If I had a million followers I would just be asked to come do a role on Broadway, I would be invited to every party the industry threw, I would be asked to endorse products I've never even tried. I would be asked to tweet about things to influence consumerism. I would be in movies, TV, recording, guest starring in everything I could and squeezing in as much work and opportunity as possible.
But it I don't have a billion followers. I have 3 decades of dance, singing and acting training. 20 years of experience in the highest levels of theatre, I have TV credits of acting for all 4 major TV network, NBC, ABC, CBS and FOX, doing film for Disney, and Paramount Pictures. I have legendary artists telling me I have a gift and never to squander it and producers and casting praising my work and my commitment.
But I've been bankrupt, I don't own any property, I have no fame, I have no agent and manager and.....I haven't had a real audition in over a year.
But if I had a billion followers, I would be set. I would be influential and what I tweeted would be on Extra!, Entertainment Tonight or CNN.
What does this teach our youth? What does this teach me? Work hard and know your craft or be shocking, make a sex tape, gain followers and become famous?
I'm afraid the latter is the lesson they are learning, and sadly so am I.
And yet still, I want to do the hard work, protect my artistry and passion, be classy and hopefully be able to pay my bills doing what I love.
Sounds like a solid Sunday evening confession to me?
I was 24 years old when I got my "lady parts" Brazilian waxed for the first time. I was a professional dancer on Broadway, and I needed to be well groomed.... in every respect.
Let me stop there, back up and start from the very beginning
It was 2001, I was about to open the mega revival of 42nd St on Broadway. This was a multi million dollar production and all of us were young, excited and ready to make our Broadway debut!
In one epic musical number were dressed in skimpy flesh colored leotards, sheer twinkle tights and choreographed to lay down on a huge turn table with a huge mirror over head kicking and spreading our legs...WIDE. It was a wonderful number called "Young & Beautiful", and might I be so bold to say that all of us girls were....young and beautiful.
We noticed how people, mostly men, were suddenly gathered in the wings during this number. I mean, I get it, were 24 half-naked young dancers on stage spreading their legs, who wouldn't be watching in the wings? We suddenly, or at least I did, felt a little "too aware" of spreading our legs (yes, I realize we probably should've been before, but ah well). Then, aside from telling the people to get out of the wings, we began to all talk about how high cut the leotard was, and how some of us hated shaving, the razor burn, and how it would be so much easier to just well, "be 12 again and not have any hair to shave down there."
In the theater, women have very candid conversations in a dressing room. Some women in general are very open about everything. But in my business we meet, and then see each other completely naked about 20 min later, especially in a chorus dressing room of women. So, this lends itself to most of us becoming very intimate, very soon. We talk about everything. Life, drama, sex, and of course shaving, self waxing and grooming our lady parts. Because generally, as dancers, we are costumed very skimpy on stage.
Also, this was the big time, Broadway, were about to open this huge show and perform 8 times a week in front of 1,000 people a performance. We needed to be groomed!
So at the time "Brazilian Waxing" your "lady" ( or your Who Ha, Chani, Sweet Girl, I have a lot of names for her) was a pretty new concept in New York City. At least only a few of us had actually done it or heard of it. One of the girls in our show was the only non "Brazilian Virgin" and she told us how it was done. We all listened to her describe this ritual of removing most, if not all of your hair down there. Even going as far as turning over and spreading your cheeks to get the bum hair. Wha!? I had never heard of such a thing at 24! She suggested we all "pop our collective cherry's" together and get our first brazilian wax done for opening night!!
She told us of a salon that had a great women of polish decent who was the best in New York City. She used only this blue conditioning wax. She was forceful, but gentle. She guided you through it step by step and made your first time wonderful.
Her price tag was $80
I made an appointment for the very next day! I was excited and scared. After my morning coffee, off I went to be waxed for the first time.
The Brazilian Waxing Service was described at the salon as going "from the front, all the way to the back with an added butt strip". It went on to say "it is perfect for a completely nude look or you can leave a neat triangle, strip, or square on the front. Choose the style that best fits you!"
It was descriptive, and I was curious.
I went into my appointment and was asked to strip naked from the waist down and lay on a table. A women came in with a thick polish accent and was very professional. She seem to already know I was one of the "dancer girls from show". She had apparently been flooded with appointments that week. Then she turned on an overhead craned light, and aimed it right between my legs! I suddenly felt SO exposed (I know, suddenly? I'm naked). She then told me to lift my leg. Shouldn't we have a drink first? Talk? Then she pulled out that blue conditioning wax, brushed some on, tapped the wax a couple times until it was cool, pulled my skin back and told me to breathe....and 1-2-she pulled fast!!!
Then she smiled at me and said "First time waxing?" I nodded, biting my lip in such pain. She went on to explain that the more I wax, the finer the hair will get. It hurts more in the front that actually on the Va jay jay. I can go 6 weeks in-between waxing, and being not very hairy anyway, I could go longer. She was trying to have a conversation with me as she is pulling, tapping, waxing and puling again. I don't know how I remember anything she said. But she went on to say waxing will save me money on razors and make me feel clean and sexy.
She went on to wax and pull, have me spread and lift in areas of my lady that I just don't do with strangers. But she promised to get "every bit of hair". And she did! Then she said,
(I'm sorry, Wha?)
"You want me to get butt? Spread cheeks."
So, after a deep breath, I flipped over. And as I'm "spreading my cheeks" and getting this done, I'm just giggling on the inside and then I start giggling on the outside. I'm sure this woman has seen it all. I mean, she had to ask me to spread my cheeks.
The things women go through for beauty is incredible isn't it?
All done. I got dressed. Paid my $80 plus tip (even though it felt slightly dirty to tip her), and I walked out of the salon hair free. I distinctly remember walking down the streets of NYC feeling smooth, silky and like I had a secret.....in my pants. Ha ha! It was wonderful!
I would love to say when we came back to the show that we all collectively got naked and showed each other our new "lady do's", but that's just ridiculous. Let's just say we noticed, we told stories of our first time, and were all just so happy that we weren't waxing virgins any more!
Our show opened a week later to rave reviews and that season we won the Tony Award for Best Musical Revival! I can't say our collective "waxing experience" had anything to do with those accolades, but it was a part of it! And for some of us, waxing was a part of our lives from then on.
For those of you who saw that production of 42nd ST, you might not look at it with the same eyes, or thoughts again after reading this?
Tell me, did I layer it with some "knowledge" that may have ruined it for you? Or made it better?
These are confessions of my life as an actress working on Broadway, TV and Film for 20 years