We had the good fortune of connecting with Miss Mary Jane Green and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Miss Mary Jane, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking.
Risk Taking: A Necessary Gamble What do I think about risk taking? I think it is a necessity. Period. You literally never know what you can do until you try. There are so many people who have lamented, written books, poems and songs about the ‘what if’. What if you minimized your what ifs? Security and complacency are social constructs designed to keep people in line, designed to work for others – what if you took your passion and worked for yourself? What could you accomplish? This is not for the faint of heart, it is certainly not for most but for some with fortitude and an ironclad willpower the way forward is to break out of what you have been taught is the ‘right’ way to do something and to forge a path on your own. Four reasons to embrace taking risks: 1) Unforeseen opportunities come from a venture into the unknown. Fortune favours the bold and work begets work. You cannot plan networking and exposure but you can live it and see where it takes you. 2) Lessons learned from failure provide internal growth. If you succeed all the time what are you really learning? Mistakes make the person; you only really learn when you take a big risk. 3) Stand out, present yourself as a leader in something that you are passionate about & lead with confidence. With wins and losses you can become a very knowledgeable expert in your field but you must do. Those that can do those that cannot judge and teach others fear. Everyone is afraid of failure but failure is the most powerful teacher. In fact lessons learned from failure have sent many on completely different paths that they would never have imagined. 4) Dreams are not achieved by playing it safe. The bottom line is that risk produces reward. It won’t only potentially benefit the path one is on but possibly open one up to a myriad of possibilities one cannot even fathom. Moving outside of your comfort zone can be an incredibly scary ordeal but without the risk taken one can never achieve a high level of success and realize one’s potential. Leave your comfort zone, go after your passions and achieve your dreams. What has this done for me? It has taken me to places I have only dreamt about and to do things people said were not possible. What do I do about it? I continue to forge ahead to see where this runaway train takes me. I plan for some of the what ifs but am along for the ride twisting and turning where it leads, the journey is an amazing reward in and of itself.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have always been an artist from my first memories until now; currently I am a working burlesque dancer, music hall vaudevillian, vedette and multipreneur. In my life I have also designed sets, costumes, lights and sound. I have designed store windows and displays, created content for film history education, taught Art and Theater as well as painted murals and written articles. I’ve been featured as a vocalist and work on the legitimate stage as a triple threat. I am a member of Screen Actors Guild/American Federation of Television and Radio Artists as well as Actors Equity. I am also a licensed Cosmetologist & permanent makeup artist with a passion for vintage styling. Art is my life. Was it easy? Absolutely not, an artist’s life is never an easy one. It is always an uphill battle but one that has taught me fortitude, a hard work ethic and to never give up when the chips are down. I’m not really sure how I got where I am today honestly. I don’t think it is something that you can do A and it will get you to B and C. I see my journey as a runaway train that I hoped onto for a ride. I could get off if I chose but I consciously stay. Sometimes it is fast, sometimes slow, it has been smooth and rough, winding and straight. I don’t feel that I am actually in control of it as I feel security is an illusion, to me I am the co-pilot that tries to guide when and how I can but also sits in the second seat taking in what happens and adjusting accordingly. I have experienced high highs and low lows but I think it is what I did with those situations that make me stand apart. I had lost my apartment to shady dealings & went ahead with a west coast tour up into British Columbia a few years ago. Everything I had was in storage & my dog stayed with a friend. I could have elected to cancel everything and deal with the situation but I chose to go ahead with my commitments as a performer because that is what performers do. The show goes on. It was a wild few weeks and I just rode the wave of uncertainty because, for me, the stage is cathartic. I found a strength inside of me to deal with the situation from the road while forging lasting friendships and professional relationships that have lasted and grown to this day. One of the most incredible trips of my life came from that tour in a chance meeting. You really never know who you will meet and who will see your work. Staying true to why I perform and seeing it through even in the worst of times has afforded me opportunities I could never have imagined pursuing because I wouldn’t even know where to start. It happens through tenacity. No I don’t ever want to go that low again in a feeling of being so unsure but if it happens I will embrace it because that time in my life, only a few years ago, changed it in so many positive ways I couldn’t possibly imagine. My brand is very rooted in my lifelong obsession with the early 20th Century and how I chose to live as a vintage enthusiast. I strive to evoke the glory days of titillating cabaret pulling inspiration from Weimar Kabarett, UFA German Expressionism & early Hollywood cinema. I earned a Master of Arts in Drama from Texas Woman’s University writing my graduate thesis on the Weimar Kabarett and how it influenced Minsky’s Burlesque in America. My hope is that I can temporarily take people back to a time when Vaudeville and Burlesque were King while keeping in mind that we celebrate vintage style not vintage values. At this moment in time I am most excited about relocating part time to Detroit, Michigan & living between the two Ds. The sheer creativity and artistic renaissance happening there is magnetic, exciting and very rooted in the history of the town’s boom, which is my era of expertise, as well as it’s bright future coming up from a very hard situation. I believe in the greatness of Detroit. I believe in the incredible artists there that I have been fortunate to work with and befriend. I feel at home there amongst the early 20th century backdrop and want to be a part of it’s upcoming future as a major hub in the Arts.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The Dallas/Fort Worth area definitely has a lot of amazing vintage locales where I take visiting friends on their trips to the area. Candlelite Inn – Not just because I worked there for the better part of eight years but who can resist the vintage ambiance of a private booth, checkered table clothes and tableside juke boxes? This newly renovated North Arlington staple off the old Bankhead Highway makes my heart sing. Tour of Arlington Baptist University – Not many people seem to realize this quaint little private school was once home to an amazing speakeasy, casino & brothel. Tours of the property are a lot of fun; full of interesting history and if you are adventurous enough you can get into the tunnel that headed for the lake for a quick getaway. This is a must see for any prohibition history buff. Rose Hill Park – I am a huge fan of cemeteries and never let a visitor come to Dallas without showing them the final resting place of Lee Harvey Oswald. Western Heights – Same with Clyde & Marvin Barrow. Respects must be paid. Crown Hill Cemetery – Cannot forget Bonnie, the sweetheart of (now defunct) Fish Trap in West Dallas. Wimpy’s Hamburgers – After visiting the graves of the Barrow boys and looking at the boarded up old gas station they lived in on Singleton I like to grab cash from the ATM and treat my guests to a delicious burger at the vintage eatery Wimpy’s. No frills but damn they have amazing food. It’s nostalgia on a bun. Scat Jazz Lounge – Amazing traveling artists and locals alike play this modern basement ballroom with a delectable vintage feel. An ode to the past as your walk through the alleyway to the elevator, this Fort Worth jazz staple never disappoints. Adolphus Hotel – I would say the majority of my visitors enjoy a good ghost story so I never tire taking guests to the lobby bar of the luxurious 1912 Adolphus Hotel in downtown Dallas. Reportedly haunted by many ghosts of yesteryear due to deaths, accidents and suicides at the hotel it has been investigated, filmed and recorded for it’s paranormal activity but it is also a lovely place to drink before shopping at NM flagship store. Neiman Marcus Flagship Store – After a drink at the Adolphus I love to stroll visitors over to the height of Dallas retail establishments. Let it be said I worked for NM in sales at the Fort Worth location and we mockingly called it ‘Needless Markup’. The epitome of elegance and aspiration in Dallas and beyond, a trip to the downtown flagship is not to be missed. Galaxy Drive In Movie Theater – Finally I take visitors the short jaunt to Ennis, TX to visit the very authentic and amazingly preserved retro Galaxy Drive In. It has affordable, tasty snacks, mini-golf, first run double feature movies and is a great place for people of all ages. It is an absolute deal for the price and makes for an amazing vintage night out with friends. Not only is it a really wonderful experience but I prefer to support local business owners keeping vintage entertainment alive.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Reid Robinson! He is currently running CarBaret, a variety drive in experience in Richardson out of his restaurant Brizo in the parking lot.

Website: www.missmaryjanegreen.com
Instagram: missmaryjanegreen
Twitter: missmjgreen
Facebook: www.facebook.com/maryjane.green.33671748
Other: www.missmaryjanegreen.com/show-pony-express.html

Image Credits
J Michael Strange Photography 3.jpg Dynamite Dames Photography 4.jpg Kim Morgan Eden Photography 2.png