As a child my mum would take me to the factory and I would have to dance, that was during the Depression. They would throw coins at me. Burlesque is not sex, it’s making fun of sex. The lower class making fun of the higher class. Hinda Wassau, in 1928 Baltimore was dancing between the comics as a chorus line and her strap broke. The public went crazy so she did it again and she became a star. And that was strip tease. Erroll Flynn hit on me big time, I met his wife, she was a sweetheart, I just didn’t want to be with a married man. I had three husbands and they all left with a smile on their faces.
Go-go dancing started during Vietnam. I danced in Honolulu where the sailors came for a break. We kept the G string for them. I did Burlesque, then the business got nasty. I did belly dancing. I got my tattoos in Hawaii like the sailors. In the 80s I became a prostitute to get drugs, I did heroin for fifteen years. I came to Monterrey to a program, prostitution stopped when I stopped the drugs. I raised my two daughters and became a social worker in child protection services and later in a shelter for beaten women. I had a breast cancer the Burlesque community paid my bills. So far I am in remission.
I was working in the phone company I was so unhappy there. I did stripping for the money I didn’t “pass” for a white girl, unlike Latinas. If you said I was something else then they would accept looking at your “blackness”. I didn’t want to pretend. My blond wig was a rebellious act because I wasn’t supposed to be a blond. I was a “pioneer” I made a name for myself but never made any money. In Japan they treated me royally. In Washington, our capital, I couldn’t sit at the counter. I didn’t think I was going to make it to 40 I am 84. Now that’s a blessing.