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[Confessions of a Showgirl]

A showgirl’s state of the union address

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Maren Wade

As a showgirl, I get the chance to work in many different kinds of productions. Operating in these varied worlds, it’s not unusual for a showgirl to be a member of several unions. The problem comes when a showgirl gets confused as to which ones she belongs to.

There was a union I joined for one particular touring production. I’ve been a member for over six years, and I hadn’t paid my dues in a little while … like, maybe six years. So they sent me a suspension notice.

Anytime you see big red print that has a negative word associated with your name, it’s not a good feeling. I got confused by the state of my unions, and I panicked. I immediately went online to pay my dues.

As soon as I submitted my payment, I realized I had paid the wrong union! I mean, it was the right union—in that I also owed them money and paid it. But I had only worked in this union once. Now that I’m working in Vegas, it didn’t make sense for me to be a part of it anymore. So I didn’t mind being suspended. I just didn’t realize that I didn’t mind being suspended. I needed to explain this to my union and get my money back.

So I got on the phone to speak with a representative. Listen, there’s been a huge misunderstanding, I said. I’m aware that I haven’t paid my dues in quite some time. However, I swear I had no intention of paying you.

In fact, I was going to let this one go to collections. As you can see, I haven’t worked in this union for years. To be honest, it’s not one of the major unions. Do you think this is an effective union if I haven’t worked the entire time I was a part of it?

You know, I’m thinking it might be time for you to take a careful look at your own house and see if that’s in order. The truth is, if your union was more important, I probably would have made more of an effort to pay my dues all these years, instead of letting it slide.

Anyway, if you could just see your way to getting this money back to me, that would be really great. This was an error and I think you guys should respect that. After all, I am your union member.

Then, I think my phone disconnected. I called back and I got a different person. I had to explain the entire thing all over again. Would you believe my phone cut out again? So frustrating. It’s impossible to get good cell service anywhere these days.

I wonder if the cell phone people have a union I could speak to about that.

I’ll tell you, some of these unions should really have more respect for their members. I mean, how am I supposed to pay my other unions if this union keeps trying to take all my money? I’m sure I’m not the only one dealing with this.

You know, we should all unite and have our voices heard! We should start a union! Who’s with me?

Follow Maren on Twitter @marenwade and read more Confessions at confessionsofashowgirl.com.

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