Go Go Mcgregor, MC at one of the House of Blue shows, a late night and raunchier show than Harrah's, gave up a theatrical career because she didn't like being "stuck" in the theatre doing what others wanted her to do.
Backstage at Harrah's Casino, amongst piles of Glitter Bomb lotion, latex glue, thigh-high fishnets, hair extensions, wigs, lashes, sewing kits, crystal-encrusted panties, g-strings, and much more I spoke to some of the girls.
Audrey Ivory, a Canadian performer and makeup artist explained her passion for burlesque started with costumes and the makeup.
In the nearly 15 minute act, Gayle strips to the theme music from "Goldfinger" until she is shot dead by a trench coat-wearing spy. This very female-driven industry had provided the girls with family. Burlesque performers didn't need anything from their audience.
It was strength, femininity, vintage and nostalgia. The strippers were a "special group of women," said Missy Lisa. "History," said Go Go "is our mother" and "we're paying homage, not copying by adding to it and making burlesque grow." Mis Red taught the history in her burlesque classes.
The pencil-thin Go Go, a dead ringer for Daphne Guinness, complete with white streak in hair was sporting a stylish cane due to a dance injury. As 1930s star Betty Rowland told me, if you didn't go on there was always someone in the wings ready to take your place.
Go Go celebrated the fact that in burlesque she could "do it all." Though many of the girls didn't make a living entirely off burlesque, it was a "passion" and not "a hobby," said Mis Red Delicious, from New Zealand.
"To know where you're going," explained Delaup, "you've got to know where you've been." There was another special performance by Stephanie Blake, a woman who got into stripping decades before.
Blake gave a performance that garnered a well-deserved standing ovation. They continue to fight for the right to do with their bodies as they chose.
To her there was no difference between burlesque strippers and "strip club strippers," both used their beauty and their bodies. One performer joked dating a burlesque artist meant the man (or woman) would be living with "glitter up your ass A strong love of the retro appeals to those today.
Miss Miranda photographer nolapus Missy Lisa got into burlesque because she thought it would be "fun and sexy . Rick Delaup says he liked the "naughty, risqué element of it" and that was why he started producing shows.
"So often women are told that they aren't what they should be by society . This too I know, as a major collector of historical memorabilia.