Miss Eve

"Why does a woman decide to become a stripper? This interview with Miss Eve, shot in a dressing room in the Pilgrim Theatre (Boston) explores her reasons and her feelings about herself."

00:32Copy video clip URL Title card/credits: Miss Eve, by Pat Lehman. 1975.

00:52Copy video clip URL Miss Eve introduces herself backstage at the Pilgrim Theatre in Boston. She talks about what it takes to be successful as a stripper: an agent, nice costumes. She talks about her Mae West costume, which she says she’s very well known for. 

02:45Copy video clip URL The balance between having a nice costume and being overwhelmed by it. She poses in her Mae West costume. The need to make a strong first impression for an audience. “Costumes mean everything to you when you’re onstage, because people remember you two ways. You walk out on that stage, they remember what you look like. … When that curtain opens, that’s what they remember is what they see. And the last thing they remember is what you look like without anything on. That’s what they wait for and sit there with bated breath waiting for you to take your g-string off so they could, y’know, and it’s like I tell them, ‘Everybody’s looks alike almost!’ But they don’t believe it.”

03:33Copy video clip URL Eve talks about her sister, who she says she could teach to be a stripper if she wanted to quit her job as a waitress.

04:08Copy video clip URL Eve’s first time dancing. Living in Boston after growing up in Pittsburgh. 

05:00Copy video clip URL Boston’s “combat zone,” a section of Washington St. where there’s a grouping of theaters that show X-rated movies and strip clubs. 

05:20Copy video clip URL The amount of money a dancer can expect to make. Going on the road. 

05:50Copy video clip URL Lack of training as a dancer. Dancing for 20-minute blocks, and trying to engage audiences even when they don’t seem interested. What makes a dancer good is including the audience. 

07:37Copy video clip URL Handling bad audiences by ignoring them. 

08:00Copy video clip URL Uncertainty about the laws in Boston and New York City. Laws against public nudity in Pennsylvania, so girls there concentrate more on their show. Anecdotes about elaborate acts, with sets and props and other gimmicks. 

09:55Copy video clip URL On the beauty of the dancers: “If you think you’re beautiful, you’ll be beautiful. Every woman should be a stripper for at least a little while because it makes you very aware that you are beautiful.” Being able to immediately identify a woman who works as a stripper because of the self-assurance in the way they carry themselves. 

11:27Copy video clip URL Not liking Women’s Lib because she likes “looking up to men.” 

12:04Copy video clip URL Wanting to work as a stripper for a few more years, finishing her college education. Typical retirement age as a dancer around 30, 32 years old, which might be extended because of plastic surgery. Discussion of plastic surgery. 

15:40Copy video clip URL Doing four shows a day. “Four very tiring, hard shows.” The hard work of being a stripper, with workdays lasting from noon to about midnight, with a break. 

16:17Copy video clip URL Her parents’ concerns, which are more about her happiness than they are about her being a stripper. 

17:18Copy video clip URL The hypocrisy of patrons who visit strip clubs but moralize about stripping. Being a stripper not about being cheap. 

18:38Copy video clip URL Thinking about protecting herself while she’s on stage. 

20:10Copy video clip URL The biggest hassle of being a stripper is that guys “tend to think you’re so cheap… which gives you such a jaded view of sex and men in general.” 

21:40Copy video clip URL End of video. 



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