System Status: Mail server SSL certificate updated; some older mail clients (e.g., Eudora) are having problems. See welltech.374 for more info.


inkwell.vue.128 : Lily Burana: Strip City
permalink #51 of 72: Lena M. Diethelm (lendie) Wed 31 Oct 01 12:09
    

Actually I am somewhat serious about a line of books by Barbie Faust.
  
inkwell.vue.128 : Lily Burana: Strip City
permalink #52 of 72: Lily Burana (burana) Thu 1 Nov 01 09:55
    <scribbled by burana Thu 1 Nov 01 09:57>
  
inkwell.vue.128 : Lily Burana: Strip City
permalink #53 of 72: Lily Burana (burana) Thu 1 Nov 01 10:02
    

Sorry, scribbled due to typos.

 Oh, the possibilities! It would be an interesting exercise for *every*
 writer to contemplate what story their alter-ego might write. I suppose
 Barbie Faust might turn into a sort of Florence Nightengale for the soul,
 and really get at the heart of why women strip, and why men are there.

 She'd hear their confessions, tend to their psychic wounds and set them on
the
 path to happiness. Not all strip club patrons or dancers are there as "hurt
 birds," but there's enough subcutaneous misery out there that a glitzy dame
 with a good ear and powers of divination could keep herself very busy.

 Pretentious? Probably. But well-intentioned. If I started with the premise
 that every girl or guy in the place is there because they are looking for
 something, something that they may be ill-advised to seek in a strip joint,
 and work outward from there, it would be a very gripping exercise in
 documenting longing, need, ambition and hope.

 Strip clubs are all about strategic exposure and contact-through-restraint.
 Imagine approaching every man or woman in the place and asking,
"So...what's stopping you?"

 What answers might be offered?
  
inkwell.vue.128 : Lily Burana: Strip City
permalink #54 of 72: the System Works (dgault) Thu 1 Nov 01 12:53
    

Ms B,  this is a difficult question for me to phrase,  but 
what the hell.  A day or so ago you answered someone's question
about dealing with your imaginary stripping daughter with "didn't
the book scare you off?"   


Were you mostly serious with that response?   My main impression
of strip clubs and the adult biz,  which is limited to San Francisco
in the 70s,  was that it was a lot rowdier and more damaged than 
the clubs you describe,  which are of course more recent.  So 
things seemed a lot less scary than how I remember them.  
Broadway clubs aren't exactly top of the line though.

I guess things have changed,  I hope they have.  The women I know
today from that era,  those who have survived that is,  are 
not happy campers.  Drug use was widespread,  and to say it was
tolerated by management would be an ironic understatement.  

I loved the book by the way.   If stripping is an analogy for
anything,  then I think you caught and described that analogy
or metaphor in a wonderful way.  
  
inkwell.vue.128 : Lily Burana: Strip City
permalink #55 of 72: Lily Burana (burana) Thu 1 Nov 01 15:48
    


Caeyell asks what was the hardest part of the book to write. Well, I suppose
it wasn't any particular section (though the lawsuit part was tough, and I'd
considered leaving it out. Though, in retrospect, i wonder what I was afraid
of, exactly.)

The hardest part was the getting past the stripping--ie, the business of
strategic showing and teasing, and really *stripping down*, emotionally. The
business of stripping, on either side of tip rail, is all about little bits
of real self peeking in and out, then being hidden from view. Tease and
suggest, hunt and peck, come-closer, but-not-too-close. There's the quick
flash of reality--the body, the soul, the heart--in a largely artificial
environment.


But you can't do that when you write. Not if you don't want to be called out
as a fraud or a con. I had to do what I never had to do on stage: SHOW UP.
100%. Be forthcoming about what I liked, even though there are things 'good
girls' aren't supposed to like; talk about what I hated, even though I was
afraid of the guilt that comes from hating things but doing them, or
exposing yourself to them, anyway; and describing situations that might
offend, even at cost to my own illusions about myself.

Of course, that said, one inevitably gets some flak for being evasive for
simply not portraying stripping the way that the reader wants or expects,
but hey, I had the experience I had, and wrote about it honestly, and I
can't do much more than that. Are there things I wish now that I'd spent
more time on, or looked at more closely? Oh yeah, sure.
  
inkwell.vue.128 : Lily Burana: Strip City
permalink #56 of 72: Lily Burana (burana) Thu 1 Nov 01 15:58
    


(dgault) writes:


 Were you mostly serious with that response?   My main impression
 of strip clubs and the adult biz,  which is limited to San Francisco
 in the 70s,  was that it was a lot rowdier and more damaged than
 the clubs you describe,  which are of course more recent.  So
 things seemed a lot less scary than how I remember them.
 Broadway clubs aren't exactly top of the line though.


*********************

I know that the wild wooly side of stripping still goes strong, in some
places. But I'd venture that it *is* quite different now than it was in the
1970s. For better or worse, the business is much more a) visible and b)
corporate.

And I'm sure that my own disinterest in drugs affords me a 'cleaner' point
of view. If girls are cramming into the manager's office to get high, I'll
never see it. I did see some drug use, which I acknowledged in my book in a
couple places, as well as hearing about the Bad Old Days of Times Square in
the 70s-early 80s.

Peoples' experience in and perspective on the sex industry is so varied, it
makes Rashomon look like a one-note aria. It changes from customer to
dancer, from dancer to dancer, and within the same dancer at different
points in her life/career.

By contrast to you, DG, most of the women I knew in the business, way back
when, are still around and OK-ish. We've all got our scars to show, and yes,
we did lose a few far too soon, but on average, the greater number of us are
just puttering along, living our respective, average lives of quiet
desperation--some quiter, some more desperate, than others. But we're
around, and if not better for having been strippers, at least we're done
with it.
  
inkwell.vue.128 : Lily Burana: Strip City
permalink #57 of 72: the System Works (dgault) Thu 1 Nov 01 19:40
    
 
Thanks.   It was too many drugs that did the damage to 
the people I'm thinking about,  too many at too young an age.  
  
inkwell.vue.128 : Lily Burana: Strip City
permalink #58 of 72: Casey Ellis (caseyell) Thu 1 Nov 01 23:06
    
Lily, near the end of STRIP CITY you write: "I'm starting to think
that closure is a lie. And if closure isn't a lie, then it's definitely
something that resists appearing on demand."
In the months since you wrote those lines --months in which you've
read from the book, been interviewed about the book, thought about the
book and the journey it chronicled--have you moved any nearer to a
sense of closure?
  
inkwell.vue.128 : Lily Burana: Strip City
permalink #59 of 72: Lily Burana (burana) Fri 2 Nov 01 08:12
    

No. And I don't presume that I will. I think there are just some things in
life that leave an indelible mark, and this is one of them. My guess is that
because stripping taps largely into the subconscious--it entails survival
instinct and self-protective instinct and sex and secrecy and a whole mess
of murky feelings (both good and bad)--it stays lodged, forever and vivid,
somethere in the depths of one's mind.

Occasionally things that I'd forgotten about surface, and things that once
had primacy in my daily thoughts have submarined. But I've talked to women
who stripped 5 years ago, and 50 years ago, and their memories are
incredibly sharp and pervasive. What changes about your life stays changed,
even if you're not doing the work. Just because you're not on the front
lines any more doesn't mean you're no longer a soldier in your own mind.

I think it may have less significance in my life and thoughts as I age awway
from it, but I think a sense of "closure", of relief and done-ness, is a
ways off. The interviews I did with women who stopped dancing years ago
leads me to this conclusion. I keep thinking about it as if it were a riddle
to be solved, but maybe it's just a stretch of my life that I don't need to
figure out so much as decidedly walk away from, a little more every day.
  
inkwell.vue.128 : Lily Burana: Strip City
permalink #60 of 72: Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Fri 2 Nov 01 17:01
    
Well, speaking of closure, I'm sorry to see that your officially scheduled
time in Inkwell.vue is up, Lily. That doesn't mean I'm shooing you (or
caseyell) out the door, of course. If you can stick around longer, that'd be
great. But I did want to thank you for joining us here, it's been such a
fascinating discussion. And thanks to you too, Casey, for such excellent and
thoughtful questions.
  
inkwell.vue.128 : Lily Burana: Strip City
permalink #61 of 72: Casey Ellis (caseyell) Fri 2 Nov 01 17:16
    
My pleasure. 
  
inkwell.vue.128 : Lily Burana: Strip City
permalink #62 of 72: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Fri 2 Nov 01 21:33
    
Yes, this has been great. Please continue to make yourselves at home!
  
inkwell.vue.128 : Lily Burana: Strip City
permalink #63 of 72: Lily Burana (burana) Sat 3 Nov 01 15:39
    


thank you all, as well. it's been fun!
  
inkwell.vue.128 : Lily Burana: Strip City
permalink #64 of 72: pooning tang; tanging the poon (viv) Sun 2 Dec 01 08:15
    

Heard Lily's interview with Diana Nyad this morning on the Savvy Traveler.
The site's not yet updated, but should be within the week.

http://savvy.mpr.org/

Wonderful stuff, Lily.
  
inkwell.vue.128 : Lily Burana: Strip City
permalink #65 of 72: Lily Burana (burana) Sun 2 Dec 01 15:45
    


thank you! she's a wonderful host--very beguiling and curious. plus, i got
to record it in Carnegie Studios, above Carnegie Hall, which was a thrill,
I'll admit!
  
inkwell.vue.128 : Lily Burana: Strip City
permalink #66 of 72: pooning tang; tanging the poon (viv) Sun 2 Dec 01 16:32
    

I'm glad to hear you say that about Diana, I miss Rudy Maxxa but am glad you
found her urious/curious--a fine attribute in an interviewer.

You deserve the beguile, Lily.
  
inkwell.vue.128 : Lily Burana: Strip City
permalink #67 of 72: Scott Underwood (esau) Wed 5 Dec 01 11:25
    
In today's Onion, on the left-hand sidebar:

Barnes & Noble Creates Stripper/Prostitute Memoir Section

with a picture that shows the top of "Strip City," as well as "Diary of a
Manhattan Call Girl," "Sex Work," and some others.

I laughed, anyway.
  
inkwell.vue.128 : Lily Burana: Strip City
permalink #68 of 72: Lily Burana (burana) Wed 5 Dec 01 16:02
    


me, too. and I'll be Tracy did, as well!
  
inkwell.vue.128 : Lily Burana: Strip City
permalink #69 of 72: obi-wan ken (noebie) Mon 20 Oct 03 09:55
    
picked up the book this yesterday at b & n and couldn't put it
down...very cool
  
inkwell.vue.128 : Lily Burana: Strip City
permalink #70 of 72: I'm with you in Rockland! (noebie) Fri 24 Oct 03 09:28
    
really liked the sections about the burlesque-era stars

been looking for a comprehensive history of stripping for some time --
this whets my appetite further

what i like best about this book is how straightforward it is...no
proselytizing...no sugar coating either

very honest and, uh...this seems odd but it's the word that comes to
mind -- wholesome
  
inkwell.vue.128 : Lily Burana: Strip City
permalink #71 of 72: Craig S. Thom (craigthom) Fri 24 Oct 03 19:41
    
You should visit the Burlesque Hall of Fame out in the desert
northeast of LA.  It's run by Dixie Evans (mentioned in the first
message of this topic, and the museum is doubtless where the meeting
happened).  I now hVE autographed pictures of burlesque performers on
my wall (Dixie's, signed on demand, and Sally Rand, signed in bulk when
she visited the museum).

The museum is full of photos and props and other souvenirs, and the
personal tour by Dixie is worth the drive.
  
inkwell.vue.128 : Lily Burana: Strip City
permalink #72 of 72: I'm with you in Rockland! (noebie) Sat 25 Oct 03 08:07
    
i did some research on the web a year or so ago and ran across info on
the place -- if i'm ever west i'll be sure to make the stop
  



Members: Enter the conference to participate

Non-members: How to participate


Non-members: Please enter your comment or question:
All non-member comments are read before posting. All spam is discarded.

Your email address:
We will only use this email address to contact you for clarification.

Your real name:
Your name will be used to identify your comment if it is posted.



Subscribe to an RSS 2.0 feed of new responses in this topic RSS feed of new responses

 
   Join Us
 
Home | Learn About | Conferences | Member Pages | Mail | Store | Services & Help | Password | Join Us

Twitter G+ Facebook