Jen Rainwater - The Oakland A's Socks Girl

If you're an Oakland Athletics fan and a regular at Coliseum, then you're probably at least casually acquainted with Jen Rainwater, known among A's fans as the "Oakland A's Socks Girl." Even to say Jen's a die-hard A's fan would be an understatement. This girl bleeds hunter green and California gold and almost nothing can keep her away from an A's home game, where, as you can see at left, she's always seen sporting a pair of the green and gold socks that have become her trademark. She knows Oakland coliseum as well as she does her own home because it's practically her second home, and if you want to know the status of any game the A's are currently playing, just follow Jen's Twitter because she'll keep you just as up to the minute as the announcers will.

Jen is actually a native Texan who began learning about baseball from her mother and grandmother at the age of two. At four, her family moved to the Oakland area and she's been an avid and loyal A's supporter ever since. She became a season ticket holder in the mid-90s and hasn't missed an A's spring training in over 10 years.

Despite my being a fan of Jen's most hated Major League Baseball team; the defending World Series champion and A's arch-rivals from across the Bay, San Francisco Giants (She despises the "gnats with a passion beyond anything"), she gladly agreed to do this interview with me.

Tristan Risk

I'll admit, I'd never heard of Tristan Risk until I saw the movie American Mary, in which she played Beatress Johnson (yes, "Beatress," not "Beatrice"), a stripper who had 14 surgeries to become a real-life Betty Boop look-alike. She gave such a striking performance, hers was the first name I Googled right after the final credits rolled ....and that's saying something because American Mary was full of memorable female characters. It also has the makings of a potential cult classic.

Tristan has been described as a "corsetier, chocolatier, baker, ta-ta shaker, hip-swayer, tight lacer," and a "troublemaker." While all of that's true, first and foremost, the Vancouver native is one of the best-know names in neo-burlesque, incorporating fire-eating and vaudeville-style magic into her act. She was originally recruited by the producers of American Mary, Jen and Sylvia Soska, as a choreographer for the film's dance numbers. The role of Beatress had not yet been cast since none of the actresses who'd read for the part so far, seemed to understand the character. When Jen and Sylvia decided to give Tristan a shot and saw her audition, they knew they'd found their Beatress and the rest is history.

After doing a bit of research on "Little Miss Risk," I sent her a link to the piece I wrote on the female cast of American Mary and told her I'd love to do and interview with her sometime. When she promptly replied, saying she'd love to, I was flattered, feeling that she was an admirer of my writings. However, it turned out, Tristan's a self-admitted attention whore and relishes any chance to talk about herself and her doings at great length. Certainly nothing wrong with that but I was a little disappointed that my journalistic qualifications didn't play a role in getting her to agree to this interview. Anyway, regardless of her reasons for doing this, I'm proud to add Tristan to my list of lovely interviewees. Above photo by Black Opal Images.

Calamity Chang

When American burlesque was in its heyday, Asian striptease performers were practically unheard of. However, with the emergence of "neo-burlesque" in the mid-1990s, a few Asian ladies have taken to the stage, doing the retro "bump 'n grind" acts. One of the most prominent being New York City's "Asian Sexsation" Calamity Chang. Above is Calamity doing her "Nunsploitation" routine at a show entitled "Meat My Friends," hosted at Full Cup in Staten Island. See more of Calamity at her official website and you can follow her on Twitter.

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