The week before the Saloon Girl Competition I found out the dang boots no longer fit. They always were a bit iffy, but after two years of intense yoga, “grounding myself” and “spreading my toes to create balance,” my feet have widened. Luckily I hadn’t built my whole Saloon Girl performance around the boots. (See Wicked Boots for Western Week and Thrift-Shopping for a Saloon Girl Costume.)
Yes, I entered the competition. I was all in. I researched how to make an 1870’s bustle skirt on You-Tube, and bought a black feather boa. I found a long pair of black gloves I forgot I had – a keepsake from my 1969 prom that I didn’t expect to wear again. My husband loaned me a belted pillow to put under the skirt across my backside to accentuate the bustle. I was ready.
Then six days before the competition, I learned that eleven women entered. In years past, the organizers were lucky to get two. There would be real competition this year. But I was already all in. I decided to adjust my act by adding some comedy (talk story). That would give me some additional places to interact with the audience. But I had doubts. Really, am I funny? The reviews for my book say I am. So I went for it.
Today was the day. My daughter helped me get into my costume and drew the obligatory “Miss Kitty” mole on, and I walked downtown, carrying one of my boots. It would be a tip jar – $1 dollar per hug. Everyone looked fabulous and we took a ton of publicity shots. I’m sure Sarah Anderson will have pictures on Facebook tomorrow. Sarah took some solos of each person too, just in case they won.
The first gal who performed, kicked up a storm on stage, and sang her heart out. At the end, she faked drinking a shot of whiskey, and threw the shot glass across the stage, where it broke into pieces. Wow – dramatic. That set the bar really high. Meanwhile, I maintained confidence by garnering $7 in tips with my hugs.
I was contestant Number 7. I was lucky that the Emcee, our Councilwoman, mispronounced my name just a bit. That gave me the chance to use my “Scheurell, rhymes with coral, floral, moral and pectoral . . . Actually, my friends tell me it might be more memorable if I tell people it rhymes with immoral.” The audience laughed, and it only got better from there. See my shtick on YouTube.
The rest of the evening went by in a blur. It rained lightly on and off, but the performances went on under umbrellas – this is Honoka‘a and we learn to ignore the rain. Our councilwoman, who had been the first Saloon Girl Winner some years ago, entertained us with a song while the judges conferred. There was no point in worrying about the outcome.
Then announcements: third place winner – the Saloon Girl who broke the shot glass. Second place winner – a gal who did a comedy routine about menopause and smoking weed. “And the first place winner with a prize of $400 – I hope I pronounce the name right this time – is Diane Scheurell.” The Universe came through for me again.
A thank you to Sarah Anderson Photography for the latter two photos. See her website at http://www.sarahandersonhawaii.com/
Another thank you to Sherri Longyear who videoed and uploaded my performance on YouTube.
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