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The Silver Tusk Awards 2024 are open worldwide to all all performers. We do confirm said nominees
b) are not confused with someone with a similar or same name
Folks go to the website in the bio (when nominations are open--they will not be til November) to see the categories for the year with a series of boxes to fill in performer names. Some categories allow you to nominate as many as 5 people, and some categories only allow 1 person's/entity's name to be submitted. The names provided are then cross-referenced for variables above and counted to narrow down to either 10 final nominees (a top 10 of the year for that category if you will) or a single instant winner, depending on the said category.
You may campaign for any categories you desire, HOWEVER the Silver Tusk Awards, Viktor Devonne, White Elephant Burlesque, and all entities associated, take ABSOLUTELY ZERO NONE NO responsibility for the tastefulness of folks' campaigning, the success rate of said campaigning, or the methods that people choose to solicit votes. Be aware there have been major backfires for some folks who come on too strong in the competitive arts, so you do you but we promise nothing. We also STRONGLY encourage you to focus on voting for OTHER PEOPLE. This is your chance to lift others up, while sneaking your name in there too accordingly. You can also NOT campaign and totally win; who knows.
Folks who make the top 10 will then enter a second round where people vote AGAIN to pick their final winner. Those in instant winner categories will not be challenged and will be congratulated immediately. Those winners are JUST as valid and important as the top 10 ones, however the category they were voted for, was deemed not appropriate to slate nominees "against" each other. Sorry, we do not publish who came in 2nd or 3rd for any category.
Hi, I'm Viktor Devonne! I started the Tusks in 2017 in person at my show White Elephant Burlesque when it was at Rockbar on Christopher Street in New York. After a trip to Boston's Alternatease Festival, I was driving friend and colleague Holly Ween (who would go on to be Entertainer of the Year 2019!) about titles and actually having an award show celebrating the first 2 years of our residency at Rockbar. We came up with some categories (several of which became official) and spurred on by the concept of festival "silly titles," I took too far. The Silver Tusk Awards (fun fact: they were nearly called the Ivories) premiered in January of 2017 after a series of months of voting for both final nominees and then the winners. It was a hit, and I was stuck with it.
It expanded in multiple years (you can read about those on the website) and now it's worldwide.
But that didn't really tell you a lot about me.
For the first 4 years (2017-2020) of the Silver Tusk Awards, they were in person at Rockbar NYC. All nominees had been booked w/ White Elephant Burlesque at our Rockbar shows 2015-2017. We had a "red carpet" photo area with Atticus Stevenson (years'17-'19) and DJ TatMatt ('20) and DJs (DJ Tat Matt and Stormageddon), with live acts from a select group of nominees + a closing number from someone not eligible for the award that year (but would be the following year). Our 1st closer was Jeez Loueez, with Fancy Feast, Corvette LeFace, and Jo Boobs the following years. We had presenters, with many of the winners in the audience to accept the award in person. Then I moved to SoCal and the world fell down in 2020.
I decided to continue the Silver Tusks digitally for January 2021. It was the 1st time I hosted the show on Zoom, with folks to present via video and digital burlesque acts throughout the night. Some folks did send in video acceptance speeches in hopes they'd win. That year was unique in that it celebrated both digital burlesque with special categories and also was an "All Stars" season where performers who had never won before competed for their titles. More info on that on the website. The whole thing was broadcast on Zoom with attendees chatting it up via keyboard. Samson Night was our closer.
In 2022, nominees had to appear in WEBurlesque digital burlesque shows and I counted podcast appearances. Performances were again aired from recorded curation; Moscato Sky closed that show out, which was again broadcast on Zoom with an at-home audience.
In 2023, the awards were made open to anyone in the world, and again broadcast on Zoom and winners were announced by members of the community and accepted on their behalf with congratulations; performances were also via video, curated by me.
As of right now, the award show is digitally broadcast with pay-what-you-can access. There are plans to have it return in-person, however that not has been financially feasible at this time.
There have been 187 winners (some have been ties and some of have been duos) since 2017. You can see the full list of winners by date via the website. The winners are chosen by Viewers Like You. It does skew VERY New York as the bulk of the performers eligible were folks who lived in the area, however even as it's been opening up, New Yorkers are still strongly represented, as are Chicago, Southern and Northern California, and Montreal.
With 7 competitive category wins, NJ's @happy.holly.ween comes in next
The next highest number of competitive category wins is 4 and it's a seven-way tie; from NJ: @lillian_bustle and @veryvonka + from NYC: @nyxnocturne @fauxpaslefae (with 1 as part of @kineticcabaretproductions) @heytigerbay @tvmiscallaneous and @foxybelleafriq (with 1 as Uncle Freak)
Obviously winning isn't everything. but it's neat, right?
So, when this started in 2017, there was a clear celebration of a specific performer, who was nominated for multiple categories, won several, and came very close to becoming a nominee for several other categories. So, all those votes, I decided qualified them for a "highest" distinction: Entertainer of the Year... All the votes, from the first round to the second round were tallied and a 'champion' was recognized. Folks who wend up with at least 3 category nominations are usually ones to watch for, as it indicates a strong backing by the community and audience.
In 2017, the Entertainer of the Year was Broody Valentino, and in 2018, Mr. Lee VaLone; 2019 went to Holly Ween, and 2020 at our last (as yet) live show, Jack Barrow secured the title. These were indicative of great success in their respective years, both in performances with WEBurlesque and elsewhere, whether side projects, activism, other titles won elsewhere, or just being very visible.
In 2021, at our first online outing, Foxy Belle Afriq took the title; and in 2022, we had our first tie: Samson Night and P. NoNoire. Our most recent recipient is 2023's Lou Lou la Duchesse de Riere.
fun fact: our last THREE EoY winners have all been Miss Exotic World or Best Boylesque titleholders at BHOF, so they must be doing something right.
We do not presently indicate second or third places for Entertainer of the Year, however no one's actually asked for that. Is that something you as an audience would be interested in, or is that 'overkill' in some capacity?
No. Any category, regardless of name or qualification, is open to all folks. I try, when possible, to use genderless titles or terms, but due to alliteration or a turn of phrase (example: "Father Figure," "Backstage Mom") there are some genders that may be inferred. Disregard them, please, as comfortable.
Anyone of any gender (or without gender) can be a star, a broad, a vixen, a dame, a hussy, a vamp, a queen, or king in these parts. That said, should a winner of such a distinction request an adjustment to the title for said language, I am all for it. This is, after all, meant to honor the person/persons themself/themselves.
Damn, you went there.
Admittedly, competition is not for everyone, and I've always called burlesque an intersection between art and entertainment. Voting "best" or "first" or "most" leads to hurt feelings, arguments, and Buzzfeed articles that dare besmirch the brilliant Marissa Tomei in My Cousin Vinny.
In short, I like award shows and always have. I frequently disagree with them. We have things like Project Runway and Drag Race and Next Top Model where we are still reeling over decisions, where we pretend the stakes are rainbow high but are of course super subjective and time will always tell longevity, legacy, and impact. But I also know without all of the above reality programs, many of us would not know those folks, get the fans, or have people invested in their careers. Also, there's no one else banging on the door to reward those folks in their fields.
So, yes, it is frivolous. You may have gathered that from how many awards have been given legit to people with high quality butts, or likelihood to represent an esoteric meme. But I know it can feel personal (more on that in the next question).
It is also one reason I up'd the nominations to a top 10. You can and always should consider yourself the within the top 10 selected, should that happen.
But also, as Fiona Apple famously said as she accepted an MTV Award, "This world is bullshit." We're just trying to lift UP our friends and colleagues, not keep anyone out. Please go in with good intentions, and know that for the most part, others are too.
No! There are so many factors as to why some folks get nominated or win. Many folks that we think of very highly of have never been recognized with this or any other award.
Have never won an Oscar but are fabulous: Tim Curry, Samuel L. Jackson, Sigourney Weaver, Glenn Close, Stanley Tucci, Angela Bassett...
Have never won a Tony Award but are fabulous: Raul Esparza, Tovah Feldshuh, Sherie Rene Scott, Julie Andrews...
Have never won a Grammy but are fabulous: Diana Ross, ABBA, Queen, Bjork, Nas, Iggy Pop...
Have never won an Emmy but are still fabulous: Angela Lansbury, Kerry Washington, Hugh Laurie, Connie Britton, Phylicia Rashad...
This is not the end all of anything! Also, consider that some folks never get nominated because folks assumed they would, so didn't write in their names. This is now an international event and there's a whole lot of us.
Oh, and; Have never won a Silver Tusk Award but are still fabulous: Viktor Devonne (I'm not eligible, so...)
Ok, you moneygrubber. You 'win' the bragging rights, the status, the title, and the glory... however that manifests.
There IS a physical token; a Silver Tusk charm is provided the winner(s) of the categories they are voted on, in addition to certain distinctions I as producer to bestow. The charm has alternated in appearance over the years, as I do not want 1 single design to specifically symbolize the Tusk (maybe some day? Are you a silversmith with CAD capabilities?) and are amongst other items in a gift bag. Some of these items are from sponsors, some are fun little goody bag trinkets inspired by children's parties in a very budget-conscious Academy Awards-style "winners' bag."
When these shows were in-person, they were handed off to the winner on the spot (or given in some capacity if the winner was not present), and now that we're international and digital, shipping has officially become the largest expense of the event! I do not want to skimp out on the physical aspect of the wins, so it's what has hit my pocket hardest. How can you help me out? We'll talk about that next!
Items are curated and shipped out by me and my team (my cat who sits on the couch and my Spotify playlist) shortly after the award show.
Here are some great ways:
- promo the voting when it comes up
- like posts that come up on your screen
- directly sponsor/contribute
- talk about us!
If you have won or been nominated before: put that in your bios. It's the easiest way to help elevate the supposed prestige behind any title. Will the audience know what the hell that means? Maybe not, but word of mouth is priceless in an industry that technology doesn't like promoting...
There will be a go-fund-me in a few weeks for those who want to support the shipping costs and prize bags (the Tusks themselves have already been selected for 2023!), and we also encourage sponsorships via the website for via DM discussion.
Also, vote. Suggest folks that people should consider in their voting; help people feel proud that their friends think they're neat-o.