‘The Life’…..how do I know so much about it?

prostitution, research, short plays, monologues          I’ve been asked by  several of my readers how can I write so accurately and make it so ‘real‘ when I write about prostitution and ‘the life?‘  Experience, my dear.  How else?
      Many, many years ago, I was staying on the beach in Honolulu and late one night, I went down to the hotel’s coffee shop for a cup of Joe.  Across the street I noticed tall, beautiful, well dressed women, (there were dozens of them) walking up and down.  Where were they going?  It was close to midnight.  My waitress arched an eyebrow as she informed me that ‘they were….you know….’ladies of the night‘.  This was in the 90’s and ladies did not throw out words like, ‘whores‘ or’ ho’s’.  So I paid for my coffee and dashed across the street and started following these high class hookers up and down Kalakaua Avenue, on Waikiki Beach.  They were well dressed, provocative but not cheap. Hair and makeup was perfect. As a writer, this was my chance to observe up close and personal.  But not too ‘up close’, I hoped. The part I found hysterical was the girls would pick up Asian men and take them, not to a hotel, but down the boulevard to a park bench several blocks away from the busy sidewalks.  The men would sit, all lined up, and wait patiently until the girls came back and got them. Later I noticed that the girls took their ‘breaks’ in an all night ice cream shop. I followed a few in, got in line behind them and introduced myself.  I told them I was a writer and I asked if I could talk to them and ask questions. They cheerfully agreed.  They told me that their biggest, best paying customers were Japanese business men.  I asked about the ‘johns’ lined up on the park bench.  They laughed and explained that the girls stored them there until they had enough men to take to the hotel.  Kind of like a holding pen. The girls actually knew a little Japanese so that they could ‘negotiate’.  Which act for how much??
They seemed almost as fascinated with me as I was with them.  They fired away with their questions:  why do I write? (a hard question to answer) would their stories be in a movie or on the stage?  They laughed so hard when I told them how much (or how little) I make as a writer.  They told me, Girl? You gotta get into the ‘life’ and make some real money!’
In 2005 I directed “The Oldest Profession” by  Paula Vogel.  It is a funny, bitter-sweet story of several old (over 60) prostitutes and their long time Madame.  Again, RESEARCH!!  This time as a director I needed to research prostitution so that we could do justice to Vogel’s script.  I Googled the Chicken Ranch, a famous (if not the most famous) bordello in Nevada and then I called the Ranch. They put me right through and the manager was kind enough to answer all of my questions. We were so cordial that by the end of the call she said she was going to send me a ‘grab bag’ of goodies for my ‘girls.  The funniest item she sent us was a menu that the men (customers, Johns, tricks) receive while waiting to pick a girl.  ‘Nuff said!   She seemed  entertained by our conversation and she was very curious about our end of the business, that is, portraying old hookers on stage.  We had a good laugh together!!  Managing a stable of prostitutes wasn’t that much different from ‘directing’ a bunch of actresses! 

Start your month off right!! DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS.  A NEW SERIES, The Writer’s Corner” INTERVIEWS with other  best-selling AUTHORS!I have had a wonderful response from other authors and plan on featuring an interview at least once a month .  I have invited such luminaries as:  Anne Purser, Dean Koontz, Sheryl Woods, Jo-Ann Mapson, Elizabeth Gilbert, Tasha Alexander, Walter Mosley, Nora Roberts, and many others.
So come along with me; we shall sneak into these writers’ special places, be a fly on the wall and watch them create!
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