Last week, University of Kansas Director of Athletics Jeff Long invited Snoop Dogg to be Snoop Dogg at an event. When Snoop Dogg did just that, Long then felt the need to issue an apology. No word at press time whether Long’s apology has been accepted.
I was 17. ’N Sync was in town at the SAP Center, and my best friend and I quickly bought nosebleed-section tickets. The high-pitched screams of 20,000 teenage girls were deafening. I screamed as loud as I could for my main man JT, but it was drowned out by my raging jealousy.
“Why do they get to be onstage! That should be me! One day it’s gonna be me!”
I tried to enjoy myself, but I was so angry that they were having the moment up there I was sure I should be having. Little did I know that my Christian-club, cover-the-cleavage-and-never-said-a-swearword self would be getting two calls 18 years later. Calls to just, you know, see what I was doing on Saturday night.
Why? Well, because Snoop Dogg needed pole-dancers.
EVEN THOUGH NONE OF THEM WERE THERE TO SEE ME, ALL OF THEM COULD SEE ME.
The first time I got the call I was given three days’ notice for a gig that was almost three hours away, and on a night I was supposed to have dinner with my mom. I apologized to my mom, rescheduled dinner and wrangled my 21-year-old niece to make the drive with me.
While we drove I dialed everyone I ever knew to tell them it was really happening: I was getting paid to dance at a Snoop Dogg concert. A year before I had gotten the same text from a friend saying that Snoop needed dancers. The concert came and went, and I never heard another thing about it.
When we got to the venue, I hung around the stage and snagged some paparazzi-style video of Snoop walking by me right before he went on. When it was my turn to go onstage, I was so scared. It was an outdoor venue and the crowd went farther back than I could see and even though none of them were there to see me, all of them could see me.
I did the same set of three moves all night and forgot that I even knew how to dance. To wind me into more of a mess, I was sitting on the pole during “I Wanna Fuck You” and the laces on my boots got tangled. I couldn’t move. I was at the top of the pole, trapped.
From the corner of my eye, I saw Snoop strolling over with a money gun. A money gun is exactly what it sounds like: a toy gun that sprays money. In this case, though, it sprayed Snoop bucks, fake money with Snoop’s face all over it.
While the other girls did something cool when Snoop was making it rain, there I was: stuck. When Snoop shot me with the money gun, I tried to look cool and whip my hair and arch my back. But the moment was over.
And after Snoop left the stage? My boots magically became unstuck. But by this time the money had stopped raining down and I proceeded to forget how to body roll or really do anything, while the other girls killed it.
After the concert, Snoop was standing about 10 feet from me, waiting to leave. “Hey, Uncle Snoop, I was one of your pole-dancers. Do you mind taking a picture with me?”
That’s what I should have said. Instead, I stood there staring at him as he got in his car and drove off. I waved at the tinted windows as he drove past. Cold comfort.
On the long drive back home I had plenty of time to think about all of the people who were going to be disappointed with me for not getting a picture with Snoop. I pounded two double shots of Starbucks in a can and a Red Bull and got over it. After I got home, I posted the only reasonably decent clip of me dancing that night and bragged to the internet about how I got to dance for Snooooop!
A month later, I got a call that Snoop was coming to the SAP Center.
“Are you free to perform again?”
Redemption! I was determined for this time to go better. I picked new outfits and new shoes, and started flashing back to my teenage dream of performing on the SAP Center stage.
As it turns out, the concert featured all of the Kings of West Coast rap. I got to take a photo with Ice Cube, who wasn’t super excited about taking a photo with me, saying, “Be quick.” When I saw Warren G I went full starstruck again but managed to get a two-second video of him walking by.
This time the dancers got to dance to six songs. I was pumped and fully ready to have a better money-gun moment. Except … Snoop didn’t bring the money gun this time. How was I supposed to have my moment if he didn’t have a reason to come over to me?
I thought I went all night without him noticing me up there until two days later, when one of my pole-dancer friends who had friends in the audience that night sent me a video. I was at the top of the pole when the song ended, and then Snoop turned toward me.
“Oh, wow! She went to the motherfuckin’ top of the pole. Wasn’t nuthin’ else up there. Damn. Bet she can’t do it on a dick like that.”
Snoop laughed. The audience laughed. I did nothing because I didn’t hear him at the time. I just meandered down the pole and continued on my merry way. I’d like to think that had I heard him I would have taken advantage of the moment and had some viral interaction with Snoop that would somehow land me on The Ellen Show for my 15 seconds of fame.
Which I would have turned into 15 minutes by locking down some gigs and, eventually, a book deal. Although none of that came to pass, a sold-out concert did cheer for me. So there is that. And the big ego that goes with that.
An ego big enough that after the show I followed our ring leader, Nicole the Pole, and camped out by the side of the stage. I was going to catch Snoop on the way out for a picture. No ifs, ands or buts.
I stood quietly while Nicole got his attention. Then I pounced and got my photo.
Snoop thanked us and said that we did a great job. I told him, “Thank you,” and asked him to say hi to my husband on video.
“Hi, Kirk” was the last thing I heard Snoop Dogg say. Another bucket list item is now checked, and I can lay at least one of my teenage dreams to rest.