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Funny Feminists!? Frontiers: Not Your Typical Las Vegas Showgirl

A SYCYTB entry

Emily Lauren – a certified student, historian and practitioner of the theatrical arts – thinks she is one of the shortest showgirls in Las Vegas. As a self-styled “Female Comedienne,” she wears fabulous costumes, drops sexual innuendos, throws fake food, and hosts variety shows on neo-vaudeville stages from Kansas City to California. On occasion, she will dress up as Sugar Puppy the cocker spaniel and sing Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Oh, and it’s a satire. Sometimes.

She is also my big sister.

“What Emily does” has been hard to explain ever since she called home to tell my parents she was packing up her Kansas City apartment and and joining the circus. As one of the first women in our family to graduate from college, relatives were taken aback: she was going to make a living, right? She wore what? Was she serious? How long could this last?

Nine years later, it turns out she wasn’t serious, she was funny. Seriously funny (ha ha). Listening to Emily explain what she’s trying to do – play with assumptions, poke at social standards, speak in her own voice, break into an art form dominated by outdated tradition – I have to laugh. I stopped following in her footsteps long before the Clown School application deadline passed, but this sure sounded familiar. As a Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies major; I, too, learned ...

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