The All City Waitress Marching Band
ArtScene’s 25th Anniversary
Produced by Jerri Allyn
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Los Angeles, CA
The Waitresses were a collaborative performance artist group who were also waitresses during the late-seventies in Los Angeles. These graduates of the Feminist Studio Workshop at The Woman’s Building entertained audiences in restaurants, explored working conditions for women, used humor, and were precursors to later groups like The Guerrilla Girls.
The Waitresses, including Jerri Allyn, Leslie Belt, Anne Gauldin, Patti Nicklaus, Jamie Wildman, and Denise Yarfitz premiered “Ready to Order?” in April 1978. “Ready to Order?” was a seven day, site-specific conceptual art piece including humorous, performance art tableaus during mealtimes in various Los Angeles restaurants; with evening bilingual panel discussions to address the issues of women and work, money, sexual harassment, and stereotypes of the waitress as mother, servant, slave, and sex object. The Waitresses also marched in the Pasadena DooDah Parade on New Years Day in 1979 forming a marching band with thirty-three woman and children in white, 50s waitress uniforms with red aprons.