A slender brown man comes gliding down St. Mary’s in a flowing pink ensemble, a tall drink of water with a commendable bulge, boots hand-painted in a cobweb of red, white and blue and exposed chest hair twinkling in the sun. He is pure confidence. Eyes staring straight ahead, head up, shoulders back. It’s Wayne Holtz, bitches.
The photographer, musician, choreographer, dancer and “creative socialite” is a pop star, even if you don’t know it yet. Holtz understands what a vast majority of local artists and musicians may never grasp: You gotta put on a show, honey! In our conversation on the La Botánica patio, we discussed his love of showmanship and attitude and his schooling in the world of pop music — something that emphatically comes through in his live performances. Holtz is often accompanied by the dance troupe House of Kenzo, whose vogueing meets freestyle meets pep rally is something to behold in and of itself.
Having grown up around the theater and possessing a deep, radiating love for Lady Gaga and Dancing with the Stars, picking up the pop diva torch was no great struggle for Holtz, despite his insistence that he is no songwriter
“I’m not really a musician, per se … But I’ve always wanted to make music and so I decided, ‘Screw it. I’m gonna start,” Holtz said. “People are ready to be mesmerized here in San Antonio … and that’s why I really decided to go the pop star route.”
As a devotee of Gaga and DWTS, Holtz says he looked to the confidence and conviction of the artist and respective dancers. That same spirit to succeed drives his live performances, where he is intent on killing it. “[I’m] not really asking for the audience’s approval,” he explained, “but, really just saying, ‘Hello, bitch, I’m here and you’re enjoying it, I know.’”
This attitude has served Holtz well in the short time he’s been creating his own music with producer and friend Bobby Rivas. Holtz’s fuck-shit-up panache has propelled him to some of the loftiest heights scaled by a local musician in recent memory, especially one who will be performing only their third show Thursday, June 30 at The Korova. His love of personality Ross Mathews, of Chelsea Lately and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno fame, inspired him to compose a tune for Mathews’ podcast Straight Talk, in which you can hear Holtz’s song for the “Black Attack” segment. His latest single “A Minute with Mark” also debuted on the show and Holtz is currently in the process of writing a tune for San Antonio siren and Girl in a Coma guitarist/singer Nina Diaz — no small feat for someone just getting their feet wet.
As a bad bitch with grab-the-bull-by-the-balls conviction, Holtz has also been granted two theme nights at several of San Antonio’s hippest bars. Tuesdays you can catch him hosting #2Play Tuesdays at Phantom Room, wherein $2 gets you into the two bars on location. You can dance in the front room with DJs and trippy visuals (option one), or rock out in the back room with live bands (option two).
Like any fledgling artist with grand aspirations, Holtz is fully aware that he’ll need to first capture the imagination of his hometown — something he seems well-suited for, especially as he’s off to such an impressive start. He also understands that as the seventh largest city in the nation, there’s a lot of literal and proverbial ground to cover. “It’s a huge goddamn fucking city,” he remarked. “You know what I’m saying? And so there’s stuff going on north, south, east, west, inside of me, everywhere. People just need to connect more.”
As a face in the scene, and one of the more memorable ones, Holtz is making those connections. His show on June 30 will feature himself and his troupe opening for none other than Dancing with the Stars’ Mark Ballas, the brother-in-dance to Holtz’ idol Derek Hough. With any luck, Ballas, who will be performing as one-half of the duo Alexander Jean, will see what has taken very little time for many San Antonians to see in Holtz … and then get him in touch with his hero, Hough.
“[Hough] is just … beyond inspirational when it comes to confidence, determination and really just innovation when performing … and he’s hot. He is hot.”