you have to give it a tweak, add some rhinestones -- something. You have to customize it for your purposes.
The lively arts are truly bespoke. Performers spend considerable time custom-making their gear with one goal in mind: Entertaining an audience.