One of the trickier aspects of working as a stripper is managing inter-dancer relationships. In my experience, any group of women working in close quarters is bound to have it's fair share of dramatic outburst and cattiness, regardless of their occupation. I've experienced it in many different contexts and have observed general female group social dynamics as well as some most interesting drama. In a socially accepted environment, it's already hard to avoid certain problems within a female group. In the stripping business, it can be exponantially tougher because the profession attracts and employs many persons with various personal issues (i.e. emotional, psychological, substance abuse, bad relationships, low self esteem, etc, etc.).
In any female group, save for the very small ones, there are always cliques and sub-groups. Women that belong to a certain clique will almost uniquely socialize within their group and ignore everyone else. The only time they will talk with others is when the other members of their clique are absent or busy. It's as if they would get in trouble with their peers for socializing outside the group, lol! Other cliques have superiority complexes, acting like they are the best and everyone else is *insert explitive here* to them.
Depending on the club, cliques are more or less of a problem. At Cleo's there are a few but the majority of dancers are friendly regardless which is nice. Since we have a larger amount of dancers working per shift than most other clubs, it allows the opportunity for more distance between dancers and to find someone you have more in common with. Also with a bigger rotation of dancers, I'm never working with the same exact women all the time. From my experiences, the inter-dancer relations at my club are quite pleasant and certainly exceeded all my expectations in that area and continue to do so.
Since I started stripping, I've observed many different types of dancers and their various work methods. Each has their own little way: Getting their look together with hair, makeup and outfits; Their stage performances and song selections; The way they interact with customers and sell private dances; What they do when they're not busy; etc. Some dancers have their act together and are fantastic entertainers. Unfortunately a fair number of strippers I think should either take a break or retire, at the very least re-examine their work methods.
I hear numerous complaints from fellow dancers every time I work about how they are not making money. These "complainers" have been dancing for a few years, probably a few too long and are jaded. It's always the same comments with them regardless of how busy the club is: "It's dead, there aren't any clients.", "I haven't made any money, no one is buying dances.", "The customers here today are all jerks.", "It's quiet and I'm not making money because of the weather (too nice out or too rainy), or because of the construction, etc." Of course, their lack of dance sales can't
be related to something that they're
doing wrong! Such thoughts never cross their minds strangely... I wonder if it's some kind of denial or something, it must be.
These complaining dancers boggle my mind because their dancing income is an obvious reflection of their work methods. Yet, they refuse to think that the problem lies with them or the way they choose to work. They invest as little energy and effort into their work as possible but expect to earn the same as a dancer who does the opposite.
They come in to work and spend over an hour in the dressing room getting "ready" before hitting the floor. Their lengthy preparation ritual usually comprises of chatting up fellow dancers and wasting time. Some don't bother doing anything to their hair or using makeup to improve their look and the lack of care in their appearance is obvious. Not to mention that they wear the same outfit everytime they work adding to the uninspired look they portray. Their stage sets are equally stale, dancing to the same songs day after day for months on end or longer, all the while looking most uninterested while performing on stage.
These dancers also waste a large chunk of their workshift downstairs in the dressing room or bathroom. It seems to be their favorite spot to meet and complain among themselves or vent their lack of success on whoever else is down there at the time. I've gone down to the changing room a few times near the end of the shift to see them sprawled out, complaining about how bad money is today during
the busiest part of the day...
On top of all that, their customer approach is terrible! They walk around with sour faces and clearly display their lack of interest. I see them approach customers: straight faces, bored and offering they're services... They don't get invited to sit with customers very often (usually they invite themselves to a table) and most often they start complaining to the customer about their crappy day or some other personal issue.
And they have trouble selling dances? Hmmm.... I wonder why?!?
Then there are what I refer to as the "partying" strippers. These dancers also complain that they don't make much money selling dances but aren't anywhere near as negative as the dancers mentionned above. They've also been dancing for some time but continue to invest some time and effort into their appearance to various degrees. A bit of diversity in their outfits and song choices could be recommended, some could do with changing up their stage routines as well. I can't make any reproaches about these dancers on their shows though. They seem to enjoy it and have fun interacting with the audience a lot.
Off stage, these dancers will zone in on customers that are in a very festive mood, preferably a table with more than one patron. As long as drinks are regularly provided, they seem more than happy to stay at the table drinking and horsing around, often for hours. When partying customers are lacking, they drink amongst themselves and have their own private celebration. Consequently at the end of the shift they are drunk, sometimes very incapacitated.
When working the floor to sell private dances, these strippers have a good approach with customers. They take time to chat with patrons and then win them over with their high spirited and playful attitudes. Unfortunately, since partying is seemingly their prefered activity at work, it undoubtedly affects their earnings. Either they lose out on selling private dances or they end up spending their earnings on more alcohol.
It doesn't surprise me to hear them complain now and then about not making much money. At least they don't complain much or often and are usually always in a good mood. Sometimes the hard part is resisting the urge to join in their fun because I know that I'd have a great time unwinding and celebrating with them. I just don't feel right doing so at work and it's definitely not a habit I want to start.
Another type of dancer I see frequently is the "I'm so hot" pretentious type. They take great care in their appearance, polishing their look and style to it's fullest potential. Naturally attractive, they provide more variety with their look and performances by changing their outfits, song choices and dance routines. They've mastered the appearance aspect of stripping very well, maximizing that element impressively. Sadly, many of these dancers feel that just being very attractive is all they need to sell dances.
With their beautiful looks, they never have problems attracting customers. Selling private dances is another story though. They don't smile much and don't put much effort in conversations or anything to close a sale. They give the impression that anything more than looking pretty and offering private dances is a chore and that they are above having to "work" a customer. From my observations, the majority of these dancers' sales techniques consists of them approaching customers one after the other with a flat "Wanna dance?"
I'll often hear them complain about how they're not making as much as they want. Of course to them it has
to be because of all the other dancers give extras. Gosh darn, you don't have to do extras to make money but you do need some good sales and customer service skills. Duh...
I've had the luck of crossing paths with some great dancers while working at Cleo's. Their ages and amount of experience varies but their pleasant demeanor and sensible approach to this job is clear. They are fun to work with and to talk with when time permits.
They take good care of their appearance and put a lot of effort into their stage performances. They offer more variety in their looks and stage shows with different outfits and music selections. Friendly and engaging with the customers, they do very well earning their money while having fun at the same time.
As co-workers, they are a dream to work along side with compared to other types of dancers like those mentionned above. Their reasonable approach to this business especially applies to how they interact with other dancers and they avoid negative people as much as discreetly possible. They stay away from drama and problems situations and I've never seen a great dancer be the cause a stir. I appreciate these women immensely because they are level-headed and fun, not petty, jealous, dramatic or gossip mongers like some others.
As it is with many other things in life, it's easier to talk about the negative side of things. This doesn't mean that I have more unpleasant co-workers than nice ones, just that they tend to leave a more lasting impression. My interactions with other dancers at work is fairly limited. I come to work prepared and only needing a few minutes to get changed. I keep my visits to the bathroom and dressing room "to the point" and avoid getting caught up in lengthy conversations.
It's not that I don't enjoy socializing with fellow dancers but I'm not there to have fun, I'm there to work. In a very lax working environment like a strip club, it's easy to let yourself get distracted or caught up in something fun and lose valuable time. No one is there to tell you to get back to work or check your overall performance and sales. Those with little or no self-dicipline end up taxing their bodies faster with alcohol, drugs and/or not eating right on top of decreasing their earnings.
So I try to manage my work time effectively and focus on what I'm there to do. I'm happy with my on the job performance though I know I still need to work on a few things. The results speak for themselves with my earnings and repeat customers so I must be doing some things right ;)