Facing Fear: What's it all worth?
They say the number one fear in life is speaking in public, and being nude in public - well, that's a close second. I've experienced both, and I'm here to tell you - they are equally terrifying.
Thrilled for the opportunity to play with the big boys and make real money (I was previously a topless dancer), the idea of being completely nude in stilettos still gave me pause.
You want to make the big bucks, you gotta show it all.
So I did.
The first time I dropped trou on stage I was trembling. I’m talking Parkinson’s Hands. Standing in my six inch stilettos, bent over on the far corner of the frosted, Plexiglas stage, I peeled off my g-string trying to breathe, wiggling my fingers in an attempt to calm them down. I felt the three shots of Tequila trying to escape, but kept my cool, focusing on the neon blinking lights hypnotizing me from under the floor.
Once I was nude and dancing around, I felt much better. As Steven Tyler sang about Loving me in an Elevator, I found my rhythm and confidence. I was hired on the spot and started working immediately.
After my third set that night, bending over wearing nothing but a smile felt like waving to someone on the street. I was aware of my nudity, but completely comfortable in my skin. My garter filled with my month's rent didn't hurt, either. As with most compromising positions (literally and figuratively) where there is an opportunity to make a ton of dough, money can be a great desensitizer.
Fast forward twenty plus years and I am here; writing my story, ready to share some of the most personal experiences I’ve held close to the vest – never before shared in public. Until tonight.
In a few hours I’ll be headed to Los Angeles where I will read aloud my chapter, which was published in The Moment. I will share what was running through my mind on the very last night I worked as a stripper.
The Parkinson’s Hands are already starting, but, once again, I will face my fear.
For me, the amount of fear between public speaking and being nude in public is equally terrifying, but the reasons for those times I faced my fears are paradoxical: one was to make more money dancing nude on stage, the other, to share my survival story and realize my worth.
You just can’t put a price tag on that.