Some of the best stripping advice I've ever been giving came from a 90 pound, B-Cup-at-Best-on-a-GOOD-day (like maybe pre-period or post-pregancy) white trash little honey named "Fantasie." With an "IE." Yep.
Let me take that back.
Perhaps she wasn't "named" Fantasie. More likely she'd adopted the clever-come hither alias as a device to better entice the ones and fives up into her garter. Oh yes, ones and fives. The dump I was working in didn't get a lot of twenties. That would change after I began to learn the business; when you first start out you go whereever you can go. In this case, a delapitated roadhouse joint justoff the interstate with quite the colourful staff and clientel. The latter consisting mostly of lower-level drug dealers , thier customers, and the undercover cops chasing after them...maybe plus another couple of aspiring rap and country artists, local sports wash-ups, and more than a few of what I took to be recent parolees. The former were a mixed race crew of truly scrary female individuals-lots of hardcore ghetto bunnies (light and dark skinned black girls whith golden teeth grills and soft, ample bottoms) and many frizzy-haired puerto rican mamacitas, who penciled-in their thin eyebrows and let curly-scripted tattoos wind their way around their cellulite-spattered upper arms or flabby lower abdomens, inking out their boyfriend's names or those of a long dead homie or neglected child, fading from a dark charcoal colour to a murky off-green. Yet another reason why don't "do" tattoos. They might look great when you get them, but they don't usually stay that way.
And of course, there were the double-wide dwelling dixie chicks like "Fantasie."
Ah, the glamorous life!
Fantasie gave a lot of surprisingly astute advice, the most important being "don't dance."
"You dance around too much, you move too much, you don't gottta move like that. Stand still and make THEM want YOU. Just swivel your hips and roll your shoulders a little."
There went my dreams of re-enacting Fosse.
"I can tell you have training," Fantasie continued, crunching a lighter-than -air Muncho she'd delicately extracted from its greasy foil bag with two long, flamingo-pink acrylic nails---WOW! Fantasie had noticed me! Imagine, all those hours at the Civic Ballet weren't for naught!----"but that shit don't fly here, ok?" She relayed her next insight using the gravitas of an oncologist giving test results: "Out here all guys want to do is look at your stuff and imagine doing stuff to it"
WHAT? You mean the men who frequent "Babydolls" aren't refined connosieurs of "La Danse Erotique?" I was hoping for some quality stage experience here. The female nude is to be savoured and appreciated! All the great artists painted nudes! Picasso! Degas! Van Gogh! I am participating in an ancient art form!
I remained silent and eagerly nodded. I think she sensed I needed all the help I could get.
"Yeah, so don't dance so much."
That was my first introduction to the world or exotic dance. Being told not to do it so much.
Once an overacheiver, always and overacheiver. I had made the fatal mistake of dancing at a dance club.
Well, I wouldn't be making that mistake again.
Mold me, Fantasie! Teach me your dark secrets!
"Ok, yeah, and put some foundation on the pimples on your butt. Nobody wants to see those."
See, now it was just getting embarrassing. I paled in sudden humiliation.
"Hey, don't worry about it, nobody's butt is perfect."
But hers nearly was. She may have had a scrawny, overly-tanned, scrunched up muskrat face but her derriere was TINY and ROUND. Downright delicious, like two small, firm cantaloupes stiing atop a pair of wobbly stilts.
"Ok, well, um, thank you."
"Don't mention it. Us girls gotta stick together, ya know? It's us or them"
I didn't know if by "them" she meant the patrons, the other dancers, or the management, but I was just happy to finally have heard something else besides "get out of my way, bitch!" or "bitch, you do not stand in my way when i am next on stage. GET OFF MY STAGE SORRY-ASS NEW BITCH...can't dance ...don't wear enough make-up there's too many girls working at this club anyhow.." etc
"yeah, I gotcha."
"Don't forget that, ok?"
"I won't forget"
"I mean it," she put her Munchos down and gingerly wiped the corners of her mouth with her fingertips.
She turned towards the mirror to do a final make-up check and spray up her bangs.
Hauntingly, back from the recesses of the silver glass, she stared deep into the eyes of my reflected image.
She repeated one last time, slowly:
"US or THEM"
I got it, Fantasie, us or them.
Isn't that how it always is?