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Taming your emotions

Chase Kelly —  January 20, 2013 — 5 Comments

About 3 weeks ago I finished a book that had been on my list for awhile.  Between having a childhood that lacked guidance, running this blog, and being an entertainer myself, I often turn to books to answer the difficult questions this industry has brought up.  Over and over in books like The Power of Now, The Road Less Traveled, The Secret, The Art of Loving, The Dance of Anger, Rich Dad Poor Dad, The Power of Positive Thinking and a ton more finance and self help books proclaim the same thing.  You cannot act in response to your emotions.  You need make your emotions respond to you.

After weeks of contemplating, I have rewritten the concept (with the help of my trusty steed–a 5 year old Pomeranian), and I am now passing it on to you.  This WILL help you make money, and it will help you to preserve your sanity.  Guaranteed.  I am going to break it down Dr. M Scott Peck’s way, but instead of using the awful analogy he used (if you read it you know what I’m referring to), I will call you the master, and I will call your emotions your pet.

A good dogs sits, stays, and comes when commanded.  They don’t beg and they are ready to defend you from an intruder.  A good dog knows it’s place and can help it’s master accomplish many things.  The best dogs can sniff bombs and rescue babies from burning buildings and even serve as eyes for those who cannot see.

Bad dogs, though, they jump up on children and scratch them.  They bark at every passerby, out of fear or aggression, or a simple compulsion to make their presence known.  They sit next to your chair and whine while you are trying to enjoy a meal.  They chew your Louboutins and piss on your new couch and they tear up your beautiful garden.  The worst dogs attack people or other animals.

But when you think about the dog, are they really bad or good? Or is this just a matter of discipline? Seeing eye dogs and canine units go through extensive training to achieve all of the wonderful things they achieve.  Is it ever the dog’s fault that it lacks a sense of purpose, that it must act out in order to get noticed?  Of course not.  It is up to the master to set boundaries, to choose battles, to show her pet when it does not need to fear.

Have we, as young women, not acted out when what we need is guidance, love, support and understanding?  Can we not understand this behaviour?  When we are longing for something, security, happiness, money, love…these are the times that our emotions get out of control, when they act for us.  This longing is our enemy, it messes everything up.  What we need is self discipline.

A dog’s place is at the end of it’s human’s leash.  It’s sole desire in life is to bring you happiness, to serve and protect you, but in order to reap the benefits that this infinitely generous creature can offer you, you must speak to it with kindness and firmness, train it, show it it’s purpose in life.  Your dog WANTS to make you happy, but it only has the tools that you give it.

So learn, like you train your trusty BFF, to train your emotions.  When you feel your blood boiling, your temperature rising, your hands trembling with anger or disgust, sternly say to your anger, “Nooooo.” and pull on it’s leash.  Give it a firm hand, show it that you are in control, and it can trust you.  And in return, show trust in it.  When your dog is sad or sick, treat it with understanding and tenderness.  Reach down a hand and give it a comforting pet on the head.  Say, “Good girl,” when it’s earned.

We have all heard the stories of the amazing animals that have saved their families from burning buildings or the peril of drowning.  It’s true, like golden retrievers, your feelings can warn you and protect you from harm.  It is up to you to spend enough time with your emotions to understand which bark is just chatter and which is an alarm.  Like a well-loved pet, your must get to know your feelings…become comfortable enough with them that you actually hear what they’re saying, not just try and quiet the barks, ruffs, and whimpers.

So what does this have to do with stripping?  Probably a lot.  You need to harness excitement, happiness, and approachability to make money without degrading yourself.  People DO like sad strippers sometimes, but those people are not people you need to come in contact with.  Avoid them.  Additionally, most girls in the industry often let their emotions get the best of them, which is why they are best suited for a job that takes them in all their erratic and irrational childish glory, and this inability to control one’s emotions is what keeps them stuck in the industry forever.  Not that this job isn’t REAL, because it’s as real as it gets, but in the COMMON world, no one is going to tolerate your outbursts.  You can’t say to a client at a law firm, “Don’t TALK like that, you are SO GROSS,” throw a drink at them, and walk away.  In the strip club, though, your craziness is tolerated.  It shouldn’t be tolerable to you, though!  You can’t let yourself get that way, just because your job allows it….of any occupation, this one will stretch you to your max and having control of your emotions will determine if you sink or swim.  It will be the deciding factor between those of you who start successful business and those who down into a hole of addiction and defeat.  If you ever want out of this kind of work, if you don’t want to become this industry, you need to learn about your emotions, you need to learn to love them, to be kind to them, and to discipline them so that they can best protect you from this scary world.  Hope is a girls best friend.  Good luck and be safe out there this weekend.

Chase K.

http://www.survivetheclub.com

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Despite the cash that is overflowing from their coach bags, most strippers have a fair amount of unmanaged debt that they do not know what to do with.   Borrowing money is part of our culture, and since most everyone we know is drowning in debt, maybe you jumped on the bandwagon of irresponsibility.  Maybe you got screwed in interest, and now you’re paying 10 times as much as you spent originally, now you are taking a stand against them and vow not to pay them at all.  Maybe you are a little lazy and paying them means doing a bunch of things you don’t feel like doing right now, but you swear you’ll do it “later,” and maybe you think you are being good, you pay all your bills on time, but you pay the minimum due and your balances never seem to go down?  (Maybe you have no debt at all and this post doesn’t apply to you, in which case, please comment how you managed your debt and give yourself a hug!)

Whatever the reason is, if you carry ANY debt as a dancer you are doing yourself a grave injustice.  Strippers should be investing and MAKING money in interest on all the cash we make (even if you’re a low earning stripper, you can be providing for your future more capably now than possibly ever.)  Right now, you make the cash that it costs to earn a Ph.D.  Even if you have NO IDEA what you want your future to be like, trust that one day a plan will show itself to you (please watch this video).  Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to quit dancing and dedicate 40 hours a week towards YOUR DREAM?  You don’t have to run in the rat race like everyone else.  If you pay off your debts and manage your money, you can live the life you want to live, without many of the limitations that keep people down.  You don’t need to have a plan for the rest of your life right this instance to prepare yourself for a comfortable life, and there’s something you can do RIGHT NOW instead of browsing the internet to improve your life.

IF YOU PAY OFF YOUR DEBTS AND SAVE YOUR MONEY, THE LIFE YOU WANT IS YOURS, so the first step is to gather a list of all the people who you owe money to.  If this seems daunting, just answer every blocked call, 800 number, or unknown call for a month or two.  Also, check the mail daily and open everything that looks like a bill the second you get it.  Write down all of the information from each-what you owe, whether the account is in collections, if not, what the interest is on the balance, and how much they want from you.  Then start going through them one by one.  Lots of places will settle your debt for less, and if it’s in collections I say do that.

Please don’t go getting student loans, either.  If you have one, pay it off, if you don’t, get on a payment plan, work more shifts, put a little more work into refining your hustle so you make more money, and pay for school up front.  “Dancing your way through college” is a bullshit excuse for what you’re doing if you are graduating with the same debt as your cousin who works at Whole Foods.  Don’t take loans for ANYTHING but a home if you can avoid it (which you can).

I am not a financial advisor, but there are ton’s of books on debt management that can help you.  I definitely recommend Suze Orman, I got through all of my debt while reading Women and Money.  Lots of the advice in personal finance books don’t apply to dancers because we make cash, but paying off your debts is a must for all people, it just so happens that it’s actually POSSIBLE for strippers.  The bottom line is, even though you can’t see it, the interest on those cards is eating away at your hard earned money.  These credit card companies are in business to make LOTS of money off of you, and if you aren’t paying attention, they will.  Carry a low balance on your cards, and pay it in full each month.  Don’t borrow money you don’t have.  Save.  Pay for everything you have up front.  I never tell someone to “bill me.”  and ALWAYS pay cash when possible.

I will post more on earning back interest with IRAs, savings accounts, and mutual funds later on, but while you wait, pick up the phone and cancel that Victoria’s Secret Card.

xxx

Chase

related post: Control your Credit

 

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Getting Unstuck

Chase Kelly —  October 15, 2012 — 1 Comment

If you have become a stripper that really can’t handle life or responsibilities, it’s time to come clean with yourself.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with you if you want to be a stripper to help you get through a tough financial time, or if you want to be a stripper to help you achieve your goals, pay for school, start a company, etc.  There is not even anything wrong with being a stripper simply because you like it!  Often times, though, all being a stripper does for girls is support their dysfunction.  If you are one of these girls, it’s best that you at least admit the problem.  It may seem weird, awful, uncomfortable, and a huge affront to your self-esteem to admit that you simply cannot function in modern society, but truly, the first step in fixing a problem is identifying it.  Admitting that you are stuck doesn’t mean that you are doomed for life, it means that you are self-aware, that you have the clarity to admit you need some guidance, and that you at least are aware that your lifestyle could use some tweaking.  Admitting a problem means that you are not insane.  Ignoring it means that you are.

Have you ever met someone who is bat shit crazy and everyone knows it but the actual crazy person (Hi, Mom!)?  That is the result of self-denial.  That is what happens when there is a problem with your personality and you choose to ignore it, say, “It’s fine!” or joke about your bad life decisions.  Like cancer, early detection is the best cure for a diseased lifestyle.  If you catch it, you can change it.  If it goes ignored for too long, though, it spreads like wildfire and mental illness comes in and grabs you.  Let’s not pretend that the strip club will be around forever—eventually we will be too old for this shit.  Let’s also not pretend that crazy people are a scarcity in the industry.  And while we are at it, let’s not be so pompous to think it couldn’t happen to us.  Lifestyle dancing is dangerous because it is unrealistic.  Unless you LOVE the industry and plan to be in the adult industry for the rest of your life (eventually you will have to quit stripping, at which point it will be the cams, porn sites, escorting, or Dommeing) you need to be able to function outside of it.  If the only people who “get you” work in the club, it’s time to reassess.

Some of the problems I see most often are ones that I have myself struggled with from time to time.  Some girls are lazy, can’t get out of bed in the daytime, others literally have no idea what to do with authority-they lack the social skills to follow direction.  Rage issues, no “filter,” inability to maintain a schedule, inability to connect with people, no desire to do anything that doesn’t result in monetary gain, addiction, codependency, and battered women’s syndrome are just SOME of the  many things that strippers have to overcome.  You add a career that encourages your behavior, and managers that turn a blind eye, are completely oblivious, or simply don’t care what happens to you, a peer group that has adopted the “sink or swim” approach to life, and a shit ton of untaxed income, sexual assault and complete disregard for your humanity, and you have a recipe for disaster.  It’s no wonder most all dancers suffer from PTSD at some point.  You are not alone, but you will be if you don’t do something to change the direction of your actions.

Women have SO much more responsibility than men do when it comes to being emotionally stable, if only for one reason.  Most of us are already or will be mothers one day.  We will literally take on the responsibility of another human life at some point, and like many bad moms, those who end up totally crazy won’t even realize it.

I am asking you to take a look at yourself and do something about it if you are one of these girls.  Thinking about it is great, spend some time on that, but start making a plan as soon as you’re ready.  During your thinking process, take notes.  Your journal is your best friend when making life changes.  If your’re writing it down, you are making a commitment.  Do that!  Commitment is good, failure to commit is a really common stripper problem, so now is a great time to work on that.  Start small, do the things you know you SHOULD be doing, but don’t.  Something as simple as keeping your bed made when you aren’t in it, keeping an empty sink, or cleaning up after your pets will bolster your “I can do it!” esteem pretty much right away.  Taking care of the basics is essential to being able to take care of the extras.  The things you need to do to get the ball rolling vary from girl to girl, you know what you need to work on.  Start small, don’t give yourself a panic attack, instead reward yourself for your achievements, and counter some of your bad habits with good ones.  If you suffer from anxiety, this is seriously one of the best things you can do to alleviate some of that.  When “I can’t do it,” is constantly playing in your head, OF COURSE you have anxiety.  As of right now, you are broken up with “I can’t.” Your new mantra is, “I’ve got this!”

And you do.  You’ve got this.  Now get off the internet and go clean your kitchen.

Lots of love,
Chase Kelly

 

*Featured Image by Klaus Kampert

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How to be a stripper is not all you need to know when it comes to the industry.  If you have been dancing for 5 years or 5 days, you need to write your exit plan, starting today.  It is automatic to become accustomed to stripper money and require it to survive.  Even if you are one of the low earners at your club, chances are you have the ability to make more now than you would if left to rely on your other resources.  Isn’t that why you chose dancing, come to think of it?

Your exit plan is simple, it consists of 4 things:
-How much money does it cost me to live?
-If I weren’t dancing, what would I like to be doing to earn money?
-What does it take in order to actually “do” step 2?
-How much does it cost to “do” step 2?
Answering these questions is the first step to actually making your dreams come true.  No matter how much you are enjoying dancing today, we need to loudly state that this is not your life goal.  For years I wanted to be a stripper when I grew up.  Now that I am a grown up stripper, I realize that the future of this industry just isn’t for me.  Dancer into my 30’s?  Sounds palatable enough, but dancer into my 40’s just in’t* gonna work.
The reality is that this job is stressful and dangerous.  While I hope nothing bad ever happens in your dancing career, or in your life for that matter, it’s important to be realistic.  Bad things happen to everyone, and this job can create you a safety net to help get you through the really awful things, some of which are brought on because of the job itself.
The day my dad died, I swear I wish I could have traded in my gucci shoes for a flight to Phoenix to be with my mom, but Southwest doesn’t accept scuffed flats for flights.  I had no money and no plan to deal with the hardship I was going through.  I had to dance that entire month to pay my bills.  The same thing happened when I got mugged on my way home from work, and when I went through my big breakup, and after I went past my limits with a customer and had a breakdown.  I can’t tell you what it’s like to have to give even one  lap dance when all you want to do is curl up in a ball and cry.  Having to do it night after night so you don’t end up homeless is unbearable.  UNFUCKINGBEARABLE.
PLEASE, don’t do this to yourself.  If nothing else, prepare for 3 months of living expenses.  3 months is the ABSOLUTE MINIMUM amount of time you’d need away from dancing if god forbid something awful happened to you.  Going back to work when you aren’t ready can cause extreme mental damage, even if you aren’t aware of it at the time.  Hindsight is 20/20 and I am here to tell you that you will need to undo that damage if you insist on inflicting it upon yourself.  Sometimes, it can never be undone.  If you want to really do something amazing for yourself, please email me.  I will walk you through the foundation of the program I am writing for you guys.  It’s not finished yet, but I can help you get on the path now if you can’t wait another second.
Lack of planning led me down a very dark tunnel that landed me in a very dark pit of despair.  Even if you think dancing doesn’t affect you on an emotional level, all it takes is one small shift to change that forever.  The entire reason I write this blog is because I want to help you avoid the pain I put myself through.  Girls like us, we just didn’t have anyone to show us how to do it right.  Instead of beating yourself up, instead of feeling hopeless or stuck, take just one simple step to give you some strength.  Get yourself a savings going and use it to fuel your way out of this place, once you’ve milked it for everything it has to offer you.
*I just created an even lazier way to say “ain’t,” which is either indicative of me being an extreme over achiever, or on the flip side, an extreme under achiever.  Food for thought.

 

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Making a Regular

Chase Kelly —  September 13, 2012 — 2 Comments

Anyone who dances knows that the best money comes from being a stripper who attracts regulars.  I want to tell you how I do it.

The other night I had a customer the who was really sweet.

He had been going through a really hard time.  A bad divorce, some time locked up, lost his kid to his ex, working 60 hours a week at a job he hated, and NO strip club experience/etiquette.  Typically an annoying guy, but since it was early on a Sunday, the club was really slow, I decided to go talk to him.  It seemed like everyone was avoiding him because he was sitting in a kind of unapproachable spot, but I assume that’s only because he wasn’t really comfortable.  He had heard about my club on the radio and decided to come out for our Sunday happy hour special, which is $10 dances all night.  People with no strip club experience make the perfect regulars, because n one has gotten in there and burned him, given him too much for too little, or fucked him up some other annoying way.  I decided it was a perfect opportunity to take on the project of converting him to my regular.

I was really sweet and patient, showed him a great time, gave him some heartfelt advice, and took 2 shots with him (a serious limit for me).  On $10 dance nights I still always charge $20, but a lot of customers who hear the ad expect to pay the “sale” price.  Here is how I get around that.

“So this is really only your second time at a strip club?  Do you know how it works here?”

Even if he knows, he is going to prompt you to tell him.  He wants to hear your menu.  Dances here are typically $20 anywhere in the club, but options are key.  People gravitate towards the middle ground, so 3 choices is best.

“So, since it’s Sunday, we are running a $10 dance special.  They take place here in your seat, there is absolutely no touching, and I leave my top on.  We can also go against the wall back there, and those are $20.  We also have private VIP dances, which are way more intimate, allow touching, and are really fun.  Which do you think you want to do?”

He chose the $20 dances, and we did a few.  Then I gave him a massage for awhile, and charged $10 a song.  Eventually I excused myself because I was bored of him, and could feel his attention wavering.  The club had picked up, so I went in search of greener pastures.  I knew I showed him a great time and he’d want to see me again, so I offered my email, even though he is FAR from a regular.  It was actually his first time in a club since the 90’s.  Today I received an email from him.  It read as follows:

Hi Chase. Hope all is well with you. This J the guy with the skull

hat. I was there Sunday.   Just wanted to say thanks alot! For taking

your time and talking and being real. You made my night. You and the

drinks got me loosen up. So I went with it and had fun. dance with

others to. Nice place! easy going. Stiil I had best time hanging with

you. Send me a line as to when you work and if its not a work night

Ill come out. dont worry I wont hang on you. I know you need to work.

Thanks very much for your email. very sweet.  Hope to here from you.

take care, have fun.

J

How lovely.  It feels nice to help someone when they are having a hard time.  Sometimes people just want to relax and have fun, and I am lucky to be professional and personable enough that I can feel okay about charging for it.  If you take someone who is down in the dumps for a ride, take all of their money, and treat them like a trick, you are a shithead.  Don’t be a part of the problem, people already think we are thieving whores, that’s why they don’t care when we get raped or murdered.  Being a good person is your responsibility, we need you to help us get the respect we deserve!  I know that I am not a negative thing for this guy, so taking his money is A-OK.  There are lots of occupations in which you get paid to help people, and dancing can definitely be one of them.  It really is one of the more exciting and rewarding parts of the job, to be able to give someone who never gets to smile a great night.  Sooooo I did that for this guy, made a regular, and then got to write an awesome blog about it to share with you all the ins and outs of how to be successful, ethical, and rich young ladies!  How good is life, can you tell me?

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Control your Credit

Chase Kelly —  September 1, 2012 — 1 Comment

Hey ladyfriends-

I have been talking to some girls and as it turns out, most of us have no clue how to manage our FICO scores and have pretty much just given up on credit cards since we typically just max them out and then pay the bills when we feel like it, if ever.  I really want you to feel in control of your finances and your future, and I think having one credit card with a decent spending limit for “just in case” scenarios is important.  Girls turn ankles and can’t work.  We go through break ups and can’t bring ourselves to dance for a few weeks, we have deaths in the family, car accidents, kids with broken arms, etc. We also need to rent or purchase homes, we will need to get jobs or start businesses of our own later.  Many of these things wil require credit checks, and those of you who have proven irresponsible in this area will be shit out of luck, so I am going to give you a basic plan to get your credit cards under control:

1. Pull your FICO scores.  Your FICO score is basically your Bill Paying Grade, and it ranges from 300-850.  There are 3 different bureaus that are keeping track of your spending record, so you should probably get on top of it, too.  You can pull this from MyFico.com.  Beware of sites that offer free credit checks, they will often bill you for other services that you don’t request, and you cannot stop the payments without canceling your card all together, so try and avoid those.

2. Scour what you see.  Make sure everything on there is real, and you actually charged those items.  Start calling any companies that have closed your account or have gone to collections and ask for a settlement.  Pay off all of these and keep the accounts closed.

3. Get down to only one credit card with the lowest interest rate possible.  Close all store cards (these are a trap) and never open another one.  I don’t care if they give 90% off at the register, these cards are a scam!  Work out a payment plan for anything else that comes up.  Your goal is to get your debt down to zero.

4. Understand how interest works, don’t pay the minimum!  So basically here’s what happens.  You have a 10% interest rate and you charge $300.  When you get your bill you pay on time, but you only pay the minimum payment of $25.  You now have a balance of $275 on your credit card, all of which is charged a 10% interest immediately.  You just got charged $27.50 for nothing.  Credit card companies are banking on the fact that you cannot make your payments and therefor need to pay only the minimum, this is where they make their money, so don’t charge what you can’t pay off in full.  Pay in full as soon as you get your statement!  Late fees are also subject to being charged interest, and your rates will likely drop if you pay on time for 6 months.

5. Your FICO score is determined by the ratio between these 2 things: your credit limit vs. your current debt.  If you have a $500 limit on a crappy card, and you owe $400 on it, your credit is going to suck.  Keep your balances low and your payments regular!

These are just some basics, we could of course go way deeper, which I advise you to do!  Any questions, feel free to post them, I’ll try and address whatever I can!

If you have ever taken a basic psychology course or visited a therapist at some point in your life, you probably understand the term “conditioning.”  Conditioning is what happens to us when we make the assumption based on past experiences, that A+B will have an outcome of C.  For example, if every time you sold a lap dance, you got a lollipop along with your $20-40, you would come to expect the lollipop.  Up close, it’s easy to see the simple connections we make, “If I smile on stage I will make more money.”  If you know this works, it’s because you’ve tried it and you know it to be true.

If you take some time to reflect on your past, I’m sure you can see the patterns that have been set in your life based on your conditioning.  If your father treated your mother like shit, you probably have issues in your relationships, you have either started dating abusive people, become abusive yourself, or both.  If you had a lot of experiences traveling that made you feel free and weightless and amazing, you probably already have your next trip planned and are working on a way to achieve your travel goal.  While I think that it is imperative that we explore our pasts to figure out what we are going to make of life today,  what this post is really about is how what you do today greatly impacts the person you will be tomorrow.
Choosing to become an adult entertainer, you made a big decision.  I stress the word adult because you really did take on a very grown-up task.  Rest assured, stripping is not child’s play.  If you want to be an adult in an adult industry, it is really important that you take responsibility for how you are currently conditioning your future self.  If you have never seen a dancer in her 40’s or older who has nothing to show for her time in the club except for meth pocks and mental health issues, you know how real it is.  It is not the strip club that trapped them, it was their own minds, and often their drug addictions.  I hope you guys like bullet points as much as I do.  Here are some things you can do to keep your mind healthy and keep you from brainwashing yourself into believing that this is all you will ever be:

-Keep your goal list close.  It is important to remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing.

-Consistently put positive things into your brain.  Always have a project, something that you are reading, learning, working on, improving.  The strip club is pretty negative and being in the “work all night, sleep all day, party and bullshit every other second of my life” will really knock the wind out of your future.

-Hang pictures in your living room of things you really want in life.  I read this in a Feng Shui book once, the idea is that you spend the most time there and you will be burning the desires into your subconscious.

-Be aware of your subconscious mind.  When you “numb-out” like most of us do at the club, there is still some aspect that is creeping in.  Be aware of it, and find outlets to clear out this negativity.  Running, yoga, writing, being in nature, long periods of solitude, therapy, and reading are some of mine, but maybe you love painting and have always wanted to learn French.  Now is a great time.

-Pay attention to the people you are surrounding yourself with.  Do not become friends with people who you do not respect.  If your family is toxic, either keep them at a distance or start doing some ground work to improve the relationship.

-We share a collective consciousness that we cannot see or feel.  Take responsibility for your share.  Add only positivity to our shared thinkspace.

-Make a ritual of something you really love.  It can be anything that makes you smile, just commit to doing it once a day.

 

Showers on the inside

Chase Kelly —  September 1, 2012 — Leave a comment

I had a discussion with a very fresh dancer whom I really like.  I sense that some things are pretty hard for her and she is sort of confused.  She is unbearably beautiful, dancing is quite lucrative for her and will continue to be, regardless of whether she plays her cards right—this is pretty much a guarantee.  What is not so sure, though, is what will happen to her.  Anyone who has been dancing more than a few years has seen exactly what I am talking about: sweet young girl tries her hand at dancing and ends up a suicidal mess in a pile of pain pills.  It kills me.

Tonight she told me that stripping makes her feel like she needs a “shower on the inside.” Just that phrase, wherever she came up with it, it seems so hopeless.  I have been thinking about it all night (girl, if you read this, please know I care, for real!) and I can’t quite shake it.  My advise to her is the same advise I have for all of us: build yourself an exit strategy from day 1.  Know what you need in the bank to be able to quit at the drop of a dime.  If something changes tomorrow to keep you from ever setting foot in the club again, be sure that you have the cushion you need to escape.  For someone like her, who has only been dancing 2 months, she simply needs $3,000 and a new job, but for girls like me, who have been dancing longer, we have a higher goal (mine is 1 year living expenses, a 1 month trip to Australia, a downpayment on a home, and 20k for my education—this is doable in just a couple of years with enough discipline!)  I think it’s a good idea to set that goal for yourself and start adding towards it, if even only $10 at a time.

The other thing I told her is that the club isn’t going anywhere.  Although I had waitressed, bar tended, and even managed a club before I ever got on stage, I waited until I was 24 to start dancing.  I knew I did not have the emotional maturity to handle it prior, so I fed my curiosity by working in other positions at the club.  I encourage you to tap into yourself and decide what’s right for you, ESPECIALLY if you’re new to the game; maybe you don’t need to be here yet, maybe you don’t need to be here at all.  If something feels totally wrong, get out.  If you have been with us for some time and have no emergency savings, you are in a serious crisis and you NEED to fix it!  Stop living your life as a series of reactions.  Take some control, and decide if this is really the job for you right now, and if it is, make a plan, so that if your “right now” changes, so can your occupation.  In order to avoid disaster, one must plan.  Disaster may still strike, but you will have tools to help you survive.  Money is power.  You have money, will you build yourself some power?