ep 063 What went on in the Dressing Rooms?

Showgirls Life podcast former Las Vegas showgirl Athena in purple showgirl headdress

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Today I present to you a solo episode that touches on a very important topic in the Showgirl’s Life—community. Though we have shared some hilarious backstage stories in previous episodes, there was magic happening at a deeper level. This is how a dressing room community is built. I am sharing my views on what it was like in the dressing rooms and the beautiful relationships that developed from those naked times. 

Welcome to Showgirl’s Life podcast, the show that takes you back in time to the glory days of Showgirl production shows with interviews of former cast and crew members of some of the most spectacular shows in history. I’m your host, Athena, mother of two amazing girls, lover of Phelyx, designer, healer, uplifter, amplifier and former principal dancer in Jubilee!

Hey there! Coming at you this week with a solo episode. Long story short, I overbooked and under-planned this quarter’s shows. Lots going on behind the scenes here at Showgirls Life so I am taking it easy and moving forward slowly.

I have a special announcement coming up soon so I thought it might be a fine time to share about one of the things that I loved about being a Showgirl that really doesn’t get shared often.

I loved the community. Or rather the sisterhood.

A number of my guests on the show have shared about it, but it doesn’t really get shared to the mainstream. Probably why people believe that the movie Showgirls is a true to life portrayal of her, but don’t get me started about that. That’s an episode for another time.

When you spend enough time with people, stark naked in a dressing room, night after night, you start to develop bonds with them. I believe it was because of the vulnerability of such a state, as well as the adrenaline that pumped through our veins from being onstage. WE were in a most susceptible state and really had no choice but to make friends or enemies. It was more of the former, though there were some people I avoided just to avoid drama backstage.

As I grow older, I am struck by how lucky we were to be in such close quarters and be cultivating friendships. It’s hard to meet people in this world!! Unless you meet at work or a social event, your circle stays quite small most of the time. Even with the advent of the “social medias” I have a feeling that people feel more isolated and friendless than ever!!

It has been difficult for me to make friends since leaving the show. People are flaky, insecure, have so much shit going on in their lives, or just plain afraid to connect on a level. I have a handful, and they know who they are.

Actually, truth be told, I have had a hard time connecting with people all my life. I’m too intimidating or something. Sigh.

But I push through and invite more to my circle every week.

That’s the beauty of females, or feminine energy. There can be a beautiful synergy of energies within a group of friends that inspires upliftment, courage and curiosity. Similarly to what we experienced backstage.

I am reminded of a time when I was a Bluebell. It was a really short time, but I made friends with a few of the girls in those short months. When I was to be married just a few months into that contract, I was hit with the realization that I had no “friends” to plan my bachelorette night. I came to work teary and sad that I had not cultivated enough connections in my new job.

I shared this with a couple of the girls and before I knew it, they had rallied together to throw me a bachelorette party and take me out on the town.

Nothing like being hauled up onto a stripper stage at Olympic Gardens, donning a cheap bridal veil and receiving a lap dance by a studly and probably gay man, and having your hand positioned for you to fondle some stranger’s delicate bits with only a g string between you. I don’t remember much from that night, except the embarrassing moment of my hand between his legs.

That night brought us closer together and we enjoyed more salacious nights painting the town post shows.

Of course, it wasn’t just about partying and debauchery after show time.

Real friendships and care were developed through the years. It wasn’t unusual to walk past intimate (not so secret in the short nude room,) conversations about sexcapades and weird bodily growths, cycle issues or relationship dramas or cries for help.

Every birthday was celebrated with an enormous potluck in between shows, line by line. Then we would all commiserate together the second show, groaning and complaining of our full stomachs and having to squeeze into g strings, look and feel sexy, and execute the choreography.

Those were the good old days. Many of the girls were quite the Martha Stewart’s and shared some delicious recipes to continue potluck traditions.

Then there were the not so great times. The times when we would be called to witness and hold each other. There were family deaths, endings of relationships, divorces, betrayals, and of course just those bad days.

We were there for each other. We would make sure each were seen and held. It just naturally happened.

To have that sort of connection and trust in a community is so rare these days. How does one find a community they can thrive in and feel like they fit in? Those have been questions on my mind since I hung up my dancing shoes and entered the world of 9-5 corporate.

As I said earlier, it hasn’t been easy to make friends. Leaving Las Vegas and the convenience of being able to easily state that I am a Showgirl has been difficult. I kept it under wraps for years.

And when I felt close enough to share, I was surprised by the responses. People thought it was awesome and they wanted to know more! I had thought, heading back to the formerly red state of Colorado would yield snubbery and shaming. But no, Denver started to become a very progressive little city and I finally felt safe enough to begin the Showgirls Life journey.

And that’s the answer isn’t it, safety and trust. Feeling safe to fully self express, to feel trust that being yourself, no matter if you were once a topless dancer, wouldn’t cause isolation or alienation.

I miss those girls and those conversations. Especially since we would just pick up where we left off when we returned to the dressing room after the previous number. There were some wild stories! And they were presented by the most dramatic people on the planet. It was hilarious and life-giving to be part of those sisterhoods.

So what sisterhood do I belong to now, you ask?

I joined a membership about a year ago. I read a book called Do Less by Kate Northrup. In it, she deconstructed the hustle culture and the patriarchy and outlined how women are supposed to work with their cycles. That our cycles are 29 ish days versus the 24 hour cycle that men are on. Did you ever wonder why we are fixed on this 24 hour cycle? ANd why women experience burnout 15% more than men? Well, it’s because out bodies weren’t meant to work on that cycle. We require rest and fallow periods to rejuvenate. I think all beings do, but women are especially susceptible to burnout due to the hustle culture this country is so addicted to.

After a year and a half of following this woman and learning more about her offerings, I took the plunge to join her community. She openly states that it is a diverse community of females, or female-identifying entrepreneurs that are interested in removing the patriarchy from business and leading their lives and business with feminine principles. It was just what I had asked the universe for when I returned from Paris in 2019.

But I didn’t just jump right in and share much about me. I stood in the wings, waiting to connect. I observed the love and support that the women gave and received within the group and the support I felt from Kate and her team. She had created a safe space for women to be women. It has been so inspiring to be part of.

About 8 months in, I began to open up and make connections. I am slow to make friends, remember? I have a handful of friends that I feel I can call on when the days get rough and I feel like melting into a puddle of green slime on the floor. I just had a day like that a couple days ago. It was nice to know I have connections that could lift me up when I am down. The members are all all mostly entrepreneurs and all amazing and brilliant women with incredible knowledge, skills and talent.

I became so proud to be part of the community that I decided to become an affiliate. I have experienced such a tremendous shift in the way that I work and the amount of time I have available for my family and the things that matter most to me. I believe her teachings and the community is for more than entrepreneurial beings, but for women that want to take their power back and reinvent the way they work.

Which is why I decided to share these stories with you today. To let you know how important community has become in my life and how I am committed to cultivating more relationships with depth, intention and curiosity.

I don’t think the performers in the shows will ever experience the kinds of connections that we did all those years ago in those dressing rooms, but we have the power to cultivate them if we want to. And I hope this is another movement that spreads like wildfire and allows more connection and love to spread across this planet.

If you’d like to find out more about this incredible membership, I am adding the link to a special workshop in the show notes. Kate Northrup and Team Origin will be leading a workshop about focus in the coming weeks. The Productivity Myth: 3 Easy Tactics to Focus On The Right Things and Get Better Business Results Without Burning Out

* Wednesday, October 13th, 2pm ET
* Wednesday, October 13th, 4pm ET
* Thursday, October 14th, 9am ET
Three times available to attend. It’s a free workshop and all of the tactics shared can be applied to home life or whatever you want to focus your precious time and energy on. At least that has been my experience since joining.

I look forward to seeing you at the workshops. Send me a message if you plan to attend any of them or share it with others. The more women that are taking back their power in this world, the faster healing will take place.

Thank you so much for joining me today. I have an incredible interview with Pete Menefee to share later this month. We talk all about you guessed it, Showgirl costumes!! My favorite subject!!

Until next time! Bye!

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