Here's how I got started.
During university I wasn’t making much money and falling deeper and deeper in debt. A friend of mine who made a good living owned a College Pro Painting franchise and after many conversations I decided to do the same, thinking if I worked hard and made enough money it would be the solution to my debt problems.
The company manager also thought I would be well suited for the job. I would knock on doors of 4-5 storey houses in gorgeous affluent neighbourhoods, pitch them the painting services in-between classes, and my team and I would spend the summer and any spare time we could painting old Victorian homes.
Despite my terrible fear of heights I painted relentlessly but was quickly becoming deeper in debt with my $10,000 franchise loan.
I was soon drowning in debt. Despite the franchise being my first real exposure to the business world, I was becoming worse off financially than before I took the business loan—combine that with the ongoing workload of finishing my studies it seemed impossible to make ends meet.
Images of the women’s shelters came to mind. There was no way I could go back.
Getting my degree was the only way I could get ahead and fulfill my dream as a businesswoman, and if I didn’t have money to pay for that education then I couldn’t go to school.
So my friend and I started stripping.
I remember my first night very distinctly.
The manager stood at the front entrance… There was no tryout or application. There were only a few sheets of paperwork to fill out. My friend and I had strategically chosen a local place by the airport because we did not have to register for a stripping license from the government. Thinking ahead, we thought a license would remain fixed in our records and hinder us at some point in terms of our careers.
I don’t know what I’m doing, I remember thinking. The space was dark, the lights half-dim. The stage was lit up.
I can’t believe that I’m doing this.
I found myself making my way up the stairs, behind the DJ booth in back of the entrance to the stage. A rush of excitement was mixed in with underlying disquietness. The red lighting made each silhouette look magnetizing, sensuous and alluring. Music pumped throughout the place.
In the change rooms there were tanning beds, a shower, rows of lockers and long mirrors where the women would transform themselves. Wigs, makeup, stilettos, boots of all sizes and props.
I walked out on stage, in my little dress and wedge shoes, I walked towards the stairs and fell