What happens in Vegas…sometimes really sucks. I had to get out of town and the opportunity presented itself last minute, so off I went with two friends. Yes, it happen just that fast. I had grown tired of Tampa and drama and I figured, what the hell? Why not? I have no kids, no relationship, no job that I have to report to daily…by American standards it looked as though I should probably hang myself. Lucky for me, all of the above rendered me free, by my standards, and those standards are the ones that count.
Landing in Vegas for the first time is surreal. Who am I kidding? EVERY time I land in Vegas it’s surreal. Unless it was like my last trip there: I went to meet up with my baby sister and our parents for fun? in Vegas. Yeah, it was great…anyway, this was my first venture and I was nervous and excited. We barely knew how to get started working in that town – so far just rumors. ‘Oh yeah, you can just show up, get hired and work…after you get your permit. It’s great!’ What they failed to mention was the proper order of getting things done in the West.
First. Pick a club. How does one go about this in a town where one knows no one? (Say that ten times fast) Of course, you can rely on friends who have been there previously. But when you’re one of three girls with very little cash to start with, you have to consider cab fare from the hotel to the club, to the sheriff’s station, permit fees, back to hotel, food, back to club. It’s not cheap and we didn’t really prepare properly. Like I said, it was a fast decision. We figured we might as well go ahead and get the permit first, ask around, you know, get a vibe for what everyone else was doing. So we get there, get in the door - only to realize that we had to get hired by the club FIRST. Ohhhhh. Wasted cab fare moment #1.
Our next stop in the dry, dusty, blazing hot climate of Vegas? We decided on a club we recognized. Crazy Horse Too. Walking in, it reminded me of a couple of movies I’d seen. Horror films, mostly. As my eyes adjusted to the dark, I saw chairs stacked on tables, neon lights that looked really sad without naked bodies gyrating around them. It was devoid of people. It was also eerily quiet, except for an unseen vacuum cleaner, which was odd because the Vegas clubs are open 24 hours. But I guess they had to get cleaned sometime. We were able to glean some valuable information from the blonde at the door, though.
- Our roster is full.
- No, we can’t hire you.
- You have to get hired first and then get your permit.
- Don’t tell any manager that you’re only in town for a couple of weeks.
- Try the new club on such n such street. They probably need girls.
- Good luck.
Great. Wasted cab fare moment #2. We got to the next club that afternoon, Striptease(?), looked around and thought, wow, this is nice. And so clean! It’s like a stadium in here, with a shower! Now this is Vegas. We got the tour and were pretty excited to get hired. Until the guy told us that the hiring manager wasn’t in and we had to come back later. Wasted cab fare moment #3. Out in the parking lot, we had to face some realities:
- We were running low on funds and had to work somewhere.
We jumped on the bus and headed to the next familiar-sounding strip club. Cheetah. The third time should be the charm. At least that’s what we were hoping. We met the manager and he was what we’d expect. Wannabe charming a.k.a sleazy. But he hired us so we had no room for complaints. We grabbed our paperwork and couldn’t wipe the goofy grins off of our faces: ‘we’re at the cheetah in vegas! it was in a movie! (at least the name was) this is so perfect!’ Yeah, well, there were conditions. We had to get our permit…duh, we knew that. We had to show up promptly at 2 a.m. ???????????????????????????????????? (insert grinding brakes here)
What? “The manager who hired you is the late evening manager so that’s the shift you’ll be working.” This from an indifferent, but pleasant, housemom in the dressing room. Could we have been warned about this first? We didn’t know what to do or what to expect. What type of men are in strip clubs from 2-7 a.m.? We were scared to find out, so we raced back to Striptease, praying that the night manager was in. He was…thank goodness! We thought we had finally hit the jackpot. Except the next problem: our permits. No one, absolutely no one, can strip in this town without a permit. We didn’t quite understand the implications of not having one, but the managers in Vegas didn’t seem keen on letting anyone slide. Once I got to Atlanta where permits are also required (and much pricier!), I understood. But at the moment, it was rather annoying.
After a full day of cross-country travel, followed by a misguided tour of Las Vegas strip joints, the permit office was closed and we were exhausted. We figured our best option was to head to the hotel, rest and get up early. Tomorrow was going to be fine: getting hired had to be the hardest part…FYI: I’m laughing on the inside.