The life of a showgirl has its ups and downs. Just because you work in a social environment doesn’t mean it’s all fun and partying. You actually have to be serious at times and have to treat it for what it is — work.
Although we look like glamorous creatures, all shiny and ‘purdy’ and live the life of D-grade celebrities, it is sometimes only surface-deep, and nine times out of 10, things aren’t what they seem.
Most of the general public are desperate to see our dressing rooms. I’m sure they think we have a glamorous room, with lounges, mini bars, naked men dancing around. I’m sorry to disappoint, but that has only happened to me once or twice.
I have gotten dressed in kitchens, toilets, stairwells, cupboards, bedrooms, bathrooms, cars, caravans — you name it, we can get dressed there.
There was one that was in a half-burned-out caravan outside the venue. There were a couple of chairs, tables and two mirrors. Because it was outside, all the creepy crawlies came in. Girls had huge moths stuck between their stockings and everyone ran outside screaming because a monster huntsman came in to say “Hi”. In winter, you would freeze your plastic tits off and, in summer, because the caravan was all-metal, they would melt on to the table.
Penny Tration and I once worked in a straight backpacking bar in Bondi Junction, and we had to get changed in the girls’ toilets at the back of the venue. We were told no one used them so our stuff was safe.
We proceeded to call bingo and head back to our ‘dressing room’, where we discovered two backpacking girls in bits and pieces of our costumes, having a full-on scrag fight. There was hair-pulling, screaming and punching. Penny and I laughed for five days after wrestling our clothes back from them.
But it’s not all scary places. I worked at a private party that had six male strippers who wanted to sit in their jocks in the hotel room we were using as a dressing room, and drink. We had the room for the whole night so we ordered room service and drank the night away. Why is it straight boys and drag queens seem to hit it off so well (there is a story in that)?
A dressing room is for dressing, so if you are allowed back on a rare occasion, don’t get embarrassed if you see a hairy ass or ping-pongs flash by you. There are no parties or private glamour rooms, but dirty, sweaty undies, stockings and hair.