Ryann Reflections

A glimpse into the life of one anti-social stripper nerd.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Job...

There is a lot is mystery and misunderstanding surrounding my job. I know most people never think about the logistics or what happens behind the scenes. To many, Strippers appear like magic in the bar. They enter through mysterious doors that lead to unknown locations. They appear dressed in stilettos, wrapped in an aura of glamorous secrecy.

I enjoy the illusion, and the looks that I get when I walk through the bar to the DJ booth. I love the wide-eyed speculation and fascination. But it’s easy for me to forget about the fantasy when I’m not on stage. I know where the door leads, and what my room looks like. I know the disaster of costumes, makeup and rice cakes that litter my cheap hotel room. I know what my life entails, and the day to day routine, which is anything but glamorous. Foolishly I expect people to know the reality of being a Peeler. Odd since much of the appeal is in the secrecy. Rippers don’t have hairy legs, or do dishes. No one thinks about a Peeler driving kids to daycare. No, Strippers are shrouded in an air of sexuality and nymphomaniac desires. We are “Exotic”!

And here I am ruining that… The industry varies a great deal depending on the bar, and the location. But these are the specifics of MY job… (This should help to answer some of the questions)

I am a self-employed contractor, and sole proprietor. As a contractor I am responsible for all aspects of my business. I am not an employee, and no one assists in the compensation of expenses. I save my receipts, log business expenses, and maintain careful track of my accounting.

I work through agencies who act as the intermediary between me and the club. The agencies have exclusive contracts with specific bars to book dancers. When in Vancouver I work through one agency, when in Manitoba I work through a different one. They arrange show price, show count, and logistics. In turn they take a percentage of my pay. The agency is paid directly from my gross earnings at the end of each week.

The clubs pay per show. If I am NOT ON STAGE, I am NOT PAID. This includes any floor time, selling table dances, or waiting around for a show. Any and ALL expenses incurred while working, traveling, or upgrading a show are out of pocket. Some of my larger expenses include flights, transportation, costumes, photo shoots, and promotional materials such as posters, magnets, and lighters. Other common business expenses are a bit more unique: paint, underwear, shoes, tanning, and makeup.

Accommodation when touring is provided for a reduced rate by most bars, either in the form of a shared dancer house, or a cheap hotel above the bar.

Advertising is minimal. My name is currently on the marquee outside the bar, and my poster in the entrance, but few expenses are incurred by the clubs to promote dancers. I’m in marketing. I sell the idea. Having my name known and requested is important to me, but focuses around maintaining a good relationship with the agencies and the clubs. I am professional, positive, and I work hard. Tours are announced, fans are acknowledged, and promo is abundantly distributed.

At the end of the day and the end of the week if the customers like me and the club likes my attitude and my show I’ve done my job. If I’m on time, professional and good to work with the bar will be happy to book me when I choose to return. If the bars want me my agents are happy because I’m easy to book, and reliable. And so… I have work, where I want, and when I want.

The rest is all smoke and mirrors baby.

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6 Comments:

  • At 12:57 PM, Blogger Gadzilla said…

    Thanks! Great post!

    In my job, I bring the product I deliver through the recieving area of grocery stores, and let me tell you, its not pretty most days.

    That area that work in daily now, used to be forbidden and very mysterious. "Employee's Only" sign hang on all the doors leading into that backroom area. Nothing very special about it anymore. That doesn't mean it's not important though. :)

     
  • At 7:44 PM, Anonymous rori said…

    As you say in the disclaimer at the bottom of your blog "Fantasies may be destroyed."

    Ryann, your job is indeed magic. Smoke and Mirrors, misdirection, slight of hand (or other bodyparts). Also just like magic, when you know the secret it's kinda no big deal.

    I'm reminded of a time I was walking out the bar w/ a dancer going back to her place. What the rest of the bar didn't know was that was to get her home to her husband & kids plus an emergency stop for baby supplies (food, diapers, wipes, etc).
    Playing with the illusion as a patron can also be fun, like making up "real" names for my dancer friends and then "accidently" saying it in front of other patrons.

     
  • At 10:14 AM, Anonymous Terry-photog said…

    "...smoke and mirrors, baby, smoke and mirrors....!"
    awesome!

     
  • At 1:44 PM, Blogger The Recovering Straight Girl said…

    Fascinating.

     
  • At 11:28 PM, Blogger dolly said…

    hi ryann

    i have the bare minimum of internet but i wanted to say haaaaaaay. youre pretty.

     
  • At 9:38 PM, Anonymous Gölök Zoltán Buday said…

    Logistics is the studity or counting of numberss, as far as I remember. So time numerical or fiscal numerical values? Both? It seems a bit off in the grammer.
    I respect Soley owned businesses more than any business, and a relative of mine did it and I don't know about you, but she wrote the best contracts for herself as a feature.
    Another thing however comes to mind, the collective mind set did you forget the word "generally" or "many of"? Because this line, "No, Strippers are shrouded in an air of sexuality and nymphomaniac desires. We are “Exotic”!", is a bit of a broad stroke speaking for all others and claiming to know what is in all their mind and treating their expressions as if they are all the same, which is impossible, it would diminish the beauty if it were this way.
    Any entertainer knows though, the hardest thing, the hardest work, is not doing it.

    Gölök Z. L. F. Buday

     

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