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[Confessions of a Showgirl]

Confessions of a Showgirl: How to handle a diva

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Maren Wade

Okay, I have a confession to make. I get along with everyone. At least I think I do. But just in case I don’t, let the record show no one has ever complained about it. At least, not to me.

Once in a while, a showgirl encounters the most difficult girl of them all, the diva. The diva is an odd breed. Onstage, she has this way of charming everyone she looks at. Her puppy-dog eyes make you feel so adored. She’ll be your best friend. Then out of nowhere, she’ll have a bone to pick with you. Suddenly, it will feel like she has you chasing your own tail.

So here are a few tips in the event you encounter a diva:

Never look a diva in the eye unless you are in her circle of trust and even then, you can never be too sure. You have to approach with caution. Start with a compliment in a soft, high-pitched voice and slowly make your way into her space.

Whining is a typical diva trait. You can’t encourage that behavior. If she starts, just take a step back and give it a moment of silence before interacting with her again.

A diva is manipulative. She’ll do whatever it takes to get what she wants. Make sure to keep her on a short leash. She’s capable of chewing you up and spitting you out.

There is only room for one alpha female when you are in the presence of a diva. Whatever you do, do not try to dominate! You must cooperate.

Positive reinforcement works really well for showgirls and especially divas. Bribe her with goody bags and treats. It will put you in her good graces. Ultimately, she will come back wanting more.

There was this one diva that was exceptionally challenging for me. I was so excited when I got the chance to work with her. She was the star of the show and she had her own dressing room. Do you know how hard it is to get your own dressing room? That’s showgirl code for “You’re a big deal!” She had the entire crew catering to her every whim. Every meal was personally delivered. They practically hand fed her. But she wasn’t grateful. She expected that treatment and she let everyone know it. I gotta say: she was a certified 100 percent purebred bitch.

But after getting to know her better, I finally understood why she was so hot under the collar. It wasn’t her choice to be in the spotlight. It fell into her lap. I considered her lucky. How many of us fight tooth and nail for these opportunities? She was just handed them on a silver platter and she didn’t want them! She hated being stared at and manhandled. She just wanted to lie around the house and do nothing all day.

I started to feel sorry for her. I wished we could switch places. I wished I could ease her pain (and parlay my success at the same time). But she was destined to be the headliner, and I was the underdog nipping at her heels.

Slowly but surely, after following my own advice, we outgrew our showgirl tryst. We even live together now. I adopted her. She doesn’t seem as ticked off these days. Maybe she’s happier living with me. Or maybe it was that flea collar that did the trick.

Anyway, her show dog side still comes out once in a while, but for the most part, we’re living diva-free and glittery ever after.

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

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