Wednesday, 12 September 2012

My life is so weird sometimes...

My life has changed a lot since I became a professional pole dancer. By now, I'm getting used to some of the stranger things that are just part and parcel of the the daily grind of the pro pole dancer's life. But every now and again, something happens that makes me sit back and think, wow, now that was weird. Here are a few recent examples. 

Topless Waiter Emergency!

On the weekend, we had an emergency at the Pole Dance Academy. A serious emergency. The topless waiter/life drawing model we had booked for a hen's/bachelorette party we were hosting at the studio went MIA on us. Just didn't show up. How unprofessional! I mean, I understand that topless waiting and posing nude for tipsy hens is probably not his life goal, but at the same time, if you commit to something, either do it properly or don't do it at all. Whether it be driving a taxi, extracting teeth, mowing lawns, herding sheep or getting your willy out for a bunch of shrieking women, take pride in your work!

Anyway, so Mr No-Show really left us in a bind. We had eleven women waiting for the naked man they had been promised. My sister Maddie and I weren't sure what to do. So we sat down on the couch, and rang our regular and trusted topless waiter agency, Topless Events (who we should have stuck with, instead of trying a new agency!). No luck. So we tried some others. No good either. No one could help.

This was all we needed. Too much to ask for???
Next step: we got out our mobile phones and called every single guy we knew who we thought might be up for it. None of them were available. However, they did give us phone numbers of people who might be game. So, armed with the phone numbers of a few poor unsuspecting Sydney men, we began cold calling them. The conversations went along these lines:
Me: "Oh hi there. My name is Shimmy. Ah, I mean, Michelle. So, we don't actually know each other, but I got your number from Yvette, who works for us." 
Sean: "Oh yeah, I know Yvette. What can I do for you?" 
Me: "Well, don't be offended, but, um, we have something of an emergency here... We really need a man who would be happy to serve some drinks topless, and then get naked for 10 or so women to draw him. Yvette thought you might be up for it." 
Sean: "Ahh, no, sorry, I can't." 
Me: "Um, ok. Would it make a difference if we paid cash?" 
Sean: "Nope." 
Me: "Ok, I understand. Well, have a nice afternoon." 
Sean: "Wait - I have a mate who might do it..." 
Me: "Great! Can I have his number?"
I passed the phone on to Maddie at this point. She made the next call.
Maddie: "Hi, is this Nick?" 
Nick: "Yes. Who is this?" 
Maddie: "My name is Maddie, and I hope this doesn't sound weird, but we really need a man who would be happy to serve some drinks topless, and then get naked for a bunch of women to draw him. We got your number from Sean." 
Nick: "From Sean? You know Sean?" 
Maddie: "No, we don't actually know Sean, but we just spoke to him on the phone, and he said you might be interested."
[Some confusion followed. As it turned out, Nick was Dutch, and didn't speak English very well. Maddie had to repeat to him a few times exactly what it was that we wanted. Eventually, Nick got the drift.]
Nick: "But I have never done this before." 
Maddie: "No worries at all! It's easy! You just sit there, and the girls draw! You'll love it." 
Nick: "Can I keep my boxers on?" 
Maddie: "No, unfortunately not." 
Nick: "Well, I don't know." 
Maddie: "Please? You'd be doing us a massive favour!" 
Nick: "Well, ok, I guess. What's the address?"
Maddie got off the phone and looked at me. 

"I feel so bad!" She said. "I've just convinced him in 5 minutes to make a big decision about becoming a stripper!" 
"No time to worry about that," I said. "We have to hurry. Those hens will be getting angry if they don't see a naked man soon! Anyway, it's life modelling, not stripping. It's all for the sake of art. He'll be fine."
So we jumped in the car and raced to the studio, hoping to get there before Nick, so we could brief him on how to get brief-less. 

We got there just in time. Nick arrived, straight from Bondi Beach, where he'd been relaxing on the sand when he got our random phone call. Nick was nervous. Particularly because, as he explained to me, when he got nervous: "it gets smaller". I told him not to worry about that and ushered him into the room, praying that the girls would be gentle with him.  

As it turned out, Nick had a great time. Not only did he enjoy being a "life model", the girls were also obviously quite happy with what they saw, because Nick scored a phone number off one of the girls. He even offered us his services again should we have another such emergency. So all's well that ends well. 

But still, cold calling random men to ask them to come get naked for you is a little weird. Like, very weird. I was just surprised at how hard it was to find one who would do it!

I put this in black and white because, as everyone knows that if it's black and white, it's art.


Famous on TV

One of the fun things about this job is you never know what each day is going to bring. One day, I got an email from a casting agent asking if the Pole Dance Academy girls would be interested in auditioning for a television commercial for a big sportswear brand. The product was a new type of shoe that is supposed to give you a better bum (I think we all know how gullible you would have to be to believe that, but anyway). 

My sister and I were both free, so we packed a bag with some sequin bikinis and stripper shoes, and set off. 

When we got to the audition, we were told that unfortunately they hadn't been able to organise a pole. My sister and I exchanged glances.
Me: "So if there's no pole, how do you want us to pole dance for you?" 
Casting agent: "Well, we've cleared a space in the middle of the room, so if you can just sort of show us what you've got, without a pole, that would be great."
Me: "OK. I guess we can just do some floor work or something. Where can I plug my iPod in?"
Casting agent: "Yeah, so unfortunately we don't actually have any music capability here."  
Me: "No music?"
Casting agent: "No." 
Me: "So you want us to pole dance for you with no pole, and no music?"
Casting agent: "Yeah, that's right." 
Me: (rolls eyes) 
The audition itself was one of the most awkward things I've ever done. Picture a small room with no windows, two female casting agents operating a camera, me in a bikini "pole dancing without a pole", and no sound other than the hum of fluorescent lights and my own breathing. AWKWARD. 

We didn't even get the job. Possibly because the consumer watchdog got on to them about making false claims about the butt-lifting effects of their sneakers... Or possibly because they found someone else who could pole dance without a pole better than we could. Sigh.

Pole gigs can be such a drag... 

One of my boyfriend's friends was about to turn 40, and he wanted to celebrate in style. So he hired the penthouse floor of the fanciest nightclub in Sydney, and invited a hundred or so of his closest friends. He had a whole swag of entertainment acts for the night, including Maddie, Yvette and me. He told us that his favourite singers were Madonna and George Michael, and gave us a list of his favourite songs.

We got a bit carried away, and choreographed a massive mega-mix medley of Madonna and George Michael songs, which of course included a re-enactment of George's arrest for having sex in a public toilet. I have to say that even though at first it felt a little strange pole dancing in chaps whilst rocking a moustache and chest hair.... um, I kinda liked it... Plus I think I made a great man. What do you think?

Me as George Michael

George Michael being taken in by Constables Yvette and Maddie

In fact, the more I think I about it, the more I'm beginning to think we should have ditched Nick and used me for the topless waiter emergency! I mean, it's not like I have boobs or anything... hahaha maybe not.

Let me teach you how to be sexy...

We got asked to do a hens party for a lovely bunch of girls, who had hired a suite in a city hotel for their celebrations. They didn't have the hotel's permission to put up the pole, so we said we'd teach them some burlesque basics and lap dance moves instead. 

The girls were very enthusiastic, particularly the hen. She was very interested in learning how to do a sexy chair dance for her future husband. Now, I pride myself on my chair dance and lap dance skills. It's something that I consider to be a real art form, and I take it very seriously. 

So imagine my distress when, halfway through teaching the hen a very sexy back bend off the lap of her lucky man, I suddenly found myself flat on my back on the floor, legs akimbo with the chair on top of me. The girls all shrieked, and began fussing over me to make sure I was ok.

Ever the professional, I tried to act all nonchalant about it. 
"Girls, I'm fine. I was just trying to demonstrate to you how not to do it, and some of the things that can go wrong when you're attempting a lap dance. You can really hurt yourself, so you have to be careful. And yes, as you see from my back, carpet burn is a real risk."
How it's meant to look.

Cries for help 

Ah, Facebook. The best way to link in with people who can help you to master the life skills you need to survive in your world. In a moment of cyber-serendipity, as I was writing this blog, I received a desperate plea for guidance from one of my facebook friends:

Hey Shimmy,
I thought I would ask you this as I have been practising my Booty skills since your workshop. You know the stance you had us in where we are standing, holding the pole and with our feet flat on the ground, you get us to stick our butts out and shake our knees in & out? Is that the right movement? I feel as though I am shaking my knees left & right rather quickly and feeling the reverberation in my butt...
The whole point of this is to make my butt cheeks & backs of thighs look like they are vibrating?? 
Also, been practising pinching each butt cheek individually. This is where you had us sit on the floor with our legs spread and get us to clench each butt cheek.
I find when I do this move, I can feel my knees popping as I clench each this still clenching the butt muscles? Can be kind of hard to see in the mirror sometimes...
Is this the right way to go about it? Is this something that needs practising to be able to see the butt muscles move?
Thanks so much, Shimmy!~

 To which I reply:   

Hi there! 
Yes that's right, but make sure you keep your legs straight and your knees locked, and it should look like your butt cheeks are almost clapping.
As for the butt "clenching", it's not in your knees, its in your thighs and butt cheeks.
Keep it up!!
PS I'm writing a blog about the funny things that happen in a pole dancer's life, and it strikes me that getting messages like this is pretty funny. Would you give me permission to copy and paste your message?
(She did).


And the moral of the story is...

That even though my life is crazy and weird, that's exactly how I like it and I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm a very happy pole dancer.

Shimmy xxx