This week's episode of
is called "The Bachelor Party." Eddie (Brad Garrett) finds out that Jeff (Eddie Kaye Thomas) never had a bachelor party and decides to throw him one. So Eddie, Jeff, Cofeld (Anthony Anderson) and Stan (Jerry Lambert) go out to a strip club to "celebrate Jeff's bachelorhood" even though he's been married to Steph (me) for six months.
So when I walked in Monday morning for the table read, I couldn't help but notice that the set of our strip club was fully equipped with a beautiful, shiny brass pole, situated at the end of a glossy black catwalk. On a whole third of our stage, a large and well-appointed strip club had been expertly replicated by our fantastic
set-design and set-decoration team. The club is called Flesh Gardens.
We did the table read and it went great - the script is fantastic - but secretly there was a part of me that couldn't stop thinking about the stripper pole. I just wanted to do a pole dance.
I used to work at a strip club in New York, just
as a "dancer." That, by the way, is what strippers like to be called. Not "strippers," but "dancers." So the next time you're talking to a stripper, you should say, "So how long have you been dancing?" She'll know that what you're really asking is how long it has been since she changed her name to Carlotta, started sending holiday cards to her waxer, and when the jewel-encrusted thong and boobie-tassels became more than just "special occasion" wear but a part of the work uniform.
Anyway, we rehearsed as usual, but like I said, a small secret part of me wanted to get up on the catwalk and work it with the stripper pole. So when the day was done and everybody had left the stage, except for the guys who build the sets and other crew people who were busy enough doing their own thing not to stare, I climbed onto the shiny black edge of the catwalk and got friendly with the pole.
At first I was struck by how difficult pole-dancing actually is. In my imagination, I thought I would be able to do lots of fancy twirls and crazy spinning gymnastic gyrations, but at first I was pretty ungraceful and definitely not sexy. To my surprise, it's not that easy to look good pole-dancing. I mean ,I'm pretty sure no one's first time is all that sexy. But then... Britney Spears' "Toxic" came on.
It was playing from a small portable stereo that the work guys had set up. Apparently, all I needed was some slutty background music with a good beat and I was pole-dancing like I'd always (only secretly) dreamed of. And from henceforth I will refer to myself as Carlotta, Queen of Flesh Gardens. So there I was, ferociously spinning around the pole, using it to steady my undulations and back bends, wrapping my legs around it like it was my dance partner in an Argentine tango. It was
OK, all of the sudden I feel like I could be writing a soft-core romance novel. The end of the story is just that I danced till I was totally sweaty. For those of you who have thought about taking one of those pole-dancing fitness classes that have become so popular, it is an awesome workout. Then I went to the gym for an hour's worth of the recumbent stationary bike followed by a spirulina protein smoothie and a shot of wheatgrass - just about the least sexy thing in the world. I read somewhere that Catherine Zeta Jones eats big plates of pasta with Michael Douglas because it's sexy when a woman eats. Yeah, needless to say, the words "big plate of pasta" are nowhere to be found in my daily nutrition journal, not even in the doodles that cover the margins.
And speaking of eating... today our newly cast strippers, oops, I mean "dancers," came to work. I was doing a fitting in the wardrobe room and the girl playing D.J. in this episode came in to try on her outfit, which consisted of a sequined army fatigue/nurses' uniform crop-top and a could-be-worn-as-a-belt miniskirt. If anyone actually wore this outfit to basic training or a hospital, let alone out their front door, it would
get them arrested. Still,
. And I thought I looked hot in my brown linen pants and comfy-cute V-neck T. Not after seeing her. The hotness in this episode is covered... but not by me. I will never, no matter how much recumbent bike riding I do, have a body like
. And no doubt she's allergic to vegetables and has no choice but to live on only beer and pizza. Ugh. Sickening.
What's great, though (and here comes the moral of the story), is that I'm an
. And although this seems contrary to popular opinion in Hollywood, I don't have to look like a stripper. And what I learned yesterday, mid-pole-dance, is that even though I don't look like Carlotta, I can still
like I look like Carlotta. And if I
hot in my size 6(ish) linen pants, then I... will
like Carlotta. Well, maybe not exactly like her, maybe not even close, but I'll look hot, that's all I'm saying.
So from now on, I'm working on
hot no matter what I'm wearing. Outwardly carrying the confidence of my inner stripper, I mean "dancer." And I'm thinking too that I might buy a pole for my house, so I can do private dances for myself whenever I need a little boost in the feeling-sexy department.
The "Bachelor Party" episode of
airs Thursday, Feb. 8, at 8 pm/ET on Fox.