For those who saw Magic Mike in theaters and thought to themselves, "Is this REALLY what it's like to work at a male strip club," Magic Mike star Joe Manganiello (who you may also know from his role as Alcide on HBO's hit "True Blood") offers La Bare, a behind-the-scenes look at one of the foremost male strip clubs in the US. The surprise success of a movie that largely featured men taking off their clothes to music inspired more curiosity about a seemingly novel industry than most had anticipated. When the first time director was asked about his decision to expose the realities of the men he and others had played on screen, Manganiello replied,
"Throughout all of MAGIC MIKE's success, the one prevailing compliment/complaint I received from just about everyone who saw the film was that they wanted more of the guys. People were unanimously interested in knowing more about our characters, who they were, where they lived, how they grew up, who they dated, etc."
It was that note that sent the actor to the Dallas, TX home of La Bare where he would meet the rich cast of characters showcased front and center in the doc. While the film introduces viewers to some of the exact types of men portrayed in its fictional counterpart, La Bare also spends time with newcomers and old pros alike who offer glimpses into their past and the range of emotions felt by a man being ogled night after night by men and women who are there to throw money down their pants.
While the film itself is less a narrative than an introduction to the men bringing in the money, there's something sweet and relateable about all the men in the film (even the club's DJ who undeniably represents the seedier element of the world of male stripping). La Bare seems to set out confirm that "yes, those strippers in Magic Mike really are representative of the nice, Joe Everymans you see on stage in the real world," and succeeds in the limited glimpse into the men's personal lives that makes it to the screen.La Bare is available now to download on Google Play and Vudu.
The Training Routine for a Male Stripper Is Akin to That of a Pro Athlete
Unlike many female strippers who can get by on natural good looks and a propensity to stay skinny (or some sort of aversion to food), the men of La Bare engage in strenuous physical training routines that mirror those of professional athletes without the benefit of the off-season.
The Male Stripping Industry Was Hit Hard By...9/11?
After the terrorist events of 9/11/01, there was a decline in the revenues taken in by La Bare and other male dance clubs in the US (perhaps because Americans felt guilt indulging in the frivolity of sticking dollar bills in a man's pants without a good reason). As a result of the waning attendance, a need arose to introduce new elements into the traditional show to lure patrons back to La Bare.It was the club's new co-owner, Alex, who transformed one of the country's premiere male strip clubs into what it is today by introducing new requirements for the dancers such as strict diet and fitness regimens and Vegas choreographers to make the experience more appealing to the women attending the show.
The DJ Booth Is Where Strippers Go When They Retire
Not to sell the DJs at female strip clubs short, but the guys are not there to listen to music (you guessed it: they want their T&A). In the world of male stripping, however, the music plays a much larger part in the fantasy the dancers are looking to fulfill for their clients. If the DJ ignores the fact that his audience is 80% country girls in cowboy hats and continues to blast house music, EVERYBODY'S going to have a bad time.
In comes DJ Nick Adams, a former dancer who has no problem telling anyone who'll listen what a stud he was in his glory days. Reminiscent of the star quarterback who never quite made it in his college program, the once-ripped top dog (who now puts the dough in "don't touch the dancers") now spends his time in the sound booth making sure the crowd and, in turn, his former colleagues, are all having the best time possible.Though it's apparent he longs for the days when he was on the stage as opposed to looking down at it, you can tell there's a certain pride in work that many DJs haven't felt since the (first) death of vinyl.
Retired Strippers Talk About Their Glory Days Like a Star Quarterback from Texas Who Never Quite Made It in College
DJ Nick isn't the only former dancer who turns up in the film to talk about his elite performing days of past. Other dancers come through to talk about boxes of a thousand condoms that disappeared in a matter of months, patrons who would lay down stacks of bills on the front of the catwalk and stake claim to a dancer as he took the stage, and well, the women. The women seem to be the main thrust (intentional) for many of these men to take up the profession.