You GO-GO Girl
by Leslie (Hoban) Blake
On April 1, there will be go-go girls dancing on the stage of the Actor’s Playhouse. One will be a college girl, another a middle-aged mom, and another a biker chick. And they will all be Jill Morley.
Morley’s one woman show, “True Confessions of A Go-Go Girl,” based on her own experiences in the field began life at the tiny Trocadero Cabaret on Bleeker Street. Soon, good reviews and provocative posters of a female dancers’ flank led Morley to a two-year ‘on and off’ run at the Westbank Theatre. “Well, mostly off,” she says with a grin. At the Actor’s Playhouse, this new production (directed by Damien Gray) will be decidedly on.
She keeps in shape by boxing !!
In her off-stage garb, — black stand-up ski hat, oversized sweater, bomber jacket, baggy pants and combat boots– Morley looks more like Rocky Balboa than the Vegas strippers of “Showgirls.” Indeed, Morley confesses that she has always been a tomboy and actually keeps in shape by boxing. But it’s theatre, not sports, that Morley chose to make her living. She has worked with the comedy improv groups, “Some Assembly Required” and “Live Wire Society” and appeared at San Francisco’s prestigious Solo Mio Festival along with Eric Bogosian, James Lescene and John Waters.
For a moment, though, Morley thought her future might lay in Hollywood. The earlier production of “True Confessions” resulted in appearances on several television talk shows as well as serious interest from a major film female star. But her visit to Tinseltown proved less than happy. “last summer, I was in L.A. meeting suits and studio execs, and I thought, “I’m going to be a movie mogul, and this summer I didn’t even have a suit,” she says, smiling ruefully at the memory. “They saw the ad and then they saw me. I’m young and a woman and they were so condescending.”
Which isn’t to say she’s given up on the movies. She and Mary Ann Towne, her original “True Confessions” director, are working on a film documentary about how go-go dancing has affected the dancers lives. Morley knows she’s gotten want she can from her previous profession. “I’ve used the industry for my rent and for my art, and now I’m out of it for good,” she says. My show is both a catharsis and a reward.