A&E

Confessions of a Showgirl: The secret lives of showgirls

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Maren Wade

Some people might think that showgirls are all about the glitz and glamour, and we are. But there’s much more to a showgirl than meets the eye. Not only can she dance, sing and get shot out of cannons (that last part might not happen as often anymore), they also moonlight as Realtors, entrepreneurs and even nurses.

By the way, is it moonlighting if it takes place during the day?

Take the sassy Adria Lawrence, for example. By night, she lets her hair down and rocks out in Raiding the Rock Vault. By day, she lets her hair down again, but this time with some sensible six-inch pumps as a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, raking in the listings and showing properties to buyers. She’s dedicated to her clients 24/7. Even during quick changes in her show, she’s still answering their phone calls.

Adria might be wearing only one shoe or half a bra, but that phone will be glued to her ear negotiating deals. “Hi, Mr. Jones, we received an offer on your home and the buyer wants you to contribute to the closing costs. I already spoke with their lender and if they finance their closing costs into their interest rate, your net will remain the same while costing them no more than a Starbucks a day for the buyer. So, do we have a deal? Alright, now where are my sunglasses and trench coat for the “Breakfast in America” dance number? Oh, no, that last part wasn’t about your offer, Mr. Jones, sorry.”

You might know Mariah Rivera as one of the sexiest showgirls of Fantasy. What you might not know is that she’s also a professional stunt driver. Okay, I have a confession to make. She’s not really a stunt driver—but she could be with her talent for quick-changing in her car as she travels to her many professions.

Mariah is also an entrepreneur, managing two businesses by day while performing at night. She founded the photography company PM Images with her husband, Patrick Rivera. You’ve seen their work on several billboards for shows in town. (If you haven’t had a photo shoot with them yet, then you might not really be a showgirl.) It’s not unusual for Mariah to be taking client meetings in the morning, then quick-changing in the car into a showgirl costume for a Vegas.buzz interview with Donny Osmond, then quick-changing again into something a little more “comfortable” to perform at Fantasy.

Mariah also studied accounting and marketing at UNLV and has her own social media marketing firm that services many entertainers in town. Which reminds me, I need to enlist the help of her services since I still haven’t found my Facebook stalker yet.

Then there’s Amy Toliver, who can twirl a baton like no one I’ve ever seen. A captivating dancer, with her golden locks and infectious smile, it’s no wonder why she’s performed in countless shows across the Strip. But while she’s busy juggling batons and dance roles, she’s also busy saving lives as a critical care cardiac nurse.

Yes, you read that correctly. She started off commuting back and forth from Vegas to Phoenix for nursing school for a full two years! Instead of quick-changing into her showgirl costume, she was quick-changing out of it and into a pair of scrubs. (Mind you, I don’t see why she couldn’t have just found one of those sexy nurse outfits, and wore that for both jobs.) But anyway, she’d get off from her show in Vegas at midnight and drive back to Arizona in time for her 7 a.m. class. It makes me realize I could be doing a whole lot more with my day. She’s also changed the entire culture of the medical personnel with her dance principles.

After explaining to her coworkers how dance keeps you sane, she’s inspired the hospital staff to follow her lead. They’re now eating healthier, exercising and doing Zumba! Nothing like a showgirl to add sunshine wherever she goes!

Anyway, my point is, showgirls are doing much more than quick changes during their, well, quick changes. They’re actually running the world. But that’s not news. I mean, even Ginger Rogers, one of the most famous showgirls of all time, “did everything that Fred Astaire did … backwards and in high heels,” according to Robert Thaves.

Follow Maren on Twitter @marenwade and read more Confessions at confessionsofashowgirl.com.

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