Chapter 7: Why did we bring THAT rapper to town on Easter Sunday? Why I can’t be a stripper.
We have to go all the way back to my college days on this one. I don’t know why I said “all the way back”, it wasn’t that long ago (I’m not that old and if I am, I am not claiming it!).
Back to the story.
During college, I got the privilege of working for a promotion company. I learned A LOT during that time and got a chance to have some fun. Back during those times, it was allowable to improve alcohol sales through promotions at clubs and bars. Those promotions would include beautiful, young ladies (and men), dressed in small outfits plastered with advertisements giving away promotional items. The items could be anything from pens, t-shirts… it really didn’t matter, people like free crap.
I loved my time as a promoter. I participated on street teams promoting upcoming concerts, political rallies… it seemed like the work never stopped. Thursday through Sunday nights, I had a packed social life and actually got paid for it.
One day, during the meeting at the promotion company headquarters, it was announced that we were all going to work at this club in East St. Louis for the performance of a famous rapper. Since I have no intention of being sued by mentioning their name without permission, we will just refer to them as The Rapper. Their music has dominated the radio and strip clubs for decades and this Uncle was recognized around the globe. Everyone was excited but me.
After the meeting was over, I pulled the President of the promotion company aside.
“Are we really doing this?” I asked quietly.
“Doing what doll?” she inquired.
“Are we really bringing this rapper to our area?” impatiently awaiting the President to catch my meaning.
“Look, everything is booked. I am even pairing all the ladies with our male models for additional security for you. Don’t worry, everything is going to be fine” she insisted.
“..But we are bringing The Rapper here? To our city? On Easter Sunday?” I questioned firmly?
The President glanced at the calendar. The concert was scheduled to start Saturday night around 11pm and it would indeed go into Easter Sunday.
“Go get your t-shirt and I’ll see you later” she stated flatly, clearly not amused with my line of questioning.
“We are going to hell…” I said, as I turned to grab my t-shirt and slowly head out of the door.
The night of the concert was fast approaching and the radio stations seemed to wanna rock to the tunes of The Rapper all week long in anticipation. While the masses were getting loose, I was getting nervous. What am I doing going to the East side on Easter Sunday? I scanned my brain and couldn’t think of any reason to pass up this paid gig so the evening of the event, I got dressed.
I arrived and was instantly greeted by the sizable promotion team. Our matching t-shirts were complimented by dark fitted pants. And just as the President said, each group of two girls was escorted by a male model (the promotion company used models for promotions and vise versa so we all knew each other). Before we could complete our greetings, the President was greeted by the police. They knew who was coming and decided to come tell the lead Promoters the ground rules before the event started. We were in ear shot of this conversation so we heard some details:
No sex acts
No food on the stage
No acts with food on the stage especially whipped cream
I had heard enough. Sounds like they were going to shut this whole party down at any lack of compliance. Not my area. I had other things to worry about. Like my life in eternal hell for being here anyway.
(I know that was dramatic. I grew up Catholic, sneezing wrong without the appropriate “Bless You” might land me in trouble in my eyes).
We were all very early, so after our briefing, we had a chance to hang out with the other promoters. By this time, we all had been working together for years, so there was always someone to talk to and have a really good time. People started to arrive and find their place in the club. Since it wasn’t packed yet, we had time to look around.
The club was a nice-sized room with bars against the wall and some smaller stages. In the center of the room was this large stage featuring a pole or two. I quickly realized what type of activities went on at this place from the set up.
In the back of the room was a staircase which was roped off. I had no idea what that was about, and didn’t even acknowledge it until the doors to the club flew open. The room fell silent. The Rapper had arrived with an entourage. A huge entourage. Promoters and attendees alike watched and whispered as this crew made its way up the aforementioned stairs. Bodyguards now blocked the entrance to the stairs. And just like that, it was over. I had been less than five feet away from The Rapper. Much taller in person and the entourage was, well, a lot for the size of this club.
I was told The Rapper and associated dancers were getting ready. Chatter resumed as the club seemed to fill within seconds. It was as if someone got the word out that The Rapper had arrived.
Soon the club was packed. Everyone was eagerly awaiting the performance of The Rapper. Promotions already in full swing, the drinks were flowing and buzz was palatable. We (promoters) were assigned to zones and for the most part everyone was safe with no incidents.
Suddenly, the music blared: Face Down…. The crowd roared. The Rapper and the entourage featuring two 5’0” female dancers descended the stairs. The audience flooded any available areas around the center stage. The show had started and the whole club was jumping.
I felt someone pull on my arm. Charles, who was the male model assigned to my zone, was motioning me to follow him. Not exactly interested in the show, I followed. Don’t get me wrong, it was all very exciting but after the first two minutes, I got the gist of it all.
Charles led me to the back of the club where the stairs were. This section of the club was completely empty. Charles (being excellent in security) noticed that the body guards, club security and staff had all left this area to see the show. As Charles led me upstairs, he explained that someone should guard this area, or the promotion company and the club could be held liable if any of The Rapper (or his crew’s) items were stolen. I quickly realized he was right. With all the commotion and excitement of the show, the entire upstairs was abandoned. It wouldn’t take any effort for someone to go upstairs and take everything.
Once we reached the top of the stairs, it became painfully clear why I didn’t know anything about the upstairs. Charles stood by the stairs to make sure no one could get past him without being seen. I looked around.
The entire perimeter of this upstairs area was one long table. Every few feet, there was a pole from the table top to the ceiling.
“What is this place?” I asked naively.
“Girl, stop playing, you know this is the VIP room.” he stated flatly.
Just then, the table transformed in my mind into its true purpose. It was a stage. The chairs next to the table (now stage) were seating for audience members who wanted a close view of the exotic dancers. And the poles, well, I think we all know what the poles are for.
I immediately got excited, after being let in on the secret of the upstairs area. The back of the room was a huge bar and beyond that was a long hallway where The Rapper and his guests got ready for their performance. It was probably used by the exotic dancers during normal times.
Here’s my chance, I thought. I have on my cowgirl hat, my six inch high heel boots. Here is my chance to try my hand at.
BEING A STRIPPER!
I am going to get on that stage and work my magic. I ran over to the stage area looking for the steps.
“You are going to have to hop up there girl” Charles said, amused at my sprint to the stage.
No steps? Eh, no problem. I am 5’8” and with heels on I am probably the same height as the lead stripper Ronnie of that movie featuring another Rapper released in 1998. (Again, ain’t trying to get sued - just deal with my vagueness please?).
I excitedly pulled myself on stage using one of the poles and I immediately let it go.
“Er, uh” I said with disgust, “Do they clean these poles??” I demanded.
I looked at Charles. He smiled and shrugged.
Thanks, Charles, you have been a big help.
Now that I am on the stage, it’s time for me to show my stuff. This can’t be that hard, girls have been swinging on poles for decades. My mind filled with all the sexy moves I was going to do now that it is my turn on the stage. And it didn’t matter I didn’t have an audience. In my mind, I was hot.
I stood up to get started and then it happened.
My hat tumbled to the floor.
I was bent over in shock and pain.
I stood up and hit my head on the ceiling.
Dreams came crashing down with my hat, which was now on the floor. I rubbed my poor head in confusion. Charles was in the corner CRACKING UP with laughter.
“You aren’t supposed to stand up straight on stage… You have to be the only girl that probably ever stood up straight-- You know what? Get down before you hurt yourself. Again.”
Charles came over and helped me off of the stage. My big premiere, over in seconds.
No ma’am. You can’t be a stripper. Ya’ big dummy!