A Page from the Diary of Tifa Tittlywinks: Southwest Burlesque Festival 2016

Well, Diary… It’s been 9 months since I’ve written in you. I’m sorry for my absence but let me just say, it’s been one helluva ride! I kicked off my festival year in Albuquerque for 2015 and the year was absolutely amazing. So it’s only fitting that I jump-start 2016 the same way. Hello Burque! I’m coming back!

L-R: Bunny Galore, Trash Panda, and Tifa Tittlywinks

Thursday February, 11th 2016

Dearest Diary of Debauchery,

This year I’ve decided to start my journey to Albuquerque with two of my favorite humans. Bunny Galore and I set off from Houston to meet up with the guide for our fabulous journey through the high desert, Kitty Irreverent. We set off from her house at the absolute butt crack o’dawn and headed through the vast nowhere that is West Texas. The drive was filled with shenanigans of all kinds including no less than 14 pee stops. But none would get my attention more than the magic that is Trash Panda. I made a lifelong friend on my journey to Southwest Burlesque Showcase. Trash Panda will accompany me the entire way…

We rolled into Albuquerque late that evening. We scooped up a cake for Bunny’s act and headed straight of the hotel to change. There was no time for farting around… It was almost showtime! I escorted Bunny over the The Launchpad, which is located just around the corner from the beautiful Hotel Blue, our soon to be party pad. I picked up my gin and tonic and headed to my seat…. oh crap. Just kidding! Standing room only. The room was packed!!!

Rex Starchild by The Cosmic Kid Photography

The room was so full I could barely see Dr Lucky’s hair above the crowd. It took me three acts to finally get a spot where I could see. I’m sad I missed the lovely Frankie Fillmore opening the festival, but I heard lovely things. I finally got a spot to see my friend Rambo Reza tear it up as a sexy security guard. Phew! I needed a dose of high energy sexiness after a 15 hour road trip. Rambo was soon followed by a tantalizing, Victorian chair dance by Rex Starchild. This local favorite is always full of surprises. His chair dance was a stark contrast to last year’s cake duet with General Blackery and proves that he is not to be trifled with. He would have made Tigger! proud.

Mercy by The Cosmic Kid Photography

The first half closed with a seductive, snaky boa dance from another local fave and silver haired fox, Mercy. This girl is the whole package. She hot, she’s down to earth, she has real skill, AND SHE DOES FIRE. That’s what’s up, Burque. Now it’s time to check out some wares. I picked up some super sleek earnings from Two Stoned Betties, the artistic duo of Godiva Blue & Sara Roman. There goes my spending money, but I couldn’t be happier! Alright, gin and tonic number two and time for the second half!

Loretta Jean by The Cosmic Kid Photography

Dr Lucky came straight out the gate with a dedication to the lovely Dixie Evansand we were off to the races. I’d be lying if I didn’t mention that this evening was a marathon. I am not sure how I’ll pack in all the glorious performers into one revue. I could write about Thursday alone! But alas, it’s highlights only so we must carry on… The act that punched me in the face was without a doubt Loretta Jean. If you Doctor Who anything in front of my face, I’m watching. This woman showed up in Albuquerque, all the way from Toronto, TO BE A DALEK. She teased and sexterminated us all into submission and it was glorious. She’s cute to boot!

The man-lesque continued to rule the evening when Mister Valdez of Colorado Springs tore it up tequila style. And Raisin Wood of Don’t Blink Burlesque was sure to bring us back to classic burly land with her unique blend of comedy and sass. But nothing could prepare us for the sugar fueled mess that Bunny Galore was about to dish out. Dr Lucky made sure we were as prepared as possible as a cake, tall boys, and whipped cream were set on the stage.

Bunny Galore

Look… I’ve seen people put their bodies in cake. I’ve never seen anything like this. I won’t ruin it for you, Diary. You’ll just have to google it when the video comes out. Let’s just say Bunny left us nothing shy of a high fructose dose of booty doused in cassonade. It was the perfect sticky, sweet mess to headline the opening evening of the Southwest Showcase.

I hugged and humped my way around the room as I reconnected with long lost west coast friends and headed back to the room. As soon as the sugar crash hit, Bunny and I hit the sack. We have a lot of burlesque ahead of us!

Friday February, 12th 2016

Dearest Diary of Debauchery,

WOOF! Who knew two gin and tonics and a Bunny Galore would lead to a killer headache? I cut out the daily fun and made sure to load up on protein and a local diner. Tonight, Cooter Juggins is coming out to play! Nothing like taking the afternoon to get ready. Albuquerque is such a beautiful city. The weather is perfect, the sky is blue, and the people are… entertaining. I had a leisurely stroll to the Kimo Theater for tech. The theater for Southwest is one of the most stunning in the festival circuit. It was built in 1927 in Art Deco-Pueblo Revival style architecture (No, I’m not that well versed in architecture. It’s called Wikipedia). It’s absolutely stunning. And to top it off, Sally Rand graced the stage in her heyday. If you give an offering to the spirit of Bobby Darnall and pray to the burlesque gods, you’re sure to tear it up in your performance. Anyway, I grabbed my things to head to the venue early and took my time painting my showbo face on. It was a good day so far!

Doll Carousel

Friday evening kicked off with a high steppin’ bang from Vegas’ Buttercup Delight. I wish I could have seen more of the first act, but alas, I had to beard up for my own performance. Just before Cooter Juggins debuted at Southwest, Aerie Elle and Linzypoo of Doll Carousel set the cirque stage with a high flying aerial trapeze showgirl duel. It was the perfect distraction for warding off any chance of nervousness.

Tifa Tittlywinks aka Cooter Juggins
Tifa’s blood-smeared bedside table.

Alright, here we go! Cooter Juggins took the stage like a showbo champion! Tap dancing on the Kimo stage is like a flashback to the days when vaudeville was king. My taps bellowed through the house above the beats of Brass Monkey. It was absolutely invigorating. I wish I could say everything went off without a hitch, but alas, I cut myself on my beer can and ended up bleeding everywhere. Too much information for your faint tumble, Diary? Then I’ll let Trash Panda show you all about it instead. But the act went great anyway. Thanks, Sally and Bobby! Then just like that, act one was complete.

Act two set off with hardcore Arizona representation from Maxi Millions, who is tearing it up in LA these days, and Don’t Blink Burlesque. Maxi is always a pleasure to watch. She’s just as stunning to look at as she is to know. She was a perfectly fierce set up for the rest of the evening. Don’t Blink tore it up to Cake’s ‘The Distance’ which is always a crowd pleaser.
But just when I thought the group performance game couldn’t get any better, Vi Vacious and Aya Fontaine showed up with the sexiest duet I have ever seen. And I wasn’t the only one, the man behind me screamed as he applauded “ I love this country!”.

The half continued with the inspiring performance of Miss DIsa-Burly-Tease, Jacqueline Boxx, who’s journey you can read about in PinCurl. She really is a joy to watch and dang that girl has gams for days!! Jacqueline was followed by Kitty Crimson. Kitty graced the stage in a gorgeous Catherine D’Lish duster and stunning heels. Her larger than life persona and glamour reclaims fierce femininity from the drag queens. She’s gorgeous beyond words. And with that, we come to our headliner for the evening, Mr Exotic World 2015, Matt Finish, it was nothing short of magical!  With a magnificent finish to the night, we took our bows and headed to the Launchpad to wind down before the last night of the showcase.

Matt Finish

Saturday February, 13th 2016

Dearest Diary of Debauchery,

It’s Saturday!! Time for workshops. Lola Frost and Bunny Galore offered workshops to hone in on your dance skills and performance. But alas, as a broke burly girl, I could only chose one workshop. I chose Dr Lucky’s ‘Bigger, Better, Bolder, On and Off Stage’. After a brain fueling meal with Kitty Litteur, Mayo Lua De Frenchie, and Madeline Sinclair, Kitty and I made our way over to the Kimo for class. Using tried and true acting methods and her own take on the Big Five Personality Traits (OCEAN Test), she guided a packed room through the journey of unlocking one’s potential and suppressing that silly ego we all listen to. It was amazing. Now it’s time to glambo up with my favorite glambud, Bunny Galore.

Bunny and I took our seats in the balcony with Trash Panda in tow for the sold out show. We were dressed impeccably as the show deserved. The crowd was even more energized than the night before. I was so pumped to actually take in the sharp wit of Blanche Debris and the drunken high-jinks of Devin D that I missed out on backstage on Friday. Once we were all broken in, Aya Fontaine took the stage. Her mega fringed Bossanova was a fitting opening to the night of burlesque stars. She was followed by the immense talents of Joy Coy and hypnotic hips of Layla LaMoon. It was all beauty and fun until JD Hickcock took to the stage. The San Antonio King of Burlesque received one of the loudest applause of the showcase with his clogging cowboy from Houston, TX. The man’s costumes are always pristine, his choreography is always crisp, and his energy reaches the back of the house every time. He felt how good it was to tap on that stage as well and the entire house could feel it too.

Annie Cherry

Shortly to follow was a woman who has become my clown crush forever. Annie Cherry’s clowngasm performance was side splitting entertainment that left so little to the imagination. From vagina flowers to yellow haired armpits, she was decked in classic clown from head to toe.   And what’s more, she came on my box. Yep, that was my box on stage receiving the glory that was an ejaculation of celebratory confetti. I died. It was magnificent. And the only person up to the challenge of following her was the classically beautiful Orchid Mei. Her training in Korean dance shined in her silk performance. She never ceases to floor me.

Orchid Mei

After some delights at the bar and roping Annie Cherry in to enjoy the second act with us, we took our seats again. Madeline Sinclair opened the second half with a stunning cell block number 9 act in the most jaw dropping black and white gown. Hot on her tails, Lola Coquette turned up the heat with all the Latin flare a woman can embody. Our fabulous host Blanche Debris even got the whole audience to cheer for love on camera for her friend Jonny Porkpie.

Just when I thought I had seen it all, Kitty Litteur hopped on stage. This woman. Good grief. I haven’t seen tassel work so mesmerizing and ticklingly fun in my entire life. She elicits pure joy in what she does and it’s overwhelmingly infectious. Tassels for days, tassels one at a time, tassels while on her back. Didn’t matter. They were going. My jaw was on the floor. Get it girl. Keep spinning. Her act could only be followed by the most sensual act of the evening, a duet between Holly Rebelle and Kit Kombat. The chemistry between them read all the way to the top of the house.

Lola Frost

The entire showcase climaxed with Lola Frost’s Drink You Sober. The woman just oozes sexuality. Every step she takes is one step closer to bubbling over with sensuality. Speaking of bubbly… She topped the night off with bonus content including her pouring an entire bottle of champagne all over her. And as Kitty Irreverent came out and took a little taste of what champagne remained, we all realized how lucky we were to witness her performance. And we all saw how proud Kitty and her crew were for putting together such an amazing event.

Note: The after party was left out of this diary in an attempt to keep the identity of the ragers a secret. Which is something I think every festival burlesque participant can appreciate.

Sunday February, 14th 2016

Dearest Diary of Debauchery,

Well, it’s Valentine’s Day. As much as I wish I was home with my love, I needed some time to decompress. In reflection of this weekend, it was absolutely incredible. Getting to bask in the light of Lola Frost and witnessing the magic of a king was all I could ask for to start my year. This was the showcase’s tenth year of existence. It’s incredible to see a gathering of inspiring talent in such a small city. Kitty, Holly & David Rebelle, and Devin D truly put together the most amazing burlesque festival experience. And even though I didn’t get to make as many memories as I have in the past, it is still one of the top showcases in the country. Pasties down.

Love and humps,

Tifa Tittlywinks

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