By Jason O'Bryan / Photo by Jeff "Turbo" Corrigan
The four-deep, cash-waving insanity of Quality Social on a Saturday night looks stressful for a bartender. Watch Cameron Holloway work, however, and you'd never know it. Her smile is genuine, her hands quick and exact, and she glides around the bar with the fluid economy of a dancer -which, as it happens, isn't a coincidence.
"I've been dancing since I was two and a half," Holloway says.
She started at a ballet academy before taking up tumbling and modern dance.
Bright and precociously talented, she excelled at both technique and performance. At 18, she was hired as a dancer for the San Diego Chargers.
"It was a dream I never had as a kid," she says, "but it was one I should've had. It felt like a dream come true."
At 21, she put down her pompoms and started work at Hard Rock, in the flashy glamour of bottle-service. She learned how to tend bar at Sneak Joint in Mission Beach, and then learned to do it faster at Sidebar and FLUXX.
"Every other job I've ever had, I definitely felt like I was performing," she says. "I had my hair curled and makeup done and thigh-highs on. I wanted to work somewhere that's more me, and Quality Social is totally me."
Holloway talks about Quality Social as if it were her family - she wears what she wants and her co-workers are her friends. She's been there for a year now and has never been happier. These days, when she's smiling at work, even in the middle of the weekend insanity, it's not because she's performing. It's because finally she doesn't have to.