All stage sets are not created equal! What separates an amazing stage set from an average one is your ability to set yourself apart from the others, making your routine unique, memorable and thoroughly engaging from beginning to end. As I’ve said in a previous blog post, stripping is a much more competitive industry than it used to be. In addition to improving your customer service skills and a positive mindset, giving your set that creative edge may be just the thing to increase profits, make for more repeat customers, and more customers willing to throw in the extra cash for a lap dance. So, if you want to transform an average stage set into a truly profitable performance, consider incorporating costumes and props to stimulate your customers’ imaginations, as well as their wallets.

Costumes are the obvious go to addition to any routine, as every dancer knows that a successful stage set is one in which you have your customers’ attention from the moment you walk on stage. Plus, with a familiar persona you can play with your customers’ expectations and the conventions associated with your chosen persona. For example, you can dress up as a sexy teacher and proceed to “school” your customers on the right way to work the pole. Plus, with a little imagination, traditional teacher accessories like chalk and laser pointers can easily be transformed into accsexories. Or be the naughty nurse of every guy’s dreams and wow them with your knowledge of the human anatomy. Also, you’d be surprised how much mileage you can get from incorporating a blood pressure cuff or stethoscope into your act.

To choose the right costume, you’ll want to brainstorm the different kinds of themes you can work into your set. Retailers have made it easy with tons of sexy costumes to peruse. Adam and Eve writes that having a wide variety of costumes ensures you and your customers will never get bored, whether you choose to be “a misbehaving secretary, dirty maid, lustful pirate wench, or arresting cop.” Even a simple masquerade mask can add just a touch of sultry mystery to your regular routine.

Equally effective at spicing up your stage set is adding fun props to your act. Like a costume, adding a prop to your routine opens up a whole new world of playful opportunities. From feather boas and fans to hats and ties, there are countless and simple-to-use props you can incorporate.

For instance, try walking onto stage with a red toolbox or a dainty toy chest and setting it in the middle of the stage. Proceed to work the stage as normal, every once in a while approaching then retreating from the box, toying with your customers’ growing anticipation for the big reveal. Inside could be just about anything—feather duster, duct tape, leather whip, or good old-fashioned nipple tassels—that you can later work into your routine to highlight whichever theme you’re going for. After all, just as important as the props themselves is the way you keep your customers guessing at what you have hidden in there.

Even a simple chair can be wildly effective. features a professional dancer’s guide to chair work inspired by burlesque dancing. Again, the idea is to get your customers’ imaginations going, wondering what you’re going to do next.

And remember, the more fun you have with your set, the more likely your customers will enjoying themselves too!