Wild Wild West Con is an annual event hosted by the Tuscon Steampunks in Tuscon, Arizona - splitting the time between the Double Tree Suites by Hilton and Old Tuscon - a veritable delight of old movie sets and desert scenery. Cirque des Bêtes has attended this event now three years in a row - every time bringing new people and new acts to enchant the crowds. And this year was no different.
The crew that shipped out this year was Nickolai, Eve Riot, Igor, Selia, Crocodile Tears and new to the convention scene - Poppi Fleur. Prior to departure the crew campaigned hard to raise the funds to be able to afford fire insurance for this event - and succeeded to due a helpful GoFundMe page. Each performer helped raise money, rehearsed and readied themselves for a full weekend of fun, fire and feisty characters.
Thursday was a day of rest but a night of work. During the day the crew went to downtown Tucson to patronize the local shops - Tucson Thrift being a biannual favorite. Midday the mermaids needed to wet their gills while the contortionists and acrobats warmed up and stretched out upon the rocks. The evening was to be a spectacular event.
The opening ceremonies kicked off with the Vote for Cthulhu debates with different candidates spoke to sway attendees to their platform. Speakers included dear friends of the circus Madam Askew, The Grand Arbiter, and the Gentleman Robot. Upon the conclusion the speeches the inaugural performance with fire commenced.
The musical selection was a jazzy funky beat chosen by our magister himself, Igor who performed with 4 different blazing toys. Each performer dazzled the crowd with their own hot brand of flow. Props with propellant included Poi, juggling clubs, dragon staff, jump rope, fire fans, sword, flaming sphere, and rope dart. Phew. The set lasted 20 amazing bright minutes of glory as each performer seamlessly switched places as they dazzled the audience with their skills. Fire safety did a great job allowing Nikolai to keep his leg. What a hot show!
Friday was a day for frivolity as we enjoyed the shenanigans the convention had to offer! Selia & Igor participated in a Sparky & McTrowell nerf gun duel in order to fight for the title of Sheriff! In a shocking turn of events Selia Something won and demanded that everyone forfeit their cotton candy. Nikolai and Eve Riot played their usual roles in charming (or harassing, depending on who you ask) the tea dueling crew - although Madame Askew may find them delightful, the Grand Arbiter would rather label them as demons. They encouraged their chosen champions in the duels with mixed results. The crew also met with other artists and performers such as belly dancers, merchants in the Vendor hall and other circus performers!
On Saturday the troupe prepared for the fashion show that went very well with a dazzling display of acrobatics, poses and smiles. Puns were fired from the hip while performers were presented and the photographers went wild. Each fashionista was given a short biography and music to pose to and at the end all the models paraded to the front of the stage. The fashion show had a climatic end as two of the steampunks got engaged on that very stage! One can tell a convention is of quality when people are prepared to create milestone memories there.
After the fashion show, the troupe set up shop in front of the artist gallery to perform a circus set for the amusement of passing guests. Each marveled with their talents of swordplay, juggling, contortion, and fan flow. Upon the viewing of the belly dance troupe in the afternoon, the troupe returned to their base to prepare for the anticipated burlesque performance.
The crowd was buzzed and buzzing as they filled the attendee hall. The Grand Arbiter and Madam Askew led the audience through a Cirque des Bêtes presentation of Monstrosi-tease Burlesque. The wild crowd cheered and applauded as each performer peeled off their clothing to reveal their personas. A living statue was brought to live and Cthulhu was summoned. A zombie performed a fan dance and was forcibly removed before infecting the camera man. The big bad wolf discovered Red Riding Hood and offered her companionship. Alice was in the asylum, not wonderland! One of our performers turned into a beetle in a Kafka-esque turn and the Bride of Frankenstein searched for some satisfaction. There was even a surprise guest - The Gentleman Robot, there to give the esteemed Madame Askew a lap dance - much to her astonishment!
All in all, this event was a rounded success. The troupe brought the heat - both literally and figuratively to the convention and it showed with each of their acts and interactions with other patrons of the weekend's festivities. Thank you again to all our of fans and donors, friends, con-organizers, stagehands, and volunteers for everything that you did to help make this trip truly a fun and unforgettable trip to Tucson.
Written by Nikolai De La Muerte & Eve Riot
Photos by Melissa M Wambolt, Crocodile Tears, Albert Jackman, and Radian Helix Media
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Blog maintained by our lovely Ringleader-Eve Riot