The initial opening paragraph entry to this was a short but funny anecdote about how I didn't sleep with my manager last week but less than two hours after posting I got a call from my other manager basically threatening to fire me if I didn't change it. Story of my life... now please pull any and all sticks out of your ass and welcome to my blog.
In the entertainment industry sleeping with a higher-up can help or hinder your career depending on who you are, they are, how much money you both are worth, and how many people know about it. A dancer "friend" of mine has had an on-again-off-again thing for someone in charge of a pretty famous choreographer's estate for a few years now but the only thing seeming to hinder his dance career is his piss-poor attitude. But it should come as no shock to you all that my romantic entanglement with my then immediate supervisor would not only prevent my advancement in the company at the time, but again when I came back 8 years later.
It was fall of 2003 and after surviving my very first firing from my very first professional show (after my final performance the owner of the theater came to me backstage and said "Daniel if at any time you ever want to come back just give me a call and I'll find a place for you." Then why the fuck was I fired you stupid asshole?!?! Ugh... politics) I was off to begin my career as the cruise ship dancer that you all have come to know and love. My 19th birthday was right around the corner and after turning down what I considered to be a small scholarship to AMDA because "why would I pay for school if I'm already being paid to perform now?" the world was mine for the taking. I showed up to that rehearsal studio on my first day ready to show all of them that I was the best goddamned dancer at Saint Burnadette's and nothing that anyone in the cast or creative team was going to teach me otherwise... or so I thought.
Back in Tennessee I had always loved going out to the club, sneaking drinks in the bathroom, and dancing my 130 lbs little ass off to "Window to the Wall" and a personal favorite from my senior year of high school, X-tina's "Dirrty" (the two r's really sold it for me) so when I got an invitation from the oldest guy in the cast (40... the same age as my father at the time) I figured it was a great opportunity to get to know everyone a little better while simultaneously welcoming myself into adulthood. I still don't know how I didn't get carded, but the next thing I know the head of productions for said cruise line's production company who was notorious for taking the young dancers out and getting them drunk (he had a hand in a lot of the alcohol that made "Scandinavia" happen the following year) was feeding me rum and cokes (ew) like bottled water at a circuit party. Well, it didn't take many of those to get me on the dance floor of The Copa (the trashiest little Ft. Lauderdale hole in the wall you'll ever find... A year later I won $250 in a "Best Ass" contest there) shaking my ass in a pair of jeans that barely fit and what I'm sure was an ironic Abercrombie T that said "You're the only 10 - I - See" and who should I find getting awfully frisky up behind me but the man who I had just came to know over the last two days as my rehearsal choreographer, or The Lady and The Tramp... cause he was both a Lady, and a Tramp (just in case some of you guys didn't get that).
It didn't take much "dancing" before I found myself in a half back-bend with L T's tongue halfway to my small intestine but given my state of mind and the actually somewhat sexual notion of banging the boss I didn't really give a shit. What I should have been paying attention to was half of the company's creative team staring at us... that would've been the smart thing to consider. Needless to say I ended up back at his apartment which was in the same complex the cast was staying in and ended up having my very first walk of shame the next morning. The sex was pretty decent I guess considering he was the third guy I'd ever been with (I don't think he knew that) and I, in all honesty, had no idea what the hell I was doing. But the thing that I remember about it the most was just how fucking beautiful his penis was. Nice shade a light beige, not veiny at all, dark pink head, about 8 or so inches, and a solid hand-full of girth. I was much to young to appreciate it at the time but his penis could've been airbrushed it was so damned good-looking.
He seemed like a nice enough guy at the time from what my 18 year old Southern gay version of a nice guy would have been. I didn't get any special treatment in rehearsals but I did get to ride in his convertible to and from the studio every day while everyone else had to walk which was pretty fucking awesome. One morning we had to make a special stop at Target on the way to the studio so that he could buy Britney's "In The Zone" album on the morning it was released. I bought one too just cause I figured that's what normal people do but that album coupled with JT's "Justified" ended up being played on repeat for pretty much the entirety of that contract so I guess that was a good decision. He ate a lot of cheesecake which I couldn't figure out if that was really cool, or really fucking lame. I mean, the Golden Girls are the backbone of my personality as well but I think having a whole cheesecake to yourself before bed every night is a bit much.
The best part about sleeping with the boss was getting his complete unfiltered opinion about what he thought of everyone in the cast. The guy who ended up being my first roommate on the ship (I eventually switched rooms to room with the guy I got along with better after a boy quit but then we started fucking and shit hit the fan cause I slept with Scuba Steve the youth staff manager but that's a whole different story all together) was the guy he hated the most. He used to bitch about how fat he was (he really wasn't that big at all, even for a dancer) and even gave him the world's shittest part in the show which was being the kicking front legs of a giant silver sequined horse that one of the singers entered on while singing "Rhinestoned Cowboy" (for the record, this show was hands down the most awful piece of shit I have ever been a part of. A Vegas style country revue set to pop music. Yeah, that existed. God I wish I still had a video).
L T was pretty easy to get along with in rehearsals as far as I can remember. He had a "signature move" that he would always do when giving notes similar to a compliment sandwich where he would tell us everything about the run that was good but then he'd cross his legs, push the hair out of his face (he had long blond hair that everyone hated but my trashy ass thought was kinda hot), and say "however..." in the longest, most drawn-out, spoiled rich girl tone you had ever heard. He also used to give us long speeches about laziness and how even though we were technically on a break that we should all be off our asses and practicing the dance until we have it down pat because that's what a professional would do. It was years later that I finally realized that these speeches were 100% aimed directly at me because my pretty little ass was lazy as fuck and a quick learner so I decided that rest time was much more important and he clearly wasn't going to give me these speeches while he was inside me. My nickname back then was Miss Tennessee because I was a bit of a princess and still trapped in a world where I was the big fish in a not-so-talented pond. I grew out of that pretty fast. ;-)
It was my 19th birthday and Jer... sorry, L T decided to take me out to The Cheesecake Factory (how romantic) for a little birthday date. Still to this day one of the most awkward dates I've ever been on and I'm including the ballerina with the broken foot high on pain killers who let my friend rub his dick in the middle of the bar for everyone to see. Not that anything weird like that happened with L&T but there was just absolutely nothing for us to talk about so we spent about three fourths of our time there sitting in an uncomfortable silence. After dinner we went back to the apartment complex and asked me to accompany him to the girls' apartment to check on the sick female singer which I thought was weird because before that moment he hadn't given too shits about the poor girl who eventually developed nodes and had to leave the contract. To my surprise there was my cast ready for me with a big birthday surprise party for their youngest, most naive, and biggest diva of a cast member. It was that moment that the cast and vocal director finally realized what was going on between us and wasted no time letting everyone in the office know about it. Thanks guys, really appreciate that.
After he left our cast and was out of the picture it was brought to my attention that this guy pretty much pics a boy in every cast that he teaches and I was just a notch on what I believe to be a very tall bedpost. I also learned that he had come into his position at such a young age because of his relationship with one of the main choreographers of the company which is a prime example of the OPPOSITE of what happened to me there. So for my next contract I was sent to the only ship worse than the one I was already on which turned out to be a blessing because I loved that cast more than any other since and grew as a dancer with them for the first time in my then short career. We kept in touch for a short while but eventually stopped calling each other (this was 2004 so texting was possible but not really a thing yet on my Motorola flip-phone) and the next time I ran into him at the rehearsal studio when our ship got stuck in Ft Lauderdale for a week it was super awkward and I ended up getting drunk with his current fuck of the month and pissing that guy off when I told my favorite story about L&T not letting anyone at my birthday party take pictures of him because we didn't have his agent's approval. Oops.
Eight or so years later I was hating my life and everything about it when I walked into work at the circus school where I was teaching flying trapeze at the time and noticed an audition for "aerialists with a strong dance background." The audition was only a month away but I didn't feel like waiting that long so I sent a video to the casting director and a week later I was back in the rehearsal studio rehearsing for the same ship where I had met L&T nine years earlier. When I finally got around to making a video full of the requirements needed to be approved for the aerial shows I found out the L&T was the one who did all of the approving. Still don't know if he recognized me or even cared but even after a video of me holding myself up with one arm on a Spanish Web for two and a half minutes in addition to all of the strength training requirements and a big fat "Flying Trapeze Instructor" spot on my resume, it apparently still wasn't enough to show my upper body strength and I was never approved.
In the end I guess I learned a few lessons, probably missed a few more lessons I should've learned, and most importantly got a copy of what is definitely Brit-Brit's best album. These days I avoid coworkers all-together, let alone just the boss, in an effort to avoid conflict and I've been pretty good about sticking to that. Not saying that I'm ruling out meeting Mr. Right in the workplace but I'm definitely willing to put Mr. Right-Now on hold in order to keep the illusion of job security in the forefront of my thoughts. Plus it's gonna take one amazingly beautiful penis to get me to fuck my career over for the second... third... ah fuck, I've lost count. :-/