When they carried her up to the stage on crutches the last night of the Pure Talent Feature Showcase at the Candy Store in Mobile Alabama, I was spell bound by the young feature's courage and determination. I had just talked to the doctor who had treated her the night before. Samantha Starr had hurt herself badly enough to be unable to mount the stage. Yet she delivered a rousing performance that brought the crowd to its feet and I knew that I had just witnessed something extraordinarya true champion, reaching deep inside to tap an inner strength that enabled her to shake off her injuries. Homer's epic, "The Iliad and the Odyssey" had nothing on Samantha Starr in his myriad cast of heroic characters.
Last week I shot four nights of non-stop action at the Miss Nude Great Plains contest at Club Cabaret U.S.A. in Topeka Kansas with features and house dancers competing from across the U.S. The winner would get a trip to Hawaii for two and $1,000 cash. In spite of very fine performances from the other entertainers the competition developed into a contest between two equally matched competitors, K.C. Cannons and Samantha Starr.
It takes someone extraordinary to go head to toe against K. C. Cannons, a leading feature on today's circuit, who blends the skill of the professional athlete with a resourceful use of props, lighting, special effects, and music. Each night for a few moments, K. C. twists and turns like a human gyroscope in a dazzling display of moves that never fails to get the crowd cheering. But only for a few seconds which leaves everyone wanting more. But Samantha Starr never lets up. She does the pole; she dances on the stage, all eyes riveted upon her, wondering what she's going to do next. She does her swimming pool act after warning me to put my camera into a plastic bag so save it from drowning. She's a crazy woman in that pool, spinning in 360-degree arcs, splashing around like a whirling dervish. She brandishes a squirt gun and guns down anyone within range, including the photographers. Samantha delivers one riveting performance after another, night after night, without letup. She's poised; she's the consummate dancer; she's precious; she's crazy; and the crowd loves her. At first, it's K.C., bringing the crowd to its feet-- then it's Samantha, who has the audience out of its seats cheering with the music pulsating around it.
On the fourth night, the winner is announced and it's Samantha, on a close call from the judges. K. C. and Hollywood, K. C. Cannon's boyfriend, run up to hug and congratulate her. Had K.C. been the winner it would have been Samantha racing up to congratulate her instead.
My phone interview of her was short, which is the way I wanted things to be since she was just too fresh on my mind.
Xtreme: "How long have you been featuring?"
Samantha: "About five months. I'm a Single Mom. The rest of the time I house dance three nights a week."
"During the contest you told me you were going to win it. What made you
Xtreme: "What are your immediate plans?"
Samantha: "I am going to be featuring in Albany, Texas. Then I'll be at Exotic Dancer's 2002 Expo in Las Vegas in late August."
Xtreme: "What are your long term goals?"
Samantha: "I want to have a happy life, to have a good job, and to remain active."
Xtreme: "Is there any feature you can't beat on a given day? There are a lot of excellent entertainers on the circuit but at your best I'd say anyone of them is in trouble"
Samantha: "There are a lot of features better than me."
Xtreme: "You are being too modest, Samantha. If you won't say it, do you mind if I do? "That you are competitive with anybody out there." That you are among the very finest there is. If I get this in print, you won't mind?"
Samantha: "Okay, but I didn't say it."
Samantha: "Will you do me a favor then and print, "I love you, K.C. I was sure you had it.""
She was too modest to tell me she was Missouri 2002 Miss Exotic Entertainer of the Year or 2001 Exotic Dancer of the Year. Perhaps she's thinking it doesn't matter where you have been and what you have done and that it's what you do now that counts. She has her foot on the accelerator, and seems to have no intention of letting anything stop her.