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I was born in San Francisco and raised by a single parent in a loosely organized hippie commune of vegetarian drug dealers. My mom worked at the famous Trident restaurant in Sausalito, and although she loved me, she was checked out—I raised myself for the most part. In addition to selling (and doing copious amounts of) cocaine, the house patriarch trained standard poodles, showing them at stuffy dog shows while gaked out. At the tender age of eleven, I already knew life was a sham.
I started working at ten, first cleaning offices, then touring the carnival and craft fair circuit selling crystals and pewter figurines. I moved out of the house just before my sixteenth birthday. I took the California High School Proficiency Exam and stopped going to high school in order to quit my night job and work full-time. My abusive childhood caught up with me emotionally, I started cutting and starving myself. Seven months after I had moved out, I was locked in a mental institution in East Oakland for general teenage angst, self-loathing, and suicidal tendencies. In an effort to get out, I entered and graduated from a thirty-day adult rehab. I remained clean and sober for twelve years. I eventually went back to school. Through hard work and many simultaneous jobs, I earned my Bachelor of Arts at San Francisco State University in 1994, intending on law school.
Two years before graduation, I started stripping. I had money for the first time in my life; it was incredible. I always say: money isn't happiness, but it sure the fuck is freedom. I worked at Mitchell Brothers O'Farrell Theatre, the city’s premier strip club for nine years, where I was surrounded by other creative, intelligent, open-minded women like myself. Law school never happened. Like most strippers, I figured I'd dance for a short time as a means to pay for school, save a little dough and have some fun...I never thought I would do it for twenty-two years, but it afforded me incredible freedom, world travel and the purchase of two homes before the age of thirty. Theory sex industry continues to pay my bills, over thirty years later.
I moved to Los Angeles in 2001. While attending UCLA’s Recording Engineering program, I worked at Sound City Recording Studios while stripping part-time at a club by LAX. Although I loved studio life and recording music, the exhaustive hours and singular lifestyle wasn’t for me; I was back to the proverbial drawing board. In 2004, one of my co-workers asked if I would take photos of her. I absolutely loved it. Not only was it fun and creative, I discovered that I had an eye for it. Watching women dance on stage all those years has given me a unique understanding of the female form, including angles and light.
I've always loved writing—even though I’m terribly dyslexic. I had considered writing a memoir years before I started it (mostly at the behest of others), including a few attempts at the opening, but it didn’t gel. Then one day, I had the idea to bring my Composition Book to the club so I could write while it was slow; it spilled out of me. My manager wasn’t quite as thrilled, but he loved me so he let it slide. The entire memoir was written pen to paper, later transferred to my computer. I continue to write this way, four books later. My first memoir, Anything But a Wasted Life, was written mostly in strip clubs as well as local watering holes around Los Angeles.
During my tenure as a stripper, I also hooked when the price was right and I was single. I stopped dancing in December 2013. I still write in bars (I miss writing in the club), take photos of incredible women, and maintain a marriage-like relationship with my longtime trick, “The Texan”.
Anything But a Wasted Life was published by HarperCollins in 2018. All rights reverted back to me this summer. I’m self-publishing an updated edit with new cover art, plus, an audiobook I recorded this spring!
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