Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Nothing to do with Stripping

I am working today.  Forcing myself to go in.  Having a hard time. My sister in-law and her young family live in Colorado Springs.  They were evacuated from their home this morning.  The homes across the street are burning.  Small chance their home will make it.  My 11 year old niece is losing it!  Being a trained actress, it's difficult not to access an 11 year old's emotions.  Especially a happy, over achiever who cares for her community.

I'm trying not to lose it.  Leaving for work in an hour.  Keeping tears back.  Trying to generate positvity to my poor family.  I feel so helpless, living so far away from them.  Had plans to see them in two weekends.  I only see them twice a year at most.  Not sure if I can see them.  I have parents I have to see next week.  They are in another state.  My dad is sick (although getting better) but it's been a month since I've seen him and although we don't get along, I am the closest "kid" geographically to them.  I have to go.

Think of those close to you today and be thankful they are OK.

Sorry to be such a downer.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Dance Styles from 1982 to the Present: Vol. 2

After I had been dancing at the Pink Poodle for almost a year, I was hired by a stripping telegram company called Strip-o-Gram.  (That will be covered in another post:-)  I had moved to San Francisco to work for them, since most of my gigs were up that way.  

But when SOG and I parted ways a year later, I went back to the good ol' Pink Poodle.  Boy, had dance styles changed!  I actually missed Diana and her old fashioned elegance.

New girls had been hired, as they always are.  The two that totally set my mouth agape and made me quite nervous were Sally and Yvette.  Ah, yes.  18 year old Yvette.  The one who would semi-shower, sit on our vanity counter, legs completely spread, with one dirty foot on the counter..shaving her vagina.  Umm, yeah.  I thought that stuff was supposed to be done at home.  She and I never really did agree on much of anything.  She thought I was old and prudish (I was not quite 25!).

Yvette's style was basically to slink across the stage and at some point spread her legs and stretch her vaginal lips as far as they could be stretched.  It made me wince just to watch!  I mean, it looked like it hurt.  I hated dancing after her.  If her fans were there, I just couldn't give them what they wanted.  This, of course, affected my ability to make a good income.

Then there was Sally.  She was another long legged Latina.  She could have been Yvette's older sister.  She was a strange one.  She would speak in non-sequiturs to anyone who would listen.  She didn't necessarily want a response.  Her thing was objects.  Objects such as: bananas, cigars (sometimes lit), carrots, zucchinis..I think you get where I'm going with this.  At least she used a blanket.  Sally wasn't just about insertion; ever heard of a song by Prince called "Pussy Control"?  This describes Sally.  She would make these things twirl, push and vibrate.  "Look Mom!  No hands!!"

I forgot to mention that Diana, the old elegant dancer was no longer there.  Neither was little Jasmine (of the diaphanous robes and ballet training), TJ (the flash dancer) or Precious (turned to religion).  I don't think they were fired.  I think the "new guard" scared them off.  They certainly scared me off.  There were other new dancers that were sort of raunchy, but not like Sally or Yvette.  The new girls were not shy about talking about who was paying them for sex outside of the club.  I don't care what a person does outside of my workplace as long as it's not hurting anyone.  They just don't have to tell me.

Wow!  Dancing had changed from early '83 to mid '84.  I knew it was time for my exit.  One day I quit.  I was in tears in the middle of a shift.  I told Sid (yup, that old butt head was still there), that I couldn't handle it any more.  He told me that it was change and other clubs were just like that.  He told me to get used to it if I wanted to stay in the business.

I refused to believe him.  So I set off to find a different path and way of dancing.

(PS.  This is the present.  I hurt my lower back just reaching for shaving cream in the shower today.  I need to work the next two days.  I'm going in, but taking it easy.  Am I doing the right thing?)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Recent Past: Last Weekend

I'm not really sure what to title this post.  I just found that  little snafu I had with (for some reason I couldn't copy and paste my blogs on their site.  Although, they encourage blogs there).  However, that's been resolved and it makes me happier.

I guess I'll write a bit about the present.  I worked over the last weekend.  It was fun and I had some rather wacky things happen.  The first thing was a rather cute Indian/American guy I met at my stage.  We chatted a bit after I danced ( my regular was there, so I couldn't get dances with my Indian friend:-(  He was very sweet.  And the lighting in that club works very well for me apparently.  He thought I was only 25!!!!  You all know I'm 53.  (But he doesn't).  So he bought a bunch of dances from another dancer, and I was dancing for WP(my regular).  We do this on a long, winding couch. He chose to do his dances with this dancer fairly close to where I was doing my dances.  When his girl and WP got up to take a break, he would slide over to me so we could chat.  It was really funny.  I went on stage a bit later.  I always go up a minute early for my set so I can clean the two poles myself.  Dreamy, Indian guy tipped me just for cleaning the poles!  He may be coming back to see this Friday.  Yay!

Later that evening as I was getting ready to leave, a very drunk Brazilian dancer I work with, Luna kept talking to me. ( I call her Luna-tic...get it?)  He words were slurred with a Portuguese accent.   I don't speak Portuguese.  She was more difficult than usual to understand.  She's tiny like me, but all that alcohol has ruined the surgery she's had.  I've heard she's had a lot of lipo around her core and had something weird done to give her the look of yoked abdominals.  She has also had that fat added to her booty.  The alcohol has bloated her core and has made her puffy.  Her legs and booty look good but the definition is gone.  She has the look of excessive alcohol.  Anyway, she's drunk.  She's hugging me and keeps telling she wants my body.  She says she wants to "follow me".  I'm a bit confused, but I figure out that she wants a body like mine, not wanting to hook up with me.  I keep telling her "thank you" as I'm cleaning up and packing my things away.  But she won't stop hugging me, complimenting me and somewhere in all this, she kisses me on the mouth!  Whoooaaa....(That's how Keanu Reeves as "Ted" in "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" would react).  In addition to all this, she can't find her purse which has her cell in it to call her ride.  (Thank god she had a designated driver).  Since, I have an everything plan, I let her use my cell, but she can't talk in it!  She's so drunk, she wants me to talk to her driver person.  I get a vm so I leave a message.  She finds her purse and I am so out of there.  Phew!

The following day, I worked in my small, topless, dive bar.  It's so funny, every time I work there it seems the lights on stage get darker and darker.  I was watching a Caucasian, blond dancer for a bit and I wasn't that far away and it was difficult to see her.  Also, the lighting makes blonds look like they have green hair.  Yay for me:-(

But it was a nice day.  There is a sweet man who will request songs and tip well for it.  His name is Jeremy, so he always has some dancer strip to PearlJam's "Jeremy".  He had an interesting request for me: "White Rabbit" but the Patti Smith version.  I like punk rock, but had never heard of this before.  It was strange, but fun.  He watched me at my stage for just a bit.  I knew he put tips down, but I'm not so rude to start counting it while performing.  Plus, it's now so damn dark on stage, I can't tell the difference between a $1bill or a $20.  When I was finished, I picked up my tips.  When I picked his up, it had girth.  Back stage I counted.  He had tipped my a $50 for that Patti Smith song.

The other cool thing that happened is I did a stage set that I loved. I changed into a gold metallic bikini and back thigh high boots. (It turns out metallics and neons work well with that dark, evil lighting).  I was really exited about the premiere of season 5 of True Blood.  I played the Bad Things theme song and "Forgotten People" by Thievery Corporation (this was the estatic dance scene from season 2 when Maryann put a sex frenzy spell on everyone at a party).  There was a Latin guy who turned out to be a True Blood fan.  His smile was so wide!  He was generous and we chatted afterward.  He was a bit embarrassed to admit he was a fan.  I couldn't tell him too much because he was only on Season 3.

It was a nice weekend for work.  I'll get back to my evolution of exotic dancing in another post.  I'm 53, my fingers are tired.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Burlesque Hall of Fame: The Titans of Tease

This takes place in Las Vegas now at the Orleans casino in a theater that seats 800.   It was sold out last night.   I went last year.  I bought a pass and went to every show and took master classes from legendary dancers April March and Tiffany Carter.  

Most of these ladies were dancing in the 50's, 60's or 70's.  Some of them beyond.  But I think the youngest legend retired from dancing in 1994.

I learned a lot in the classes and just from watching the shows.  I had never danced with panels before ( long strips that detach from a long negligee), or with huge feathery fans.  I had never considered the art of taking nearly an entire song just to take an opera glove off.  This was different for me, but I respect different forms of dance.  However, I attended this 4 day event alone.  I knew this was going to be a very splashy, formal event, but I don't dress like a 50's pin-up girl.  I have very long, curly hair and I don't like the feel of lots of pins and things in it.  I didn't sport sequins like almost every other woman (and some men in attendance).  When I showed up to my master classes with my booty shorts, royal blue 5 in. heel go-go boots and wet hair, I was sort of "mean girled" out of any circles.  So much for making friends.  The legends were very nice to me.  That made me feel better.  So, I was solo and that's ok.

This sort of goes back to when I started dancing.  I wrote about the blankets and raunchy floor work in my last post.  I did wear dusters , played with feathered boas, and hats.  Dusters were fun.  I would love to spin around and hold the sides like they were stage curtains for my body.  However, I had no idea what a panel was.  Until last year, I had never seen any dancer use them.  There was also a diaphanous ballet spin in which the dancers arms are held high while she is holding on to her duster or cape.  I vaguely remember a tiny dancer with very long hair, Jasmine, incorporating this move into her routine.  I remember with her long blond hair and pastel colors,that this was a very beautiful effect.  Yet she was the only one I knew who did this.  I never quite got that move down.

I think by 1982, this style of dancing was fading out and morphing into something different.  Perhaps I should have been born earlier?

Last night I saw the Titans of Tease show.  Last year I was so enthusiastic about all of it.  This year: my feelings were a bit mixed.  There was a dancer Judith Stein, who I saw last year.  She was amazingly talented, original and energetic.  She stripped out of a striped pantsuit and did a sort of soft-shoe type dance.  It was adorable.  She was suppose to appear this year, but recently had two strokes. The MC read the personal note on why she couldn't attend. I had to stop myself from crying.  I didn't even know this woman.  It just reminded me to stop procrastinating because my energy could be taken as fast as hers.

On a happier note, the fucking fantastic Shannon Doah from San Francisco.  This woman danced in the 60's.  I did the math and if she started in the mid-60's at some illegal age, the youngest she could be is 60!  This woman is balls out , talented, sexy, beautiful dancer!  Her body is full and in prime shape.  Sure, it could be lipo , surgery...whatever.  But that energy, grace, power, control and creativity is all REAL!
I'm sure her act will be up on youtube soon.  But just to summarize , she starts her act on a love seat, smoking a hookah to the song "Go Ask Alice" and then finishes with two Doors songs in these amazing cut away, wide bell bottoms!  Val Valentine with her ballet grace, crazy control (she was moving only her abs I could see this with her clothes on from 15 rows away).  Haji, an original  Russ Meyer girl, who could whip and twirl her duster like a 20 year old dancer.  Apparently, she surfs nude at 6AM in the mornings on a private beach in Malibu.  My favorite, Holly Carroll a dancer/singer who has a voice that purrs and the energy of the energizer bunny.

These women give me the courage to go on.