I was excepted to compete in the Great Southern Exposure Burlesque Pageant in Charlotte, NC. This Festival was produced by Big Mama D The award winning chartreuse of the Carolina's.
My trip there started in Cleveland, OH taking the Megabus to Pittsburgh, PA stayed the night and boarded my bus Thursday early morning and traveled over night to Washington, DC - Wondered a big around Union Station and took a peek at the capitol. I boarded my bus with in the hour then took a little tour around the Downtown Washington was pretty amazing.
We traveled down to three or four stops on the road and i did take plenty of naps but after a 8 hour bus ride we arrived to Charlotte, NC. I have to say it was a good calm ride and seeing the downtown area was a treat, Charlotte was clean the architecture was amazing and the hustle of the city was present and alive. I was picked up by Big Mama D and taken to my host house that was a great opportunity to see Hellcat Harlow, David Bishop and the Masters of Ceremonies that i have to say are very well dressed gentlemen. I was welcomed in a grand way and the feel of the festivities was there.
We got ready to go to the first night of celebration at Wine Up, This venue was great intimate and welcoming. The owner was so nice and wonderful. The cocktails were named after legends and they were delicious, I set up the Haus of Sin table and started to see my burly friends come in like Donna Denise from Dallas, TX.- Hellcat Harlow from TN.- Ida Clair from Alabama- Crystal Swarovski from DC- Cherry La Voix from NY- Beelzababe and Hazel Honeysuckelrose from NYC and so many more people like Gabriella Maze, Scarlet Letter , Dot Mizva and her mama. It was such a star studded event! The show started and you heard Big Mama D sing the girl has some pipes let me tell you. The show was phenomenal and delightful. The level and caliber of performance was amazing, There was a girl that did Eye of the tiger and she was a kitty it was funny and exciting. Ida Clair did a beautiful number in a killer sequin green dress (drool), HellCat Harlow did a great number as well and i realized she had fringe in her stockings then i just melted, but Hazel from NYC her number was beautiful. Everything was so well performed.
After the show there was a very kind amazing little surprise, A Cake (tres leches) for my self and another performer that were celebrating birthdays. It was wonderful! I walked her over to the Haus Of Sin table and made sure she got a present. After getting home and sleeping a bit we got ready for the festivities next day. The Pageant! I got to bond with Hellcat Harlow over dinner and it was great to talk to a fellow performer it was so wonderful to share stories and ideas. I loved the food too! We went back to the house and got ready for the show.
We pilled in the car and headed to the venue, Visulite Theater and it was beautiful, I walked in to the meeting and there was a level of professionalism to follow that i was happy to see at the festival. There was a man named "God" he was in charge of lighting and he was a professional he set up that stage with his helper like no ones business. Mama D spoke about the rules, kittens and all the other important things like the dressing room and music that would be played by DJ Spider and i have to say that woman knows her music and how to move a crowd along with making sure she had the correct music for the entertainers. She was also beautiful!
David Bishop "The Bishop of Burlesque" got to work and he is a very great Stage manager and will keep you on task! I went to set up my haus of sin vending table and all the other vendors were amazing and talented, then i went to get dressed so i would not be in the way later.. (even do i was sorta). I saw an Ohio Burlesque family member Marci V we helped each other get ready and i have to say Burlesque performers are a family and they are like your relatives but more fancy, We help each other look beautiful and that is to me priceless.
David Bishop before the show started borrowed my red fan and remembered World Aids Day on stage and asked for the biggest cheer for those living with the virus and to remember those that have passed.and Marci kicked it off, The way the line up was picked was in random the night before from fortune cookies (great idea), I was tenth in the line and i was getting nervous but earlier in the night Paco Fish gave me good advise that i remembered. Donna Denise was getting ready every one was making sure their pasties were on and their lips were glittered, My mind started raising and i was ready for stage. The time came and they announced me my heart was in full over drive my tummy was in circles and i was breathing heavy. Then i was on stage before i knew it performing my little heart off, My mind went to another place and for that moment in time i just forgot everything and purged everything that happened this year the negative the positive in the moment i was Voodoo priestess and my energy went thru the roof!
After the crowd went wild i walked off stage and at that moment i felt the best i have ever felt this year, It was to me the way to say goodbye 27 and hello 28 the best gift of all. I got dressed and went to see the show. AND WHAT A SHOW! OMG !!! CHARLOTTE YOUR LUCKY! The show was amazing and it happen to be the best show to date i have been in so much talent. It was amazing!
Hazel Honeysuckle rose with her cookie monster, Scarlet Letter and her old school strip with her long long long sexy hair, Dot Mitzvah and her opera, Marla and her shark, Beelzababe and her pink beauty, Mama D and her Honey Boo Boo Child, Smokin' Mc Queen and his bananas, Pearl Noir and i mean common it's PEARL NOIR! Oh and the tron girls.... oh man ... Kubrilesque!
Then the show came to an end, (sad face) Curtain call some how we fit in the stage and i was just happy to be there, The crowning and award giving begun and at that point i did not expect nothing i was so happy for my friends that had won. I was ready to kick those heels off and party! The winners were
Queen of Southern Exposure 2013 - Donna Denise
Princess of Southern Exposure - Hazel Honeysuckle
King of Southern Exposure - Smokin' McQueen
Prince of Southern Exposure(3 years running!) - 'Stache
Most Glamorous Southern Exposure - Scarlet Letter
Most Classic Southern Exposure - Lola LeSoleil
Edgiest Southern Exposure - Marla Meringue
Funniest Southern Exposure - Kitschy de Coeur
Best Variety Southern Exposure - Dot Mitzvah
Best Group Southern Exposure - Kubrilesque
Best Duest Southern Exposure - Tora Torrid & Franki Sin
but then my name was called... I thought i heard wrong.. i headed toward Big Mama D in the center stage and i started crying then there was a crown of my head then it was not staying on since i had a little hat on so i ripped it off and tossed it over to the audience and the crown was on my head. I was a mess and in tears i could not believe it Mama's Choice Award! Just and honor on my birthday none the less at this point it was 2:AM. Smokin' Mcqueen had to hold me along with Donna now the Queen of the Southern exposure!
Even if i have not been crowned, I was blessed and lucky to have had this experience of the glittery kind the people in The Great Southern Exposure Pageant from Kittens to Stage Producers and Performers. Every one in Charlotte, NC burlesque community was a joy to work with and they were personable, professional, perfectionists, kind, sweet, thoughtful, attentive, interesting, beautiful, wonderful and entertaining! I thank everything out there every one out there that was part of this weekend it was the most beautiful experience i have ever been a part of and i would do it again and again. I recommend every one try a burlesque festival you will see so much and renew your faith in the scene when you know there is more out there then in your own town. There is no glass ceiling there is an amount of inpiration and challenge to the craft and this festival showed you there was just that LOVE FOR THE CRAFT. THANK YOU EVERY ONE THAT WAS PART OF THIS. I LOVE YOU ! B-
Burlesque Performer and every day glitter seeking glamour lover!