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What Now?

Yesterday I posted an update on what I’ve been up to writing and publishing wise these past few months while I’ve been quiet on the blog front. With the publishing of Bedouin Boy on Halloween and Grave Bargains on Friday the 13th of November, my publishing goals for the year have wrapped up, but its full steam ahead when it comes to writing.

I’ve now switched my attention to writing the first draft of my new work-in-progress, a sequel to my first book The Wilted Rose. In October 2021 I will be celebrating ten years since publishing the first edition of The Wilted Rose, so it will be very fitting to release the sequel next year. I am aiming to do this around March, but no date has been set yet. For now I am taking the foot off the pedal, and am going to enjoy working on this story at a leisurely pace over the holiday season. I’m using NaNoWriMo this year to get a head start.

The below image captures the early stages of the prequel planning process, unfolding last Sunday afternoon on my mum’s front porch in Brisbane, Australia. Creativity fuelled by wine, cheese and crackers. I have since written an overall story outline, and a scene outline. Just yesterday I finally started on the writing process. Here goes!

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An Exotic History in Australia

American touring ensembles were responsible for bringing vaudeville-style theatre Down Under, and the popularity of Shakespearean plays and opera performances increased.

The gold rushes of the 1850s brought a growth in population to Australia, and there was a growing demand for entertainment. However due to the disruptions of World War 1, the first decade of the 20th century saw fewer actors and travelling troupes being imported to Australia, and shows relied on local performers to fill the void.

On a nationwide tour in 1937, a Chicago-based revue called The Marcus Show featured ‘bare-breasted showgirls’, and by 1938 bare breasts were a staple feature in virtually every revue at Tivoli Theatres. By the mid 1940s, artistic nudity was regularly presented to audiences of variety theatres in Australia’s capital cities. Female performers draped the top half of their bodies in sheer fabric that left little to the imagination. As part of the British Commonwealth, Australia’s isolation was not out of reach of beaurocratic morality, and just like the Minsky and Windmill girls, topless performers had to remain stock-still during their time on the stage.

Producers George Wallace Junior and Laurie Smith collaborated to open a change-weekly variety show in Brisbane, Queensland, at the tiny Guild Theatre in Adelaide Street, before transferring to the Theatre Royal in Elizabeth Street. The two men were faced with competition from Will Mahoney’s vaudeville on the south bank of the Brisbane River.

Wallace and Smith’s revue comprised of an all-male, ex-army performance company called the Kangaroos. After a few weeks of business, attendance began to decline at an alarming rate, and so a ballet was added to the line-up of acts, followed later by showgirls.

The new Royal Showgirls performed on stage wearing bikinis, mini-skirts and shorts, baring midriffs, arms and legs. These girls were the saving grace of the show.

On October 1954, entrepreneur Harry Wren brought Gypsy Rose-Lee to Australia. Several showgirls from Sydney joined the famous stripper on stage. Unlike the international star, the Sydney girls appeared on stage already nude. Harry Wren enlivened his vaudeville shows with vivacious and beautiful chorus girls, and a few discreetly placed nude models.

Advertisements in the press boasted “Australia’s Most Beautiful Blondes! Brunettes! Redheads! FABULOUS-GORGEOUS-NUDES!” Exotic displays featured striptease, fan dance and bathing shows, influenced by the cultures of the Middle East, Paris and Brazil.

One notable performer used the name ‘Vanessa the Undresser’. Another young woman’s bubble bath act at the 1956 Melbourne Show attracted some unwanted attention from authorities.

In 1959, police action was taken against Wren’s advertising, which contained near-nude showgirls in the unrestricted public view of the foyer of Adelaide’s Theatre Royal. The objection was not that there were nudes in the show, but that the photographs of near-nudity were visible from the street.

Erotic performances drew audiences in theatre restaurants in Melbourne and in the nightclubs of Kings Cross in Sydney, where choreographers carried on the Tivoli traditions of showgirl revues. Glamorous dance routines were standard in Sydney’s nightspots during the 1960s, such as Sammy Lee’s Latin Quarter, the Pigalle, Pink Pussycat and Pink Panther clubs.

The late 1960s was a boom time for nightlife in Sydney’s Kings Cross, when the Vietnam War brought many American servicemen to Sydney on R&R. Most of the work available for professional dancers was in go-go bars, and in Australia’s conservatism past, many performers wished to hide their alternative identity from their families and communities.

In the late sixties and early seventies, Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley was the equivalent of Sydney’s Kings Cross, harbouring illegal gambling, underground strip clubs and prostitution, all of which existed because of police corruption that was finally uncovered by the Fitzgerald Inquiry, leading to the collapse of the Bjelke-Petersen government.

In the 1960s and 70s societies all around the world were undergoing a sexual revolution, and saw a steep rise in the number of strip clubs being established. Despite public protest, strict city regulations, frequent raids and shut downs, the institution survived. During the 1970s and 80s, almost all strip clubs featured poles on stage to accommodate dancing.

The late 1990s saw the birth of pole fitness as an exercise practice, as well as the first instructional DVDs along with the creation of competitive pole dancing.

From the Far East to the West, from ancient ritual to modern-day table dancing, striptease continues to enchant audiences around the world, providing a pathway to financial independence.

Sexy Womanh hold hands and fingers on legs in fishnet stocking posing

Pre-order Paid To Dance: Asha’s Story Part Two TODAY!

US: https://amzn.to/2MstBPb

UK: https://amzn.to/2KpEKQ9

CANADA: https://amzn.to/2tKXna6

AUS: https://amzn.to/2yODFAb

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Stripping in the age of the Me Too movement

New book gives insight into the stripping industry in Australia

Sexy Womanh hold hands and fingers on legs in fishnet stocking posing

At a time when women’s rights are being highlighted daily in the media, Paid To Dance: Asha’s Story Part Two offers a comprehensive insight into the stripping industry, allowing readers to make up their own minds about whether it is liberating or degrading to women, and the relevance of stripping in modern-day society.

The book is a fictionalized account of one young woman’s real experiences working in gentlemen’s clubs in Brisbane and Melbourne, and will launch worldwide on Amazon in paperback and Kindle eBook on July 20th. Click HERE to pre-order your copy!

The book is the third and final installment in the Paid To Dance series, which explores exotic entertainment from its origins to its modern day evolution.

Three years after daringly stepping into the world of stripping, Asha Graham has left The Runway, the club that made her an exotic dancer, to make a fresh start at rival venue Mademoiselle’s. Here she is faced with a whole new set of challenges, including an interstate adventure to Melbourne’s glamorous strip club scene. Asha’s personal and professional lives collide in unexpected ways, in the lead-up to the grand finale of her stripping adventure.

Paid To Dance: Asha’s Story Part Two is a creative nonfiction book aimed at women aged 18-35.

Signed paperback copies are also available for delivery Australia wide. You can request your copy by contacting me the CONTACT page.

You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Paid To Dance: Asha’s Story Part Two is published by CreateSpace

ISBN: 978-1987542233

Published: 20/07/2018

Available online at www.amazon.com