Lynn Ruth Miller aka The Stripping Granny on Blinking Breasts, Ageism, and Dirty Limericks
|Lynn Ruth Miller|
They say age is only a number and I have come to believe that wholeheartedly after meeting Lynn Ruth Miller, The Stripping Granny. We first met at El Rio, during one of Dottie Lux's burlesque shows. Miller is a tiny Jewish woman, whom you would expect to see knitting or baking cookies. When I saw her get on stage and begin to take off her clothes to Rod Stewart's "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy," I couldn't help but cheer loudly for her.
It's hard enough to shimmy and shake your stuff in front of an audience at any age, but after the age of 70, some may say it's inappropriate or unnecessary. Miller is not a stripper; she is a comedian who has perfected the art of making people in the audience wide-eyed with her particular brand of brazenness. Mind you, Miller never takes everything off, and her mouth is the raunchiest part of her act. I had to know what makes a person in their golden years decide to not only take on show biz, but tackle the controversial art of stripping.
Miller is a Stanford graduate, with a Masters degree in journalism. She made her living as a freelance writer and was also a school teacher. Miller always had a way with words and was no stranger to humor. Some years ago, Miller was doing comedy for Holocaust survivors and she ran out of jokes, so she took to the Internet in order to find more material. What she stumbled upon was the San Francisco Comedy College and thus a new career was born.
"I write my own comedy. I do limericks and I take off something with each limerick. I started that when I was 71, so Stripping Granny came along when I was 76, but I was doing it off and on, as soon as I started comedy. I'm reveling in my age! This part of my life is superb. Most people equate aging with disintegration; when you get older you realize that what you are creates what people think you look like," says Miller.
After taking some classes, Miller was suddenly performing live in front of audiences and more and more people got a taste of this act. The music and stripping was something that came with time, but she first started out telling jokes clothed. Miller has performed in Russia and Europe, as well as on Britain's Got Talent, where she made it to the top four comedians. She even went all the way to the finals of California's Funniest Female Contest in 2012.
|Stripping Granny in Action|
While Miller says this is the best time of her life and she is loving every minute, not all of her journey has been greeted by warm audiences. Miller has experienced a great deal of set backs in her ventures with comedy. "Ageism and sexism happen to me like you cannot imagine. The discrimination that exists in comedy is really immense. I have been booked as an opener and then not allowed to perform when the main comedian complained, never having seen or heard my material, based on my name alone."
But people keep booking Miller, so she must be doing something right. After the age of 65, people are expected to retire, but Miller doesn't see it that way, and she has a message for other seniors: "Don't be so afraid of aging; if you live it right, its absolutely superb." The other thing that's good about being her age, she says is "that you can be ridiculous and outrageous!" Her costumes range from bathrobes to blinking breasts.
But beyond her schtick, Miller wants audiences to like her for her: "I don't want people to laugh at me and love me because I'm old. I want them to laugh at me and love me because my material is solid and good. It's terrific to have this whole new career at this age of my life."
Miller is 79 years young and going strong. If you would like to know more about her, or see her live visit her at: lynnruthmiller.net----------
Vanessa L. Pinto (aka Fleur De Lis SF) documented a year of her sex life on her blog Whatever You Desire. She also blogs for the Huffington Post and is a contributing writer with Whore! Magazine. She has a degree in political science from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.