The Showgirl

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a topless dancer. Oh, not any topless dancer, of course; I wanted to be a real showgirl, like in Vegas. I’d wear all these fabulous costumes, with these enormous headdresses, and I’d walk so elegantly, I’d just about float… and my breasts would be stunning, the talk of the Strip. 

It’s all I ever wanted in life. 

So the first opportunity I got, I hopped a Greyhound with a single suitcase and three hundred dollars in my pocket. I rented a small room and got a job as a waitress, just to tide me over until that day came when I would make my debut as a topless showgirl in a big time revue. 

I hit the audition rounds relentlessly. Finally, the day came when one of the really big casinos was putting together a major spectacular that had my name written all over it. I spent two weeks preparing for that audition: practicing my walk to get my arm extension just so and exercising my upper body so my breasts would stand out there proud and full. 

The audition was onstage. I could only barely see the director, the producer, and their staffs, clipboards in hand, out there in the dark. “Hello,” they said. “Please walk for us.” So I did. It was the most elegant walk in the history of Las Vegas, and I was sure I’d nailed it. When I finished, I could hear them whispering. Finally, the director spoke. “That was very nice, but I wonder if we might ask you to do something else. Could you sing something?” 

I hadn’t really planned on singing anything. Still, if it was gonna help me get my slot as a topless showgirl, I’d sing for them. So I wracked my brain for anything I could remember and sang the opening verse of Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered, only because I’d heard it on the radio on the way over. 

“Please, continue,” they said. 

“Look, is singing really necessary for the role? I’m a topless showgirl, not some singer.” 

They whispered some more. Finally: “You have an amazing voice and a wonderful stage presence. We’d like to hire you as the headliner.” 

Needless to say, I was a little surprised. “Uhm, look, I don’t want to seem ungrateful, but I don’t know about that. I really have my heart set on being a topless showgirl.” 

“We understand, but unfortunately all of those positions have been filled. The only thing left, frankly, is headliner.” 

Well, after a few phone calls with my agent (who understood but told me to see it as a side track in my career path, not a step down), I took the job. Eight performances a week, I’m a star, standing out there at centre stage, belting out song after song with a fifty-piece orchestra, listening to the waves of applause, and hating every minute of it because there’s a whole line of girls behind me who are doing what I should be doing. 

Sometimes, on my nights off, I’ll head for one of the smaller casinos on the other side of town, where no one knows I’m a headliner, and I’ll sit there and watch the chorus and dream of the day when I too can be one of them…..

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