They say a rat will die pressing a lever to administer itself drugs to the death, even when food is equally available. We are animals too. Of course, this wont happen to you. you’re no rat. You have the one thing a rat doesn’t, a guilty conscious. What if guilt is the only thing that drives one to change?
*****Application day!!::: Goes in. long hallway to her left, mirrored. bouncer in black at the desk , wearing headset. She approaches him with an air of confidence. She is educated, after all. She is in pursuit of some truth about the world she lives in. Some truth she can ultimately share. She doesn’t even stop to consider the egotism of this idea. This is why its so fun to watch her destroy herself.
The bouncer directs her to a table and gives her an application. She sits up on the second level watching over everything;. The waitress comes as she begins the app. She orders a coca cola. The waitress looks pissed and walks off. I remember this like it was yesterday. She looks out at the second stage, and sees a very young girl, not really dancing, just kind of leaning against the pole, and maybe grabbing her nipples carelessly every so often, like it’s rote. the roteness of her routine strikes me. I wait for the manager. the bouncer chatters on his headset running to and fro. The manager finally approaches. she is peppy, her peppy self in her little sundress. all hundred pounds of her smacked in to a sundress.
Manager: Did you bring an outfit:
Her: No, but I DID bring shoes because I read that you need those for sure!
Manager Okay, follow me.
\He takes her into the office in back. they pass several rooms in a hallway, there is a stripper arguing with someone, girls run past her almost knocking her over laughing and whatever. They arrive at “his” office, where he removes two boxes from a top shelf and:
Manager: Okay, we have orange or green, take your pick.
(cu on boxes with neon bikinis)
She happily, without missing a beat chooses the orange. it doesn’t make any difference she quickly surmises. She is fair skinned. She doesn’t yet know the magic of black light.
Manager: Follow me
They walk thru the club, to the dressing room. He just points out the lockers and says
Manager: get ready, tell the Dj what song you want, and go on stage.
She is not really outwardly sweating this at all. she’s just too damn perky and too damn smart. but…
She chooses: whatever, but perhaps the cult firewoman since it is a tacky staple of strip clubs from now and forever more.
Her: (thinking) Easy.
She feels free. Free from the 9-5 drag that everyone hates. She can have time to write, to reflect. To find out what is and share it with the world. That’s how this started.
Nicole just wanted the world to know an experience. People only want the dirty details, the nitty gritty. That’s why people come to see movies about people on drugs, people killing each other, lying, stealing, cheating. Heisting. Nobody watches a movie about a social worker doing her job day in and day out unless someone gets raped, or otherwise taken advantage of.
So, enjoy watching this young girl’s demise. It could be you, but it doesn’t have to be, because it was me.
ACT ONE – set scene dramatize main conflicts – three paragraphs (30 minutes)
ACT TWO – dramatize how conflicts in act ONE lead to crisis – six paragraphs (1 hour)
ACT THREE – dramatize final conflict and how it resolves – three paragraphs
A character driven dark comedy about a young writer who enters the world of exotic dancing to find a story.
Moments of interest (hopefully):
White Feathers and Black Lights – “Pumpkin and honey bunny” from Pulp Fiction soundrack. Enters stage through stupid typical glittery curtain. She is new, proud. poised. SO poised, cheerleader smile. This is what her grandmother’s lessons about walking with books on her head have led to. It probably saved her some back problems. WE need a couple other things going on in the crowd here to cut to. guy lighting girls cig, the girl at the cash machine with her customer. A guy trying to convince a chick and her friend to take a check. “ill let you drive my Mercedes” he says. Really, that’s cool, are you going to sign the title over to me, because for that, yeah, I might be able to find some way of satisfying you. Hell, probably be done by 2:3O and free to leave. A check? Really? I’m young, and more naive that I know, but… a check?? DRIVE your mercedes?
Palsy Guy comes in. Darby stands at bar chatting up a non customer who will remain standing at the bar and never give her any business. But, later he will take her out to dinner and, well what the hell. This way she can be sure she is not , I repeat, she is NOT trading sex for money. Sex, she does for free and misunderstandings here will only lead to resentment. Palsy guy cruises by in his wheelchair. He lacks total control of his limbs so he is strapped in it. Later Darby will learn that his mother drops him off once or twice a week. But only after much strained listeneing amongst the music, chatter, and stench of the place. The palsy accent just has a hard time making it through. Which is why, most girls, and Darby watches them, one by one, approach palsy guy. they lean down and ask if he wants a dance. He stretched up in his chair, not to mumble, not to yell, but force the words out. The words in his mind are very clear, but when he tries to tell each of these girls that he wants to go to the VIP room, his mouth, tounge, lips, chest, breath, all of the mechanics of normal speaech refuse to function so that he can effectively communicate the obvious. So one by one the girls lean over and feign “listeneing” and walk away.
Darby watches this unfold. She’s not the type of person to really listen hard to anyone. but definietly more likely if its some sort of challenge, maybe? well, we can’t know EVERYTHING about Darby.
But she approaches him and when she realizes that its really not the palsy that is making him difficult to understand, but the fact that he is sitting next to the enourmous speakers near the stage, she politely guides him to a quieter spot, the VIP room of course, so that ashe can HEAR him. He wants the scent of a woman, a womans skin to touch his, even if its just the neck. The neck on his neck thing… if it were comedy, it would be gold.
Darby never wears perfume, because she knows better. Not that she smells like a camper or anything, but shes wise in the ways of a basic shower, and lets the natural pheremones take over from there. It’s the one instance where something free will earn you money. Pheremones. Pussy too, but… well, Darby is a free spirit, but she only gives the pussy up for free.
So, Palsy dude gets a dance. Darby teases, basically for her it’s easy, if she likes the song, she is really just dancing for herself. Easy. So after getting bored with that she climbs up on Palsy dudes wheel chair, each of her knees on each arm of the wheelchair. As she leans forward to rub her neck and hair across palsy guys face, he totally loses control of his arm and it gets caught Darby’s hair and so he’s rocking her head back and forth. She tries to get his and out of her overly White Rained hair, and accidentally hits the on switch of the wheelchair. Now, in addition to palsy dudes hand in her hair violently rocking her head back and forth, the chair is spinning around the VIP room, which has steps, by the way. Summary: very crowded. loud. cant understand. take time. compassion. make money. have story. Mission accomplished!
The point of all of this of course is Free Time – Darby doesnt work the pole for money, she works it for time. Plus she is in shape. Hell, she was sober for the first six months doing it. Having the time to pack a backpack full of books, tarot cards, writing instruments, marijuana, and extra bandanas, cigarettes, maybe a can of silly string if one was around, she had the time to spend the entire day watching consecutive episodes of Mr. Show with Bob and Dave. She fantasizes about being….them. about writing something meaningful. She thinks she is the only person who gets it, but thats only because she hasn’t really focused much on establishing friendships at this point. And certainly there are none to come from the strip club; if you’re lucky. All she really meets are drug dealers, crazy people, hookers. and bitches. But she has time!
Rent paid, she watches 12 hours of Mr. Show, fantasizing about being so quick, so witty, so funny. She decides to go for a walk and packs her backpack with a notebook pen, etc. she walks toward UA campus. Suddenly her attention is caught by a skywriter plane in the sky. What will it write up there? She figures coke, Pepsi, most likely, but no. no, its … its.. its.. what??? the skywriter writes the following words in clouds just above her: “Mr. Show” Mr. show! There in the fucking sky, in 2003 about 8 years after the height of the popularity of the show. WTF?
She continues her walk, stunned. As she approaches campus, she spots a figure lounging, sleeping, beneath a tree. She recognizes the figure and approaches. It is GENE. Its hard to say if Gene is they typical homeless guy or not. but he claims he is homelss by choice. He has a pretty decent CD of his own music as he is a songwriter and guitarist. He pawns his guitar to get some beer, then gets a job, gets his guitar back, writes and records some songs, hawks guitar again, gets drunk, and so on. Darby wants to do a documentary about how he lives because he knows all the free ways to eat and drink, but Gene refuses, pointing out that it would no longer be free if she did that. So she does him a solid and focuses on other things. On this day, she kicks him lightly with her foot and he jumps up! Out of his mouth come words delivered with such purpose, such sudden intention, its hard to describe. ” I have to show you something! come with me to the library!” She realizes she has a two for one coupon for th jack in the crack across the street and they grab a couple burgers.See, he knows how to get shit for free!. They go to the library, he refusing to tell he for what. “youll just see, its… you need to see this!” When they get there he gets the video, knowing exactly where it is. The two retreat with their burgers to a small viewing room in the library and he proceeds to show her: Lily Tomlin: Is There life on Earth?
Orgasms and Fat Men – a nothing moment where she slides her body down fat bearded totally not her type lunch time customer, and shit, oh shit!, Hits the spot! She CAN have this experience with a straight face, but does he know? It wasn’t due to anything about him, but had she been a really saavy stripper she would have let him think it was..
Dramatize the physical changes along with the psychological. Lost some weight but mostly tightens up allot. But when she takes some time off she puts little on. When she comes back, all the men tell her how great she looks with a little more weight. “too skinny before” She believes them, and not only that, but her whole being is so affected by this and what others tell her in general. The funny thing is, she doesn’t see this at all. She thinks that because she lives alone, and keeps a distance, that she has sufficiently protected herself from being influenced by anyone without her permission or invitation; and so, this is the resolution. The conflict begins to arise when she begins to hate men, this is trite thing to concern herself with at first, but as we go further on the journey it becomes more important. This is just one of the many thing she ultimately learns from her days “in da club”
Its about being loved, and the need for love, and what we do for it. How far we go. The dark and funny places we end up.And our definitions of what love is exactly. She was looking for her own love of herself, but strip club patrons have needs too.
The guy who spent his whole savings on strippers
The guy who looks for a step mother for his 12 year old
the guy who goes to every club in town, in succession, she knows bc she left one club due to lack of biz and went across town to the other. Of course she had to pay the 10 dollar fee to leave the one club. No fee at the other. In her experience this shit all seems fairly fair.
For me, it was more about the stage. Lots of girls, most girls, hate the stage. If I could make all my money there, I certainly would have. My first week a girl said this to me while I was on stage: Honey, you don’t have to really DANCE! Me: uncomprehending “But I LOVE to dance!!!!” Anyway, I was probably like the warm up girl. they weren’t giving me all their money. I only got a small portion of what they were spending. I’d be the first girl. I could direct the customer to whatever type of girl he wanted. It took me a while to figure this out. by a while, I mean that, I just now realized that was a good thing and I should have used it better. I should have had the girls paying me referral money. finders fee. Hmm, well. Ill keep it in mind. So, I never could put out there. Not really. I mean its all putting out, but we all do that every 9-5. its called productivity or meeting performance measures.
I cant say that I never went home with anyone though. I did. he didn’t want me to dance. he said “I’m going to have some dinner, please join me.” It was mothers day. His mother had passed away from a freak pharmaceutical accident where a pharmacist had given her the wrong scrip.ha ha! Again, understanding comes too late. I am just now considering that maybe he goes to to a strip club and tells this story every mothers day!!!! LOL!! He was nice, he was a hardworking chef. late 20’s early 30’s. Drank way more than I did. I got annoyed when he would call me drunk and slurring, wanting to come over. No way dude! that changed later too, but not with him. but we hung out a fewtimes. one time when we were screwing, I did a ZZ Top impersonation: “ahow how how how”. Totally blew his mind! It was fun! But it wasn’t the first time I met a man on mothers day whose mother had died and then…wait a minute!!! All of them really??? Could it be that I was really fooled by that same story twice?.
What motivates her overall? her need to be smart. for others to notice. WHY is it so hard for her to admit that she wants others to like her??? I mean, isn’t this normal for most people? Why is she embarrassed every time someone catches her caring about what they think of her? Even though she makes it totally obvious. No deep relationships? No one that she would know until the day she died.
having done this, and thinking its not as scary as it was made out to be (only because you can never see in the thick of things.), she embarks on some very bad ideas. One being taking her clothes off for a guy she meets in a bar. He says “Ill give you 400 dollars if you come to this hotel room and just take your clothes of and let me look at you for one minute.” He shows her pictures of his daughter to prove he has something to lose. She believes him. maybe she’s right, maybe not. Well this is practically rent and she really doesn’t want to go to the club to compete with other chicks for scarce dollars. mind you, she would have never even thought of doing this BEFORE, but now she doesn’t blink an eye. But remember, even when she was innocent, she never flinched. So now the mission is just getting the rent.
By now, she’d forgotten all the pie in the sky, I want to learn and share shit.. so later she’ll figure how this all fits together. so she goes to the hotel room, a super 8. They go in the room and she, thinking she is so savvy, asks him for the money immediately. he puts down a liquor bottle on the night stand. No way she says. Give me the money first. He says he only has half of it. she says give me half then. so he does 200$. she sits and has a drink on the edge of the bed, taking her shoes off. She decides that she will tease him and taker her top off then stop. she does. She tells him, well, this is half naked then. anymore and I will be needing the other 200. His signals say he doesn’t have it. she pretends to feel faint suddenly and sits on the edge of the bed again, slyly slipping her shoes on has he stands close in front of her. She stands up, teasingly as though she is about to put on a show. He loosens, and she bolts for the door, yelling “that’s 200 bucks worth!!! thanks!!”jumps in her car and bolts home to watch Mr. show. the best sketch comedy ever. Now she has time to do this. and it only took 30 minutes of risking life and limb. but its totally worth it.