Thursday, July 28, 2005

The Life of a Showgirl

If you've read my blog before, you are aware of the soap opera that surrounds Sunny who is now "Singing Sinatra" in Seattle. It's been almost a month since my beloved and I returned from her show and the fascination continues. We are driven to know more about the whole...Sunny Scene. He calls them "bottom feeders," I prefer "wannabe"s -- probably because my hopes for them are a bit higher. Our internet searching revealed the HBO Special "starring" (according to Sunny's PR) Sunny herself. So, we "Tivo-d" it weeks ago and have been breathlessly waiting for it to air.

Exhausted from watching the "up and down" backstage world of Vegas showgirls (NOT strippers!), I felt compelled to share with you what I learned from the backstage trials of Sunny and her ilk in HBO's "Showgirls: Glitz & Angst". These are life lessons, actually, and as universally applicable as Robert Fulghum's lessons from Kindergarten. See if you agree:




  • Men are pigs, especially schlocky Vegas show producers
  • No showgirl thinks her boobs are big enough
  • You don't have to be good looking to be a showgirl (trust me on this)
  • There's always the risk of injury and that means you are out of a job and an income
  • It's amazing what people will do six times a week for $700
  • It's amazing how many tall skinny girls are willing to dance topless for $700 a week
  • Showgirls are just as trapped in their jobs as CPAs are in theirs
  • Men are pigs, especially cheap-ass Vegas producers
  • Showgirls pick shitty men for boyfriends, too
  • If you have no talent and you are only 5 foot 3, marry the producer and you'll get work in showbiz
  • You know that lady in your neighborhood who still wears a beehive hairdo because she thought she looked good that way in high school? Well, there are people in showbiz who still dress like 80s Solid Gold dancers (male AND female).
  • Add some nails, lashes, big earrings, make-up, heels, stand up straight and tall, and you, too, could be a showgirl...well, maybe
  • Men are pigs, especially horny Vegas producers
  • Showgirls have to get weighed in every week and stay within 5 pounds (either way...go figure)
  • I'm continually impressed with how well former dancers dress. They know how to make chicken salad out of chicken shit (figure wise)
  • Showgirls, too, take shit from their boyfriends about being frigid


Bottom line: it's a job...like many others. Hard work, long hours, risky conditions, crappy benefits. But those who succeed have BIG attitudes and they know how to "work it." Short story: Marilu Henner once went shopping with a friend who couldn't decide which coat to buy. The friend became frustrated that she didn't like any of them and asked Marilu to try them on. As Marilu modeled, her friend complained that Marilu looked good in all of them. Marilu said, "It's not the coat. It's how you WORK the coat that matters." That's been a GREAT lesson for me. It's not what your coat looks like...if you work it right, people will eat it up.

So, as silly as it sounds, I think we can learn a lot from the showgirls: when you face the world, walk tall, proud, with grace, and wear as much camouflage as you can without being picked up for hustling.

A footnote: The latest show at the Rio (where "Showgirls" played) is called "Erocktica" It's all about "Sex, Sweat,and Rock 'n' Roll" and stars a singer/dancer/Italian bombshell named Gabriella Versace, a rock and roll cover band, and more showgirls. At $49.95, it's a deal!

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