POC’s Texas Burlesque Festival Diary 2012.
-Written and photographed by Paul O’Connell of POC Photo (Contributor, Seattle)
For the second year in a row I traveled down to Austin to photograph and perform in the Texas Burlesque Festival, now in its fifth year. Produced by Lynn Raridon and co-produced by Jigglewatts co-founder Coco Lectric, the TXBF is three nights of burlesque performers seductively (and sometimes aggressively) removing their clothes for you. Some travel from as far as Seattle and New York, but most hail from The Lone Star State.
The festival was divided into three nights, all hosted by the fantastic Cora Vette, whose wonderful singing voice is matched only by her deep well of dirty jokes. The first night was devoted to burlesque performers with experience under two years. The second featured more seasoned performers and was headlined by Legend Shannon Doah and Miss Exotic World 2002 winner, Kitten de Ville. The final evening was the competition, headlined by Ray Gunn, Kristina Nekyia & The Reigning Queen of Burlesque herself, Miss Indigo Blue.
This year I was privileged to be selected for the Thursday night showcase (performing as my alter ego, Man Johnson) with Roxie Moxie as my fetish Hello Kitty. For Thursday and Friday’s events, an audience favorite is chosen to perform again at the Saturday night competition. I was grateful to place second as an audience favorite for the Thursday night show; the winner however, was Jasper St. James from San Antonio, TX.
THE 2012 TEXAS BURLESQUE FESTIVAL DETAILS:
Contest judges: Ray Gunn, Kitten de Ville, Shannon Doah
Best Solo- Holly Rebelle- Albuquerque, NM
Best Tease- Black Mariah- Dallas, TX
Best Costume- Sassy Delure- Austin, TX
Best Novelty/Vaudeville- Red Hot Annie- Chicago, IL
Most Original- The Stripping Granny- San Francisco, CA
Best Troupe- Burlesque Noir-Albuquerque, NM
Audience Choice (Thursday) Jasper St James-San Antonio, TX
Audience Choice (Friday) The Stripping Granny-San Francisco, CA
I love Austin burlesque. It feels like Seattle’s burlesque sister city. Two former Seattleites who now call Austin home- Roxie Moxie and Sassy Delure- are producing a new show called Lowbrow at the Highball Presents: GLAMOURESQUE!, now in its second installment. Other Seattle expatriates appearing in Lowbrow are aerialist Michele Frances and former Sinner Saint Burlesque host Nicole Lucas, who will MC. Also on the bill is Eva Strangelove, Ginger Snaps, and Jigglewatts co-founders Coco Lectric and Ruby Joule. (If you’re in Austin on May 5th, go to the Highball to see this show).
Some of the highlights of festivals and shows for me are what happens after- like dining at three in the morning with seven other burlesquers at Austin’s Magnolia Cafe. Not only were the Elvis pancakes cool- but between us, we represented burlesque from seven states and eight cities. After that, I got back to the lobby to find Ray Gunn and Indigo Blue ready to shoot one of her “Queen’s Edict” videos. Since being crowned Reigning Queen of Burlesque, Indigo has filmed four Edict videos. (I shot and edited the first two, and while we were there in Austin we were trying to figure out what the fifth should be). Inspiration struck Indigo and Ray- so up to Indigo’s room we went to film a sexy video at 4:30 in the morning. A perfect way to officially end the festival. (Look for the video soon).
I’d like to give a special shout out to my TXBF roomie Stormy Leigh from Tuscon, AZ who gave a very “logical” performance and fellow photographer Steve DeMent.
See you all next at Burlesque Hall of Fame weekend!
After show fun:
Highlights, Day 3:
Highlights, Day 2:
For even more photos from all days at the Texas Burlesque Festival 2012, CLICK HERE.