The history of this brown, sultry, senior:
To start, I was born in the United States (Newport, Rhode Island), an only child and spent my early school years with my African grandmother in Cape Town, Africa. I returned to the U.S. and lived with various family members from South Bend, Indiana to Memphis, Tennessee and ending in Chicago, Illinois. However, It was in Memphis, that I discovered and embraced the soulful vibes of the "Motown Sound" and the "Memphis Blues" and I would NOT trade this musical love that helped this only child through a lonely childhood!
One fateful evening, my family, along with many others in our community, quietly walked to downtown Memphis, Tennessee hoping to hear an inspirational and uplifting speech by Dr. Martin Luther King. Instead, we walked into the history-making, life-threatening aftermath of the shooting that resulted in Dr. King’s untimely death.
Shortly after King's death, I was moved from Memphis, Tennessee to Chicago, Illinois (to finally live with my biological mother whom I had never seen in all my years!). The Windy City is where I nurtured my passion for musical theater, Hollywood movie musicals, and Broadway productions. I performed in my first musical theater production at the age of 15 (Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum). At age 16, I had my first starring role as Maisie in a production of "The Boyfriend". After graduating from high school, I attended college (where I earned my AA degree in English Literature and Theater Arts), and during that same time, I trained in classical ballet (another childhood love) with principal dancers from the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and Ruth Page’s School of Ballet (and therefrom, pursued my childhood dream of performing in not 1, but 2 regional ballet companies). During a brief tenure in New York City, I trained in jazz and jazz movement from exceptional teachers who themselves were trained by and performed with the legendary, Bob Fosse!
Throughout my Chicago, Illinois and into Los Angeles, California years, I performed in numerous bus and truck tours of many musical theater productions (Cabaret, Chicago, La Vie Parisienne, Gilbert and Sullivan operas, music videos (loved the 80s!) and many made-for-TV-movies. In 1984, while performing as a “Chicago Blitz” Cheerleader with the Chicago Blitz USFL Football League, I was sponsored by a local dance company to enter and subsequently WON 4th Runner-up in the 1984 Miss Chicago Beauty Pageant (Part of the Miss America Pageant system)!
Immediately after the 1984 Miss Chicago Pageant, I auditioned for and was accepted as a Showgirl in the Ringling Bros/Barnum & Bailey Circus (Blue Unit), performing with the elephants, lions, tigers, bears and CLOWNS! It was then that I discovered another new found love, the art of single trapeze and contortion.
I eagerly learned these time-honored skills from Ringling legends, LaNorma Fox, Nellie Ivanov, and Bob Yierkis to which they encouraged me to develop my own solo acts (“Shadow, Aerial Exotica”) and contortion routine (“The Serpentine Feline”). It was while performing my solo acts that I performed in and became devoted to the performance spectacle affectionately called “Old Las Vegas”. This love gave me a wonderful life of over 25 years of performing in extravagant Las Vegas-produced musicals and circus-themed productions throughout the U.S. and Japan.
Now living in Sunny San Diego, I am a classy, vivacious, and joyful senior lady of unique style and grace with the “gift of gab,” and have won the revered title of America’s “Sultry Senior.” I am a seasoned entertainer and spokesperson who is directly involved with the costuming and cosplay communities that I love and which have been the foundations of my adventures into "senior-hood". I bring a wellspring of true-life experiences, emotional stories, anecdotes and "pearls of wisdom”, all of which have made me a delightfully inspiring and motivational true-to-life personality and speaker. My performances, lectures and demonstrations are informational, inspiring, humorous, insightful, and engaging. Men, women and youngsters alike are thoroughly entertained when they hear of my life with the historic Ringling Bros/Barnum & Bailey Circus and how that “Old World Circus” lifestyle and code of ethics can guide them in their everyday life. My lectures give attendees of all ages and diversities a smile and a fresh outlook on the topics that matter to their personal and social well-being. And, of course, I am a senior woman whose mission statement is:
"Be a LOUD and PROUD
I am also a 15+ year Victorian-era Enthusiast, well-versed in the Practice of of Corsetry Tight-Lacing and the Art of Waist-training (I proudly display my own 22" corseted figure). I am the creator of my own Instagram corset series: "The Corset Disciplinarian" as an educator and inspiration on topics related to this historical art form.