The women are beautiful, the music is loud, and the drinks are strong. It’s Magic City, baby! Welcome to the most popular gentlemen’s club in Atlanta, GA.
Most people who go to gentlemen’s clubs, like Magic City, aren’t too concerned about the personal lives of the women that work there. The point of strip clubs is to create a fantasy for which men and women alike can enjoy and unwind. I wanted to showcase the women who work behind the scenes at Magic City. They’re the ones pouring up the drinks and keeping that energy alive. I was lucky enough to speak with one of Magic City’s most fly bartenders, Shawna.
Shawna is a mother to a two-year-old little boy and has been bartending at Magic City since 2013. I met up with Shawna at Magic City, on a Monday. It was so strange seeing the club with no patrons or smoke filling the air just yet. Of course, the music was still loud. One of the first questions I had was how she started working at Magic City. Shawna shared that after she finished college at the Southern Arkansas University, she waitressed at Applebee’s. She discovered that she genuinely enjoyed working in the service industry because she’s a people person and was making decent money, too. When her close friend opened a restaurant back in 2012, Shawna didn’t hesitate to help her out as a bartender. Thanks to friendly connections, Shawna was able to land an interview at Magic City as a bartender.
Shawna has been at Magic City for six years now and she enjoys the environment. I asked Shawna if her peers ever pass judgement on her career choice, especially because she’s a mother. “The city that we live in, it’s so common for women to work in the club industry, the hospitality industry, because you have a lot of flexibility and the money is really good,” Shawna said. “A lot of times my peers either completely understand or they kind of look up to me like ‘Oh my God, how is it? You must make a lot of money!’ It’s probably not what you think but it’s a good opportunity."
Photo by Aria Johnson
Being that Shawna works in an environment that is high on sex appeal, we wanted to hear her perspective on how she is treated by male patrons. “I’ve really figured out a way to go about handling them,” Shawna said. “I let them know that I’m not a dancer. A lot of the men that come in here respect me because I’m very professional. We can giggle and laugh, but for the most part I’m doing what you need me to do. Once they see how I move and interact with other people, they get the vibe like ‘OK, dancers on this side—bartenders on that side’.”
I mentioned earlier that Shawna is a mother to a young boy. We asked how she balances her personal life, work life and mom life. “Finding a balance is hard. I’m doing laundry. I’m cleaning the kitchen. I’m cooking. I’m picking up my son. I’m trying to potty train. I’m trying to bartend. I’m trying to be a friend to my friend. I’m trying to be a girlfriend to my boyfriend. I’m trying to be a child to my parents,” Shawna said. “Like there’s so much that I’m trying to do.”
When a woman becomes a mother, no matter the age, it is life changing. It’s sometimes very difficult for women to ever find that balance again, but it’s possible and Shawna is proof of that. It is important to find yourself again. We asked Shawna how she feels about sexiness being empowering. She said, “I feel sexier now that I’ve had a child. But I do think there’s some things you shouldn’t do on social media as a mom. Dressing sexy is one thing. Carrying yourself sexy is one thing. But once it gets a little raunchy and trashy and for everybody to see, that’s when it’s like hold on now you need to just be over here on the pole.”
Photo by Aria Johnson
Shawna concluded by saying, “So, it’s important for you to remain who you are and whatever you feel is sexy. It reminds you of who you were before your child and it reminds you of your power and the type of woman that you are.”
To wrap up our interview, we asked Shawna what advice she would give another young woman who is going to start working at a gentlemen’s club.
“Treat guests really well. It’ll get you a lot further than just making quick drinks. Keep it as professional as possible, too,” Shawna said. “Don’t come in here and get caught up in the celebrities that come in here. It’s like once you start sleeping with people, going out of town with people, to me that just messes up your money. Don’t come in here and get star-struck over the people that come through. At the end of the day it’s still a job. Once they stop talking to you, you still got to come to work. You still have to make your money. Nothing wrong with making friends or hanging out with people outside of here, but keep it professional because it’ll get you way further.”