A self-inflicted toxic dose of GHB “The Date Rape Pill” kills a young exotic dancer as she battles her moralities and her past memories of sexual abuse. The cops investigate her death and discover ripples from her past the suggest reasons why she died.
(Sony F35, Zeiss Digiprimes 19 min 58 sec)
|Cast overview, first billed only:|
Detective Sam Johnson
|Carrie Anne Rose||…||
I was scared to death the day I decided to walk into a strip club for a job. I was 31 and living in Houston after graduating with a degree in art from Chatham University in Pittsburgh, where I grew up. I had just quit a corporate job painting murals in chain restaurants like the Rainforest Cafe, and after an impulsive try at stand-up, I realized my heart was in comedy. Fledgling comics don’t make much, and you have to spend quite a bit to travel to different cities for gigs, so I needed to pay my way. After cobbling together a living working four different jobs in Houston, I heard how much money you could make in a strip club.
Here I was: a naive Midwesterner who spent her childhood summers going to church camp—stepping into a titty bar. I felt sleazy from the moment I went in, but I swallowed my pride because I knew taking a job there would help me chase my dream. Comedy is the purest form of entertainment—whatever you give to the audience, you get right back. Making someone laugh is the best feeling in the world, a natural high. Later, once my comedy career was in place, a woman told me: “I just buried my son two weeks ago, and I haven’t laughed since. But I laughed from the minute you walked onstage until the minute you left.”
So I got a job as a cocktail waitress, and the first night at the club I remember thinking: Okay, this is not such a big deal. At first, it seemed like the girls just got dolled up and had lots of money thrown at them, but each one had a more complicated story. Some of the women were cancer survivors stripping to pay for health insurance; some were single mothers with kids to support. They were good people. I’m not glorifying this way of life—there were certainly women fueling their coke habits, too—but it made me realize that you can’t judge people until you’ve stepped into their six-inch heels. These women had life experiences even I couldn’t understand, and they were just trying to get by.