Russell Bruner describes his San Antonio Burlesque Festival experience…
I am on my way to the San Antonio Burlesque Festival. It’s not my first time in San Antonio. I once took residence as a mormon missionary. I was expelled from the mission for a “pattern of disobedience” and got put one a non-stop flight back home to Portland. My last offense was being caught making my own wine, which I felt was in accordance with Doctrine and Covenants 89:6. The mission president felt differently. I can assure you that on this weekend alone, I will ‘misbehave’ much more than I did in my entire thirteen months there as a mormon missionary. Some time around 4 AM my train arrived in San Antonio and Jasper St. James was there to pick me up and help me get checked into Hotel Indigo, just kitty corner to the Alamo. I felt bad about the inconvenience of that arrival time, but Jasper never complained. He was cheery and really excited about the Festival starting the next day.
On Friday I met up with my duet partner, Sandria Dore; we were set to perform the same duet act that we had won the duet category with at Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend. We hadn’t seen each other in about a month as she was touring around England while I was touring around Southern California. Our act was a little rusty, but it felt sexier than usual. Running through it reminded me how lucky I am to be working with such a beautiful lady!
Friday Night’s Show was so much fun and had many highlights. Performers included Los Angeles teasers April Showers and Ron Dez Vous and local San Antonio represented some of their best, featuring Jasper St. James who did a sizzling act to Miley Cyrus and Foxxy Blue Orchid who rocked the crowd into a sexy fury! Texas was represented well with performers from Austin as well, such as Chola Magnolia, Ruby Joule and Coco Lectric. Renee Holiday was a personal favourite of mine, and she took home the ‘Legend in the Making Award’.
San Antonio Burlesque Festival 2013. Click to browse and hover for caption.
Saturday’s Spectacular was fantastic! San Antonio represented more of their local amazingness, featuring Vixy Van Hellen who enchanted the crowd with her Selena tribute and Teddy Bare who wowed us with his performance. Los Angeles was represented by Ruby Champagne who dazzled us with her Mexican act. Dallas performers such as Black Mariah and La Divina enchanted us, along with Austin performers Goldie Candela and Angi B. Lovely.
Saturday’s Spectacular ended with a tantalising performance by burlesque legend Tiffany Carter, which was then followed by Tacos! As in Taco Awards! Here is a list of Taco Award Winners. San Antonio Queen of Burlesque 2013: Olympia DeWinter (San Antonio, TX). San Antonio King of Burlesque 2013: Stephan (San Antonio, TX). Future Legend of Burlesque Award: Renee Holiday (Dallas, TX) and Fat Bottom Cabaret (Austin, TX). Best Tease: Rosie Rawhyde (Corpus Christi, TX). Best Duet: Eva Strangelove and Justin F. Credible (Austin, TX). Best Variety: Teddy Bare (San Antonio, TX). Best Costume: La Rosa Muerta (Las Vegas, NV). Most Original: Tifa Tittlywinks (Houston, TX). Best Group: Bat City Bombshells (Austin, TX).
The next morning I went to a pool party and watched everyone devour a tower of pizza. After all the excitement of two amazing nights of shows full of excitement, sexiness, glitter and pasties, the performers got together at Foxxy’s loft and enjoyed an afternoon by the pool, which included cocktails and boxes and boxes of pizza. We got to share stories of what we loved most about being part of the San Antonio Burlesque Festival as we created new friendships. I drove away with a hope to get back to San Antonio again some time soon. I recommend getting yourself there for the next San Antonio Burlesque Festival!
Quoted in major international newspapers and held in high esteem and affection by the international burlesque community, 21st Century Burlesque Magazine has documented the contemporary burlesque scene since 2007. Founded and edited by Holli-Mae Johnson.