Why did I choose this Stage Name? Why am I Princess Augusta, rather than any of hundreds of other Stage Names I could’ve given myself? Why do I think that nothing else is as good for me, my brand, my personality as this particular name? How do I think YOU should go about choosing a Stage Name?
I will gladly answer these questions as best I can.
When I was thinking of a Stage Name, long before I actually needed one, I already knew that I wanted to be known by something that would define Me, and ONLY Me. Not that there aren’t some other people in the world who might come from a town named “Augusta” who might do Burlesque… I’m sure there are. Augusta, Maine… where ever. But, I personally don’t feel like I could walk up to you and say, “Ok, now today YOU are Princess Augusta,” and it would work out the same way.
Once I’d decided that my Stage Name had to be just mine and I wasn’t going to use something that interchangeably could be bestowed upon just any Performer- well, then I needed to be a Performer.
That was just a quick matter of meeting the WONDERFUL Women of Augusta Burlesque… None of whom happened to have a real background in Augusta. That was when it occurred to me, “This thing that you are not necessarily proud of, being stuck in this town, really has made you who you are. Why not revel in it, good, bad or otherwise?”
In another blog entry I will discuss the use of the Princess Title as it relates to me, but as it relates to my Stage Name, here’s the deal: I wanted to show that I am proud of where I come from, despite not actually enjoying it. That nixed such ideas as “Augusta Pride” and/or “Augusta Love.” I also simply wanted to be historically accurate. Augusta, Georgia was actually named after a Princess, (Read about her here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princess_Augusta_of_Saxe-Gotha ). While I am not sure that I consider her any great beauty, she certainly has a look in her eye that implies she might be a lot of fun. A little bit of mischief never hurt anyone. Lastly, and this is what I will touch on in my other entry on the name Princess Augusta, the “Princess Type” is so far away from my actual personality, that I knew it would challenge me to be a great Performer every time I put on the Princess Augusta Mantle. I knew I couldn’t just be lazy and be “Me” while also being Princess Augusta. I wanted her to be a comfortable place to be, but an active place. Princess Augusta and Rhiannon are very different people, I have to work to be Royalty.
So that is my story on coming up with my Stage Name. Fairly simple and straightforward, nothing spiritual or revelatory. Not to say that you can’t have a mystical moment in a dream that would reveal to you where you should go with a Stage Name… I just didn’t.
How do I think you should go about choosing a Stage Name? I can’t really say that there is one best, or great way to do this. All I can say is that I truly believe you shouldn’t try out names, use your actual name if you must until you can find a Stage Name you can live with, but do not continually change your Stage Personality until you find one you like. Your audience is not as dedicated to your evolution as you are, you don’t want to lose them in the confusion of “Now who is s/he this time?” Be certain that when you present your Stage Package to the world that you are ready and willing to accept it from the start.
Roll your name around in your mouth, picture what sort of logos, business cards, costumes, pictures, keychains- whatever, that this name might generate. Think about how your face, next to the name, will draw people in, bring people over to your side, to be your fans, your cheering section.
When you find something that you truly think fits you… then you can start to build the entire character around the Name. I’ll touch on that in another set of entries, very soon.
For now, I hope this gives you some insight into how I chose my Stage Name, and perhaps some tips on how you can choose yours as well.