Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Divine Intervention, Madonna and a Bellowing Best Friend

"WHY CAN'T YOU RISE ABOVE?!?!"

That was the sound of my best friend from Detroit, who'd known me since the age of nine, screeching into the phone.

I had just told her that I planned to become a stripper, and I parroted back all the good reasons that I'd heard the day before from my new Hollywood talent manager, Stripper Pimp.

She went off! In her view, Stripper Pimp was just using classic "new girl" tricks on me – buying me clothes and having a little affair just so he could leech off me. And on top of that, he was totally bogus. Why wasn't his stupid girl group making it?!

I was more angry at her for pointing out the stupidity of my new life plan than I was at Stripper Pimp for hatching it.

Stripper Pimp had a very strange hold on me. I was fully aware that he was a sleazeball, but I found it amusing. I believed him when he said he "liked me" and that he was looking out for my best interests.

What's more, I wanted to believe him. I desperately wanted to believe that he could be my compass in the bewildering, stifling Sahara that was Los Angeles. I needed Stripper Pimp. I needed a manager.

My best friend's bellowing was actually my third warning.

The first had come in my sleep. The night I slept with Stripper Pimp, weeks before he broached the subject, I dreamt that he wanted me to become a stripper.

Two weeks later, another warning.

I applied for a listing in the Players' Directory, an actor's yearbook that casting directors flipped through. You could only appear if you were a member of the Screen Actor's Guild, or if you had an agent or manager. When I gave the guy at the table Stripper Pimp's name, he asked me a bunch of questions I didn't know how to answer:
  • "Is he a member of the Professional Manager's Association?" Uh ...
  • "Does he subscribe to Breakdown Services?" Uh ... what's Breakdown Services?
That night, God appeared in my dreams as the ultimate sexpot, Madonna. She told me that no one had ever heard of Stripper Pimp, and he wasn't that hot.

But I didn't listen to my first dream, I didn't listen to Madonna, and I didn't listen to my loud, indignant best friend.

I signed the contract.

Stripper Pimp was now entitled to 25 percent of my acting income, and I would be tied to him for three years. It hadn't yet occurred to me that Stripper Pimp's (higher-than-typical) commission might include a cut of all future table-dancing tips.

I found that part out when a fellow actor took me aside at play rehearsal. Actor Guy knew an Asian girl who had left Stripper Pimp's girl group a few months before. "I told her to watch her panties, because he's known for that."

Actor Guy said he attended the Grammy's, where he ran into a former disgraced Miss America who was now a big star. She was signed to the record label run by Stripper Pimp's brother, and she told Actor Guy to warn Asian Girl about Stripper Pimp's "womanizing."

Actor Guy put me in touch with Asian Girl's best friend. She was less loud than my home girl, but equally indignant. She claimed Stripper Pimp was sleeping with the Filipino lead singer ... and the Middle Eastern girl ... and he had pressured Asian Girl to break up with her boyfriend, only to expose himself to her and demand sex.

Then came the really nasty part. She also claimed that Asian Girl paid Stripper Pimp $200 a week from her strip-club earnings. Stripper Pimp refused to give her receipts for anything – not even a $1,500 trip to Chicago to attend the Billboard Music Awards. And now he was refusing to let Asian Girl out of her contract.

The same one I had signed a week earlier.

(Stripper/Casting Couch Diaries Part 6 of 17: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17)
(Stripper/Casting Couch Lessons Learned 1-2: 1 2)

Please "Like" Don't Be a Slut on Facebook or follow on Twitter.

3 comments:

Jay Roberts said...

Im hooked!

Cheron L. Hall said...

awh hell nahl...damn that "contract"...you should've went to the hood and found you some "attorneys" to "handle" that situation for a few dollars...

Blogger said...

I have just downloaded iStripper, and now I enjoy having the best virtual strippers on my taskbar.

Post a Comment