Saturday, June 30, 2018

The Business of Queening

Makeup & Hair by Miss Mary Jane Green

In December I won the title of the Last Queen of the Great Southern Exposure in Charlotte, North Carolina. I never thought I'd win a crown, especially for comedy. I have a crown and three trophies from the event. (There was some confusion around my crowning moment so this photo by Madison Hurley Photography will have to do.)

I'm now 42 and may never win another crown. It took over ten years of burlesque performance to land me this monster. I am absolutely milking this for all it's worth.

Here's what I know about the business of queening.

Get a damn sash
Not every title comes with a sash. If you win a title that gives you bragging rights and you don't have a sash, get a damn sash. I ordered mine from LadyBug Designers. The stones in my crown are red, clear and blue, leading me to get a blue sash. (To spend a little less, check out this vendor.)

I wear the sash in appropriate shows (not competitions) when I perform the award-winning act, usually for curtain call and mingling after the show. I don't eat in the sash. It cost to much to trash with a spilled drink.

Figure out how to get the crown to stay on your head
This crown is huge.  If you won a crown that has little combs already, lucky you. Big hair can keep a crown like this in place. I needed to be able to actually wear it for an event and photoshoots, and I don't always have someone on hand to tease my hair to high heaven. Bobby pins and crown clips with pipe cleaners were useless for me with this crown.

I found a solution and ordered some CrownStays in Monster size. The system is pretty simple but I'm glad I bought a set so I wouldn't have to figure out the rigging on my own. I had to crunch the adjustable slide on the crown and add another anchor point, but Mr. Snapper can mount the crown on my head and I can function without a rat's nest of hair.

To mount the crown, one comb is stuffed into the hair on one side of the head. Pull the comb out a bit on the opposite side, stretching the clear elastic woven through the inside of the crown. Stuff that into the hair. Shazam. Do the opposite to take it back off.

I got my mother a tiara so she could experience the joy and nonsense of being the Queen Mum. I'm maybe a bit ridiculous.

Get a fancy robe
I see people backstage all the time with their fancy robes. I'd been meaning to get one with my name embroidered on it for a while. I now had something interesting to get on the front.

I chose Snapper colors for the robe instead of the black robes I see my friends wearing.

This is where I got my robe. Lots of options for colors and embroidery. I mean, feel free to get one if you aren't a queen. I got mine within a week of ordering because they weren't busy with all the bridal robes at that moment.

Get a case for the crown
I have little trophy shelves with my burlesque trophies at the bottom of our stairs. I have a shadowbox display for our Burlypicks medal. There are photos of each win under the respective award.

This crown is too big for the shelves. It's too big for most crown cases. I had hoped to get an acrylic case from Michaels with a coupon, but the crown is too big. (If I only win one crown, I'm glad it's absurdly large.)

I had to order a display case for the crown. Of course.

Put it on a pedestal
Gee, my gigantic crown case is too large for a shelf. I had to buy a pedestal to put it on display. The case is a bit bigger than the pedestal. Yep, that's about right.

I can't put the case on the pedestal at the bottom of the stairs because it would impede traffic going up and down the stairs. I can't have the dogs running into it. I had to put it in my studio. My life is hard.

Photoshoot time!

I have to have a photo to go with the crown, and I can't display the crown with the other awards. Gee. Heck. Guess I have to just put a giant photo of the crown with the other trophies down the stairs and put another photo in my studio above the crown.

We bought backdrops so we could have Madison shoot in our apartment.

Oh yeah, I also made a jumpsuit and bought a simple dress for the shoot.

I did a second photoshoot in the crown with Dallas Pinup because I needed pinup photos in a crown. Obviously.

Then, I had to buy picture frames and order special prints of the photos to post on my walls because I am ridiculous.

Good deeds
What's the point of queening if I don't use my powers for good? I decided to do good deeds by holding online fundraisers for Southern charities, since I am the Last Queen of the Great Southern Exposure. I raised a little money for North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence, ALS in Wonderland Foundation, and the Humboldt Broncos of Saskatchewan (because I love hockey). I've joined the Bad Girls Club to continue fundraising. I'll share more charities who could use some scrilla on my Facebook profile.

Who knows if I'll ever win another pageant like this. That's why I'm making the most of the nonsense now.