Hollywood, such an alluring city– where bright-eyed hopefuls come to pursue their dreams. Hollywood… the glitz, the glam, bright lights, shining stars. People revered for showcasing their hurts. Rejection on top of rejection, on top of rejection.
Hollywood… where comparison rears it ugly head on a daily basis. Survival of the fittest. Hollywood… boulevard of broken dreams. Tear-stained cheeks, stoic faces, innocence lost.
Delivering gifts to women in Hollywood is very personal for me. I used to dance at one of the clubs that we visit. I too had gone to Hollywood to pursue my dream of becoming an actress. I wanted the meaty roles, instead, I found myself auditioning for the fleshy roles. “Some nudity required” turned into “topless” to “full frontal nudity”. The more I was willing to bear, the more money that was offered. I then began booking auditions for soft-core porn. William Shakespeare was turning in his grave I’m sure! I had a degree in Theatre and now I was reverting to the festival of Dionysus.
Hopeful starlets fill the strip clubs of Hollywood. The clubs offer a flexible schedule with the promise of big money. Too bad the clubs don’t offer disclaimers when the Hollywood hopefuls audition for their role as a dancer. Being onstage with the lights and the music and me all eyes on me was exhilarating. But in the strip club, we are not being judged based on the words we bring to life, rather, on how well we make fantasy a reality.
Treasures’ Mission is for women in the sex industry to know that they are Loved, Valued and Purposed. We don’t judge, we get it. Many of us have been there, done that. In one of the clubs, we met a young, bright-eyed actress. It was her first night stepping into the role as her dancer character. I wondered, had she done the character development for this role? Did she name her? Did she distinguish her with certain characteristics, characteristics of her own that had perhaps been hidden to the public prior to her debut?
This is very much the reality for thousands of women in Hollywood. Many are out here, with little to no family or friends. Where do they turn, who can they talk to? We had the opportunity to bring the gifts to the dressing room in one of the clubs. The women were so interested in who we were. They wanted to know more and they enjoyed speaking to us- one of the women even asked how she could donate to Treasures! Before we could answer all of their questions, we got word that their general manager was back and the conversation was abruptly shut down. They had to get back to work. Thankfully, we were able to make a connection and let them know that we are here for them.
222 gifts were given. 222 women with dreams. 222 women who have the opportunity to know that they are immensely loved. 222 women who can step into understanding that their value is not based on how beautiful they are or how much money they make. Maybe, not all of the Hollywood hopefuls will find the stardom they were looking for, but hopefully, all of them will find a deeper sense of purpose and hope for their future.
Article by Monique Calderon