I started with my dance classmates. Some of them were young, still living with parents – or at least highly dependent on Mom and Dad – so the chances that they’d be interested in performing for peanuts was very high. I also enlisted the help of a couple of friends who had some dancing chops. One was my good friend, ‘Chloe’, the one who introduced me to the wonderful world of stripping. She had some rhythm about her and was easy on the eyes. Plus, she was on-again, off-again gay. Okay, okay, bisexual. Whatever.
Rehearsals started and I had a great lineup: attractive, committed and talented. The six of us worked and twerked until I was so immensely excited I couldn’t contain myself. Then a phone call. Do you guys wanna do two numbers? Like an opening act? That’d be awesome. How else could I respond? Sure thing! All this with only two weeks before the show. What to do? I was infamous for putting something spectacular together in a pinch. So you know what song was still frighteningly popular back then?
What better opening number than a few girls in corsets, fishnets, heels – on a bar no less? It would hopefully distract from what could be a choreographic disaster. My wheels started turning. Each ‘singer’ would position herself at various points around the club. Only five of us were needed, so I chose the four most likely to be able to lip sync and remember all the lyrics. The trick to make this a memorable performance was movement. Let’s face it: every drag club across the states had a group of female impersonators who did this song – and probably better than the actual stars themselves.
My idea? Use the layout of the club to our advantage. The club was known for their bra-slinging, panty-dropping competitions from atop the bar. So, that’s where I wanted everyone to finish out the song. But how to make it interesting with very little choreography? “Lil’ Kim” would start on a large speaker on one side; “Pink” would be on the opposite side atop a large bench; “Mya” would sing her bit on the actual stage; “Christina” would belt it out on top of the bar as the others made their way to the bar as well. And let’s not forget “Missy Elliott” – she would jump on the bar right at her moment. The key was to make sure their person manning the spotlight followed us when appropriate. Problem solved. Our sixth person would be up in the booth, assisting that endeavor. The only choreography necessary was for the very last chorus when we were all together on the bar. Sometimes the simplest solutions do the trick. Easy peasy.
The main number, which turned out to be the show’s finale, was a mix of J.Lo hits. Now before you go cackling about that, she was pretty hot then. Not just physically as she obviously still is, but her music was pretty cool too. I was a fan of using remixes and what is now so commonly called a mash-up. It kept the crowd energized. So for that number we wore jogging suits – also popular then – in cute, girly pastels. Lez kids were gonna love ’em. And not for working out: just for looking cute and Lopezish.
The show was a success. People were extremely impressed – as was I. My girls did me proud.
What’s even better was that this free event got us another gig. Paid. $1000 for our next show: two sets just like tonight at the same club. What? Yes and yes. If I could turn this into a regular thing, I’d be in heaven. I can perform AND choreograph AND make money AND be surrounded by lesbians who praised the stage I danced on? Where do I sign?
What’s even better than that? This was the night that I met Gwen – the sexy ninja bartender who knew her way around an Isuzu…but this wasn’t the Isuzu night. That came later. But on this night, I was a wee little star. It felt good. Damn good.
AND I got to keep my clothes on. Life was getting better already.