THIS FAT OLD LADY’S THEATER TUESDAY – JACKPOT, NEVADA

At the tippy top of the State of Nevada is the gambling outpost of Jackpot, Nevada.

It is one of the cheeks in the butt end of nowhere.

I could have lived my life happily, never hearing of Jackpot, except I was touring with the long-running (decades) Vegas style revue, Bottom’s Up.

One nice thing about Jackpot, the “leads” in the show (aka, not musicians and not dancers) were put up in the casino’s hotel.

The dancers and musicians stayed in the trailers that were placed behind the casino for staff.  The reason those trailers were there is because there was no other housing in Jackpot.  There was no other housing near Jackpot.  Jackpot was 2 casinos (facing each other – Cactus Petes (where we were playing) and the HorseShu – which at the time, was very small), and a gas station.

That was it.

And it was dead of winter, so snow.  Lots of snow.

Any shopping was done in Twin Falls, Idaho.  A 50-mile drive North on Interstate 93.

That’s where you shopped if you were white.

If you were not white, you shopped in Wells, Nevada, a 70-mile drive South.

I don’t know the current situation, but at the time Twin Falls, Idaho was known as a town of white supremacists.

Breck had brought in a former cast member, a black comedienne, Shon Vaughn, to do some of her material, and she had been warned when leaving Los Angeles, do NOT got to Twin Falls.   It was not safe.

After the show, the younger crowd, which included Shon, would often sit at the bar in the casino to unwind.  One night, one of the managers was walking by and was invited to sit down with them.  He said (I shit you not), “Oh, I don’t sit with n*****s”.

This was in 1992.

The cast members went to Breck, who “took care of it”; not sure how; but Breck was not one to put up with anyone fucking with his cast.

Between shows, I used to run up to my room to watch the local news.  It was sponsored by a doctor who was clearly obsessed with diseases of the hands.  He presented videos on how to properly wash your hands and the horrible and disgusting diseases your hands would be subject to if you didn’t properly wash your hands.

Also, they had features like the one about a change to the law that prohibited you from driving around with your kids in the back of your pickup truck – because, “When you’re coming back from the drive-in and get in an accident, you got kids flying all over the place, and you just can’t have that.”

My favorite memory of Jackpot, though, was:

One night, I was in the elevator headed for my room, and this couple “recognized” me.  They said, “You’re in the show.”  I said, yes.  And then they said something that amazed me:

“Which one are you?”

Now, the show was 4 female dancers (itty bitty things), 2 male dancers, the 2 male leads (older white men), Shon (the black comedienne), and me.

Hmmmmm.

I looked at them and said, “Oh, I’m the fat girl.  The other girl is the black girl.  People get us mixed up all the time.”

I exited the elevator as they let that sink in. (If it ever did.)

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