DJ Platypus of Tootsie’s Cabaret offers an ode to his mom — and all moms — as we celebrate Mother’s Day:
I’m a mama’s boy. I have been since birth. My mother is my world. She is the strongest human being I have ever been around. I honestly think I would not be where I am at today in life had it not been for the unconditional love and support from my mother. She is a religious person who attends church and even sings in the choir.
So you are probably asking yourself, how is the dynamic of our relationship since I have a career in the strip club industry? Truth is, she couldn’t be more proud of me. She always says that most mother’s would brag about their son the lawyer or their son the doctor, but she will tell anyone who will listen about her son the strip club DJ. Some of her friends from church do not like the fact that I work in the strip club business. She tells them, “That is my son, he is an entertainer and there is nothing wrong with being an entertainer.” My mother understands that working as a DJ at Tootsies Cabaret is my passion and my career makes me very happy. Every career highlight of mine was immediately followed by a call to my Mom. When we won club of the year, I called Mom. When I was awarded ED’s Employee of the Year, I called my Mom. Both times I was promoted, you guessed it, I called Mom. She is always the first person I want to tell good news to because I always want to make her proud.
My two darkest moments became my mother’s most shinning moments. 15 years ago, my father passed away from a sudden heart attack. It rocked me. I couldn’t focus or even find the right words to say at his funeral. I remember watching my mother in complete pain, yet find the strength and courage to be a shining example of what strength really is. She used her love of music to get through that time. When we were leaving the church she was singing as loudly and as beautifully as I have ever heard her. The weeks and months to follow, Mom did not fold, she did not lose focus. She put her family first and focused on getting all of us through it. Which we did.
The other darkest time in my life was when Mom got diagnosed with colon cancer. She needed to have surgery and remove her colon altogether. It was a day that would change the rest of our lives. I watched my mom minutes after surgery look at my sisters and I and smile and say, “it’s okay, I love you and I’m not going anywhere.” From that point forward, my mother embraced life and made the most out of every day, teaching me a very valuable lesson: You can get through anything life throws at you. You can accomplish anything you want to as long as you put in the work and determination to get through every day, one day at a time. Today, Mom lives a pretty normal life. She is in her 70s. She is retired and spends a lot of time with her grandchildren. She survived the worst of times and always uses that to motivate herself and others to get through any of life’s challenges.
Strip Club Mom
My mom has been to Tootsie’s as a customer. To make a quick comparison, it’s like being a football player having your mom watching from the stands … except, our cheerleaders are naked. I could see that hanging out in a strip club in Miami isn’t my mom’s cup of tea. She was nervous and way outside of her comfort zone. That was until the entertainers at Tootsie’s sat at her table and started to ask her questions about me as a young Platypus. I looked over at her table while I was in the DJ booth and I could see her relax and have fun with the girls. I was relieved. The next day we had breakfast together and I said, “Mom, what did you think of Tootsies?” She said how surprised she was that the entertainers were very normal people with an abnormal job. She also said she doesn’t plan on visiting another strip club because it was not her scene, but when she saw me doing my job, she told me in that moment, she has never been more proud of me. To her I’m her son and she is thrilled to see that I am happy. She is supportive of my job, my lifestyle and my commitment to an industry that is so polar opposite to anything she had ever known.
In our business, unlike any other, we are surrounded by mothers. This Sunday is Mother’s day. If you are a Mother that is an entertainer, manager or any part of our industry, you should be celebrated. I would celebrate all of you if I could, but I will be too busy celebrating my mother because I’m a Mama’s Boy. Happy Mother’s Day to all of the strip club moms —you are loved! – story by DJ Platypus