The lost art of flashing
Zorita, one of the most unique burlesque queens, well known for stripping with two eight foot long boa constrictors in a number called “Consummation of the Wedding of the Snakes,” was perhaps the first queen to fill me in on the practice of (in her words) “flashing your knish.” She recalled, “There was a red light in the orchestra pit and when the red light was on, it meant the cops were in, so play it safe. When the red light went out, all bets were off. There were times you would work in the theater and you might do two shows and be covered, and the third show the red light was off and so then you flashed. And your customers were so used to that, and they knew that if they saw that you didn’t flash, the law was in. And so, they just usually sat over for the second shift or came in later on that week. Some of the customers came in and saw the show two and three times.”
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