Out of all the wacky gigs I do to pay the bills, one of my hands-down favorites is working for my friend’s concierge pranking service, as a planted actor. This company specializes in fucking with people in a spectacularly theatrical fashion: want some random wacko to throw a pie in your buddy’s face? What about a case of mistaken identity involving a transvestite hooker and an alcoholic circus clown? Hiring this service to prank your friends ensures that your Vegas vacation will end up being something truly memorable…instead of just another vodka-, cologne- and puke-soaked fist-pump-a-thon.
I know this sounds like a paid ad, but it’s really true: I freaking love this company’s concept, and I love working for them as a planted actor. Call me bitter, but there is something so satisfying about fucking with the self-absorbed nouveau-riche douchebags who frequent Vegas. I can’t get enough!!
I hadn’t participated in any pranks in quite a while, due to scheduling conflicts…but last week, I had the pleasure of taking part in two of them! The first was one of the most popular packages: the classic and universally beloved piss prank, in which a flirty actress shows up, gets drunk, and “pisses” on the prankee (of course, it’s not real pee…just water trickling through an elaborately rigged apparatus). Sometimes it’s a Vegas showgirl who does the pissing, and sometimes a stereotypical bottle-rat nightclub party girl.
In this instance, the client was a group of well-heeled East Asian lads from London, in town for a bachelor party….and the pissing was to take place poolside, in their cabana at one of the dayclubs. I happened to be available, so me and my friend Blondie headed over to WOW Beach (not its real name) to execute the prank.
Of course, the pissee in this instance was the bachelor — his buddies had set it all up without his knowledge, and every single guy in the group of 10 was in on it except for him. So my job was fairly easy — just show up in an intricately rigged bikini, play drunk and stupid, ingratiate myself with the group, get invited into their cabana, have a couple drinks, get friendly with the bachelor, straddle him as if I were about to demonstrate a Genuine Vegas Lap Dance™…. and then let ‘er rip!
BOOM — 500 cc’s of body-temperature water, trickling from my bikini bottom all over his swim trunks. Shock, horror, and laughter ensues….as Blondie and I scuttle away in mock shame, leaving the bachelor dabbing furiously at his soiled board shorts with a napkin as his buddies collapse in hysterics nearby. GOOD TIMES!!!!
You really can’t go wrong with the piss prank — it’s a classic for a reason, and as mentioned, there are many different scenarios under which it can be pulled off. But sometimes, a client wants a bit more….as was the case earlier in the week, when I was assigned to play a nefarious hooker.
This was a more intricate prank, involving 6 or 7 actors over the course of two nights (if you have the cash, the service will work with you to plan a more elaborate prank…otherwise, you can choose from their set menu of a la carte pranks). In this scenario, a guy was setting up his ex-college-roommate, who happened to be in town with six or seven other friends for his bachelor party. The whole group was supposed to go to one of those dumb machine-gun ranges…but fortunately, our client had the good sense to spend their budget on this prank, instead. MUCH more fun!!
The first night, it was arranged that our client and his buddy, the unwitting bachelor, would come into a bar at Planet Hollywood…where they would encounter my character, a common Strip hooker sitting at the bar nursing a fake cocktail. Our client was tipped off to what I was wearing, so when they came in, he steered his buddy straight over to where I was seated. We struck up a conversation, I “took a liking” to the client…and after 15 minutes or so, I invited him to come with me to “buy cigarettes.”
The two of us disappeared for another 15 minutes or so, reappearing with mussed hair and lipstick marks on the client’s neck…as if I had just taken him to my minivan on the roof of the parking garage and had sex with him (really we just went around the corner and sat there bullshitting for 15 minutes….the guy was cool as fuck!). When we came back into the bar, his buddy (the bachelor) was still sitting there waiting for us…and when we reached him, I tapped the client on the arm: “Hey, are you going to the ATM, or what? I need my money….I have another call at the Venetian in 15 minutes.”
“What?” The client played dumb, pretending to assume we had just shared a spontaneous “What-Happens-In-Vegas” freebie tryst. As if!!! After badgering him for the money for a few minutes, I “gave up” and went across the bar to where another actor was planted — an ominous-looking big, bald guy in a pimp suit, and pretended to confer with him, shooting angry glances over at the client and his buddy every now and then.
Finally, I followed my “pimp” back across the room, hanging back as he confronted the client: “Hey, pal. You know how this works. Pay my girl, or my people are gonna get really upset.”
Of course the client (who was in on all this, remember) stammers indignantly that he doesn’t owe me anything, that nothing of the sort was discussed. Meanwhile, his buddy (the unwitting bachelor) is looking on, half bemused and half nervous. This guy really fell for the whole shtick — it was awesome!!
Anyway, they keep arguing back and forth until finally the client “chokes up” $100 – way less than the actual cost of doing business with a fine hooker like me. This infuriates my pimp, and he jams the $100 bill back in the client’s pocket, ominously intoning that he has other ways of getting his money back…and then saunters off, me in tow.
This all went down on a Wednesday night — apparently, after we left, the client and his buddy got out of there pretty quick, with the buddy assuming that it wasn’t safe for them to hang out at Planet Hollywood for the remainder of their vacation, because some random pimp had it in for them. LOL! They spent the next couple of days partying at other Vegas hotels, and on Friday were joined by the rest of their posse, for their big blowout night on the town.
After drinking at a bar downtown all evening, the plan was for everyone to come back to the hotel room for a little in-room stripper service before going out to one of the nightclubs. But before the group headed back, the client (who was the only one in the group who was in on the prank) sneaked back to the hotel room ahead of time….where the rest of us were waiting to set up the big finale.
When his buddies all finally made it back to the room, they were confronted by two ginormous thug-type bouncers, who ushered them in and instructed them to pay attention; that this was a serious situation. At first all they saw was me, in my hooker costume, smoking and looking pissed off on the bed, which was bloodstained and covered in bloody medical tools. Of course, none of them recognized me except for the bachelor, who remembered me from Wednesday night and visibly blanched…especially when my “pimp” came storming out of the bathroom, stabbing his finger into the bachelor’s chest: “You little shit; remember I told you I’d get my money? Well, you have exactly 15 minutes to get your buddy to a hospital. As soon as I leave, you better haul ass!!”
Then, another actor in blood-soaked scrubs comes rushing out of the bathroom, stuffing gear and gauze and a mysterious bloody glob packed in ice into his briefcase: “Let’s get out of here!!” We hurry out of the room, followed by the pimp and the bodyguards…and then the bachelor and his boys enter the bathroom to find their buddy (the client) with his ribcage wrapped in gauze, sitting in a bath tub full of ice. SURPRISE!!!!! By this time, they know it’s a joke….and when, at the client’s urging, they peel back the gauze on his ribs……there’s no wound at all, just a message written in Sharpie: “YOU’VE BEEN PLAYED! LAS VEGAS THE GAME.” LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!
After the big reveal, we all went back into the room for a hearty laugh — the bachelor was absolutely delighted, saying he’d figured something was up tonight…but that he had completely believed the Wednesday night story, and had been afraid to go to Planet Hollywood ever since. All in all the prank was a great success, and the guys all agreed that it was much more entertaining than shooting dumbass machine guns. Winning!!!
So, a good time was had by all….although one of the guys in their group, who resembled nothing so much as a red-faced rapist Kennedy cousin, apparently was so drunk/confused that he thought I was an actual prostitute, and kept asking for my number…as if I really turned tricks in a MoBro (that’s mobile brothel, a/k/a minivan on the roof of the parking garage). For reals?!?
But even worse than the feeling of being mistaken for a hooker was the feeling I got from pretending to be a hooker. Oddly enough, my mom happened to be in town that day with a friend…and earlier that same afternoon, we had all gone out to Pahrump, to taste some wines at the Pahrump Valley Winery, after which we decided to head over to Sheri’s Ranch, one of the legal brothels in the area.
As you may or may not know, prostitution is actually legal in Nevada — but only in counties with populations fewer than 200,000, which means Clark County (wherein lies Vegas) is out. The closest county to have legalized prostitution is Nye County….home to the dusty, nondescript redneck town of Pahrump, about 60 miles northwest of Vegas, just over the county line. So you can bet your sweet bippy that there are a couple of really nice brothels in Pahrump, as close to Vegas as legally allowable.
Of these brothels, one of them — Sheri’s Ranch — has an extraordinarily open policy of allowing any and all looky-Lous onto their premises, where you can enjoy drinks and lunch in the sports bar, and even get a tour of the full facilities from one of the girls, if you want. I’ve had lunch there and taken the tour a few times, and have always enjoyed it and been truly fascinated by the mechanics of the place — it’t a legit business!!! So when my mom’s friend wanted to go check it out, I was all for it.
As with my previous visits, we sat at the bar and enjoyed a drink while waiting for the next available working woman to come give us a tour — and when she arrived, she was everything you would not expect a prostitute to be: tall, blonde, truly attractive, flawless complexion, intelligent, well-spoken and polite. In other words…..the exact opposite of my rough caricature of a hooker in Las Vegas: The Game.
She gave us a tour of the facilities: the parlour where the client sits to choose from the lineup, the jacuzzi room, the Budweiser room (Sheri’s is the only brothel in the world with a corporate sponsor), the Fancy Restaurant Room (because of strict STD testing rules, while working, the prostitutes aren’t allowed to leave the premises…so if a client wants to take them to dinner, they do it in this little fake restaurant room, with linen tablecloth and fine china and a sign on the sideboard reading “CONDOMS MANDATORY AT ALL TIMES,” and a pillow on the floor by the man’s chair “for dessert”). It’s far out!
There’s also a gym and a volleyball court and a pool and a rec room, plus a row of dorm rooms where the working girls live and do their business while onsite…and there’s even an S&M dungeon, where particularly naughty clients are taken by the women who are professionally trained Dommes — as was our tour guide (!). I was just getting ready to ask her 1,000 questions about her experiences as a Domme, when the little red light that’s on the ceiling of every room in the building started flashing: “Girls, we have a lineup! All ladies report to the parlor immediately. Girls, we have a lineup!”
Now, when those red lights start flashing, every woman on duty at the whorehouse has to drop whatever she’s doing — even if she’s in the shower, washing her hair, as was once the case — and hurry into the parlour for the lineup, when they all parade in front of the customer so he can choose who he likes. So, when the light started flashing in the middle of our tour, that meant the tour was cut short :-/ Our guide had to go. D’oh!!!
Our guide hurried down a hallway to get in line with the other girls, and the madame ushered us out quickly…through the parlour, where a salivating Asian man was sitting on the ornate faux-Victorian sofa, rubbing his hands together in glee (OK, he probably wasn’t…I don’t know, I didn’t want to be rude by staring at him, so I’m not sure what he was doing). And just like that, we were back out in the bright Pahrump sunshine….and back into our car for the trip back to Vegas, where in a few short hours’ time I would be getting dressed up in my hooker costume for part II of the kidney prank.
But as I was getting dressed that night, I felt kinda shitty. My idea of a “hooker outfit” was a short, tight black minidress and thigh-high Pretty Woman boots, with giant hoop earrings, smudged makeup and sky-high teased hair — Central Casting, always good for a laff. I thought back to our tour guide from that afternoon, Olivia — and in a way, it felt like I was disrespecting her.
On the tour, we had all been careful to be polite, and not come across as judgy with our questions and preconceived notions about what her life and work were about. I have zero reservations about prostitution — it’s not for me personally, but I feel there is nothing wrong with it as a way of making a living, and in fact I’d argue that prostitution is genuinely necessary for the functioning of our society. Prostitutes fill a basic need — not just for pervs and frustrated men who aren’t getting any, but for paraplegics and shy virgins and those who prefer to skip the expensive complications of a “real” relationship. As I understand it, men have to get their rocks off….and Lord knows I don’t want to service most of ’em. So why begrudge a less finicky woman for making a buck? Yet, here I was…playing a hooker for cheap laffs. Hmmm.
The issue did weigh on me, and I did feel like a bit of a hypocrite….but guess what? I still did it, to make a buck…and also because these pranks are just so much freaking fun! How could I let a thing like ethics stand in my way of getting one over on some East Coast frat boys?!?!?! Answer: I couldn’t!
But interestingly, the quandary isn’t mine alone — my friend who runs the pranking business had a similar revelation a couple months ago. He was walking home shirtless from his CrossFit class, though a semi-seedy section of downtown Vegas, when a woman in an SUV pulled up short to holla at him (my friend cuts a very striking figure, being one of the most hirsute and razor-averse people I’ve ever known, and stands out in any crowd due in equal parts to his fit physique and his coat of rust-colored fur).
After chatting with this woman in the street for 20 minutes or so, he learned that she was a massage therapist…so he invited her up to his high-rise condo to give him a massage. She set up her table and everything in his condo, and proceeded to give him a thoroughly legit massage…but there was still an air of illicitness about the whole thing, which intensified when the woman finished the massage, and crawled up onto the massage table to lay beside him.
Here’s the part where, in the typical Vegas narrative, this woman who picked him up on the street and wormed her way into his high-rise condo would give him a happy ending — right??
Well, imagine my friend’s surprise when, instead of reaching for his junk, the woman instead simply wrapped her arms around him and enveloped him in a long, warm hug. A real happy ending! It was so totally unexpected, so sweet and un-seedy, that it totally threw him for a loop….and made him think about things in a different light.
Like, what if there were a way he could turn his pranks around at the end, so that instead of just laff-fests involving broadly-painted stereotypes of loose women embarrassing themselves by fucking guys in minivans and pissing all over themselves…they somehow turned the tables and ended up oddly touching the victim’s emotions in an unexpected way? What if people came home from Vegas having had a great time with a real happy ending, without having simply debased themselves and/or others in the process?? Wouldn’t that be nice???
Alas, however, after having thought about it for awhile, and having asked me for any ideas I might have….my friend and I both came to the realization that real happy endings aren’t a profitable business model; party bros simply won’t pay for that shit. Nobody comes to Vegas for a revelation; nobody comes here for enlightenment. The only fuzzy thing around these parts is a Navel…and that’s just the way it is.