Maren Wade’s Confessions of a Showgirl: “5 Questions to Never Ask a Vegas Showgirl” (Photo Credit: Patrick Rivera)
1. What is your height?
If you’re going to ask this question, be prepared for a dishonest answer. It wasn’t until I got to Vegas that I learned my “official” height. I happen to be a particularly short showgirl. (Like I’ve said before, the modern day showgirl comes in many forms, shapes and sizes.)
When I first moved to Vegas, I would tell the truth and say I was 5-foot-4. A fellow showgirl was shocked when she found this out. She informed me, “Everyone in Vegas assumes you are lying about your height. So, if you tell them you are 5-foot-4, they think you are 5-foot-2! You have to tell them you are 5-foot-6!” I couldn’t believe I had been shortchanging myself. (I wish I could say that was the first time.
2. Have you ever thought of doing this professionally?
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t that sweet? You picture a little girl doing a little show for her beloved family. Then someone asks this question to encourage that little girl to follow her dreams. Wrong! It happens more like this:
We will have just finished performing our hearts out in an elaborate stage production at a major hotel on the Las Vegas Strip to a packed, ticket-buying audience. We feel like rock stars as we make our way to the “meet and greet.” We sign photos and take pictures with all of our adoring fans. Then, just like that, our egos are shattered as one of them says, “You were all great! Have you ever thought of doing this professionally?”
Either I don’t know what the definition of “professional” is or they don’t. …
3. Is it like the movie?
I would like to thank that cult classic, Showgirls, for so eloquently illustrating the life of a Vegas showgirl. However, I regret to inform you, they took some creative liberties. Sure, once in a while there are kids who hang out backstage with topless showgirls. There are animals that run loose in the theater. There’s always the odd time you hear about a showgirl sleeping with her producer. Occasionally, a showgirl takes another showgirl down but, well, now that I think about it, it’s exactly like the movie.
4. Are your _______________ real?
First of all, whatever the blank is, the answer is always, “No.” I mean, is the pyramid at the Luxor real? What about the Eiffel Tower at Paris? When you get right down to it, is anything in Vegas real?
But here’s the most offensive part of that question. If you have to ask, then they are obviously not big enough! Have you heard the saying, “Less is more?” Well in the showgirl world, more is more. If we don’t look fake, then we aren’t doing our job. Bigger is better! That includes hair, nails, lashes and two other things.
5. What kind of dancer are you (wink wink)?
Now, I know Vegas is a mecca for the best strip clubs in the country, but there is one major difference between showgirls and strippers.
Showgirls have way more sparkly G-strings!
Most importantly, showgirls and strippers specialize in two completely different genres of dance. You can’t presume a dancer is proficient in all styles. That’s like expecting someone to speak every language!
Assuming we are good at being strippers is just giving us too much credit. That pole work is really hard! I can’t remember the last time anybody slipped me a dollar for my dancing. And frankly, that really bugs me. If they did, it might increase my self-esteem by at least 2 inches. Then, I could stop lying about my height.
(Okay, I have a confession to make. It wouldn’t stop me from lying, but at least I’d be in a higher bracket.)