Satan's Angel Talks
Satan's Angel, The Devil's Own Mistress, a legend on the strip club circuit from 1964 to 1984. Like all the best dancers, she had a signature dance: She'd set fire to tassels on her breasts, butt cheeks, and navel ~ then she'd twirl faster and faster until her spinning created enough breeze to blow out the flames. It's an act that to this day, no one has repeated.
In a cozy exclusive talk she dishes with Gracie about life on stage & off...
Tell us about how you started your career:
My stilettos hit the stage around 1961. I had graduated from high school and was enrolling in San Francisco State College. And getting ready to graduate from the House of Charm (finishing school for young ladies). Plus I had gotten a very prestigious job, I was making 99 dollars every two weeks. I was having a hard time making ends meet.
One Friday afternoon, one of the other ladies from the office told me that there was a bunch of the office gals going out that night, and did I want to go? I asked her what was happening, and she told me they were going down on broadway in San Francisco's north beach, to see the very first amateur strip contest! And so with a stale pack of cigarettes, my fake id, and one of my mother's hand me down cocktail dress... I was off!
Sitting in the very first row, I watched each and every girl as they sauntered back and forth, dropping there dress to the thunderous round of applause. And then the winner! Her prize was a crisp one hundred dollar bill - I was thinking hmmmmm this was the kind of job they should have told us on career day at school! The very next night I was up on that stage! After a little practice the night before, I won!!! And from then I kept on winning till an owner of a night club signed me on full time... thus the beginning of my career as an exotic dancer.
What was life like on the road?
Exciting! Boring! Wonderful! Lonely! There are many many words that describes that kind of life...
For me? you have to be a special type of person to live on the road. Twenty weeks out of the year... no problem! But to spend every waking moment, year in and year out, till it totals over twenty years... is lonely!
You traveled alone, as there was usually no way for your man or woman to make a living, so they called them "your suitcase pimp!" (As they lived off of you.) Or maybe if you were a lesbian, you could travel as a package deal. But all in all, you usually traveled alone.
Other times I loved it so... seeing new places, people, and different countries. Watching the different cultures, eating their wonderful foods. Obviously I loved it, I did it all my life in the business. And when I got tired, I just went back home to Vegas, and got a stay at home job, making $350.00 dollars a week. Or cocktails at Caesar's Palace. Anything to stay put for a while.... besides, I missed spending the holidays with my mother and brothers. I can't even think back if I ever did... so lonely.
What was the best part of dancing?
Traveling (Europe, South America, and the Orient) and the money... five thousand dollars a week, driving expensive cars, wearing the finest clothing and jewelry, owning your own home and business before you were twenty-five years old, dating the hottest men or women. Keeping your body perfect by dancing (no 8 minute shows, try 25 minutes on stage at least). The feeling it gave me to know I was "one helluva dancer" all the special little perks this nice catholic school girl from San Francisco thought she wanted.
And then there were the fab clubs, cabarets, 28 piece orchestras, flowers in your dressing room, big baskets of fruit, five star hotels, your fat paycheck...
What was the worst part?
Arriving late at night, no restaurants open, hungry, tired, and cold, cause the heat didn't work! No transportation, town so little there is no cab for hundreds of miles. Fighting off the owner of the club because he wants your body. The other girls were usually cold and unfriendly, and the customers only wanted to sleep with you! Bad stages, bad clubs, bad musicians, bad lighting, bad dressing rooms, if you were lucky to have one. Getting off of work very late at night, and the whole town looked like it had been invaded by mars... totally shut down. Still hungry, as you drag your tired body back to your crummy room, that you wouldn't let your worst enemies dawg sleep in... as the tears well up in your eyes... as you drifted off to sleep.... thinking of what the next town might bring.
Did you have any children?
By choice I had no children. And these were some of the reasons why...
I was beaten, molested and raped when I was a child, by my stepfathers uncle... Later i was raped twice more! I was a lesbian, and out by fourteen years old. I think this really upset the men, and they took there anger/hate out on me. And in the fifties there was "no professional help" for men and women of that time. Between my strict Catholic up bringing, and the above... I was afraid to have children... how would i treat them? would my marred life hurt my little babies?
...well, I was never to find out! I had decided not to have children, and besides I just couldn't see my self staying at home and listening to screaming babies and changing "shitty" diapers. Well that's how I thought in the early sixties. Give up traveling around the world? I think not! I'll leave it to my brothers to make grand children! Yes, as I got older, I like any woman wanted to have children, but I chose not to.
When/why did you stop dancing?
Around the summer of 1985 I was booked on the theater circuit. I started in New Jersey, where my co-feature was a porn flick! Vanessa del Rio doing the nasties with a midget, and I'm not saying what he did with his little arms either! ...I was outta there!
Next to Pennsylvania, worked with a co-feature who was a... *ahem* insertion dancer, named Tootsie Pop... not gonna tell tell ya what and where she put those suckers, and then gave it to the customers either!
Then off to New York city, where my co-feature walked out on stage, dropped her velvet cape and was butt nekked! Now i have nothing against nudity, but this lady... well, she had two little draw string purses with her, one on each wrist. One was for the money and one was for her vagina wipes! As she proudly walked down to the end of the runway, sat down, laid back, spread her legs, and gave each man in the audience a lick for a dollar! Well now... how am I going to follow this act, with my little toody good shoes tassel twirling??? So I went to the owner of the theater and told him I could not, and would not, follow this act! He told me if I didn't I was fired, and would never work the circuit again... he would black ball me. I stood up, told him he didn't have to worry about blackballing me as I quit!!!!!! And I walked out of that theatre, never to grace a stage again for close to 18 years!!
What are your thoughts on burlesque? Dancers today? You can dish here!
Even though I was entering a business that was dying, there was still plenty of work. The biggest reason I got into the business, as I said before, was the money. There were really few opportunities for women in those days; teacher, secretary, stewardess or housewife. In my experience I was always treated like a star, what I did was appreciated, there was still class and style associated with an exotic dancer. But unfortunately the art form that was created so many years ago, by those women who knew how to use a mans imagination, who knew what the tease was all about, have fallen into oblivion. And one of the reasons is because there is no money in it!
When I was dancing a patron wouldn't think about touching one of the dancers, that is, unless they wanted to draw back a bloody stub. The way the ladies moved, the sensuality of her movements (the tease), was what the audience came to see, not how fast they could get nekked and start gyrating over some guys lap! Or swinging upside down on some pole! We usually saved that sort of style for the gymnast/aerobic type entertainer. We conducted ourselves as ladies and were treated as such. I guess that is why there is such a stigma about dancers today, some of them act disgusting, so that's how they are treated. I told you, I'm old fashioned, and I'm not really the one to ask when it comes to these types of questions.
I will have to say though that the girls of neo-burlesque, some at least, are trying to put that back into the dance, the art, the tease. I do wish some of them would evolve a little further, remember I worked into the 80's. On the other hand some of the acts that I have seen just aren't burlesque. Some just take an act that would be used at the gentlemen's club and dressed it up and not always in the best outfits... I said some *smiles*
Seeing a beautiful woman come out on stage dressed as a man, to the music of the Brady Bunch, she strips, fondles her black dildo, and squirts the liquid she has inside of it all over the audience, doesn't make my weenie hard... Now a lone spotlight on a beautiful woman on stage as she sits on a pile of plush satiny and fur pillows, rubbing her body with hot body oil, slowly to the beat of the music, nude bet never really showing her flower, as the soft seductive jazz music plays on... does!
For me being an exotic dancer means just that ... that somewhere along the line the thoughts that run thru the audiences mind is one of excitement, mystery and seduction. It's about the art of the journey, not the destination.
Please try to describe how you define your dance in terms of style, art the times...
I used to laugh when I was young and up on the stage... I thought "my God, we have more class up here, then we do off the stage!" We were some wild and crazy ladies in that era. Make love, not war; hippies burning the bra; trying to go topless legally... those were unbelievable times!
I went to charm school and there I was taught, ballet, improvisational jazz, tap, and fencing among other things. and I put all of that into my act one way or another. Plus my mother worked three jobs when I was growing up, and so we had a housekeeper, Big Annie, she was black, a wonderful beautiful human being, with a fabulous heart. She had two daughters, they taught me soul rhythm, and how to dance. and so my music is mainly something with soul, rhythm, shimmies and wiggles. I guess you could say I'm a bump and grinder! haha I like to dance to down white and dirty bluesy music. I'm a mover and a shaker; a yeller and a vibrator. I flip my head around, I scream, I'm shimmying, I never stop. My music is always up up uppppp!!!! I dance the old style of burlesque... which few nowadays have seen. That's why when I perform. I try to show them that...
Would you be a dancer today?
Yes and no...
Well one, I'm to damned old, but if I was still young... maybe. You can't make a living in todays world as an exotic dancer. Hell i don't know! The only way to make it really, is keep your day job, and go to college! it's just that I love dancing so much, that it's hard to give a straight answer.
When did you realize you were attracted to women?
When I was a little grasshopper. I always knew I was lesbian, but life and peer pressure made it very hard to be gay. But I was a ballsy broad - you think I cared if nobody liked it? Hell no!
And I was brazen and very open about it. To the point where I lost many a job because I was a lesbian... hurt me financially too! But I would picket the clubs, talk to the press, bad rap them (clubs) when I was on the road... I did everything in my power to try and change their point of view. I figured, hey I did my job, my personal life was my own. I helped to pave the way for the gltb world. And you want to know something ironic? I have been in a bazillion magazines.... but I have yet to be in a gay one! Sure, I write them emails and letters, saying why not interview me, and I have never ever received a response yet!
I remember one of the first times, a club, that I had worked many times, had me back again. Only this time I traveled with my butch lover! Opening night the club owner was heard saying how unusual it was for me to travel with someone, and one of the dancers said to him, "not just someone, that's her lesbian lover!" Of course, I was promptly escorted out on my ass - in the middle of the street, throwing my wardrobe at me and calling me terrible names, like "you fucking dyke don't ever come back" etc... but I didn't care, there was plenty of clubs to work in! And then some clubs were wonderful... loved you for you! But they were far and few between. I have worked with female/male impersonators, female/male impressionist, transgenders, and total male and female sex changes. Of course the clubs never knew...
My family didn't care either. My mother always wanted me to have the big wedding in white, a wealthy husband and a house full of kids... but she loved me and took me as I was. She was and still is "always" there for me. Yes, I'm still gay, and basically I'm a newly wed. I will be celebrating my six year anniversary with my wife, Vic.
Lastly I want to say to all of you:
No matter where your heart lies, or what sex you prefer, you only make this trip on this earth one time... so do what you want! Because if you don't, the what ifs and the what might have beens will haunt you for the rest of your life! be happy!
Currently, Satan's Angel is touring in a play about her life called "Have Tassels Will Travel." She also has her own boudoir here at Sex-Kitten.net, as well as moderates the Exotic Legends list, and her own yahoo group, SATANS_ANGEL_The_Devils_own_Mistress.
To find out more, as well as buy personally signed photos of Satan's Angel, visit her website!