Schooled. (Letters from ZJ Part 2).


“When I grow up i’ll be stable, when I grow up i’ll turn the tables.”

I learned what I needed to know from a former dancer named Dawn.  She taught me everything that I needed to know on how to make in this business.  When I started working at the “Catwalk” I still, really had no idea what to do. I was making ok money nothing to brag about, I mean anytime you walk away with hundreds of dollars in several hours of work, cash, is at first always intoxicating.  I wanted to be big, bigger then big . . . big enough to say I walked in these shoes and fucking made a name for myself.  I also wanted a savings account, in case I someday needed some certain savings of my own.  I am probably (I could be wrong, it wouldn’t be the first time) one of the only strippers to save almost all of the money that was made and invested it well.  I never bought anything  lavish, I made this money, took out what I needed to survive and banked the rest.  As if it did not even exist.  Dawn had recently left the business she was about thirty, newly married, bought a house the hole nine yards.  Dawn started working the juice bar the nights that I worked, we became friends pretty quickly.  I wondered why she was working there, I at that time, didn’t get how hard it was to leave that business once you’re in one way or another.  She was a very pretty blonde, fake boobies (not huge), tattooed, always dressed like a pin up girl with pin curls and combat boots.  Dawn made over two hundred thousand dollars a year stripping all over the United States, she was a weekend warrior, Dawn passed me her torch.  She would literally on Friday nights instruct me on who to approach and what to say, the compliments that I would give them and no sooner did I know, I was walking out with anywhere between eight hundred to twelve hundred a night.  I was a hustler.  I would also help her out for helping me, thats how it works. We would hang out in her house and try on burlesque costumes that she was making.  She said to me that I was a natural at this, as was she, I asked how do people get to this level?  She told me you get hand picked . . . I was lucky.  Yes of course could I have learned by trail and error, yes, would I have gotten this good without Dawn, I  would like to think yes.  I don’t think though that I would have reached such a level of success without her.  I was able to hook, line and sink in about a minute for a lapdance, that was easy, do about four dances and spend a half hour in the champagne room . . . that was real good.  Rebooking for another half hour, that was all Dawn’s teaching, that was phenomenal.  Dawn gave me lapdances, she taught me pole tricks, a few, she said ZJ you don’t make your money on the pole, its fun but a real hustler doesn’t have to.  I listened, I never had to do pole work, I just became everything that I knew they wanted me to become.

Shit was crazy at this club and I have chapters worth of stories, the ones that everyone would expect and I have ones that most would not.  The club would open at 4, I arrived around 3:30 to get ready.  There were about six of us that came in at this time.  Mind you no one ever started showing up until about 5/5:30.  We were all young, me being the oldest at 24, we sat in the dressing room together and were like girlfriends. There  was no nasty bickering, it wasn’t about competing, we did not have to be aggressive.  We were what I use to refer to us as the, “4′ o’clock girls.”  It was the calm before the storm, the storm happened around 10, the late night girls, no judgment . . . right. I liked the girls I worked with, they always trusted me, I felt that most of them were in way worse situations then me.  That is because they were.  I was like the guiding post for them, listening to them.  I always faired well  at all the places that I worked.  I am compassionate, I am also competitive.  It never seemed to bother them, the fact that I did as well as I did. That is not normal.  Clubs, girls they get vicious . . . it never happened, I think because I gave a shit and cared when no one else did.  Like I said, I was know as the stripper with the heart of gold.  I did though get a shoe tossed at me by a junkie whore who was like 40, she was not fond of me, she had track marks all down her arms.  I think they found her dead in an old abandoned building.  Totally not surprising . . . “Sherrie” lived by it and died by it, what a shit show.  She was thrown out of the club for wanting to kick the shit out of me, she lost, she never did come back.  She, “Sherrie” made me see how ugly this business is, it seems like most strip clubs now are made up of some sort of prostitution.  I had one of the DJ’s I worked with later in my career tell me “ZJ you’re the only clean girl left.” Hmm . . . gross and boo.   Ten years ago it was starting to go down hill, there was no more “art of the tease.”  It is kind of sad that there really is no more fantasy girl, it is all reality, you get what you pay for.

I really do feel it is my duty to pass that torch, what I learned from Dawn is information that is rare.  Real dancers are a dying breed.  This business is trending farther and farther down into the trenches.  It’s not a fun business, yes the stories and the shit you see are unbelieveable the money is addictive and it never seems to be enough, insatiable greed.  It makes you way less sensitive to sick and twisted things that you see in the straight world.  It’s surreal, all of it, just as I remember, “Lark” a big black southern girl on Friday nights reading scriptures from the bible in the dressing room naked and applying eyelashes .  All the money in savings in the bank, wonderful? Yes, did it come with a huge price? YES.  But sometimes the experience is just fucking priceless. (Read Letters From ZJ Part 1 HERE)



~ by applejaxe on June 21, 2012.

2 Responses to “Schooled. (Letters from ZJ Part 2).”

  1. i am toying with the idea of becoming a dancer. what tips do you have for someone interested in the biz?

    • I think that it is a really, really bad idea. It is one thing to strip at 21 for a week to say that you did it. This is one of the most damaging and vile industries to work in. Looking back the money is not worth it, not by a long shot. I stayed to long now I am paying the price of no other “options” at the moment. No one wants to go down that road. Again, please don’t do it.

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