Sunday, March 25, 2012

Dancing in Houston

Dancing in Houston

As most of you know I work part time as an "exotic" (I'm exotic cuz I'm from Canada) dancer.  Usually, when I'm in school, I'll dance on weekends for private bachelorette and birthday parties and occasionally in local clubs.  It's easy money, requires little time, and--if things go awry--I can at least get a good story out of it.

Today I danced at 2 birthday parties.  Lemmi break 'em down for you.

The Golden Girls

 The way it works with booking companies is that the agency will send you a text saying something like "there's a bachelorette party in neighbourhood "x" at time "t", the payment is "y"--can you make it?".   So anyway, I got two of these texts on Thursday and even though I was feeling sick all week I decided to take them cuz I thought I'd be better by Saturday (when they were taking place). 

A problem with living in a big city that you are unfamiliar with is that you have no idea how far other parts of the city are from you. Like a dumbass it never entered my head that one of these addresses was over an hour away from where I was.  So, normally what I do after I get the text and accept, I call the hostess to confirm time, address, special requests, etc...

I called the hostess for the first party and she proceded to tell me it was for her friend's 65th birthday.  But I digress...She asked me where I was coming from and I replied from U of H.  She said "Oh! that's far, it's going to take you over an hour if there's no major traffic" (Note:  Houston traffic is like LA traffic).  I'm thinking, "OMG, WTF, LOL #gettingpaidpenniesaftergas"  Shoot.  I thought this would be an easy gig, now it turns out I have 2.5 hours drive time plus the show.  Anyway, lesson is to check zipcodes on a map before you agree to do parties in a big city.

Back to my digression...so, when you've been in this binis for a while you develop intuitions about what types of groups might be problematic and what types of problems might arise with different types of groups.  It's awkward enough in the best of times to be standing in your boxers in a stranger's living room, surrounded by strangers.  You definitely want to launch preemptive defensive stikes against further potential awkwardness.  And given the hyper-religious nature of this state I thought I might launch such a strike.

So I asked the hostess if the other people in the party knew that she was hiring a dancer.  I explained that it has been my experience that not everyone is comfortable with the idea and that it might be a good idea to tell the other guests, minus the birthday girl.  I've had people run out of the room when they realized what I was there for.  It's just awkward for everyone...

Anyway, she assured me in her old-time southern bell accent that "even though we are in our 60s, we are young at heart and know how to have a good time".  Koo.

Aside:  Here's an observation.  When I am organizing details with hostesses I always ask if they have a stereo/what kind of stereo they have.  Why? Because I have music for my routine and can either bring a cd or my ipod.  Now here's the surprising thing.  Most people don't have stereos!  OMG! WTF! LOL! #wonderinghowpeoplelistentomusic.  For serious?  Maybe this is a product of being brought up by a musician but I have never known a home without some kind of stereo. 

As a child there were times when all we had to eat was brown rice, but we always had a decent stereo to rock out to.  I seriously think there's a sociology paper here drawing a correlation between people's general level of happiness and stereo ownership.  Thesis: If music isn't important in your life, there's a problem. Somebody do the study. Go! 

Carrying on with the story.  So I'm driving and driving and driving....finally Houston ends and I'm driving though farm and ranch country.  For serious.  There are cows 'n tractors and 'n shit.  I'm all "OMG! WTF! LOL! #strippinginbarnyards".  

And then all of a sudden I'm in this huge subdivision of uber-luxury homes with lakes and golf courses.    I'm talkin' 4000-6000square foot homes.  After what seems like 1000 cul-de-sacs I find her house.  She comes out to greet me, as planned.

I always do everything the same, 80% of the time.  Here's my M.O..  I give the hostess the music; explain how to press play (you think I'm joking? Trust me this is important!); explain that I will knock on the door in 2min and when the door is opened, she should press play; have the birthday girl/bachelorette seated in the room closest to the door wearing something by which I can identify her as such.

Koo.  No problems.  Now, here's what I do.  Again, I always do my cop act 80% of the time.  So, I'm dressed as a cop.  I knock on the door and start out by saying there's been a noise complaint.  Then the music starts, then I say, "Mrs. X you have violated penal code 69-69" (get it? penal code? get it? get it? it's a double entendre, cuz penal can also mean...ok, you get it).  

Then I say "Mam, I'm going to have to ask you to stand up (*stand her up*); turn around (*turn her around*); and assume the position" (*bend her over the chair*).  At this point the girls are all LOLing and OMGing.  Then I say "I said 'assume' because I assume she's been in this position before".   This is where her gurlfrenz are all "you have no idea how many times" "yeah, get her! whoohoo!" LOL! OMG!  

This is one of the funny things about being an entertainer (of any type).  You've done the show a thousand times, and you know intellectually which parts are audience favourites; but it's very easy to forget that this is the first time they've seen it.  Lines that you sometime mumble in your sleep can be comic gold to the first time hearer.  Anyway, that's a little glimpse behind the curtain. 

I've totally lost track of where I was in the story so lets just get to the part where I walk in to the house.  I walk in, and the birthday girl is seated on a bench.  Music starts.  I'm in character.  The women are hooting and hollering.  The birthday girl is loving it and, much to my delight, is a good sport.  Sometimes the "target" can be less than compliant which makes things very difficult.  

Anyway, the show went great and everyone had a great time, including me.

Oh! I forgot something.  This part is so sweet.  When I spoke to the hostess to confirm details she told me that she wanted me to work into the act that I was arresting her friend "for the crime of being so fine at 65".  I wish I could convey the genuine earnestness with which she made this request.  

I'm sure I'm not the only one who's grandmother was an angel.  If you had/have one like this try to imagine your angelic grandmother requesting some random stripper to dress up as a cop and shower her friend with compliments as part of the act.    I don't know.  Something about how much this woman cared about making her friend feel good on her birthday made me forget all about having to drive 2.5 hours for the show. 

The Latin Lowers ("Lovers" but in a thick latin accent)

I should be getting to bed seeing as I'm still fighting the flu or something so I'll be brief even though this was quite a wild party.  I don't know if anyone remembers the entry I made about the time when I was living in Phoenix and I did a bachelorette party in the hood (for realz).  Anyhow, this was kind of similar except this was in "el barrio".  

I pull up and it's a huge apartment complex with kids running around everywhere, Mexican Oompa-pa music blasting, people drinking cerveza and BBQing on their porches.  

I'm thinking to myself, "I really don't want to walk through this entire subdivision in my cop outfit, looking for the right unit number".  The asshole/prankster in me thought it'd be funny if I had a US Immigration officer costume, but I digress... 

So, what do?  I already had my pants on so, I put my cop shirt on and put my sweat shit on overtop, carried my hat in my hand, stuffed my gun holster in my bag and found the unit.  

On the porch are about 15 Mexican men drinking cervezas and BBQing.  Awkward moment with all those guys looking at the white guy in a cop outfit about to go dance for their wives and girlfriends. 

A woman comes down the steps to meet me and get the CD.  I explain how everything works.  I do the show, everything goes well.  It's a bit wild though.  

Here's the thing.  Anyone who works in this industry will tell you the same thing.  There are empirical generalizations about how members of certain cultures respond to a stripper.  In the case of Latinas you will get one of two extreme responses.  1.  Absolute terror.  This type will usually flee the scene.  Later, the other group, will physically force them to get a dance, bringing them to me kicking and screaming (I'm not kidding).  2.  The second group thinks my body is a popsicle.  For some reason the first thing they will do is try to lick my torso or nipples, or pinch my nipples.

As a public service announcement to anyone reading this who may be a member of the latter group, let me say this:  I probably don't taste very good because you are licking three layers of various chemicals.  The innermost layer is self-tanner, which, although my brand smells somewhat like animal cookies, probably doesn't taste anything like them.  The middle layer is Nivea body lotion.  How else do expect me to be so silky smooth? Also, I doubt it tastes any good.  The outermost layer is cologne to a) mask the smell of the 2 inner layers and b) to make me smell pretty.  It also doesn't taste good.

I can only conclude one thing.  Latin men must really like having their nipples licked and/or pinched.  Why else would these be such a common impulse?  Not that there's anything wrong with that.  Some of my best friends like having their nipples licked and pinched (Well, I'm actually just guessing here).  Anyway, it's just not my thing.  And...it's not part of the show.

To sum up, there were about 15 crazy women at that party and all in all they were fun.  I left with both nipples intact, and only one or two tongue width streaks in my tan.


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