As I teared up with laughter watching Mr. Gorgeous parade his parrot on stage, my tears suddenly welled from a reflective and grateful source.
To the burlesque, sideshow, cabaret and alt arts producers in Atlanta and beyond who take an interest, or invite me onto your stages or offer opportunities, I appreciate and thank you. And as a suggestion to humans of all stripes, be glad for those who offer encouragement and support, and see something A-1 in you that you may be numb to. They may be the next recommendation, crucial contact, or lynchpin you need to take the next progressive step.
When a hand is extended, accept it and remember to say "Thank you."
The Smoky Mountain Burlesque Festival in Knoxville, TN was aces - from the Concourse venue and the volunteer-staffed shuttles to the Vegas/BHoF calibre performances. American treasure, Blanche DeBris' high-haired rendition of Dolly Parton's 1980 workaday anthem "9-5" to open Saturday's show was a was a gift from the Aqua Net angels!
And the performer-centric details from the festival were spot-on: bottled water and Advil in the goody bags, because that floorwork class taught by my Candybox sister, Flame Cynders was a wicked workout; the Titty Talk hotline (staffed by volunteers) which provided answers to any and all festival related questions during the weekend; and the theme park field trip where 50+ ecdysiasts and their supporters descended upon Dollywood on Sunday like glittery locusts to flip our wigs on rollercoasters and feast on cinnamon bread and bask in the glory of Our Lady Dolly Parton.
I've been on both sides of different types of festivals as worker bee and participant, and I've seen how the sausage is made. Yeesh.
When so many moving parts of an event go off without a (noticeable) hitch, know that there have been copious spreadsheets, hundreds of volunteer hours, some cursing, and a disturbing amount of sleep depravation. It doesn't happen without massive effort. High-five to the entire Salome Cabaret squad because, damn! And for those of you who've never performed in or been aware of the antiquated Blue Laws of Tennessee at the intersection of nudity and alcohol sales, there are very specific parts of (female) anatomy from which the public must be "shielded", or a hefty fine is the penalty. A round of drinks to Tiger Tangerine for being Boobie and Butt monitor all weekend!
Siren, Kisa, John, and Dustin, thank you, especially. Salome booked me for one of my first out of town gigs a few years back, and I was so excited. Headlining your inaugural event meant more than you know!
A special gold star to Mac Lawless as sound tech and Stephanie as spot operator. Without them we'd all have just been stumbling around undressing on stage in the dark to no music.
And the Stripper Hustle award goes to Evangeline Cain and Tre Da Marc who traveled from Knoxvegas to the Big Easy to perform in two festivals last weekend, SMBF and The Roux Festival in New Orleans! Boom!
Mark your calendars. Smoky Mountain Burlesque Festival September 14-16, 2017 is go!