Sunday, 24 September 2017
So, what are the telltale signs?
Alcohol - well we all know what a drunk looks like. Looking down from the stage I can often actually see when someone tips over the edge from party loving drinker to obnoxious drunk. It can happen in seconds and of course some then become violent.
Ecstasy - actually this seems to be a less common problem these days but an E user is easy to spot and avoid. They are invariably way too touchy feely for comfort. However, they are seldom too disruptive
Cocaine - this is easy to spot. Coke heads always have to be centre of attention, talk absolute bollocks and think they are the funniest people on the planet. Very difficult to deal with and best ejected by the Management.
Hippy Crack - this is a new menace. Laughing gas or nitrous oxide is the latest recreational drug of choice and induces hysterical laughter for no apparent reason. I recently came across a couple of audience members who had been sniffing before the show and while their uncontrolled laughter was at first funny it quickly became tiresome and then disruptive. Again, nothing you can do but get Management to expel them.
Wednesday, 28 June 2017
I warned them that I was an adult act, unsuitable for the under 18's. Oh that's fine. That's what we want. Oh, one other thing, can you do It's Raining Men in your act? Yeah, no problem.
When I turned up it was to find I was working in a very upmarket venue, a farm that had been converted into a wedding/party venue, miles form anywhere. They had a beautiful room that could have held 500 with about 200 milling around. I was to perform up on a low mezzanine with a wrought iron barrier around it. All well and good. It was obvious that no-one was going to be paying me or any other performer much attention so I was ready to just run through my act, do some photos, collect my fee and get out of there as fast as possible.
Then I found out exactly why they wanted me to do It's Raining Men; the groom (who was white) and his two best men (both white) were dressing up as The Weather Girls (you will recall that they are both very black) complete with black face. Although there was quite a roar of recognition when I announced them that quickly turned to an almost embarrassed silence.
Even I wouldn't attempt to black up for a number!
Tuesday, 20 June 2017
Of course, on a regular basis they get dirty, especially around the neck line, so I wash them. Yeah, I know, it sounds like the last thing to do but i wrap the costume up in a pillow case and tie it tight to minimise the battering the feathers and sequins get and chuck it in my machine on a cool wash.
Now, no matter how tight I tie the pillow cases a few feathers will always come loose.
Last weekend, it being so very hot, many of my costumes were drenched in sweat after a shows so, with a nice sunny and slightly breezy Sunday looming, I decided to wash several at once.
All was good til I opened the pillow cases and emptied out the costumes. I hung them on my washing line, turned the pillow cases inside out and ended up with a lawn resembling a turkey plucking yard. There were feathers of all sorts of colours everywhere.
What to do?
The logical thing was to hoover them up. So this afternoon, much to the bemusement of the neighbours, I dragged my Henry (pun intended) around the garden on an extension lead for 15 minutes and, voila, the cat is no longer going mad chasing feathers round the garden.
Saturday, 3 June 2017
Usually I can handle them by embarrassing them or just abusing them. This night was different.
The first problem was with a pair of women who were sat on one side of the venue on a large round table, alone. I went over to try and integrate them with the rest of the audience with a name check and some gentle banter. As they were two middle aged women of a less than feminine demeanour I asked discretely, for me, if they were 'together'. To which they demurred. Then I noticed one of them had a walking stick so I joked that the strippers would steer clear of her because she wouldn't be able to run after them. Her 'friend' then told me to go away because the other one was upset. I have no idea why.
Next I was told that someone on the next table had complained that I had upset the woman with the walking stick. She didn't know them. What was it to do with her?
The final straw was right at the end when, as it was a charity night, the strippers volunteered to be auctioned off for the winner to give them a body massage. One of the women on the table who wanted to be outraged on behalf of others started to harangue me saying the auction was demeaning to men! What a load of bollocks!
Rather than try and have a conversation and kill the mood stone dead, I just told the DJ to turn the music up.
Honestly, lighten up people! It's supposed to be a fun way to raise money for a good cause.
Monday, 1 August 2016
I was recently at a venue where the stage was barely a foot high. As I walked on to do my first number this attention seeking, selfish mare tried to clamber up the step to take a selfie with me.
I quickly ushered her back onto the floor and carried on with my number.
In a sulky protest she placed herself dead centre in front of the stage with her back to me.
When I picked up the microphone the first thing I said was for her to sit down. She refused. This gave me the opening I needed.
"Of course, silly me. You spend all your working day on your back or on a street corner. You don't know how to sit down."
She behaved herself for the rest of the night.
Sunday, 26 June 2016
At my advanced age I wouldn't want to do it very often but today proved .... educational.
So it was an unusual evening that went better than expected, despite the Glastonbury-style mud at the first venue where we were performing in an inflatable pub in the back garden of Big Brother's Chelsea Singh’s doppelganger and his white ex-hippy wife.
It hadn't occured to them to consider that I had to walk in high heels across their carefully manicure lawn. Some hastily thrown down planking and carpets soon sorted that problem.
The daughter was much better looking than either of them deserved and had obviously picked up some bad habits from her mother. As the stripper dragged the bride-to-be onto the floor and positioned her on all fours, she obviously went into auto-pilot mode and discreetly reached round and slid her thong to one side!
This was almost as bad as an occasion a few years back
Friday, 20 May 2016
Tonight was one of the worst, most unprofessional cancellations I have ever come across (almost).
I was booked to do a Hen Night in a large (very large) nightclub in a city over 100 miles away. Bearing in mind that it is a Friday and I knew that there was wholesale traffic diversions in the city, I left early, ensuring I had plenty of time to skirt round any commuter hold-ups and to try and wend my way through the closed roads and diversions near the venue.
The organisers had asked for me to arrive for 7pm so imagine my horror, disgust and downright fury when I got a text at 6.15 to say the event had been cancelled (no doubt through poor ticket sales) with no thought for us performers. I imagine that none of the strippers, who would have been recruited locally to keep their fees down, would have left home yet but I had done 100 miles by then. I was barely 10 miles from the venue when I had to turn back.
The Agent has been informed and has been instructed to press for my full fee as I did actually turn up even if I didn't exactly knock on the door.
Should the venue renege on their contractual obligations then I will be naming and shaming the venue in due course. I will also be involving Equity to recover my fee through the courts and to blacklist the venue.
Update 26/6/16 - The agent is currently suing the venue for our full fees