Dawn Green Interview
(Mgr. of Diamond Dolls)
You've seen the dancers at Diamond Dolls; but have you ever wondered what
it's like to manage such an establishment?
Dawn Green knows.
She's the manager of Diamond Dolls.
We talked with her recently about her job and the business of Exotic Dancing
Q. Dawn, Syracuse is at an interesting point now. Many businesses have
closed down, and people have moved out. Yet, for some strange reason,
we're seeing more Adult Entertainment Clubs opening. What's going on here?
Are people just discovering nude dancing in Syracuse?
A. I don't think so. I think Syracuse is very happy with what they've
got, but, now they're coming up with quality. We, here at Diamond Dolls,
wrap the neighborhood bar, restaurant, with adult entertainment all
into one, and I think more clubs are beginning to do that, across the country.
When you have everything, people don't have to leave. If you have an atmosphere
that's friendly; so many of the strip clubs I've worked in have just been
strip clubs. The girls just danced. You just make money. You don't learn
the guys’ names. You don't know who they are. I think a lot of the
businesses are going towards that, a more personal approach. Knowing people
personally. You're not just another face. Everybody knows everybody. Syracuse
went from a swing of a few topless clubs to nude clubs. Having managed
a nude club in Syracuse, I think Syracuse is beginning to swing back.
The fascination is lost.
Q. With totally nude dancers?
A. Yes. You've seen it. You see the same people. I think men in general,
like to use their imagination a little bit more.
Q. I'm sure you have your regulars here at Diamond Dolls. But, really,
what keeps people coming back for more? It's my idea, that the guys think
the dancers will one day become their girlfriends.
A. They do, and that's what keeps us in business. As long as that fantasy
is there, that' what keep us in business. When they first walk through the
door that's maybe what they come in for. But, here, between my waitresses,
my barmaids, d.j.'s, everybody's very friendly. We want people to come
back. You know, you're nice to people, and you know something about them,
and you can sit down and converse with them, they'll come back. I like the
idea of having people come in that I know. How was your day? How are your
kids? That's what ultimately brings people back. Yeah, there's a new
girl this week, and a new girl next week and we all have our fantasies,
and she may be back, and I might have a chance, but, they come back ultimately
to see everybody.
Q. Diamond Dolls is not a bottomless bar. It's a topless bar. Why topless?
A. Alcohol. You cannot serve alcohol in a bottomless bar. It's against
New York State Law.
Q. What's the reasoning behind that? Is there a fear that if a guy has
a few drinks and sees a nude woman on stage, hell get rowdy?
A. Possibly. I don't know what New York State's reasoning was. Nude clubs
don't run under the Liquor Authority. They run under Entertainment Licenses.
Technically, they're not called Strip Clubs or Strip Bars, they're Show
Clubs. Different titles fall under different laws. I don't have a problem
with the underage here. Everybody's 21. My customers are 21 and over. That's
one of the problems with a Nude Club. You get a lot of the younger crowd.
Let's face it; I make more money than a Nude Club, because I sell alcohol.
Bottom line. To trade off the alcohol for a nude club, just isn't worth
Q. Are the bottomless clubs competition for you in any way?
Q. So, besides the liquor, what are you offering that the bottomless clubs
are not offering? I see that you have a full service kitchen.
A. Yeah. You get to eat. We offer the alcohol. The girls don't make most
of their money onstage. So, when they do come offstage, they mingle with
the customers. The nude clubs I've worked in, you make your money onstage,
and you don't necessarily have to sit down and talk to anybody. You don't
get to know anybody. There isn't the personal contact, of saying 'Hello,
how are you doing? How are the kids? How was your vacation last week?' The
customer that come into this establishment first come in for the women.
Then, they might come in for the food and beer. But, they want the conversation.
They want to know if somebody's here. They just want to talk.
Q. They're lonely, then.
A. Lonely and looking for entertainment. But, you make friends.
Q. And it probably makes your job easier to have the regulars come back.
A. Yeah. Most of the people start out at one time, but they come back.
Q. What's your background? You were a dancer at Looker's?
Q. Looker's is topless and bottomless?
Q. How long did you dance there?
A. Four months. I went from a waitress to a dancer to a secretary to management.
So, I didn't start out as a dancer. I had danced before.
Q. Before you were a waitress?
A. Yes. Never bottomless. I had danced topless.
Q. In Syracuse?
Q. Why did you want to get into management? Was it your idea?
A. It was my idea. I pushed for it. I was getting older. I wanted to build
other skills. I wanted to work on the other end of this. I wanted to learn
the business from the other side. After 6 years of dancing, I knew that.
I can sympathize with the girls. I know what they go through. I know where
they stand. Now, I wanted to learn the other side; to grow as a person,
and have the experience.
Q. So, what's involved in your job? What do you have to do?
A. It's more like what I don't have to do. (Laughs).
Q. You don't have to dance onstage. We know that.
A. No, I don't dance and I don't D.J. I bartend. I cook. I waitress. I
purchase. I schedule. Some accounting. Some book keeping. Trouble-shoot
anything that's going on. Wherever I'm needed, is the space I have to fill.
Q. "Life Without Shame" have they approached
Q. You don't like them? They don't like you? What's the deal?
A. I'm not really impressed with the show that they do. The material they
use is fine. Their commentary is obnoxious and vulgar. I wouldn't want an
employee that works for this company to be abused in that manner. They're
people. They deserve to be treated like people. And, they are ladies. That's
out of line. These people don't deserve that. They've worked too hard to
get what they have. I wouldn't allow them to come in here. It's just not
right. It's not right to treat somebody like that.
Q. Just a few years age the Navy had to deal with this Tailhook Scandal,
in which women were being sexually harassed. After that incident, the men
were told you're not to look upon women as being sex objects. You're in
a business where, let's face it, these women are sex objects. Are you comfortable
with the mixed message that working in a place like this sends out?
A. Well, there's a time and a place for everything. If I was in the Armed
Forces, and I was approached, that's not the correct time or place, to be
treated in that manner; to be seen completely as a sexual being and
not as a person. Here, especially because of the conversation, they see
these women as people, not as much as sex objects, especially after their
first visit. They're still beautiful women and everybody likes to look at
a beautiful woman, but, the grabbing doesn't go on. That stuff just
doesn't happen. That's what happened. It was in the context of where that
wasn't proper behavior. In each social experience or relationship, there's
certain things that have their place, and that's where the place is. You
have to be able to read the situations. This is a bar. I see behavior more
outrageous at a dance club in the city than I see going on here. So, how
you react, the cause and effect is different in each situation.
Q. You maintain that Feature Dancers don't do well in Syracuse. Why is
A. I worked with three Feature Dancers and I didn't have any more business
with them than I did without them. None of them seemed to do all that great.
They were phenomenal performers. Women who have a chest as big as I'm tall...it's
nice to see once, but you don't come back. We may pop one in every now and
again, but it's not something we're going to consistently do, 'cause it's
not going to bring any more people in, most likely than I usually have in
here. With having the extra staff on to run the door, I'm not gaining a
whole lot. But, we're kicking the idea around still.
Q. Can we really consider what the women do onstage here and so many other
places as dancing? It would appear more sexually suggestive than anything
else. It sure doesn't look like the traditional burlesque show.
A. It depends on the dancer. Everybody's different. I have one girl here
who's worked at some of the largest clubs in the world, and she dances completely
different than some of the local girls. I've got some girls who started
about the same time I started and when I started it was still a show. Ten
years ago, they had everything. And so it all depends on what era, or where
they've come in, in the last ten years as to how they dance, and where they
Q. Since you're talking with these women all the time, what is it that
they'd eventually like to do?
Do they want to go into the management end like you?
A. There are a couple who want to move up, who want to learn, and stay
in the business. There are others, the majority of 'em are in school. I
have nurses. This is what they're going to school for. Five bucks at a Burger
King or flipping burgers, it takes 'em a week to make what they make in
3 hours, 4 hours. They can come in one night a week, and live very well
and go to school. And that's their main ambition.
© Gary James All Rights Reserved