I’ve been keeping an eye on my Twitter feed, and dancers and sex workers are freaking out. Understandably. Everything has come to a halt, and your money has dried up.
What I’m also seeing, which I don’t agree with AT ALL are so many girls saying things like, “I’m totally unemployable, I can’t do anything but dance, I have no other skills…”
Girl, please. I need you to make a list of the skills you do have- what is that special talent or hobby that you’ve been practicing that you can maybe monetize? Is there a way for you to work from home? There are a ton of girls who run live webcams/cash app gigs- what is your loyal customer base like? Is this an option?
How’s that closet of yours? Have you been hoarding shoes or outfits or cute clothes that you can turn around and sell on sites like Poshmark or Mercari?
If none of that is an option, there are few industries that are hiring right now. The ones that are, are the ones you’d expect with the kind of pandemic mess we’re in- gas stations, warehouses, shipping services. However, those industries are hiring.
No one really wants to work at a gas station. I get it. But if you’re down to your last $50 are you really going to turn down a job scanning items and restocking shelves and checking people out?
Again, if you’re immune compromised (what the hell are you doing stripping if you are?) and or live with people who are and you can’t risk getting them sick by getting a job, I get it.
For those who can work at a warehouse or gas station and need money, go apply for that job. What choice do you have? It’s going to be a long minute before anyone gets anything from the government, and I’m guessing you maybe haven’t filed taxes (truthfully?) for a few years? I’m only saying that because I know how the numbers get fudged in those industries, both because of the dancers and the sleezy club owners who try to circumnavigate the IRS.
Please don’t fall into the pitfall of “I’m not employable, I don’t have any skills, I can’t get along with people…” I’ve heard all the excuses. I once believed the same damn thing.
I will say, I had help. I had help from a boyfriend who really taught me how to make that transition from dance world to “real life”. It’s not easy, and it takes a lot of sacrifice and there will be a lot of anxiety. Anxiety will be your near constant companion, trust me. But it won’t kill you, I promise.
Here are some quick tips:
- You are not giving up your soul if you have to cover up some tattoos, or “normalize” your hair or take out your piercings. YOU ARE SURVIVING. You can go back to all your glorious weirdness when you’re at home.
- There are so many resources out there to help you get your resume (started?) done- do what most dancers do and say that you’ve been “bartending” – chances are your club is operating under a different name than what the customers know it as, so you’ve just been a bartender at __________ (<—-tax dodging business name)
- If you really have trouble getting along with people, then you need to work on yourself. We are all in this together, and you need to stop being an asshole.
- If you’ve been dancing because you have a drug addiction, then you’re really in for a struggle. Unfortunately, getting into a rehab facility is no doubt even harder than it was before this mess. What you can do is pick up the phone and call your local helpline- that can be found with a quick Google search. Call them and ask questions. See what resources there might be, what help they might be able to give you. You won’t know until you pick up the phone. You’re a drug addict, but you’re not completely helpless. Remember that.
- Stay humble, flexible, and nimble. You are a smart lady, who knows how to navigate one of the toughest industries out there. Scanning stuff at a grocery store is in some ways, a damn walk in the park compared to the bullshit that a dancer has to put up with in the club. Remember this. Wrap that armor you developed in the club around yourself out in the real world and you will be just fine.
I wish everyone the best of luck and health, amid this craziness.