I'm a freelance private investigator based in Paris. I don't stalk people and I don't wear a trench coat and sunglasses—unless it's simultaneously raining and sunny. My company conducts investigations of high-flying financiers. While I have no interest in the finance world whatsoever, my entire income derives from it, and in last year's economic crisis, I had zero income for three solid months. The Frisky: Get Your Rocks Off: 8 Songs For Stripping
The U.S. job market tanked, the dollar crashed, and my company laid off 16 investigators. While I kept my job, there was just no work to do, and I felt like I'd been placed on pause in a world where the film continued on without me. I wept uncontrollably. I lived on baguettes and potatoes. I borrowed money from concerned family members. Friends gave me boots when winter struck because mine had holes in them. It was very Depression Era, financially and emotionally. The Frisky: How To Strip According To Burlesque Bombshell Little Brooklyn
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All of this passed in time, as crises tend to do, and my work life returned to normal. But the experience left me feeling shaken and insecure. I longed for my old life—a life based on more than survival. I missed the humor of my pre-financial-crisis days, the sheer pleasure of being alive. I needed something to lift my spirits and take my mind off things. And then one day I came across a video of famed American burlesque performer Dita Von Teese dancing at the Crazy Horse, a well-known Parisian cabaret. She was glamorous and cheeky, both a parody of and the embodiment of female sexuality. Three minutes later I was enrolled in a class to learn the art of burlesque, a.k.a. the striptease. The Frisky: What's It Like Being A Mom Who Does Burlesque?
I armed myself with high heels, garter belts, and thigh-highs, and went to my first class. There were five other women there, all of them French, between the ages of 25 and 36. We stood side-by-side in front of a mirror, wiggled our hips, and practiced removing elbow-length gloves with our teeth. With the body of an adolescent boy and the bank balance of a homeless person, I could hardly be described as a pin-up girl. But the spirit was there. I returned for another class. The Frisky: MERRIMe, A New Web Comedy About Online Dating