Created by Lora Dorothy Massey
Performed by Skill Focus: Burlesque
The Geek Easy at A Comic Shop, Winter Park Fl</strong>
A depressing strip center. A dark and creepy parking lot parked so full of cars I ended up next to the exhaust fan from a skanky Chinese restaurant. The store front I sought has less illumination than the closed tattoo shop next door, and inside at the end of an endless aisle of graphic novels and uber modern angst filled super hero comics I find the “Geek Easy.” It’s jammed full of hipster tee shirts, loud music pounds and a keg of beer flows. The walls are covered with eight bit art, and the predominantly male audience is waiting for a night of amateur burlesque. That’s the reviving art form that allows women to strip in public for strangers in exchange for dollar bills and leering applause, and like most porn related work, there’s’ a premium paid for the non-professional.
This is Winter Park, and total nudity isn’t allowed lest we lose what little touristy self respect we have, but that’s not exactly the point. The women working the runway have respectable jobs and normal lives; one of them is on the board of a local nonprofit. Their individual reasons may vary, but there’s an element of boundary pushing, some bucket list checking, and the pushing of individual safety zones. A tension over who controls the space exists, while there are dozens of frothing patrons, the power in the room belongs to the women stripping and the Emcee. Money changes hands, but unlike professional clubs, once the money is accepted its immediate cast to the ground. No one is putting a kid though day care here, no one is feeding a monkey on their back.
I lost count of the girls, there were maybe eight or ten. Each had a theme, each theme tied to the comics world – Dr. Who, The Hulk, maybe a few Batman uber villains, and even three guys came out for the decidedly mixed and partly theatric audience. Photography was encouraged, a pro video camera ran and a homemade follow spot kept a bright light on the action. The whole show took an hour, we never ran out of beer, and afterwards the girls came out to meet friends, lovers and presumably agents. Unlike the professional clubs, no bouncers in tuxedos hung around and you never felt like you were getting clipped. Geeks may not have a reputation for sex, but tonight their engineering skills made for a fun and friendly night.
Check for more Geek Easy events at http://www.facebook.com/#!/home.php?sk=group_209726552379235
Skill Focus: Burlesque offers more dates and fun events at http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_209726552379235#!/pages/Skill-Focus-Burlesque/195803080454912