A Page from Goldie Candela’s Diary: 2013 Texas Burlesque Festival
By: Goldie Candela
Where to start? Texas Burlesque Festival is the event I look forward to every year. Since its start in 2007 it’s been a prime example of the Burlesque/Variety community coming together to strut their stuff, shimmy their derrières and twirl their tassels. Through the years the Festival has only become better as the number of applicants grow; this once very local based Showcase and Competition has made a name for itself in the international scene of Burlesque and has hosted 5 Miss Exotic Worlds as well as other super stars and Legends in the industry. I have had the honor of being a part of this festival every year since its beginning, with the exception of my baby hiatus in 2011. And this year only proved to be the best to date with headliners Dirty Martini, Reigning Miss Exotic World Imogen Kelly, Bazuka Joe and Ray Gun of The Stagedoor Johnnies, and Legend Camille 2000.
Thursday night started the Festival off with a huge BANG! This year brought so many new faces, ones I’ve only seen in our Social Media, all together. To this day Thursday night is MY favorite night of the fest because of all the new blood on the stage, either through their experience or the new routines. I was there for check in way too early which everyone knows was actually on time, only myself, Producer Lynn, Frenchie Renard, and the Stagedoor Johnnies were there ready to check in and load in. I went to re-introduce myself to Ray Gunn since he had done the festival last year, and how would he have remembered little ol’ me?…only to have him give me a hug and say he DID remember me…Ah! Then I turned to Bazuka Joe who I hadn’t met in person and I was met with a hug and the words “I follow you religiously on Facebook”…Seriously? PINCH ME NOW! The Johnnies know who I am and like me! YAY! My night couldn’t have gotten better from there…
Doors opened with audience members and half prepped performers filing in to catch the show. On the way in I was able to catch a little face time with this year’s headliners Dirty Martini (rated #1 in the world) and 2012 Reigning Miss Exotic World, Imogen Kelly. Both attired in playful colors and their larger than life personalities (I’m just going to say internal girly squeal did in fact happen). Then with a quick Photo Op with Imogen, Miss Bambi La Fleur (FL), Dirty, Jigglewatts Burlesque Founders Ruby Joule and Coco Lectric, we took our seats. All the while my nerves were alive and well, prepping mentally for my Emerald routine’s debut. I put my whole heart and soul into every routine but this routine was more emotional than any I’ve done, my ode to the family I love and my roots as an Irish lass. The music runs in our blood, well, music and Jameson; the rhythm vibrates through our feet and in my case my G-string.
After seeing Rhinestoned Cowgirls, Classic showgirls, Samba Queens, Pyramids, and my dear friend Man Johnson it was time for this Gold Rush to start prepping, so with a glass of Chardonnay I headed back to the dressing room where Bazuka Joe was beginning to fluff… his feathers, Ray Gunn was in full rehearsal mode, and my fellow Jigglewatts Ruby Joule and Pearl Lux were both prepping for their performances. I love dressing room time and not just because of all the nudity, though that’s a plus, but it’s where you can collect yourself, check your makeup, fluff your hair, get that last G-String check before you go out and show the audience what you’ve taken months to work on…And time for one of my earrings take a swim into Remi Martini’s cocktail. I still have NO idea how that happened….The moment of chaotic Showgirl Zen. Before I knew it, it was time for me to glitter up one last time, shake some Stripper Salt on for an extra juicy stage appearance, and head back stage. My nerves had me wired like a hypertensive Chihuahua but with some sweet words from performers Ron DezVous and my San Antonio pumpkin Vixy Van Helen I was ready. The Music started, the spotlight was on and there I went. Months and months of work and prep all for this. The dress snagged on my shoes which caused it to start coming off earlier than expected, but I being the Queen of the MisHap (seriously some get me a crown already) recovered to an audience full of hoots and hollers.
The night ended with fierce performances by Bazuka Joe, Ray Gunn, Onca O’leary, and Ruby Joule. It’s really no wonder these performers travel all over the world. Absolutely breathtaking. The Audience Choice Award went to one of my favorite people, Miss Lady Luck with her “I’m a Woman” routine. And if you’ve seen it you know why she had the audience on their feet and losing their voices.
Friday Night “The Night of Legends” was sadly missed, myself along with Ruby Joule and Pearl Lux had to hold it down in our weekly revue at The Gibson Lounge-Maggie Mae’s. Getting to play with your family is a small price to pay for missing a night at the Festival. The 8pm show went off without a hitch as we soldiered through 3 solo routines each and Pearl and I performing our notorious Marilyn vs. Jackie Number. Our MC through it all is our Jigglewatts adopted Comedian, Jade Esteban Estrada. Our very own personal Gay/Mexican/Vegan, he really knows how to tell the story with his jokes, banter and songs.
We were able to have a quick bite to eat with our Bunnies, Bunny Blue and Bunny TaTa, across the street at The Jackalope – can I just say I love me some bar snacks? Fried Pickles and buffalo chicken tenders, yum (with a side of a Vegan educating our poor waitress on what constitutes a Vegan meal.) Then it was right back to the venue where we hosted the OFFICIAL After party for TXBF. Running a completely different show from the 8 PM, we pulled out all the stops with our festival routines. There were fans, boas, and rhinestones galore. As audience members and performers from the festival started coming in the room started to fill with excitement. Excitement to be at our home venue and to not let their evening of Burlesque end before 2 AM. Joining us in this show was our special guest and Jigglewatts friend, Crimson Skye of the UK, who got there from the Festival as fast as she could almost stripping her way to the back stage, blowing up her balloons and rubber gloves with the speed of a Texas tornado. The show finished to an up roar of support, love, and booze. As well as some stripping assistance from Miss Pearl Lux, since my Bra apparently felt the need for more stage time and would not come off! ….Now it was time to head home and get ready for the performer’s brunch the next morning. (Audience Choice Award for Friday Night was the out of this world, Cruel Valentine (Chicago, IL). Well deserved. I’ve seen this lady grow and strengthen as a performer over the years. Love her!
Saturday Morning, Performers Brunch: What I love most about this event is the free food. Just kidding. The brunch creates such a comforting social scene where those from all 3 nights can sit have some food and talk. The topic of conversation for this year’s brunch was based on community. How to build a stronger community within ALL of the Burlesque scene. There were many talks about how through competition, community is greatly lost in the larger scene of Burlesque. I do personally feel this to be true. Competition can make Divas and Monsters out of the sweetest of people, if they allow themselves to compete against each other. The best remarks I heard were to remember that every time you step into a show you are competing with yourself not anyone else. I feel in our industry that is the main base for growing. You want to beat the last performance you did. The titles and tiaras, or in this case Barbies, are the extra. The extra little cherry on top, it’s NOT the whole sundae. We here in Texas, especially Austin, are quite spoiled with our want and need to support each other in our community. Yes, we have performers who no matter how many times you lend your branches of wisdom or friendship are just not that interested, as long as there are performers willing to learn from each other, from our Legends, our Burlesque community will continue and hopefully one day Burlesque as a whole will have more unity and support among its members. Just remember we’re all here for the same thing, being naked and glittery. 🙂
Saturday Night is always bitter sweet for me. It’s the last day of the Festival which means this time tomorrow you have to rejoin a world that is somewhat scared of side boob and runs away from glitter. The evening started after brunch in the morning, the hunt of the perfect burrito with my blonde twinkie from San Antonio, Suki Jones, for my new Burlesque love, Miss Bambi La Fleur, and then some pool time with some of Denver’s sexiest, dirtiest ladies of the VaVa Vettes, Remi Martini and her awesome Burlesque Hubby, Sam with Frenchy. Pretty sure if I ever have to move to Colorado I’d be more than OK with that. 😉 After introducing these ladies to some Torchy’s Tacos it was time to haul over to the Holiday Inn and finish getting ready with my Twinkie and my Strawberry Sista Remi. We made it in the nick of time where I was able to say hello again to my big ol’ Burlesque family grab a cocktail and get my seat. The theater was packed full and the energy for those performing was intense. Cora Vette took the stage and with that the night began. So many tricks and teases I’m not sure how the judges were able to score, I don’t envy that job, just give me some wine and let me enjoy. From crossdressing performances to the classical tease and then the Vaudevillian variety of aerialists, this night was packed with more mind blowing talent then you could ever dream. Cora Vette took the spotlight with her Snow White routine, all I can say is, DAMN! With that it was time for the Headliners Bazuka Joe in his Speed Racer glory, Ray Gunn and his sexy Pole routine, then it would be Imogen Kelly in her Title winning performance. The Flamingo act is NOT to be missed! If you have a chance to see her perform live, do yourself a favor, DO IT! To end the night #1 in the world herself, Dirty Martini would take the stage in her Jimi Hendrix Boa number, dawned in a beautiful purple sequined evening dress. I was lucky enough to catch her in San Francisco for Tease O-Rama in 2012 with this routine and it only gets more intoxicating every time.
After a curtain call of the performers it was time to give out the Texas Burlesque Fest “Best” Awards (known as the stripper Barbies) made by none other than Black Mariah (Dallas, TX) who herself performed a fantastic routine to Fat Bottom Girls in a one of a kind costume I’m still drooling over.
Winners of the night were:
Best Costume – Tiny D – Brooklyn, NY
Best Use of Prop/Novelty – Bobbie Burlesque – Hollywood, CA
Best Ensemble – Queertini Time – Austin, TX
Most Original – Crimson Skye- London, UK
Best Tease Factor – Franki Markstone – St. Petersburg, FL
Best Solo – Peggy De Lune – Columbus, OH/London UK
A big congrats to the winners and to EVERYONE who performed this year. The show was excellent and I am so proud to have been able to be a part of it again this year. Through its amazing growth I cannot wait to see what next year brings. Big thank yous to Producers Lynn Raridon and Coco Lectric – ladies, you know how to throw one heck of a festival. To the crew who makes the festival run for 3 days – Stacy Rutledge (Former Kitty Kitty Bang Bang troupe member, the original hosting troupe of Texas Burlesque Festival), Jonny Reynolds, Midge aka Sasha Doll, and the Boys back stage, you’re the classiest pervs I’ve ever been able to work with.
Then there was the dance party……. Check photos on Facebook and interpret that one for yourself.
You can catch me in my next festival, the Show Me Burlesque Festival May 16th in St. Louis, MO with Van Ella Productions and even more of my Burlesque family I love and those I have yet to meet.
Love from Texas’ Very Own Gold Rush,