Its fair to say this blog comes totally out of left field, due to a couple of events this week. One a conversation, and one I read.
One thing, for reasons best known to myself probably, is that I’ve never been one to shy away from meeting people I’ve got to know online. Its fair to say that in these cases, I’ve known the people for quite a while online beforehand, and even spoken to some of them by phone first, which is a bit different to the scenario I’m going to discuss tonight. It does seem to work for me, given that since that first meet with Kate, we’ve done more than a few holidays together, and I’ve met James more than once as well. Hey, a couple of them I’ve even let brainwash, sorry, hypnotize me, and of course, one of them was how I discovered Clara Johnson, something that is just so special for me.
And yes, this week, I met another fellow author, Betsy, and all went fine. Mind, we were in a hotel, with other guests, but in truth, she was such delightful company that it really didnt matter where it was.
Which is very different to the other side of this matter, as per this side story that I’ve got to read this week.
OK, there is an extra reason for this appealing to me, and anyone who knows my author name will know why! Yes, Merry Brooks, for those who dont! For those interested…
They are also up at Amazon for those who prefer them there, but they pay less commission, so… 😉
I must admit, I’m fascinated as to what life as an escort of that type would be like? I know, clients demand sex, and me, and sex…rolls eyes…! Also, it might be an option if I was 20, pretty, and had all the ‘right bits’, but a plain, Trans Woman who has hit 60, not likely to find out now, lets face it. But fine, to get dressed up, and made up like Meredith, to be someone’s companion for the night might be quite an experience! But unless anyone fancies giving me the chance to find out, I’ll have to settle for reading, and imagining it, I’m sure.
Also, I know these clients are vetted, by good agencies at least, and everything, but how weird would it be to meet someone for the first time, at the start of the evening, when you know where events are expected to lead to? Yes, thats a diplomatic way to put it, lol! And fine, given I dont do sex, yes, I’m not going to make a dream escort lol!
But yes, however weird it might sound, every time I read a story where a woman acts as a classy escort, I do wonder what that sort of life would be like? Any offers, lol?
Fine, video time. This more relates to the ‘other side’ of the sex industry, but I couldnt think of anything more suitable. This is the very edited 3 and a half minute TV version, to save readers time. If you view this on You Tube, there are live version at about 18 minutes available, wow! But fine, I’m looking for something a little bit more classy than the street, lol!
Its funny to think, in the week when I reach 60, that as little as 8 years ago, if I’d been off this week (and fine, I probably wouldnt have been, in that case), I’d be retiring from work this week, and drawing my state pension. Yes, up to April 2010, women retired at 60, wow! Since then, much to the annoyance of those affected by it, the pension age for women has risen to 65, to match men, and in the next couple of years, will actually go up to 66, the age I will get to retire at. Dont get me wrong, something had to be done, as everyone (well, most people) seem to live longer now, so this was sort of inevitable.
One of the amusing challenges I have to look forward to, or think about in that case, is one of my occupational pensions! Yes, William Hill, round 2 (there have been 3 rounds in all), between 1985 (2 years after starting there) until I left in 1999, I was paying into an occupational pension scheme with them. And actually, that was drawable, even for a man back then, at the age of 63! And I guess if I’d worked there now, for 33 years, with 3 to go, it would be quite a decent sum! But no, it was about 14 years, so not a fortune (I’m guessing about £3000 – 4000 pa, from what I can remember of last salary), but better than nothing.
The thing is, since then, I’ve changed gender, I’ve changed name twice, and though ‘theoretically’ I’ve got the deed polls to cover that, I’m not sure how easy they would be to find? National Insurance number hasnt changed though, and at least one of those names was used on William Hill, round 3, so who knows how complex that would be? Still, something to think about in the next 3 years or so, for sure. Not a fortune, but given the state of my body, a top up to wages like that might be handy? And where I’d start, 22 years after leaving, no idea? Anyway, something to consider, I guess?
Its funny to think what I’ve packed into my first 60 years, though yes, the transition stands out as my proudest moment by far. Maybe one day, I’ll even brave the surgery, and get everything done, though as I’m not one for surgery now, for the sake of it, I cant see it, unless the need really arises to get ‘my bits bobbed’ as such.
Its funny though. I’ve written, I’ve acted, but in neither case, anything I’m likely to be remembered for. Well, up to now at least, anyway! Still a few years to go, hopefully, though how much more acting I will get to do, no idea? I know, given that I will definitely play the role on Friday, you could say I’ve got one more part, but I suspect I might be the only one looking at it like that! I suspect most, if not all of the others just see it as helping out, and being dressed in an old fashioned way, but we will see?
Writing, well I keep saying I might do more when I ease off work, but doesnt seem to be happening just yet. I only wish I could gather enough information to do a biography of a certain chorus line dancer, and bit part actress, but given she died in the 50’s, and any children (she mentioned one, a daughter, seemingly) would be in her late 70’s by now, if still alive, if I could hope to trace her!
Oh, other point of amusement for you. Not surprisingly, for someone who has spent so much of her life working in the betting industry, the Cheltenham Festival has always been a bit of a special event for me. When I’ve been able to, I’ve tended to take some time off that week, ostensibly because of my birthday, but hey, its good racing, so… Well this week, I missed a couple of races today (only able to watch 5 on ITV), because of the need to go to the doctors, I’ll miss all of tomorrow, due to getting things done to me for Friday, and then I’ll miss all of Friday, because of the Blackpool thing! Funny thing is though, I didnt really mind. Is it because I’m now a woman that I worry less about it? Who knows? I’ll let you know next year lol!
Right, thats enough, dont want to keep you here forever with my waffle. So, video time. In my humble opinion, one of the greatest singers of my lifetime. Yes, I used one of his songs recently, and here’s another!
So, assuming I can get feminist, if I dont get all militant about it, right? Oh fine, you know me already, I dont do militant, just equal chances for the fairer sex anyway!
Back in April 2015, on my first trip (but definitely not my last) to Los Angeles, I had the pleasure of getting in contact with a wonderful woman named Tema, about a group called Women In Media, who are only trying to do what is fair, and give women an equal chance in media as a whole, but in this case, primarily Los Angeles, of course. On my last night of the trip, our contact got beyond online, when I met her, and a number of other people dedicated to the cause, to watch a 1940 Lucille Ball film, directed by Dorothy Arzner.
It was a wonderful evening, and I have the feeling that if I hadnt been flying out the next morning (yes, timing is a pain, sometimes), I might have at least made a few worthwhile contacts, and who knows what more? I’m not saying I’d now be a movie star, but earning a decent living, in small/medium acting roles, or even writing, who knows?
I was fortunate enough to meet up with her again in May, for a reading event in Hollywood on a Sunday afternoon while there, and only amazed that she wasnt the only one to remember me! Well now, I’m delighted to say, Women In Media have been given 501(c)(3) status, so are now having a big relaunch, complete with new, impressive website at https://womennmedia.com so go and give it a checkout, if relevant to you, as its now live.
To answer questions, yes, I am a member, but no, my profile isnt up yet. It will be in the next few days though, so if you want to use my talents… Yes, this is principally about behind the camera work, because thats an area that women struggle to get their chances at, even more than on the screen. So yes, my profile is probably going to end up looking like a writer, that acts a bit, rather than an actress who writes a bit, but hey, I’m a combination of both, so…
No, dont look for me at many events, I will get to them when I’m in town, but lets face it, thats not often! But I’m certain that if you mention the name, Harlean to Tema, she will know who you mean, there arent many Harlean’s in the world, lets face it. Though Stevie might strike more initial chord, as thats what she got to know me as, of course.
So, all we are saying, media industry, is give women a chance! Not just for me, but all those other wonderful, hard working people out there just looking for that chance!
The video. Yes, its a variation of that song by Cyndi Lauper, but a different sound. Oh, and for some strange reason, the whole concept of the video appeals to me, just saying…