June 28, 2016
Stacee Collins, University Star
As San Marcos’ mermaid appreciation increases, locals, performers and artists have come together to put on the first annual Aqua Show. Dark Matter Productions, a locally based production company, will host the show July 1 at Stonewall Warehouse. Mermaid lovers can stop by at 9 p.m. for an aquatic-themed burlesque, a silent art auction and raffle prizes. Frankie Blackheart, performer and Dark Matter Productions producer, organized The Aqua Show to create something beneficial to the mermaid symbol.
“With such a wonderful inspiration in mind, and with a clear memory of the underwater mermaid shows at Aquarena Theme Park as a child, I decided I wanted to create something beautiful and befitting of this strong feminine symbol,” Blackheart said. “It was the perfect time to make this show happen.”
Although the show will not include actual water, organizers aim to make a realistic aquatic environment the best they can.
“Our goal is to transport the show to the ocean, the beaches, the rivers—to make people feel the excitement, beauty and sometimes hilarious nature of the natural world while maintaining it as a complete fantasy,” Blackheart said.
There will be 10 performances from a wide variety of acts such as Layna D’Luna, Frankie Blackheart, Nick T. Vegan, Lita Deadly, Amelie Ahmose and Zenyth Gale. Guests won’t want to miss Aliska Wolfbane’s mermaid-style sideshow either. Blackheart said the burlesque performances will range from beautiful to intense to hilarious.
“The art of burlesque has a few boundaries,” Blackheart said. “The only ‘rule’ is that there is some sort of transformation. Usually with burlesque, this transformation includes strip-tease, but you can never really be sure.”
The silent art auction and a portion of the ticket sales will benefit the Mermaid Society SMTX.
“Part of my inspiration for the show was the emergence of the mermaid as an iconic symbol of the San Marcos community,” Blackheart said. “It seemed like the perfect partnership in theme, but also perfect in mission. The Mermaid Society and Dark Matter Productions are both committed to community collaboration. It could not have been a better fit.”
July Moreno, Mermaid Society SMTX founder, said members are appreciative of the event.
“We are very excited about it,” Moreno said. “We are super proud that so many in San Marcos are really embracing the love of mermaids. The love for mermaids in San Marcos has been around for forever. So, we are just one more organization that highlights that.”
Chris Rue, Stonewall Warehouse manager, said he is excited to host The Aqua Show at the local LGBTQIA bar.
“We are truly honored and excited to be a part of it,” Rue said. “It’s symbolic of San Marcos. We’re a town built around our river, so sustainability and keeping things clean is so important to us all.”
Rue said booking the show was a natural fit.
“We’re just always so honored that people want to include Stonewall,” Rue said. “With the river being here, we’re just happy to be part of the tradition. San Marcos identifies with the mermaid and mermaid culture—we will always want Stonewall to be a part of that.”
Blackheart is excited to host The Aqua Show at Stonewall Warehouse. “Drag, burlesque, sideshow and spoken word have all been performed at Stonewall, and the response has been fantastic,” Blackheart said. “Stonewall has the very distinct opportunity to facilitate these wonderful entertainments and art forms, and I am so happy they have adopted it.”
Blackheart encourages everyone to attend The Aqua Show. “It will be like nothing San Marcos has ever seen before,” Blackheart said. “It is an opportunity to see something unique, be a part of the artistic community in San Marcos and support a great organization that is the Mermaid Society.”
The mermaid is an important symbol that should be celebrated in all cultures, Blackheart said. “Supporting the mermaid as an icon of San Marcos culture is an opportunity to show the world that we are not just outlet malls, student housing and tax breaks for corporations,” Blackheart said. We are an incredibly creative and progressive community full of performers, artists, entrepreneurs and environmental stewards.”
Blackheart said the mermaid represents a special niche of the city. “The mermaid represents this aspect of our small town that can often be overlooked,” Blackheart said. “She is a freshwater mermaid. She represents the river and those who love and protect it. She can be almost anything, but she is most definitely ours.”