THE Sunday classifieds listed only two openings for waiters, probably snapped up already, so Vince checked the section called ‘Entertainers’. No musicals opening, not that he had ever been called back for a second audition. The escort service he was listed under had an ad in, but he hadn’t heard from them since he had refused to let that pervert tie him up. He read down the column and circled one ad.
Now hiring! Male dancers/strippers. $25/show + tips. Adonis Revue. Bring portfolio, proof of age & tape for audition.
Not what he was looking for, but a shoo-in. He’d passed by the Adonis, a run-down theater wedged in among the pawn shops and porn shops in the seedy section of downtown, seen the photos of their models, and heard about what went on inside. Middle-aged men of all kinds—white collar, blue collar, derelicts—came to watch skin flicks they could have rented at a quarter the price, interrupted every couple of hours when half a dozen or more well-hung studs came on stage one after the other and danced themselves out of their clothes. A friend who’d done it said you could count on at least ten dollars in tips, depending on the size of the audience, as much as fifty on a crowded night, and afterward you could hang out in the lounge, where some men from the audience would join you in hope of arranging a ‘private show’. The revues lasted two weeks; then they hired another batch of boys. It would tide him over until he could find something permanent.
Auditions began at eleven. He had an hour and a half to choose his music, work up a routine, and catch a bus downtown. Dancing wasn’t a problem, but peeling off his clothes without breaking step would take practice. And he had to think up a costume. A lot of guys would be showing up to audition, most of them in leather. At the bottom of a drawer he had an old pair of scrubs from his college days, when he worked part-time as an orderly, and that silly cap and a couple of surgical masks. Different, original. Wear clean white sneakers, a thong underneath, and pick up a toy stethoscope at a novelty store on the way. He rummaged through his CDs and found a track with the theme music from a popular doctor show.
The Adonis occupied the second floor of a four-story building on a cross street a couple of blocks north of the theater district. It had its own entrance marked only by a sign in a glass case beside an open doorway—Adonis Theater, All Male Revue—with glossies of that week’s dancers below the sign, and inside six steps leading up to a landing. From there a longer flight led to a cashier’s booth next to a turnstile in front of a plain black door.
The theater owner, Brenda, an overweight, overly made-up woman with stringy black hair who looked half pious peasant grandmother and half brothel keeper, had stationed herself at the turnstile to hand out application forms. About three dozen young men had showed up for the auditions, more competition than Vince had expected. She turned about a fifth of them away because they weren’t pretty enough or she suspected they had fake IDs. The others she waved in, and told them to take a seat close to the stage.
The door opened directly into the theater, less than two yards behind the rear seats. An aisle along each wall, none in the center. Strategically placed signs informed the customers that they would be thrown out if they smoked or behaved inappropriately (i.e., no public sex). The rear aisle extended beyond the wall to the left. A lit sign marked it as the way to the lounge and emergency exit. The narrow lounge, contiguous to the theater, contained a long wooden bench built into the wall, two vending machines for pop and candy, a coffee urn with a stack of Styrofoam cups and a basket of artificial sweetener and non-dairy creamer packets beside it, and two arcade games. Photographs of beefy men in jockstraps decorated the walls beside a large corkboard pinned with the calling cards of local gay-friendly businesses, a rack holding brochures about HIV/AIDS, and the same ‘no sex, no smoking’ signs. The men’s toilets (no facilities for women) were placed at the near end, and a door at the far end marked ‘Staff Only’ gave access to the backstage area.
Those who, like Vince, had brought their costumes in a gym bag changed backstage. While they waited their turn, they sat in the theater filling out the standard application form, altered to include questions about their appearance—height, weight, build, body hair, tattoos/piercings, penis size, cut/uncut, etc. They had crossed out ‘ethnicity’ and replaced it with ‘ethnic type’, but they still had the nerve to call themselves an Equal Opportunity Employer. It also asked for a stage name. He put down Joey, the name he’d used when he worked as an escort. He hesitated whether to mention it under ‘Experience’ along with his short stint in the porn flick industry. In the end he left that part blank.
The dance space—from the looks of it the only part of the theater that merited a regular sweeping—resembled the set-up for a fashion show: a long walkway between facing rows of dusty red-upholstered seats, several of them broken or sagging from repeated occupancy by obese or overactive customers. The room smelled faintly of stale semen. Beating off in the dark, it seemed, did not constitute inappropriate behavior.
They danced for the theater owner, who had final say, and for each other, then came back to watch the rest of the auditions on the off-chance they’d be told right away who made it. Vince watched carefully, thinking of how he could make full use of the space and making a mental note of shtick he could fit into his number, like moving the mask side to side to show off a variety of lascivious pouts and lip licking. Most wore costumes: a martial arts outfit, a tux, a policeman’s uniform, even a turban and pantaloons (Aladdin’s genie?). Props were good, too; he could use the stethoscope to listen to his dick. But he’d have to treat the spectators to more backside, even spread his cheeks, something he hadn’t thought of. And from the looks of it, it was essential to reveal a rock-hard cock when the last bit of clothing came off. He doubted he could do that. Would the twist he’d planned right before the end make up for it? He had a second surgeon’s mask under his thong.
“I’m going to be soft,” he whispered to the guy sitting next to him. “Should I just give up and go home?”
“Don’t sweat it. It’s Viagra, and the old hag knows it. She’ll sell you a pill before you go on if you get the gig. Name’s Marty, by the way. Nah, it’s enough if your equipment looks like it’ll be plenty big when you’re hard. That’s all she’s looking for. That and variety, so those scrubs were a great idea. Just watch what I do with these six-shooters.” Marty was dressed like a cowboy.
“Fifteen minutes’ break. I gotta stretch,” the old hag said after Marty’s feeble number. Nice Viagra-dosed body, but he couldn’t dance worth a damn, and when he put the gun in his mouth it looked more like Russian roulette than fellatio.
Vince used the break to reread the classifieds. Wearing scrubs had given him the idea of looking under ‘Medical’.
wanted: live-in caretaker for disabled 55-yr-old man. should have some medical background & be able to do heavy work. references required. room & board + salary commensurate w/ experience. gay male preferred.
What kind of disability? Blind, retarded, paralyzed? He knew how to move people in and out of wheelchairs from when he’d worked at the hospital. A long shot, but worth a try. He went into the lounge to call for an interview.
A woman answered the phone. “My brother will be interviewing off and on all day. How soon can you get here?”
Vince recognized the address, a posh high-rise about a twenty-minute walk from the theater, but he’d need to wear something else, and the auditions would drag on until three. He suggested five o’clock.
The music had started. Time to get backstage; his audition came next. He hurried back into the theater.
Vince had had the foresight to wear tennies he could step out of and no socks so he could take them off without stopping his dance. Most of the others hadn’t. He came onto the stage doing a kind of rhythmic shuffle, then pretended to stretch and shake out his limbs, which he gradually turned into an in-place dance step, lifting his feet to shin height, putting the weight first on the ball of his foot, then on the heel as he stepped down. He began to walk the length of the ramp, scoping out his audience as he moved. He’d pull the mask to one side, replace it, and pull it the other way, each time revealing a different erotic expression—a suggestive smile, a pout, a leer, a licking of the lips, a blown kiss.
Letting the mask hang around his neck, he danced the same step backward into place. His dancing became more vigorous. He lifted his feet higher, snapped his fingers as he reached one arm forward, then the other, moved from side to side, pivoted 360 degrees on one foot, all the while moving halfway back down the ramp, where he sank to his knees. Writhing his torso to the beat, he bent backward till his head brushed the floor, then shimmied up again so he was sitting on his knees. He put the ends of the stethoscope in his ears and placed the chest piece on his left nipple, then, following the beat, on his sternum, then on the right, jerking his body to imitate his heartbeat. He bent forward, gradually moving it lower and lower while his body mimicked the sounds he pretended to hear, until it came to rest on his dick and he froze in place. His mouth dropped open, and his eyes bulged.
Time to take something off. He leaned all the way back again, and as he shimmied back into a kneeling position he made the shirt of his scrubs ride up nearly to his armpits. He lifted it over his head and flung it to the side as he jumped to his feet, stepped out of his tennies, and resumed the dance. He’d stop, listen to his heart, dance some more and listen again, each time making believe that it beat faster. Again he listened lower and lower, but when he seemed about to move it to his dick, he shook his head no. Instead, he wagged a finger at the audience, tucked the stethoscope into a shoe, and resumed the dance.
He ran his hands sensually across his chest and belly, along his sides, down over his scrub pants as if stroking himself, then into them. He turned his back and pulled them down to give a glimpse of his ass, up and down and up. Then he pushed them to his ankles, stepped out of them, turned, and danced in just a black leather thong and orderly’s cap, covering every square foot of dance space, thrusting his hips forward to simulate humping. Every so often he’d stop at the edge of the ramp and lean back as he bent his knees to let imaginary customers slip a bill under his G-string.
He turned and danced back toward the apron, shaking his booty. Then he tore open the snaps on the side of his thong and dropped it on the floor, his left arm across his back at hip level to hide the surprise. He’d tucked his cock and balls into a second surgical mask beneath the thong. To prolong the tease, he took off the cap and held it in front of his groin before he turned to face the audience.
He danced forward, pulling down the mask behind the cap to play peek-a-boo with his pubic hair. At the center of the ramp he tossed the cap aside. A few gasps, a laugh or two, and even a little clapping. Then he danced backward, turned to face the curtain, ripped the elastic string and whirled the mask over his head, danced backward three-quarters of the way down the ramp, and let the mask fly into the audience as he pivoted to give a full frontal view.
With a soft dick there wasn’t much he could do by way of fondling it, but he was well hung and made do kicking high and making it flap up and down and side to side before he danced off to the last of the music amid polite applause.
Old hag Brenda gave a pep talk after the auditions. She’d decide by Tuesday and call if she wanted you. Thank you all very much. You did great.
Although he’d noticed a number of the men who’d come to audition beating off during his performance, Vince didn’t think he’d done very well, his only coup tossing the surgical mask to Brenda as he turned around to reveal himself in full flaccid glory. She’d caught it, too, but she had to realize that aiming right had been a stroke of luck. In addition to not having a hard-on, he hadn’t done nearly enough teasing, and he’d completely forgotten to bend over and spread his buttocks. She wouldn’t hire him, and he’d never know whether to blame his soft dick or his closed cheeks. Probably both. Maybe next time. He’d come by the theater next week, look at the photos to see who’d made it, and try to remember their routines.
He speculated on which men made the cut. Certainly the guy with the ten-inch schlong. Also the bodybuilder, an Arnold Schwarzenegger clone in the policeman’s uniform with the wooly chest and shaved crotch, despite his stubby cock and scrotum the size of a golf ball (steroids?), surprisingly limber, considering his bulk. One of the twinks too. (Vince guessed she would go for the sultry redhead.) Every revue needs a twink. And, for the sake of variety, probably the guy in the karate uniform (brown belt), apparently tone deaf, who had performed several kata with total disregard for the beat, favoring those with lots of high kicks and skipping the final bows. On the other hand, he had neither spread his cheeks nor sported an erection, had lamely removed an article of his uniform in a casual manner after each sequence, and no longer kicked once he’d taken everything off and his equipment could swing freely. But the namaste bow at the end was a nice touch.
Vince felt somewhat reassured. He reflected that, as for looks, he had it over most of the others and was a much better dancer. Next time, definitely. He’d come back in two weeks and knock her socks off.
He saw his bus coming. He dashed across the street to catch it.
Brenda called not half an hour after he got home. One of her boys had been busted for drugs. Could Vince fill in? First show at six.
“Not at six, but I can make the nine o’clock.”
“Can you get here any earlier?”
“Not in time for the show. Seven thirty maybe; eight o’ clock for sure.”
“That’ll do. Plenty of time for one of the boys to teach you the final routine.”
“Our grand finale, a chorus line with all ten dancers in step together wagging their dicks. How long do you think it’ll take you to learn it?”
“I can have it down in no time if it isn’t too complicated.”
“Okay then, I’ll put up your glossy. Stage name Joey, right?” She laughed. “There’s a real Joey here who goes by Vinnie for dancing. It’ll be like you two switching names. And one other thing. If you don’t have your own Viagra, I charge twenty bucks a pill.”