A few weeks ago I was sent an email asking if someone could hire one of my stages for a music video. To set the scene a little more, I am super protective of all of my poles as teaching on them is how I make my living, so a request like this is met with extreme caution. I don’t offer to hire out anything!
I replied with a million questions: Who’s going to be dancing on it. Are they going to be wearing any jewellery that is likely to scratch the pole? Will there only be one person on the pole? What kind of dancing would be done? Is it likely there would be any liquids around that could damage or start to rust the pole?
You Get The Idea
The thought of lending out my pole to a complete stranger wasn’t overly exciting, yet I was intrigued. I replied with my conditions – no rings or scratchy jewellery, no oils etc, I would be there the whole time and that if any of my terms were not adhered to then I would take the stage down immediately.
I know this might sound extreme but it’s like a professional photographer lending out an expensive camera to a complete stranger and not knowing what’s going to happen to it or where it’s going.
Anyway… I was on a trip away from home and had not heard anything back and was relieved about not having to lend it out, but then an email (almost) confirming everything came back.
It was going to be a bit of a hassle for me as I had to come back from London (3 hour journey) to teach 1 fitness class, 2 hour pole workout and then take the stages down and transport them across to the venue.
I felt bad about letting them down, I feel bad about letting anyone down! So I decided to go through with it.
We decided upon a fee (less than I asked for but better than nothing) and very vague instructions – “some one or a taxi will come and pick you up and drop you off at our location.” Hmm..
There was so much back and forth about what was going to happen but all with vague answers. Looking back, I realise now that they simply didn’t know.
The day before they needed the pole it turns out that they didn’t have a pole dancer! Apparently the lady they were going to use had a ‘family emergency’ and couldn’t make it. This was the moment I realised that I was probably going to end up in the video.
Lending out my stage is one thing… Lending out myself is another! I’ve been acting and performing all my life so that part of it wasn’t an issue at all. I just know what I’m like – I don’t like to let people down and had visions of me turning up and being given nipple tassels and a thong. Not really my thing – my body isn’t nearly toned enough for that kind of exposure!!
At first I told them that I would be on hand if they needed anything a bit more technical or any advice but would leave the rest up to the main dancer… Until I realised I was the main pole dancer!
The Day Arrives
I was told to expect a phone call when I finished classes with more instructions. Luckily I was to be met by a taxi – although neither of us had any idea where we were going! I finally made it there to be greeted by a lovely lady – the artists mother who helped me unload the taxi and pay for it.
As soon as I stepped in the building I was relieved! The set was real, the video was real, and no one had any intentions of running away with my stage.
There was no other pole dancer so that ended up falling to me, which is a story for another article. It ended up being a really great day and a met a lot of lovely people.
Would I Lend Out Again?
As I’ve not lent any equipment out before, the logistics were a bit stressful – pricing, how to get it to the venue, looking after it and getting it back. Now that I know what I’m doing in those respects, it would be a lot easier.
As its your equipment and your lively hood at stake, you need to be firm about it. In the nicest possible way send across you ‘demands’ and make sure they are met. A complete stranger will not care about your pole equipment as much as you do, and will probably try to set it up themselves (!)
This may come across as a bit harsh but in these circumstances you have to look after yourself and your equipment. Imagine if it came back scratched or broken! So help where you can but keep safe.
Have you lent any equipment out before? Were you as overly protective as I was? I hope so! 😉