Thursday, December 11, 2008

Stripper Pimp's Harem of Square, Nerdy Sluts

At grimy truck stops all over America, young hookers are on their knees all night, doing a lot more than praying, but ultimately praying for a way out. For them, being a so-called dancer in a strip club would be an improvement. But those aren't the kind of girls Stripper Pimp recruits.

He specializes in girls who are square. Girls like the one I was when I first met him at age 25. Girls who never imagined they'd end up in a strip club, girls who have intelligence and a work ethic, girls who would be too devastated and ashamed to go back home.

Basically, he was applying a principle that I would learn years later from my acting teacher, a hard-core, grizzled and lovable Method acting guru. My teacher was relentless about breaking down actors' emotional barriers. When new people came to class, he would size them up and give them acting exercises that directly tapped into their most obvious and entrenched blocks.

Sweet, little farm girl from the Midwest? The teacher would give her an acting exercise that forced her to say really mean things in a language that would make her pastor gasp. Big macho touch guy? The teacher would tell him to imagine his mother in a coffin, until Mr. Tough Guy was weeping like a hormonal schoolgirl.

My acting teacher referred to it as the Domino Effect: if he could quickly blast a hole directly into someone's emotional armor, he knew the rest of the walls would fall quickly, and that person would soon be able to tap into a much wider variety of emotions at will.

Stripper Pimp knew the same thing, except he wasn't interested in anyone's artistic growth. If he got a girl from a conservative background and blasted a hole in her sense of self, he knew it would be remarkably easy to get her to do anything.

Good girls gone bad in Stripper Pimp's harem
Back then, the legitimate front for Stripper Pimp's activities was an all-girl singing group that he laughingly referred to as an "HTA act" - hair, tits and ass. In fact, the audition ad I responded to requested "singer/actresses" for a TV show about the group.

The lead singer was Filipino. She was about five feet tall, and her chest was about three feet long. Her voice was so big, it could knock down doors. (In her case, it was a chest-sized singing voice.) But long before she became a strip-club mainstay, she had donned a chipmunk costume as Alvin for an Alvin and the Chipmunks tour. She worked hard, and she was disciplined. When I would visit Stripper Pimp, I'd sometimes hear her belting out scales from her bedroom.

The other girl in the group was Middle Eastern. Born in Iran, she spoke at least two languages and had studied so diligently with a speech therapist that she had no trace of a foreign accent. Before she met Stripper Pimp, she worked in a bank.

As a guilt-ridden lapsed Catholic, I fit right in. Plus, I wasn't working at all. My living situation was unbearable. I was on the outs with my family. And more than anything in the world, I wanted to be a working actress.

That made me the perfect candidate for the type of work Stripper Pimp had in mind.

(Stripper/Casting Couch Diaries Part 2 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)

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1 comment:

Blogger said...

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