The Illusionist

Born and raised along the Texas Gulf Coast, Damian Priour has a special affinity for water. And in his artwork, he uses glass to portray it. For more than thirty years, he has crafted beautiful sculptures made of limestone, metal, wood, bronze, and glass. Imagine water being trapped inside two pieces of glass, sometimes even dozens of pieces of glass. Priour either hand carves or sand blasts the glass, working to make it resemble water.

Performing Comedy

NAME: Adelina Anthony | AGE: 36 | HOMETOWN: San Antonio | QUALIFICATIONS: Has performed theater, stand-up comedy, and one-woman shows across the country for almost fifteen years / Her famously salacious and edgy routines—including “La Angry Xicana?!” “La Sad Girl,” and the award-winning “Mastering Sex and Tortillas!”—are recognized for challenging cultural taboos and stereotypes of race, gender, politics, and sexuality

Get Your Gun

In this age of enlightenment—global warming deniers and Jersey Shore cast members aside—we tend to agree that women can do anything men can do. However, in most parts of the good ol’ US of A, that means wear a button-down shirt or pay for dinner. In Texas we like that too. But try this lady on for size: Paula Saletnik, a.k.a. Pistol Packin’ Paula, the only female gun twirling champion in the world.

Impersonating Elvis

NAME: Donny Edwards | AGE: 35 | HOMETOWN: Lake Jackson | QUALIFICATIONS: Performs more than two hundred shows around the world every year / Is one of three tribute artists to work for Elvis Presley Enterprises / Performs in Conroe and New Braunfels this month in honor of Elvis’ seventy-fifth birthday

• Ever since I was a kid, people have told me I look like Elvis. Friends would even call me Elvis. I’ve always been a fan, so I got a kick out of it.

Step Right Up

The way to a true Texas dance hall—not the urban simulations, with their cosmetic trusses, last-call footraces, and she’s-mine testosterone—is through the country, a long drive by pastures and cornfields and cattle guards, past driveways that look like roads and roads with numbers for names. You’ll half think you’re lost on the way, then feel a shock when you get there, not at the size of the structure but at the number of trucks parked outside.

Adam Ohler, Firefighter and Paramedic

Ohler, who was born in New Mexico, worked as an EMT and firefighter in Utah before moving to Houston six years ago. He is stationed at the West University Place Fire Department.

I’m not going to lie: I enjoy fighting fire. There’s an adrenaline rush—it’s exhilarating. I hate to say it, because property is being destroyed, and it is horrible when someone is displaced or when people or animals lose their lives. But in the midst of battle, I’m having a good time.

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