On April 22 myself, Talloolah Love and Ursula Undress all headed to the airport to go to Austin for the 3rd Texas Burlesque Festival. When we go to the airport to check our luggage the baggage handler recognized us as burlesque performers even though we were completely out of drag. We were pleasantly surprised and amused by this. After taking care of all that we hopped on the plane. I had performed at TXBF the previous year as well, but it was Talloolah and Ursula's fist time taking it off in their state of origin. Yup, that's right, both Talloolah Love and Ursula Undress are originally from Texas, now you know!
We got in and had to go get ready for the Thursday night beginners showcase since Ursula Undess was performing her act she competed with at Viva Las Vegas. Talloolah and I had a lot of fun getting to watch the show. Ursula didn't win the audience choice chance to move up to the Saturday show, but she was in the final two so we were very proud of her. Pyra Sutra did two really amazing acts as well as MC along with Miss Indigo Blue who did an amazing job!
Afterwards we went over to Elysium to hang out at the after party with Satan's Angel, Tiffany Carter and a big hunk of the other performers, many of which we had just seen in Chicago the weekend before.
Friday night was another showcase as well as performances by the headliners and legends. The showcase was amazing and had two spectacular acrobatic acts including one half of Gravity Plays Favorites and Angi B. Lovely. I do have very mixed feelings about the acrobatics, sometimes I feel like it should be a separate category for competitions, as who can compete with acrobatics and other times I do realize that there's not enough to actually warrant it's own category. Bunny Pistol who I competed with back at Viva Las Vegas in 2008, as well as our girl Honey B Hind that we met at The Great Boston Burlesque Exposition back in 2007 which was Talloolah and I's very first festival. Headliners included: Miss Indigo Blue who did an amazing tribute to Wild Cherry. Vivienne VaVoom (aka Michelle Baldwin) who literally wrote the book on classic burlesque and it showed! Torchy Taboo who we love and adore as she used to be an Atlanta girl! The legends that performed were Dusty Summers who did an amazing magic act, Tiffany Carter who did a beautiful slow sultry traditional classic routine and the crowd favorite Satan's Angel who does a down and dirty bad girl classic routine.
The whole evening was a lot of fun and we had a great time getting to watch the show and hang out. Afterwards we scampered back to our lodgings as it was starting to really pour and have really strong winds and we didn't want to get caught out and about in a city we don't know very well trying to dive around in bad weather.
Saturday was a busy busy day for all of us. We went to the amazing brunch given to all of the performers by our hosts of the Texas Burlesque Festival where we had a good discussion about competitions versus straight up festivals. Afterwards we got to take a class from Satan's Angel. We went over pasties, tassels, stockings, costuming, and general info that was useful whether you were a novice or a seasoned burlesque performer! It was a whole lot of fun and it never ceases to amaze me how much I lean every time I get to speak to the legends and other performers. Once the class was done we hauled hiney back to get ready as Talloolah and I needed to get ready to perform in the Saturday night competition.
Talloolah opened the show with her Feeling Good number and her act was amazing. She looked gorgeous and did an amazing job! I was third with my Betty Crocker roiutine and my music stopped about 3/4 of the way through my routine. I kept going and then I had a pastie fall off so I slapped my hand over my nipple and kept twirling the other one. I am honestly starting to believe that this number is cursed and perhaps I should put Betty Crocker on a shelf Renea'le Roux came in for the competition and did her Pink Poodle routine which was great! None of us won anything but we had a geat time regardless.
There's been a lot of discussion about competitions lately and whether or not they're a good thing. Honestly, I don't go to festivals to compete. I do it so I can get to travel, meet interesting people and get to perform in interesting places. If I were to win something that would be really cool, but I'm perfectly happy just getting to go. I think competition is healthy and helps encourage people to strive to be better. If someone wins something then it's a cool memory and looks nice on a press release that helps them, the shows they perform in and bring attention to their city. We don't have a lot of titles in Atlanta and a lot of people don't know how much amazing burlesque we have here as a result. I don't think people should get all jealous and cut throat about it, but titles help draw attention in press releases and the community.
Sunday we were sad to leave after such an amazing weekend but we were once again happy to go home. We made a lot of new friends, got to hang out with a lot of old friends and have a great time over all. I think we'll all be applying again next year and I loved that they added the Thursday night showcase as well as the class this year. As per usual please feel free to check out all of my pictures from the festival on Flickr. I wasn't allowed to take pictures at the shows since I didn't have a press pass, but you can see some cute back stage and my Ursula and Talloolah paparazzi photos!