YOU'RE KILLING ME, SMALLS is what I yelled at my computer after twice crafting posts about the Great Southern Exposure Burlesque and Variety Pageant last weekend, and them twice disappearing into netherspace.
Mayhaps a more reflective post will stick...
There are varying viewpoints about burlesque competitions and pageants. Some highlight the positive aspects of competition, some emphasize the negative and each depends on a person's perspective.
For me, vying for a title or crown at events has offered me introspection on my style and creative process. It's brought me friendships that cross time zones. It's showed how the best performers rise above chaos (costumes, music failures, etc) and still bring the house down. It's showed me a what a vile case of sour grapes looks like. But best of all, I've experienced how a visceral, captivating piece can transcend much and resonate with a tiny tender point in all of us.
True. I could just buy a ticket and sit in the audience to watch and still glean a lot, but being part of the performer's mix is unique. I've learned so much sitting in the green rooms, nervously waiting my turn but NOT hearing my name called.
This time, I wanted to be part of The Candybox Revue's first festival experience. Talloolah Love, Ariel Allegro, Sin Tillating, Bonnie Temps-Rouler, Roula Roulette, Ursula Undress, Candi Lecoeur and I were really excited to travel together and store the stage with our "Be Italian" showpiece. My attempt for queen was secondary to supporting them. But I was determined to represent my Atlanta Burlesque scene by giving GSE a piece I debuted with my Mayhem Femmes family in late March.
Never forget I am an original ATLien.
And for unpacking all of that and more on the stage in Charlotte, there's a new crown on my head.
So, yeah. Pageants and competitions. They're a thing. And because I was asked a few times:
2011-Southern Fried Burlesque Fest Best Costume
2011-Great Southern Exposure Mamma's Choice
2012-Southern Fried Burlesque Fest Most Humorous
2012-Great Southern Exposure Most Classic
2013-Southern Fried Burlesque Fest Queen
2013-Alabama Burlesque Fest Queen
2015-Great Southern Exposure Queen
And as far as I can tell, this is the first time a black Queen and King were crowned together in a burlesque pageant. Congratulations to my darling Tre Da Marc, 2015 Great Southern Exposure King!