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A picture taken by me to promote JCR
Jumbo’s Clown Room is a very special
place. One that allowed me to change my life. There have been times that I say, “That place changed my life.” But, that’s not true.
JCR simply gave me the opportunity to do so. So, what is Jumbo’s and why is it so special? This is going to be difficult to put into
words, however, I am going to do my best. It’s the type of place that you need to go to several times to really know what I’m talking about.
The first time I went to JCR, I was still stripping. It was a very different place than what I was used to. There were Rockabilly girls pole dancing but not like the girls I watched pole dance. They were really dancing and they were kind of bitchy. They made tons of tips on stage without taking their clothes off. In the strip clubs, we were all sort of sweet, wearing rhinestones and pink bikinis that always came completely off our bodies. But these girls all had black hair, black clothes, tattoos and were…. hard, bad ass, confident. This still didn’t make me want to be like them. Secretly, I thought I was better than them. This is mostly because I was insecure and an asshole.
A few years went by and I decided to quit stripping. It was a long time coming, something I wanted to do for about two years. But one night, I had a panic attack at the strip club and quit without a plan. For about a month, I lived off of savings while I tried to figure out what to do next. Then, like magic, I remembered that place I went to long ago, with the hardcore dancing girls. I called to find out when to audition, showed up, totally nervous, but got the job.
Me on stage at JCR
This was how I was going to still be
able to pole dance with out taking off my clothes or hustle lap dances. This was how I was going to be able to make money, still
have a flexible schedule while I planned my future. This was when my life began to change. I can’t lie though, on my drive to the bar
that night I almost talked myself into turning around and never showing my face there. My major concern was that it was going to be
like the other strip club jobs I had. Even though I knew our clothes stayed on, even though I knew there were no VIP rooms or rows of lap
dance booths. But I went in anyway, stayed the whole night and realized how different it really is.
The women there, for the most part, took me in right away. This does not happen in the strip clubs.
They talked to me, told me how to choose songs from the jukebox, how to wait for the girl to get off the stage before you walk on. They explained to me how to turn your ones in as you get them, how to
drink and still be able to pole dance. I ended up working there for about 6 years and this is why.
I had never felt so empowered in my life as I had dancing at Jumbo’s Clown Room. I’m not sure I even
knew what empowerment was. The dancers at JCR have to really dance, have to be creative in order to keep the audience involved. Here are some examples.
One of the girls, Paige, comes out on to the stage with a roll of saran wrap and wraps her body up, almost like a plastic dress. Then she balls up a dollar and shoves it in her mouth, wraps her head up with saran wrap, covering her face. Then she rips open a hole for her mouth and spits the dollar out into the audience!
OGs: Blue, Cricket and AM
Cricket comes out with a long black
ribbon and freestyles with it. She wraps it around the pole in a way that binds her hands over her head on the pole. At one point while on the floor, she
starts with her ankles tied, then wraps it around her wrists, flips over onto her stomach and is instantly hog tied.
Elle has these black gloves that have
red lasers coming out of her fingertips. She turns down the lights, sprays the room with smokey stuff ( I don’t really know what it is)
and dances with her laser light fingers creating a sexy, smokey, digital pole dance routine.
Misty has created some of the most amazing things on stage. She owns a costume store and has all kinds of things including an Iron Man costume, a Hulk Hogan costume complete with mustache and a robot costume. She dances like a robot the whole time when she is wearing that one. 🙂 But the all time
best thing ever that she has ever created is Midnight Mass! For Midnight Mass, we would all go on stage together. She dressed up in her Pope costume and wore sunglasses. We all dressed up as nuns or
naughty school girls. One of us (usually always me because I insisted) would head out on the stage with the collection plate. The collection plate was made out of a broom with some sort of bucket
duck taped to the end of it. We would all walk out in a line, kneel down next to each other and wait for the Pope to make his/her entrance.
The Pope had Ritz crackers that he would feed to us as he moved down the line. Of course, the Pope was very dirty, making us take the crackers in un-Catholic ways. After we all had communion, we stood up and started to take our clothes off, as if the body of Christ made us hysterical. This was all
danced to “Like a Prayer” by Madonna. We (I) passed around the collection plate, saying that their donations were for Jesus. There were about 8 of us on stage at once, dancing, laughing and collecting
money. These were some of the best moments of my life. If you asked me what I miss most about Jumbo’s Clown Room, I would tell you, it’s Midnight Mass.
JCR on the inside, maximum occupancy – 80

Every Christmas, because yes, JCR is open on Christmas, we recreated a nativity scene. There were
animals, three kings, Joseph and a pregnant Mary. Mary gives birth
on stage and we all dance around celebrating the birth of Jesus. The
“baby” was usually one of us under Mary’s dress.

On stage at JCR, I have been a mermaid, a snake charmer, an obese ballerina, a bull that charged and crashed into another bull and my favorite, acting like Russel Crowe from The Gladiator. The girls dared me to dance with a spiked ball on a chain and yell at the audience “Are you not entertained?! Is this not
what you came for?!” It was there I first stood on the ceiling, created Cooter Ball ( a game where customers shoot dollars into a small cup to win a prize ) and stuck dollars on my butt cheeks while
I shook them around. I was able to do what I love, make money and think of and create United Pole Artists. It was at Jumbo’s Clown Room that I dreamt of live streaming pole dancing, then just months
later met a customer who was an expert live streamer who inspired and motivated me. The list of celebrities that we have all met at JCR is long. Jude Law, Jacquine Pheonix, Billy Zane, Ke$ha, Chris Katan, Jim Carrey, Dita Von Teese and more. Remy from Motorhead was sort of a regular.  It’s also where I met and became friends with Ru Paul!  

It was at Jumbo’s where I worked through my roller coaster relationship with my now ex. We were
together for seven years. Those women were my support group. In fact, we were a support group for each other without even really knowing it. We laughed together and cried together. Sometimes we
fought, but we usually always made up. We celebrated birthdays together, created skits on stage together and got drunk together. We spent hours together crammed inside the tiniest dressing room, which was the size of an average bathroom. But somehow, we made that space work. The biggest reason I miss LA, is because I miss these women. I miss the fun we had together and watching them dance. We were all so different from each other and we loved each other. 
The dressing room
The customers became our friends
some times. People that we were excited to see, to talk to and to
drink with. The bartenders would make us cookies or share their food
with us. The bouncers are our buddies too who also doubled as a
barback. It’s like being a part of a family. A really big, messed up
family with owner, Karen Taylor, as our “Mom.” There is so much
more I could say or write about, so many people that mean so much to
me. This is the tip of the iceberg and there are somethings that I
just can’t elaborate on. 😉
My JCR tattoo
There are several of us that have
tattoos that represent JCR. At the end of 2013, four of us had the address numbers tattooed on us together on the reality show, Tattoo
After Dark. I wanted Jumbo’s to be with me forever. Being there changed my life. It was there I learned what empowerment was really
like. It was there I have some of my most treasured life memories. It is my most favorite place in California and my most favorite place
to dance in the whole world. Jumbo’s Clown Room is the best place on earth and I miss so many people from there every day.
If you are ever in Los Angeles, make your way to 5153 Hollywood Blvd. Bring your dollars, tip the girls, drink your ass off and sing along as the dancers rock your world all night long!

Blue, original picture

Ps.  UPA’s Girl is the silhouette of Blue, pictured here.  Blue was my first dearest friend at JCR and we still chat on Facebook every now and then.  She is now married, living in Colorado raising her two sons.  She supported me and worked with me during the inception of United Pole Artists.  Thank you to Blue, to all the people at Jumbo’s Clown Room, girls, employees and customers for always believing in me.  Thank you for being my friends, for making me laugh and giving me the such amazing experiences.  

UPA Logo since 2010

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