Ryann Reflections

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

Monday, November 27, 2006

Disillusioned

Back in Toronto… I’m trying to digest and process my first experience with the Miss Nude Canada Pageant (MNCP), but I’m having a hard time with it.

It was a good week overall, and I met some great girls. Bad luck of the draw got me eliminated early. I went in without expectations but it stung looking at the scores, realizing that I had I not been first on that stage on Monday, I would have been in the finals. The difference between 4th and 7th place on Monday was 0.6. But, I had fun and I learned a lot. I ended up co-coordinating the pageant with Ultimate Feature, and was really able to get to know some of the girls. I’m really glad I had the opportunity, and I know I made some amazing friends. At the end of the week I won Miss Congeniality and Fanciest Fanny (best ass!!!)

As for the finals… well I don’t know what to say… or how to say it. This year we had international competitors entered in Miss Nude Canada. They are both great girls, and wonderful entertainers, but I just can‘t agree with what happened.

Miss Nude Canada should be exclusive to dancers who live and work in Canada. It no longer is, and we no longer have a highly regarded pageant for our Canadian girls

We had been told that IF an international girl won she would be given the award “Miss Nude Canada- International”. The Canadian 1st runner up would be awarded Miss Nude Canada. What happened instead was the Hungarian won Miss Nude Canada, the Australian won 1st runner up, and this is what it looked like.

Contestant Fri/ Sat/ Combined Total Award
Ginger Jones 43.5/ 46.6/ 45.05 Miss Nude Canada
Paris Lamore 41.7/ 45.5/ 43.6 1st Runner Up
Justice 41.3/ 45.9/ 43.6 2nd Runner Up
Mandy Carlton 43.4/ 43.1/ 43.25 3rd Runner Up
Fiona Phoenix 40.6/ 45.2/ 42.7 -
Fantasy 39.9/ 44.8/ 42.25 MNC Au Natural

As you can see Paris and Justice tied for 1st runner up. Beauty Queen Image scores were used to break the tie.

I spent six hours yesterday with Ultimate Feature and Pooh Bear (pageant owner) going over every detail of everything. The entire history of the pageant, the changes and state of our industry, past winners, egos, emotions, and expectations and I’m still left with the same feeling.

Miss Nude Canada should be represented by a dancer who lives and works in Canada.

I’m finding it difficult to convey the level of disillusionment and hurt to people who weren’t there to experience the week. It was agonizing watching our top dancers loose the crown. I know people will say they should just work harder, and fight for it next year. But it’s so much more than that. It’s our pride and faith in Canadian girls to keep going.

I’m upset. Other girls are upset. People are confused, and while some might calm down, and gain some emotional distance from this contest, others won’t come back.

About Pooh Bear (from the manual)
The company is (his) baby… he conceived of it, he designed it, he built it. This business is his pride and joy and no one is worth destroying a dream for. Honesty is the foundation of this pageant, a novel idea that seems to be working.

Stripper pageants are infamous for being manipulated, and tweaked. Miss Nude Canada is truly an honest event, and we cherish it. But now… it’s not Canadian, and it’s not the same. I don’t know that Canadian dancers will be as willing to take a week off, make the financial investment and sacrifice to come together and compete for a Miss Nude Canada, that isn’t. It’s not Miss Nude World, or Miss Nude International. It’s Miss Nude Canada!!

I want to cry. We NEED a reputable, reliable pageant for us. Our industry is struggling, our finances are dropping. The money that a top feature in Europe makes is TRIPLE what she would make in Canada. Yet we try. Even with the push towards lap dancing spreading across the country, even with the lack of bars booking features, even with clubs closing down at a staggering rate, we still have dancers willing to put in the time, the money, the creativity, and the love of performance into this pageant. It’s all we have left!!

I haven’t been around for 30 years. I only know the stories of what the Features did 15 or 20 years ago. I hear people long for the “good old days” of exotic dancing when it was a real show. I would love to spend $5000 on a show. I would love to invest in a trailer, and lights, and pyrotechnics, and effects… but I can’t. The money isn’t there anymore. At the end of the week and the end of the year you have to look at your net income. This isn’t volunteer work. It’s a job. I do the best I can and I know every contestant that entered this year does the same.

If you want to make money as a stripper in Canada you buy a couple sexy bikinis, a skimpy dress, and a pair of heels and you lap dance. You don’t take a week off to compete for titles. You don’t invest thousands into costumes and props. You don’t leave your family behind for weeks at a time. You lap dance, or you buy 6-10 simple costumes and you work as a Showgirl. You don’t buy $500 theme costumes; you buy $80 jam costumes.

I know Pooh Bear is struggling to keep MNCP alive. We all know the state of the industry. I know he’s had a hard time getting girls to enter. The days of 30 contestants are gone. There aren’t that many girls working as Features in Canada anymore. The old school Features are almost all retired, and there’s only a handful left. It’s a new generation taking up the feature game, and it won’t be the same. Our world is not the same. But there are those of us that care!!! It might not be 30 girls, but there were 14 Canadian strippers last week that cared enough to enter. We take pride in our show, in our performance, in our creativity and desire to keep exotic dancing in Canada an exotic art.

I want Miss Nude Canada to keep going, but not at any cost. It breaks my heart that it seems necessary to bring in international performers to compete for the only thing we have left.

I saw the best shows I’ve ever seen at the bar on Saturday night, and I saw the tears. I saw the anger and the pain of watching our title go to a wonderful performer that had never been to Canada before last week. Tears well in my eyes, fighting the raw lump in my throat as I think about how hard these girls worked, all the blood, sweat and tears that not only went into this pageant, but that goes into this business everyday as we fight tooth and nail to keep Features working in Canada. MNCP helps build Features. If we loose faith in the worth of MNC as a career booster and venue for creativity then I am even more worried about the art of exotic dance in Canada. The Velvet Lounge had never even seen a feature show before last week. We don’t often have the opportunity to see other feature shows. MNCP is a chance for the dedicated up and coming generation of exotic artists to come together to network, showcase, and compete. We build contacts and friendships. We exchange booking information, and discuss the state of our business. We inspire each other to enhance our shows, and remind each other of why we do this.

The MNCP should be an inspiration to improve, not a reason to quit. I thoroughly enjoyed the week, and I would like nothing more than to remain positive and determined in looking forward to next year’s pageant. But right now, I don’t want to go back to watch the most talented, hardworking, and dedicated dancers in Canada not be awarded the titles to represent our country and our industry.

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3 Comments:

  • At 1:15 AM, Blogger Johnny Wadd said…

    I agree, MNC SHOULD be Canadian, period.

     
  • At 6:50 AM, Blogger Cairde said…

    Well said Ry!!

     
  • At 8:19 AM, Blogger maidink said…

    Wow. That is rough. One would think the MNCP would be all Canadian contestants. At least, that seems the logical thing.

    But I also the understand the business end ... the need to keep something alive even if it means having to alter the original intention.

    Gosh, that is quite the quandary. I understand the hurt you must feel for both wanting to keep the pageant going AND keeping it exclusive for Canadians.

    And this coming from an American that had no clue about any of this. I seriously feel for you, Ryann. Honest.

     

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