Union’s Rachael Waxler Explores Texas Beauty and Grit with “Miss Snake Charmer”
“Miss Snake Charmer”, which Waxler directed and edited, covers the true story of an annual beauty pageant held in Sweetwater, Texas. This is not just any beauty pageant: it is also the world’s largest rattlesnake roundup, in which the teen contestants must prove their bravery by killing, and skinning, a rattlesnake before showcasing their talents and evening wear. The winner then spends the weekend reigning over pits of live vipers. Waxler said the experience shattered many preconceived notions about life in a deeply red state: “We went out to shoot the story of this crazy pageant, but really tapped into the heart of the people of this town, their openness and warmth.”
“Our girls out in West Texas are tough.” “I don’t mind chopping off the heads of snakes; I will do that all day long.” So begins the newly released trailer for Miss Snake Charmer, the feature documentary about – you guessed it – a beauty pageant. Set in the town of Sweetwater, TX, the film marks the directing debut of Rachael Waxler. An editor at bicoastal Union since 2012, Waxler’s notable projects include Carl’s Jr (via 72 and Sunny), and the award-winning “Kate and Heather” Beauty Campaign for Walgreens, directed by Rachel Goldenberg, as well as Hilton Garden Inn, starring Judy Greer (both via GSD&M).