A million years ago, Tina Fey said something about strippers:
“I love to play strippers and to imitate them,” says Tina Fey. “I love using that idea for comedy, but the idea of actually going there? I feel like we all need to be better than that. That industry needs to die, by all of us being a little bit better than that.”
And here I am, fashionably late, with a YES AND.
The whole industry of consenting adults having a good time without the social constraints of marriage, children and all that other unreasonable, responsible-grown-up shit like monogamy has to DIE? But Tina! The Entertainment Industry can and will not ever die!
Tina Fey also said,
“BOOBS FEED BABIES.”
Every woman knows men are babies.
I can imagine that Tina’s experience with getting naked for money may not be as comedically thrilling as mine. In fact it’s quite possible that Tina’s never actually been a stripper! And that’s totally ok. Tina can hate what I stand for and I will always love her. I’m really into the whole unrequited-love-from-our-idols kind of masochism, anyway.
In an effort to become more like her, this one time I took an improv course. It was really fun, but mostly I was terrible and found that for the first time ever I felt like I was trying too hard in front of an audience. Which is totally weird, because improv is all about NOT trying too hard. It’s about being yourself. Being as average as can be, which in turn makes really great fucking comedy.
But I’m so used to being myself with high heels and glitter that being myself in a dry t-shirt was totally jarring.
After my course was complete and I totally BOMBED as a bona fide, clothed improv star, I realized that I’ve been an improv actress – and a successful one – for FOUR FUCKING YEARS. Stripping is basically the highest paid improv acting gig you can find in New York City!
What follows are Tina Fey’s Rules for Improv, and how they are also Rules for Successful Strippers.
Rule #1 — Agree
The first rule of improvisation is AGREE. Always agree and SAY YES.
When a customer says something like, “I can tell you like anal sex” I say YES. Because horny men ARE TOTALLY UNORIGINAL and because that is the fantasy he wants to play out. And I am here to work out these fantasies without any actual anal sex ever occurring! MAYBE I AM A SUPERFREAK BUT TO ME THIS SOUNDS FUN.
The Lesson: Respect What Your Partner has Created
“The benefit of ‘agreement’ is an open mind, an environment where ideas can thrive and innovation is welcome.” Everyone has fantasies and it’s healthier to talk about them and act them out in a consenting environment. Confession: I’ve never had a dick up my ass. But this is an opportunity to learn what this man likes about it so much. Learning is fun!
Rule #2 — Not Only Say Yes… Say Yes And
To keep the ball rolling (and the money flowing), I need to add to the fantasy that he is sharing with me. I have two choices:
1. If I think I will make money out of this transaction, I will cater to his desire.
“Anal is my favourite. It’s how I like to start every time.”
2. If I think he is a cheap pervert, I will follow with something for my own personal entertainment.
“No preamble with the pussy, no lube. Just dry, hard, painful ANAL. It helps loosen my bowels when I’m constipated!”
Either I am having fun and making money, or just having plain old potty humour fun. You would be surprised how much money I make off poo jokes. I make them so uncomfortable that they CANNOT LOOK AWAY. Horny boners, awkward boners, shame boners… they are all BONERS and they all turn a profit.
Rule #3 — Make Statements
Sitting on his lap, I sip on the glass of shitty champagne my customer just bought me – a signifier that he likes me and would like to continue spending time with me. I state the following: “Anal sex is highly underrepresented in porn.”
To which my customer replies with “Yes AND it’s a tragedy because I don’t think the female audience is aware of how much they don’t know that they want it!”
Lesson: Don’t Ask Questions All the Time
Just like I don’t want to be asked where I’m from, or how old I am, my customer doesn’t want to talk about his job, his wife, or his kids. So I don’t ask! Instead I strike up an NSFW conversation. Because he is NOT AT WORK AND DOES NOT WANT TO BE.
Rule #4 — There Are No Mistakes… Only Opportunities
So now my client is happy, aroused, and buying a zillion lap dances, and apparently now I really like anal sex. And you know what, maybe I will one day! Now I’m inspired to go home, whip out my dildo, and slip it in the other end. Because WHY NOT? The reality is that I probably won’t, but it doesn’t matter. Entertainment is kind of isolated in the way that being turned on by a certain fantasy can often mean not wanting to replicate it in the bedroom.
Lesson: Stay Positive, Learn to Adapt
The incessant curiosity I have for human desire keeps me good at what I do. The day I started stripping, my sex life and overall confidence skyrocketed. All sorts of beautiful, uncanny and fascinating things continue to fall into my lap as I go on plopping down in the laps of others.
KEEP ON SPINNING, WEIRD AND WONDERFUL WORLD !
I’m going to go and re-watch Mean Girls for the millionth time. And maybe try again at IMPROV:102 now that I get it.